Saturday, 31 October 2015

Ouch! My Arms Hurt!

Some mornings are tougher than others. This morning it is my left arm and shoulder. They hurt, a lot. Of course I have nobody to blame but myself for this. I spent yesterday chauffeuring Katherine around San Francisco, driving in city traffic, all stop and go, up and down hills, parking and unparking. It's no wonder my arms hurt; they spent the day working. It's like I was swinging a sledge hammer all day.

It wasn't intended to be this way. Our plan was to go to Ghirardelli's for ice cream and chocolate. Then we were going to head back to the hotel and spend the afternoon exploring the Fisherman's Wharf area. We drove the mile over to Ghirardelli Square, parked the truck and went upstairs. There we successfully completed Step One of the day's operation. We ate mass quantities of ice cream and chocolate.

Then it happened. As I pulled out of the parking lot, I said to Katherine, "The Marina is just a few blocks over from here. Let's go take a look." It's a marina; of course I had to go look. So off we went, just a few blocks away. Katherine got out and took pictures while I sat in the truck and looked at boats. When she came back I said, "The Palace of Fine Arts is just over there. Let's go take a look." Unfortunately I missed the turn and we ended up in the Presido, right next door. So we spent an hour or so exploring the Presidio.

After that, it was nothing to head over to Land's End so Katherine could check out the view, followed by a look at the beach and the surfers. Then it was a short drive through Golden Gate Park, with its beautiful urban forest setting and wonderful grass areas for family gatherings. That complete, we headed for Alamo Park, home of the Painted Ladies of San Francisco, a set of beautifully painted houses famous from the opening scenes of the TV show, Full House.

I parked again while Katherine explored. Once she was done, it seem logical that we should go to Lombard Street, where Katherine walked down the hill. I parked and waited at the top for about five minutes, then headed down the nine twisting turns of the hill to pick her up at the bottom. Stop and go, stop and go, stop and go.

Not yet finished with my personal driving torture, I took us over to the Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill. There Katherine leaped from the truck to take more pictures while I found another parking spot. Photos complete, we headed down, or so I thought. Just round the corner from the top of the hill is a great spot for taking pictures of downtown San Francisco. Unfortunately it is not a great place to stop a truck. She jumped out to take pictures while I drove halfway down the hill, turning around where I could to return for her. This, of course, meant I drove all the way to the top again, turning around up there, and heading down.

We wanted to have dinner in Chinatown, just a few blocks from the Coit Tower. So off I went on another lurching effort through the streets of San Francisco. Stop and go. Stop and go. We made it to Chinatown finally. There, however, were no parking spots to be had, especially for a wheelchair vehicle, especially for a giant F-150 from Alberta. After circling through the narrow streets of Chinatown several times, I finally said "I give up."

Katherine is completely understanding of my limitations. I had hit the wall and she knew it. We went back to the hotel where I gratefully tossed the keys to the valet. Unfortunately it didn't get that much better. We wanted sushi. There were two choices, one a block away and the other on Pier 39, about 4 blocks away. We choose nearby. We choose poorly. When we arrived we found three giant steps between us and the restaurant door.

It's not that we gave up at that point. We didn't. We just headed the now 6 blocks to Pier 39. More walking and pushing for Katherine. More wheeling for me. More work for her legs and my arms. Once there, we dined well, then headed the four long, very long, blocks to the hotel. Needless to say, exhaustion set in as soon as we got to the room. Neither of us had any strength left. My arms were killing me from all the driving. Her legs were aching from the exploring up and down hills, from pushing me about.

This ache still carries over. This morning is the price we pay for yesterday. It's noon and I am still in bed. I will get up shortly. We will head out again. We are gluttons for punishment. Ah, what the hell. It's only a bit of pain. Tylenol will take care of that. How often do you get to explore San Francisco? Unless you live here, like my friend Sarah Coglianese. She choose wisely.

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