Friday, November 25, 2005

Holiday Time in the Big City

Today we walked from South of Market to Union Square in San Francisco. It's not a long walk. Wow, was it crowded with people, just about every step of the way. I think it was close to this crowded when I was a kid too, at least right around Union Square and Macy's. But today, it was crowded everywhere.

We also stopped in the St. Francis to see if we could ride the elevators up to the top of the building, since they travel on the outside of the tall part of the hotel. But they told us (Grandma asked) that because it was so crowded at holiday time, the elevators were only open to guests. They said we should come back when the holiday crush had past. That sounded reasonable to us grown-ups. And it was very nice just to be in the lobby at the St. Francis...beautiful tree decorated with elves and icicles, magnificent castle made of candy, fabulous marble floors and crystal chandaliers... but Lana and Larissa both said, "What? We're not guests?" That is actually a fairly reasonable question. Paying guests, we clarified.

Outside, in Union Square, folks were collecting $10 donations for something something, plus there'd be the tree-lighting ceremony at 6:00. It was about 4 when we were there. No, we aren't donating. Not staying long enough to see the tree get lit either. And what's this donation about anyway? Somehow it was implied that that was the deal if we were staying to watch, we should pay. But it was a donation, hello. The tree was something, wow. Like 50 feet tall. Enormous trunk. The girls were somewhat disconcerted to think that someone had cut a tree down "just for this" as Lana put it. "Just this" was hundreds, possibly thousands of people to see the lights and the decorations tonight and for weeks to come. But I could see her point. Larissa asked, when she heard there'd be a tree lighting, if that meant they were going to light the tree on fire?

Macy's was showcasing puppies and kittens from the SPCA in their windows. The puppies (and the kittens) were cute, but not what we're looking for. I want a dog, we all want a dog, but I hate the idea of accepting the challenge and responsibility of owning a dog again. But, I want a dog. And that's the deal. You want the dog, you take on the C and R. So we have begun to keep our ears and eyes open for the right dog. Small and passive would be my ideal. Cute won't be bad either. Young too. And healthy and smart. That's about all we ask. Oh, and tolerant of kids, cats, and lazy owners. Perfect!

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