After all the drama, we settle into our seats (after we have to let the window seat person in – and honestly, I can’t remember if they were male or female). The flight is smooth. We do our usual stuff. Zung has his laptop and does his laptop stuff. He’s working on a start-up company and it keeps him busy, busy, busy. I can’t tell you what it is because it is so amazing and top-secret.
I did my usual combo of reading magazines, listening to audio books and playing games on my iPad. I’m a little ADD.
There were no adult beverages consumed by either of us. We will have to make up for that later. The wine pairing with dinner more than makes up for it.
We arrive early. Yay! We can’t hook-up to the jetway, so we have to walk down the stairs outside, across the way to the terminal, up some stairs and into the terminal. We were happy it wasn’t raining. San Francisco International airport is nice. We walk to the baggage area and get our bags. I’m always happy when all our bags arrive.
We find the taxi area. It takes a bit of looking. We considered taking the BART (aka: Bay Area Rapid Transport). We ultimately decided that would be too challenging with all the bags we had. It was a quick drive to the Hyatt Grand Regency Union Square. I am always excited to be in a new area. The overriding impression was A LOT of buildings in a small area. My claustrophobia will be challenged for sure.
The Hyatt has a somewhat different check-in set-up. There is not a big counter, like most traditional hotels. There is no comfortable seating area, or desks, like other hotels. They had three different “pods,” with computers. You wait in line for an available staff member/computer. I didn’t quite get the advantage over traditional set-ups.
There was a staff member who chatted with you while you waited in line. She got us some water. She asked about our plans while we were in SF. I said we had plans to go to Alcatraz tomorrow, but with the government shut-down that was being resolved today, was not sure if they would be open or not. She said the concierge might be able to help with that.
When it was our turn, we checked-in. It was early and our room was not ready. The check-in dude said, “You’re staying four nights?”
Noooo. Three nights. (This will come up later).
“Oh, right, three nights. We’ll call you when your room is ready.”
We go hang out on the sofas. We had texted Nicholas when we were in the taxi. He was supposed to be on his way. Nicholas has a different concept of time than I do. “I’m on my way,” means to me that you are walking out your door and headed in my direction. To him, it means, I am thinking about doing that in the next couple of hours.
The chica who chatted with us when we were waiting to check in came over and said the concierge would monitor the Alcatraz situation and let us know. That sounded good. Except we never heard from her.
While this area was comfortable, it occurred to me that they did not give us a welcome drink when we checked in. The water didn’t count. This is something that US hotels could take a lesson from Mexico hotels. Welcome drinks make you feel welcomed. At this point we just felt partially checked in. We had no room, no keys, no welcome drink.
Where’s the bar?!
Hey, I’m on vacation. I can drink in the middle of the day if I want to.
The restaurant and bar are one flight up. However, the elevator doesn’t get you there (ummm, what about that ADA thing?). There is a staircase right by the front door that we eventually find. The restaurant is to the left and the bar to the right. We go to the right.
The bar is empty. There is a delightful bartender, named Jaime. He is from Peru. He makes us some wonderful drinks and engages us in some entertaining conversation.
Vanilla mojito for me. Some serious yumminess. A cucumber drink for Zung. I know I am all about cucumbers, but I like mine better.
One of my biggest regrets was that after this wonderful encounter, we never got back to see Jaime. Or have another vanilla mojito. Jamie was awesome. He told us about how worked up he gets about sports.
We were chatting and I kept looking back at the stairs for Nicholas, and then he was there!
I have missed this boy something fierce.
He has missed us too. And is hungry. And needs a haircut. And some clothes. And of course, wants dinner at his restaurant, Quince.
Ask, and you shall receive. The power of the first born.