Something random I have always wanted to do is go to San Francisco for lunch. I remember when I was a kid and someone I went to synagoge with mentioned that their dad went to San Francisco for lunch and that sounded so cool to me, what a jet setter! I have since looked into it, but it never really made sense when you think about it, especially because my sister currently lives there, so why not stay longer, which sort of defeats the purpose of the whole thing.
The moment after the U2 concert at the Rose Bowl back in 2009, tickets went on sale for shows the following year and they included a San Francisco area date this time, in Oakland! (Plus the LA dates are really being held in Anaheim, ew.) It’s so much easier to get good tickets for face value for SF dates and I immediately grabbed two cheap (face value!) field tickets for SF, which is next to impossible for any LA dates. Early in 2010, there was a rumor going around that the U2 shows were going to be postponed. I bought a decent airplane ticket from Burbank, my local airport to Oakland, on Southwest knowing I could cancel it at anytime. A bit before the shows, they were officially postponed, rescheduled date to come soon. I canceled my plane ticket and held on to my concert tickets. When they shows were finally rescheduled for a year later for June 7th, I was so annoyed the show was rescheduled for a Tuesday! Originally, the show was going to be on a Wednesday, so I was going to do a quick turn around anyway, but my fingers were crossed for any days but Tuesday or Wednesday because then I could make a long weekend out of it. But since it was rebooked for a Tuesday, I was going to reschedule my original plans. Take a midday flight from Burbank to Oakland, meet sister in Oakland, go to show, stay at hotel near the stadium and fly home first thing the next morning and arrive only slightly late back at work. For the first time in a long time, I wouldn’t even go into the city on this trip! And that is pretty much what happened:
Originally, I was going to leave work around 2:30 for a 3:45 flight out of Burbank. Since I work nearby, I wasn’t too worried, though I did have to park the car and take a shuttle and who knows what the parking situation would be like as BUR is a real commuter airport and I know lots of business people use it. As usual, after getting freaked out by my co-workers that I had to get there an hour early and who knows how security would be, I ended up leaving work at 1pm because I also had to make a pit stop and pick up some books at the local library. After that, parking the car in a half empty parking lot, waiting 5 minutes for the shuttle, a quick 5 minute ride to the terminal, walking slowly down the terminal, reading about all the info about the history of Burbank (if you are a flight buff, I highly reccomend a stop in Burbank, it’s got some really good history! You don’t even need to be on a flight as all their history stuff in near the check in desks), no waiting for security AND getting randomly checked for a bag check (seriously, BEST TRIP EVER to get my stuff checked, as I was only going for the night and therefore didn’t have stuff to check and actually had a good conversation with the TSA agent about my trip), the next time I checked my watch, only 45 minutes had passed. Seriously, BEST! AIRPORT! EVER! We used to use Burbank all the time when I was a kid for short-hual flights, but in the last 10 years, the taxes have jumped and it’s easily $10/each way more then LAX. Plus, you can’t fly BUR-SFO on Southwest anymore, so that totally sucks. But between the ease of both BUR and OAK (my sister was laughing on how lame the place was, in a good way), if you can use them, I highly reccomend it. Plus, Burbank is super classic. You walk on the runway and up the stairs on the jet-way, Israel-style, so you board and deplane from both the front and back doors, which is something to take into consideration. Once everyone is on the plane, take off is immediate as unlike LAX, there is no back up of planes, because there are none! Seriously, new best friend alert!
My sister actually picked me up at the airport and we went down south to Texas Roadhouse in Union City because she has been talking about it forever, but since it is in East Bay and we rarely go over on that side, I had never been. We grabbed an early dinner, stopped off at the 4th Wal-Mart I had ever been to in my life to get some beer and then headed back to Oakland. Traffic was horrible as always and it took nearly an hour to get off the freeway.
We found the hotel (Quality Inn-Oakland Airport: very nice!) quickly and when I went to check in, asked about parking because originally my sister was just going to go home after the show as in the past when she has been to basketball games (held in an ajcent indoor arena, it hasn’t taken her very long to leave) but even she gasped at the traffic, thankful for a place to crash after the show and the hotel said they provided free parking so we didn’t have to pay for it at the arena but the receptionist said that the lot was full because of the concert, that people fill the rooms with locals and bring more cars then usual (like we were doing) and since we got there so late, the lot was full. Thankfully, there was loads of street parking that had minor parking restrictions that didn’t effect us, so we parked the car and loaded everything up to our top floor room. We pounded two beers quickly and my sister filled a cup to walk to the stadium with. I was in shock by this, I am so not used to drinking on the street as it is kind of illegal in California. The only time I have legally drank on the street is in Las Vegas. But since the cops who were out had their hands full with directing traffic and the people that were out with actual bottles were not causing trouble, no one even questioned it. I am so not used to this! As always with U2 fans, especially in SF, they are so nice! We ended up chatting and walking with a huge group of people and I took a peak in a women’s purse that was FULL of beer that I knew they wouldn’t finish them all by the time we got to the stadium. Drinking on the street and not causing trouble is one thing, but we all knew that there was no way she was getting the beer into the stadium. I jokingly asked for one and she popped one open for my sister and I to share! AWESOME!!!
We finally got into the stadium, Lenny Kravitz was still playing (love him in concert!) and we walked around trying to find a good place to stand. We ended up on the side of the stage and while we didn’t get as close as we have been in the past, it was a good angle. We chatted with people around us, how long we have held on to the tickets for the show (my tickets were dated as printed on 3-Nov-2009, originally for the show dated 16-June-2010 and the show was finally taking place on 7-June-2011) and kicking tall people who tried to push their way forward back when the show finally started. SO AWESOME!!!! I love U2 in concert. The show was so much better then the Rose Bowl, they played tons of their old stuff, tons of their hits and hardly anything from their new cd, which no one liked. They could just do a classics and singles tour and it would be the best show ever. I highly reccomend checking them out at least once in your life. Great show, great songs, one of my favorite things EVER. The show ended close to midnight and we just had a 20 minute walk back to the hotel. No traffic!
Since my sister didn’t have to be at work until later, I said I would take the hotel shuttle to the airport, so I got up at 6am for the hotel breakfast (hot too!) and hopped the shuttle back to OAK. OAK is a little bigger then BUR and I have been stuck in the worst security lines there, and since it is such a commuter airport and I was taking a morning flight (not the first, or even second, I think to BUR alone) I had no idea on security, so I got there a little earlier then normal. Once again, NO LINES! But at least I wasn’t waiting for like 2 hours like I was in BUR the day before, only about an hour this time. The plane going back to BUR was packed but it was 75% business, so it was a really quiet ride, no kids screaming and I slept the entire time. Quick transfer back to my car, a stop at my apartment to clean up, dress up and have a coffee and I still made it back to my office before my boss! Only by like 2 minutes, but I said I would be in 10-10:30ish and I was in by 10am because everything was just so fast. He was like, you must be tired today, what time did you get up today? And when I thought about it, I was like, “Actually, probably the same as you, 6am!” I just happen to have an extra long distance commute that morning. How crazy is that?! I was gone and back in less then 16 hours which is the closest I’ll ever get to “Lunch in San Francisco” (and it’s probably a good thing).
Moral: I love combining travel and music. Except when it comes to sitting in my car, in traffic, which is why I am skipping the “technically” LA shows which are being held in Orange County (ew). Yes, it cost more then if I had just driven to OC, but since everything was spread out over like nearly 2 years, I hardly noticed the cost. The amount of time it took me to do the whole airport thing and fly to OAK, it would take pretty much the same time (or longer) to drive from where I live to Anaheim. I’d rather fly then drive for that amount of time any day. I also had no one to go to the LA shows with this time and the type of ticket I would have gotten would have been shit compared to SF. Plus it makes things more interesting! And I got to see my sister! I see zero downsides to what I did last week! Good times!
*Sorry for my lack of pictures in this post! There wouldn’t be any from the concert anyway, as I never shoot during a show as I like to concentrate on the show rather then care about pictures that will turn out like shit anyway. When I turned my camera on in the BUR airport, I saw that my battery was pretty much dead! That’s what happens when you go on a quick turn around trip. You are hardly prepare for anything! I forgot my hair brush as well.*