When they put the placemat down in front us, Alison observed that we obviously had come to the right restaurant!
[The placemat proved to be prophetic, since on the way home from San Francisco, I had a call from Megan (SPCA), who asked if I'd be willing to take a female chihuahua with 2 one week old puppies. They will arrive here tomorrow or the next day, or whenever the logistics of getting them from "there" to "here" are figured out.]
The lunch at Denny's was the re-cap of our morning's activities. This was our second planning meeting for the eventually-to-be-written Lamplighter History, Book III. We were meeting at Lamplighter World Headquarters, a place noted for difficult parking. Walt and I had a car conflict, since he had to have some lab tests at Kaiser in the morning and I wanted to leave Davis between 7:30 and 8 a.m. and Kaiser's lab doesn't open until 7:30.
Now it doesn't take 3 hours to get to San Francisco (our meeting was 10:30), but at that hour of the morning you have to take into account possible rush hour traffic, a long back-up at the bridge, and then the parking issue.
Walt got home before 8:30 and I took off immediately. Miraculously, there was very little rush hour traffic (most of which I avoided by taking a frontage road) and no backup at the bridge, thanks to our new FastPass, which means you no longer have to stop and pay a toll...it's deducted from your account automatically. To my delight, I got to the City about 30 minutes before the meeting (remembering, with amusement, all of the contingency plans we had for in case I got there late).
While driving toward the office, I passed a fenced off lot with cars inside it, but no parking sign. There was a toothless woman in an official looking jacket (which matched the official looking jackets of the men she was with) sitting at the entrance. I asked her if there was public parking there. She looked around furtively. "How long you gonna be?" she asked, in a whisper. I told her that I would probably be there about 2 hours. She gave a jerk with her head and said "park in the back," which I did. She smiled at me when I walked out of the lot and said something I didn't understand. I didn't know if I had just handed my car over to a group that was going to strip it, or if I would be ticketed, or if I would be charged, but at least I was parked. It was a much shorter walk to the office than the 40+ minute schlep I'd had from the parking lot I'd used last time. In fact, there were four of us at the meeting and I was the second to arrive!
Alison and I had worked up a list of things we wanted to cover, and we did in short order. Kathryn had drawn up a list of all the shows since 1987. We got a tour of where photos are stored (it should only take us six months go through them all...groan!) and we agreed on the people who need to be interviewed first, hopefully between now and the time Alison and I both go on vacation (us to Russia, her to Iowa).
When we had done as much as we could do at that point, we said goodbye to everyone and headed back to the parking lot. The little toothless old lady was there alone this time, smiled and waved, and apparently was not going to charge me for parking there (so I gave her $5 for herself--half what it would have cost me in the pay lot nearby).
Alison and I then headed over the Bay Bridge to our usual eatery, Denny's, where we had lunch. And then after a frustrating search for a BART station where I could drop her off (so similar to my search for IKEA a couple of years back), we finally found a place and said goodbye. I headed back home again.
I spent the rest of the afternoon calling the ^%$#@ dogs back into the house because as soon as I would open the dog door, Lizzie and Polly would run out to start barking again (I think they were barking at someone who was mowing the lawn next door). I can't believe how happy I was when Polly learned how to use that door. I should have realized I had just created a monster.Now to get ready for the new foster and her puppies and see what new challenges that is going to bring. At least this doesn't involve bottle feeding this time.