Friday, December 10, 2010

The Bushman - booga booga

I had the great good fortune to be invited to speak in Oakland, Ca. last week at the Black Diamond RWA chapter (hey girls!!!) And since the nice ladies invited me out there, I decided to make a little 'fun' trip out of it and extend my stay in San Francisco for a couple extra days. What fun is a visit, however, without company? Not too much so I cashed in some frequent flier miles and had my wonderful daughter-in-law, Eileen, and my 9 year old granddaughter, Kayla, join me.

We spent Sunday and Monday 'doing' San Francisco, let me tell ya. Had a great time with two of my favorite girls. And, let's just say that if there was something to see or do, we saw it and did it!

On a city bus tour, early on the trip, the bus driver/tour guide told us this tall tale about the supposedly famed San Francisco Bushman. The story goes that this man hides along the sidewalks down on Fisherman's Wharf, using nothing but eucalyptus leaves to cover himself. He ends up looking like a potted plant. Anyway, the tour guide warned us to look out for him because he would pop up when we least expected it and scare us half to death.

Needless to say, Kayla didn't think too much about the idea that the Bushman might scare us and was constantly on the lookout for him. Eileen and I pretty much dismissed the possibility that he even existed or if he did, that we'd ever run into him ... and yes, you guessed it. We were rushing along the street, trying to catch the last cable car of the night. It was pretty dark. We were single-minded in our purpose. And bam! He got us good. He jumped out from behind his leaves, roared and Eileen and I almost wet our pants. Kayla, who had been looking out for him EVERY MINUTE, was not one bit surprised, except by how high we both jumped.

So guess what HER trip highlight was? We made a visit to Muir Woods and the ancient and giant redwoods, we lunched in Sausalito, did Chinatown, rode the cable car, rode not one but TWO different ships on the Blue and Gold fleet out into the bay and under the bridge and around Alcatraz, saw the Aquarium of the Bay, The Wax Museum, went to a live production of SHREK, the Musical at the Orpheum (it was FANTASTIC!) and still, it's the Bushman, who she talks about when someone asks her what she did.

Go figure.

That ever happen to you? You go on this trip, see all the sights and some odd, unexpected event is what you remember most? What's the best vacation you've taken recently? And what was the best thing about it? For me, it was being with my girls~


lois greiman said...

I envy the time with your girls, Cindy.

Favorite recent vacation was hiking the Grand Canyon with son. Something about the exhaustion, the heat, the blisters....ahhhhhhh.

Cindy Gerard said...

LOL, Lois. isn't the Grand Canyon ... well... Grand??? And yes, the blisters are beyond description!

Michele Hauf said...

Ohmygosh! I think I would have screamed. And it's not like he's even cleverly disguised. Ha! Fun.

So did you like Shrek? Seen it advertised lately, and think I could probably go see that.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Ah, Cindy, San Fran is one of my faves for sure. Have wonderful memories of being there as a kid with my parents, seeing the sights and then sailing under the Golden Gate on a re-fitted troop transport ship for a 2 week voyage to Guam.

Also wonderful memories of making the trip twice with daughter Elizabeth. He favorite part was Alcatraz. We toured both times. She and her hubby went there for their honeymoon, and she made him take the tour. Hey, there's a big graffiti sign (hope it's still there) when you land that says "Indians Welcome" from the AIM occupation.

Bushman, Alcatraz--don't kids love the darnedest things?

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Kathy
Yes - we saw the Indians Welcome sign on Alcatraz and the guide told the story of the AIM occupation. What an interesting place.

We loved San Francisco for many reasons. the people were so friendly! it was so much fun to see Kayla discover all the diverse cultures and ethnic differences. We met and struck up friendships with people from Guatemala, Ethiopia, Australia, Lebanon, and many many more. It was a wonderful experience for all of us.

Cindy Gerard said...

SHREK was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!
I absolutely recommend it. The costumes were incredible, the music fantastic, the script charming and funny and just so much fun. Lord Farquar was hysterically funny. Donkey - well, just too much good stuff about him.'
Anyone - if you get the chance to see the theater production, do it. You won't be sorry.

Playground Monitor said...

I did a lot of the SF things when we were there for the RWA conference two years ago. Love that city!

My fave vacation is one that was unplanned. Last year during the worst part of my divorce, my sister sent her husband here to get me and take me to her house for an escape. Because she lives only a couple hours from a dear writer friend in Florida, I emailed friend to see if perhaps we could get together. She replied and said that regrettably she already had plans. So, I was okay with that. Folks have a life. I understood completely.

Then on Saturday morning, Sis pops into my room and tells me to get dressed cause brother-in-law wants to go flying and I'm invited. When I ask the destination, he says Melbourne, FL. Okay. I'm game. When we land, I begin walking across the ramp and pull out my cell phone and start texting friend who lives just outside Melbourne. "Guess where I am?" I started. Then someone yelled, "Marilyn, look up!" It was Friend who had worked with Sis to have me to her house where her husband cooked us a most fabulous lunch (he is a fabuloso gourmet cook) and we laughed and had a great time.

I was never so surprised in my life. In the midst of some of the darkest days of my life, I was also reminded of just how many truly wonderful people there are in the world, for you see, Friend had re-arranged her whole day after my sister emailed her about lunch.


P.S. Divorce was final 3 weeks ago. It's a bittersweet feeling -- not where I expected to be as I near my 60th b'day but the only choice I had given circumstances. But I'm gonna be okay!

Cindy Gerard said...

What a wonderful vacation that was Marilyn! And what a good friend and sister.

And yes ... you are going to be okay! new life. New adventures. New outlook!
Go forth and conquer!!!

Jill James said...

Cindy, the Black Diamonds enjoyed meeting you too. Glad you got to enjoy S.F. too.

GladysMP said...

We Texans took a vacation to North and South Carolina and were sorta touring whatever attracted us and had not made definite motel reservations for every stop. Suddenly we found an area in North Carolina where the motels where we attenpted to spend the night were filled. We were getting a little worried when we finally found a vacancy. But the big surprise was in store the next morning. We were told that there was a free breakfast in the lobby, but little were we prepared for what we found. Two huge rooms was set up buffet style and I can't think of a single food that one could possibly serve for breakfast that was not provided. Every type of meat, pastry, eggs, waffles, pancakes, every fruit you can imagine, various breads, all types of beverages, in short you would have thought the Queen of England was about to have breakfast. It turns out that there was a huge convention close by and the motel had taken it for granted that all their guests were conventioneers. They were out to impress those attending the convention. We have enjoyed free motel breakfasts many times, but nothing like that one. Our surprise was not a scary one, but, believe me, it was an unforgettable one.

Cindy Gerard said...

Thanks, Jill. I had a blast and you nice people were all so much fun!

Thanks for having me!

Cindy Gerard said...

Wow, Gladys
You hit the jackpot on that one!
Great fun -- and it's nice to get really lucky every once in a while!