Marigold Says...

Random thoughts on travelling and life in general.

Is this Runcorn Bridge? If so, that sat nav is worse than we thought.

San Francisco, day one of our Epic Road Trip. All Road Trips have to be entitled 'Epic.' It's  the Law.




Marigold Says…


Woke up at three o’clock this morning. G was already awake and reading his Kindle. He said he was reading ‘quietly,’ whatever that means. I went into the bathroom which seems massive after the tiny ones on the plane. 

Last time we did a long haul flight, from Fiji to Los Angeles on the way back from New Zealand, the world’s fattest woman sat next to me. G had the aisle seat, Big Lady had the window seat and I was in the middle with most of me being overflowed by her neighbour. When she went to the toilet, we both had to get UFO so she could squeeze past and she was gone ages. 

A stewardess came and said the woman was asking for ‘the little girl sitting next to me.’ I thought she had got wedged in and couldn’t get out (what use would I be?) but she wanted me to bring her handbag. I brought her bag and she said ‘I’m going to stay here for a while and my glasses are in my bag.’ She came back an hour and a half later so she may have got stuck in there after all. I didn’t ask. 

 You can't even change your knickers in those stupid plane toilets. I once tried to wash my feet  in one, but I got my bottom stuck in the hand drier and they had to ask for a doctor to treat the burns. No, not really!

 Some people on planes seem toilet obsessive, the woman in front of us went 8 times, not that I was counting.  I feel a need to police small spaces when other people go in, and in my head want to tell them how to behave and say things like NOW WASH YOUR HANDS.

As we were ready to set off early today, I told G I’d see him in the lobby as he was fiddling with the room safe.  You have to put your room card in a slot to use the lift or the buttons don’t light up. Nobody told me this and I hadn’t  noticed the sign so I was still in the lift, pressing buttons and waiting for it to move when G arrived ten minutes later. He didn’t say anything, just put the card in the slot, pressed the button and the lift set off. I tried to pretend I was being kind and waiting for him, but he wasn’t fooled. 

Went in the tram to Fishermans Wharf, very early as it was going to be so hot everybody in California  will die, according to the girl on the hotel information desk. Brilliant Farmers Market. Full of everything good for you, huge fruit, honey, street food, and smoothies made out of fruit I have never heard of.  Some of it looks like sick. Had some great tastings.  It is the hottest it has been forever here.  People are dying on the pavements and are being swept up and fed to the pelicans. 

Met some great people, the best being Ruth who is 86 and from Norway. She was a midwife here 50 odd years ago and stayed in SF. Her husband Arnie was a fisherman.  When we come back at end of month we are going to meet up again and take her out for a meal.  We met her on the tram line, like you do.  She is 86 going on 25, very fit and wears designer running shoes.  

Also we met a bloke who was an artist and looked like a vagrant, but most interesting. He is Hungarian and gave me a recipe for goulash which had been in his family for hundreds of years. The ingredients seemed very similar to what  I use to make goulash, but he went to a lot of trouble which was kind. He had a bulldog named Raymond which I found amusing. 

We are finding San Francisco pretty expensive, but cities always are. I mentioned this to a man from Holland we met at the hotel information desk and he said ‘Brexit’ very loudly and walked off. Oh dear, it’s all our fault. 

We went to Pier 39 first as everybody told us it was great. Ha! A tourist trap with herds of people shuffling along like in The Walking Dead and over priced tat in the shops. As we don’t like fairground rides either, we moved on. 

Had a coffee each, some sourdough toast that the girl on the hotel desk told us was to die for and G had granola and yoghurt. That came to 19 dollars which is just stupid. The bread may well have been made to an original recipe here since 1849, but G is a world renowned expert on toast, so he says, and this was nothing special. Half size slices, cheap jam in a sachet and melting butter. G’s granola and yoghurt was just a plastic beaker half full of grains and dust with a (small) dollop of raspberry yoghurt on top.  The coffees were supposed to be latte, but had barely any milk in at all, served in a paper cup. 19 dollars for that. Our first rip off of the trip.

The Farmers’ Market on the other end of the wharfs was just brilliant though. Fantastic quality, lots of tastings, nice people, as good as anywhere we’ve ever been G said and he’s  right. Chatted to all sorts of people. One lady said ‘where are you from?’ and when I said England she said ‘sorry it’s so hot here today’ as if we may have thought she was to blame. G told her the weather in England was just like this every day and she believed him! 

We also saw a stall selling dried Marigold. I asked about this and it seems to have many medicinal uses, but the girl said most people buy it to smoke and get high and it is also an aphrodisiac. She said the Incas used to smoke it during shamanic sexual initiation rites. Told G not to bother buying any. 



G took a photo of the waiter’s shirt, the customer behind gave him the ‘dead eye’ look

The only part of Pier 39 we liked

Great market. This man kept talking to G. Seemed very friendly. Hmm!

Didn’t take photo from the front as he was about 7 foot tall and had tattoos on his face

How did we manage to resist?

People buy these!

Potatoes? Oh yes, lots of potatoes

Clock tower on the Waterfront

Marigold with 86 year old Ruth. Both very lively company