Jena is headed home!! She will come in July 2 from Germany, Drew follows a few weeks later, they both fly back to Germany on July 29, and Drew is off to Iraq only a few weeks after that. We have been counting down the days till she gets home since she bought her tickets.

Since I am night blind and Jena comes in late at night, John and I head out for the city. We left at two in the afternoon, passing by John's dad's house for John's tennies. We saw Dan drive by, and followed him, stalking him in the hardware store. I love being part of a fun family. John and Mom are rather famous for getting distracted by talking and getting lost, so we left plenty of time for us to travel.

We hit the Queen Anne at six after passing bumper to bumper south bound traffic almost all the way, registered and headed back out to wander the hotel area for food to no avail. We drove off to investigate the Market Street area, fought no left turns until we started going insane, parked the car in an area that gave me pause (Golden Gate and Leavenworth, oh, the homeless shelters and methadone clinics, the entire area smells like urine!), and toured all the shops. A wooden, hand carved giraffe bowl to match one John already owns, a silver sun plague and a miniature Buddah for David, new silver bracelet for me, a reasonably priced hand carved chess set for John at long last, and a pink shirt from Oakleys for Stacie. Off to the airport.

My very first air train ride. Talk about naive; we headed for the international flights. Well, when you fly from Germany to New York, then New York to SF, you come in on a domestic flight. The international area is at the other end of the airport, and her flight landed five minutes ago. The fastest power walk got us to American Airlines in about ten minutes. Puff, puff.

In North Beach, a parking space magically appeared right down the street the Stinking Rose!! David is gonna kill me. I had soup and potatoes, Jena had chicken and John had the best prime rib he has ever eaten. The garlic appetizer is to die for. The place runs a tad expensive at a $100 bill including the tip for three of us. The salmon plate is $25, but the food is heaven and they have a full bar. The atmosphere is funky (good), mismatching tables and booths, delightful.

Back to the hotel by one am, we crashed completely, not minding the three of us in the one king sized bed. John, as usual, talked in his sleep, and gratefully, Jena was awake enough to realize I had started a headache and fed me my Imitrex at some ungodly hour.

Jena wanted to know why our phone was blinking. Huh? The front desk had called. We regret to inform you that your car has been broken into. Nothing can prepare you for that. Without so much as a warm jacket, we all stumbled downstairs and out to the car. When I could wrap my mind around what I was seeing, the back window of my Blazer scattered all over the pavement, I simply sat down, right where I was, in the parking lot. The clerk agreed to bring me coffee.  To cover the next few hours briefly, we added up the loss, which included everything Jena owned, her Abercrombe Finch wardrobe in her brilliant pink suitcase, my peacoat floor length cape, my new $400 brown leather jacket, on and on. At least John had taken our gifts upstairs, and Jena had her brand new laptop in the room with her. Two other cars had been hit, but their losses were minimal, and blood was all over all three vehicles. SF police do not come out for any reports any more, what surprise!!

The hotel helped us clean up, refunded the parking fee (big deal, $14) and we debated whether to drive home or have the window fixed. The fact that it was a holiday weekend decided this for us. We added up the loss at $6600.00 as we ate breakfast at The Ramp, and headed home. A stop at Walmart for an immediate but brief wardrobe, and finally home. The Blazer looks so sad all broken up.

A warning to other Blazer owners, prepare yourself if this ever happens to you. The back window alone runs $1400 and up. Yup.

A warning to other Queen Anne visitors: The night clerk had been fired, so he wasn't in the mood to reveal the recent mass of break-ins to us. Two years later, complaints of break-ins can still be found easily on the web. The Queen Anne has done nothing about this problem, and as of August 2009, has no plans to create secure parking. Three cars were broken into the same night, one had a library book in the back, one car had absolutely nothing in it.

2013 note: We have never been back. Very sad.

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