“motel row” in cow hollow

The first two nights of our long weekend in San Francisco, we stayed in Cow Hollow, a neighborhood on the north side of the city. The area got it’s name because cows grazed there once upon a time. But due to the bovine-bathrooming along with pollution from things like sausage factories and sewage, little bessie got banished elsewhere. Lombard Street of the neighborhood is apparently considered quite the scourge and blight on the landscape, but darned if I completely agree. It’s relative, what you have is basically an off-ramp from the Golden Gate Bridge. Lombard deserves it’s nickname “Motel Row”, where Highway 101 comes screeching into the city from the north. This busy arterial is noisy basically until 3:00 AM, and believe me it’s noisy- the motorcycles leave the nightlife behind in orderly clumps and stir you awake every 20 minutes. Fortunately Adam is a heavy sleeper.

I discovered a little motor inn on Lombard Street and Fillmore a few years ago that has faithfully served as a cheap base (rooms for less than a hundred dollars) from time to time. It’s a nice, clean place. Although Lombard is noisy as hell, I always request a room overlooking the street (with bay windows, nonetheless) because the streetscape is so busy and exciting. There are a lot of buses and cars but there are also a lot of people walking around. Half of them are filing away to the busy sidestreets (Union and Chestnut come to mind) choked with restaurants and boutiques. To the northwest, there’s a peekaboo view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands. I wanted to stay here the first night because Adam and I would be by ourselves and I had a feeling we’d spend some time on the other side of the Golden Gate. With the exception of during rush hour, Lombard is literally ten minutes from the bridge. It was also walking distance to the start of the Powell-Hyde cable car, which we rode the next morning. Once we had our 3 day transit passes in hand, everything was just minutes away.

I took these two b/w pictures from our motel window. It was early Sunday morning, that’s why it looks like a ghost-town. This stretch of Lombard eventually turns into what is famously referred to as the “crookedest street in the world”. That’s walking distance, too: If you’re walking downhill back to the motel……

Lombard isn’t the part of San Francisco you come to see, but it looks interesting from above. Adam and I got off a cable car by “the crookedest street in the world” then walked down to the motel to meet up with Diana, who had just arrived from Portland. The greenery in the distance (you’re looking west) is part of The Presidio.

It started out as a rough week. Adam began Monday with a double ear infection, which was only discovered because I chose to take him to the doctor to talk about the cough that just didn’t seem to be going away. I felt utterly blindsided and dispirited when it turned out Adam had a mild fever and two starting-to-turn-bad ears. Four years into parenthood, I’m not supposed to miss these things. We’re trying to really downshift for the next couple weeks and have him take it easy, the trip to San Francisco wore him out. I don’t think he got a chance to completely recover from the previous cold. We tried to go to bed somewhat early every night on the trip, but with the excitement of our adventures and since the three of us were sharing a bed it made that a little difficult. Now he’s closer to his normal self, with the help of a current two week course of antibiotics (only the second time we’ve had to resort to them over the past year). It’s a never-ending stream of cooties and germs: I was waiting for Adam on the playground of his preschool this afternoon when one of his classmates, a real cutie pie, came up to me to report on what Adam was doing. She also wanted to know what we were having for dinner. She was looking straight up at me and I could see her nose was filled with globby green boogers.

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