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The 1 and other streetcars, San Diego plans and final Ghana prep

This past weekend was a beautiful and eventful one in San Francisco. For the first time since moving here, I was finally in town for Fleet Week and the second series of events for America’s Cup was also being held. Add in The Giants landing themselves in the playoffs and you have a crazy weekend here. Given all these events, they also had streetcars on the E-Line running down the Embarcadero!

We started off this weekend of events by taking Caligula to the vet for a follow-up to some appointments last year. He’s doing fine and we just had some bloodwork done to make sure his levels are still alright. After that we headed down to Ferry Building for some lunch at the Farmer’s Market and to see the first of the Fleet Week planes.

Then it was over to the SF Railway Museum & Gift Shop where we met up with Peter Ehrlich, who worked for the San Francisco Municipal Railway as a streetcar operator from 1979 to 2005, the last ten years as an F-Line operator. These days he’s a photographer who specializes in transportation systems. I came into contact with Peter when he emailed me about this photo to ask if he could use it in a book he was writing. I happily gave permission and in return he gave me a copy of his book, published in August. San Francisco’s F-Line: The Story of How America’s Most Exciting and Successful New Transportation Experience Was Built!. I’m delighted to have a photo of mine included and it was great to meet someone who has been so involved with and interested in streetcars for so long.

My photo in the F-Line book!

That afternoon we spent some time on the roof deck watching the Fleet Week planes and chatting with our neighbors, more photos from that over here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157631713594866/

Sunday I headed out in the morning because I learned that Car 1 was running on the F-line. The 1, like the name suggests was the first car in the fleet in 1912 and was first publicly-owned big city streetcar in the United States. This isn’t just a repaint job, this is the actual car from 1912, having gone through a few refurbishments over the years and now painted back to its original colors (full history). I ridiculously excited about getting to ride it. I pulled up the F-Line Live site and headed down to Ferry Building to catch it – and was just in time! I didn’t care where it was going. It turns out it was going to Pier 39 for the Fleet Week celebrations, I took it there and then grabbed the 1010 home – or at least I would have gone home if it didn’t happen to be travelling all the way down to 4th and King street, it was an E-Line car! Since the E-Line was running as a special event this weekend I decided to take it all the way to the end, under the bay bridge, past AT&T Park. It was a delight. Then I went home to get some much needed trip prep and other things done!

I took a lot of photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157631722077804/

That afternoon we sketched out and booked our trip to San Diego in December. As a LISA ’12 panelist I was given the option of either getting in for free on just my panel day, or getting 50% off the full 3 days of technical sessions (that’s in addition to the discount for being a LISA member). Given that I was paying for the flight and hotel out of pocket to be down there anyway, I opted to do the full 3 days. We got my flights and hotel booked and decided to have MJ come down and join me for the weekend in San Diego. Why the weekend in San Diego? Before I was old enough to know about Hollywood, San Francisco or anything else in California, I knew that the San Diego Zoo was in California. I’ve wanted to go every since! This is finally my opportunity. We’ll also be going to the Safari Park while we’re there, I’m hoping to get a glimpse of one of their northern white rhinos.

As for my trip to Ghana, I got my 2nd Hepatitis A&B shot (add another $112 to my expenses list) and the last of supplies and medications I’ll need on the trip (another $75 there!). Last night I bought some much needed new boots, since I didn’t actually own any hiking or stompy-in-mud boots at all and they could certainly come in handy.

I started taking the antimalarial medication (Malarone) this morning. Tomorrow I fly to Ghana! I’ll be arriving Thursday evening UTC time.


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