Long, Tiring, but Great Day
Trip Start Apr 02, 2011
46Trip End Sep 29, 2011
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Where I stayed
Holiday Inn Express - SFO Airport
I had checked in and printed my boarding pass last night (and paid the $25 baggage fee...ARGH!). After checking my luggage, I headed to Security. Unbeknownst to me, I happened to get into a line with another "full body scanner." And after taking everything out of my pockets and almost everything off my body, a young man motioned me over to a traditional metal detector instead. Thank you. The scanners do take more time, and I understand they may be coming to BMI soon. Won't that be fun?
Anyway off to the gate and ate breakfast (a granola bar and a bottle of water)...$3.25 for the water...OK, I won't complain about BMI's $2.50 for water anymore. Boarded the plane which was beautiful. It's an Airbus 320 with plush leather seats, lots of leg room, and looked brand new...and I was in row 22, not business class. The neatest thing is probably their entertainment system, they call Red. They have monitors in the backs of all the seats and in the armrest is a remote control. And you can listen to music, music videos, movies, games, internet (wasn't working), but very well done. For $49 from SAN to SFO, you couldn't beat it!
Got off the plane and SFO has a "monorail-type" system similar to JFK if you've ever been there. They take you to all the other terminals, rental cars and BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) System. Headed to Hertz where I picked up an upscale Chevy Malibu...love the satellite radio. And headed toward Oakland.
I was headed to a place I had heard of from Triple D, called Aunt Mary's Cafe. Wanted to go there for a couple of reasons; heard the food and the atmosphere were eclectic and excellent. And I have a sister named Mary, but we all just call her "Aunt Mary." The place was very laid back. Very collegiate and almost like a coffe house. (UC Berkley isn't far away!) Nice lady waited on me and later took my picture with my order. And what did I order? Well, what they made on Triple D of course...Shrimp and Grits with a side of Greens. I know some of you are saying, Yuck! But may grandparents were from Tennessee and I guess some of them rubbed off on me. They were both outstanding!
Then it was off to the game. Took me 15 minutes to get there. No problem. Parking was a easy, but a bit more expensive...$17. Got a tremendous seat three rows behind the A's dugout...$48.
This is still a stadium in the old and sterile sense of the word. The Oakland Raiders still play football here. The A's are one of only two major league teams that play in multi-sport facilities. Can you name the other? Yep, it's the Florida Marlins sharing with the Miami Dolphins (at least until next year when they tear that stadium down and build the Marlins a new one!) The corridors are narrow and dark and don't open up to view the field. You access the seats via corridors of stairs. Unfortunately, much like Wrigley Field. The ushers didn't seem like they wanted to be there. Not rude, but just "what da ya want?" The stadium was built in the 1960's and was originally called Oakland Alameda County Coliseum. It was refurbished in the 90's, but as a friend of mine used to say, "You can roll a ball of poop in sugar, but that don't make it a donut!" It's now known as Overstock.com Coliseum or just the "O.co" for short. The place used to hold 45K+, but the A's decided to close the third level and seating is now 34K and I'm told they don't need that many! Judging by today's attendance (20K), I would agree. Too bad. The place is gushing with history...people like Reggie Jackson, Rollie Fingers, Mark McGuire, Jose Canseco and Ricky Henderson played here and Tony LaRussa managed here before going to STL. Unfortunately, it ranks right down there with The Rogers Center in Toronto for less than stellar ballparks.
On to the game. The Orioles struck first with two in their half of the first but the A's answered back with 3 in their half. It was 6-3 by the 6th including one of the most fun plays in baseball. An inside-the-park home run by the first baseman of the A's (although they later changed it to a triple and an error...and rightfully so). But to see a guy run around all the bases in one at bat is something special. It was 6-4 going into the bottom of the 9th. The Orioles scored one run and had the tying run cut down at the plate for the third out to end the game...what a great finish!
Back to the hotel to blog, get a bite and sleep until 5:00 am. Flight back home leaves at 7:00.
I'll catch up with you again soon...home for a while and then next week, the end of the west coast trip...Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.