Travel Makes Me Appreciate Where I Live

June 12, 2013


I just went down to San Francisco to take a friend to have a procedure done at UCSF and the whole experience made me appreciate living in a small town. I was lucky enough to get into the city right after rush hour Monday night and drove onto Treasure Island just as the sun was setting. While the sunsets are beautiful, I’m happy to enjoy them once a month, because if I had to live there, I’d go nuts!

Her appointment was at 9:30 AM- so we left at 8:30, drove around to find parking, found a lot that charged us $20 and walked a few blocks to the medical center. With 3 hours to kill, I ventured out to the area around the med center. Walking down Divisadero, I was approached 3 times for money and I wasn’t carrying any cash- which always makes me feel bad.. I found a Starbucks with a considerable line and probably 4 tables in the whole place. I chose the one near the bathroom as it was the only one unoccupied. After finishing my coffee, I went back to the med center,  read a book that I needed for a class and went in search of some water. Simple enough, no? Not so much. What happened to water fountains, anyway? I found a bottle on a different floor for the bargain price of $2.50.

The nurse called to say that my friend was done and I could come get her. She said  to find a place to park outside the building (yeah right!) and she would bring her out in a wheel chair. There was a roundabout right in front of the center with a valet parking service ($6.00 plus parking fee) and they did NOT want me stopping there. Not seeing her, I drove around the block once, twice and had to double park to get her inside the car …. did I mention that she was highly sedated?? The nurse had to wheel her out into the street.

She had meds to pick up at the pharmacy across town. All of the parking spaces in front of the businesses had NO PARKING! signs between the hours of 8 and 6. Of course we were right in the middle of that time frame. So I offered to take her home and come back for her drugs. She declined- she wanted to go, too. So we found parking again, she wouldn’t stay in the car, so-I helped her walk the 2 blocks to the pharmacy where her meds were not called in. We waited the 45 minutes it took, found the car, paid the $12 parking bill and headed back to her place.  By the time we got back- it was 3:00…I waited til 5- when her sedation wore off and made the mistake of leaving then……

An hour and a half later, I reached Berkeley finally leaving the city and the trafffic behind- ready to go to my home in the hills- where it takes me 3 minutes to get to work, the hospital has a parking lot- AND IT’S FREE!!!



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