San Francisco – July 29

On Tuesday, I woke early and headed down to Starbucks for some needed caffeine, and to post July 28th’s blog. On the way, I met Tina Murray from Naples, Florida. Tina is a member of Southwest Florida Romance Writers. We started talking and I quickly learned that ArcheBooks Publishing has just released Tina’s first book, A CHANCE TO SAY YES. In fact, minutes earlier she’d had a telephone interview with a Naples radio station and was now in need of coffee. We had a delightful talk. Please click on Tina’s name to visit her blog. Congratulations, Tina!

During the next hour as I posted my blog several other RWA members wandered in. Shelley Freydont (aka Gemma Bruce) and Pearl Wolfe sat next to me to have a bite before they left on their Kiss of Death Pre-Conference Tour to the San Francisco Airport U.S. Customs. Other Kiss of Death members began lining up for coffee and a morning muffin. Soon after, Madeline Hunter came in. And the lobby came to life.

A short while later, my husband and I headed west across San Francisco on Bus 38, on our way to the Legion of Honor museum. The museum is set on a hill in Lincoln Park with a spectacular view of the ocean.

Ever since we’d arrived, we had been seeing ads for the Woman Impressionists Special Exhibit at the Legion of Honor Museum. This exhibit featured four women’s work – Berthe Morisot, Eva Gonzales, Marie Bracquemond, and my favorite, Mary Cassatt. We thoroughly enjoyed it all. In addition to the special exhibit, the museum also features several Renoirs, nearly 100 Rodins (including The Kiss), and many, many other notable works of art. World class, and well worth a visit!

After visiting the museum, we bussed back down Geary Street, heading toward Chinatown. As we studied the map, a local businessman assisted us with the proper transfer. We had a pleasant chat.

What can I say about San Francisco’s Chinatown? Well, while there in a Chinese gift shop, I received a phone call from my dear aunt in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. It was a surreal moment. Just a year ago she and I were together in a gift shop in New York City. So, I went outside and on the bustling sidewalk we talked for a few minutes. I wished she was with me. Ah, but what of Chinatown? It’s late and time is short so I offer a picture, and a link to help show you, just a little. Beyond that, I hope you all have the opportunity to visit. One word…it is hilly so wear your most comfortable walking shoes.

This evening we went up to the View, a lounge on the 39th floor of the Marriott for drinks and superb appetizers. It is another place I hope everyone at the Conference has a chance to visit.

No wireless in the hotel rooms, only on first floor, so my husband and I are now sitting in a lounge just off the lobby catching up on our emails and listening to the loud buzz of women’s voices fill air.

RWA is here!

Wednesday promises to be a busy day. Please check back early Thursday morning for my next post.

San Francisco – July 24

From now until the RWA National Conference ends August 3, I plan to post daily about events here in San Francisco. If the mood strikes, please take a minute or two to comment. To other writers attending – please share a link to your own blog posts about RWA National.

Our oldest son lives in San Francisco. Visiting him was the only excuse I needed to combine a family visit with the 2008 RWA National Conference. This was one National I would not, could not, miss.

Although the conference officially starts next week, like many others my husband and I flew in early. From summer thunderstorms in Newark to the cool blue skies over San Francisco, we flew non-stop for close to six hours. On board I read Madeline Hunter’s SECRETS OF SURRENDER, a great start for any RWA Conference. (BTW, this is one you absolutely must read! Whew!)

We were greeted at the airport by our sandaled, red-bearded son. A happy reunion. He settled us into his apartment in the Civic Center/Hayes region of the city then went into work. Two aging boomers on our own in San Francisco. Delightful!

We started the afternoon by strolling through the neighborhood around his apartment, looking for lunch. Didn’t have to look far. We passed restaurants on every block, eclectic and colorful.

We chose Flipper’s Gourmet Hamburgers, and ate outside on the fenced garden patio. Gourmet barbecue burger, a delicious chicken crepe, both with green garden salad. Fresh, tasty, and superb as only San Francisco food can be!

A park across the street from Flipper’s seemed to typify the relaxed beauty of this city. I’ve learned that it rests on the site an old two-decker highway. Artwork is rotated. The current sculpture near the far end is a monkey or ape, enjoying the park with his human companions. (Click on the pictures then wait for a larger view.)

San Francisco’s temperature today is in the low 60’s but sunny with brilliant skies. The ten-day weather forecast calls for temps in the mid 60’s, sunny to mostly sunny.

Word to the wise if you are coming to National – bay breezes can be chilly. Bring a jacket!

Check back tomorrow evening for more.