Well, technically. We were actually out on Treasure Island
to enjoy Fleet Week
's Parade of Ships and the air show. How we came to be there requires something of an explanation. We're on the mailing lists of several wineries and wine distributors. I got an offer for VIP tickets from one of the distributors through the SFGate. A bit too pricey, and kshandra
had plans for today with murphymom
. A few days later, those plans were canceled, and Kiri grabbed us regular tickets. Still very cheap.
Fleet Week is one of those events that overwhelms San Francisco. The traffic jams and lack of parking, especially down on the Marina Green and Crissy Field are legendary. I expected the same problem on T.I., so we got an early start. Upon arriving, we were shocked to find almost no one there. I think the incredibly tricky nature of getting on and off the island might scare people away. (One lane exit from the bay bridge that immediate goes into a tight turn then a blind merge, getting back on the bridge means coming to a complete stop then trying to get right into a freeway traffic lane. Not for the faint of heart.) We stop to admire Bliss Dance
, an amazing statue that was first shown at Burning Man last year, then went in search of our party.
Their building is in the middle of the island. No line of sight to where the events were happening. Evidently, they advertised that the planes fly right over their building. Yes, when they pull out from performance runs, but that's not what we came to see! I cam to see ships, and Blue Angels zipping along at 300knts 15 feet above the bay, inverted, with the pilot playing the violin. Filed with despair and disgust, we went back to the seawall and waited. The parade of ships did not disappoint. Seeing a Nimitz
-class aircraft carrier appear out of the fog was impressive as hell. Sadly I hadn't printed the list of ships so I was stuck on identifying them. But still, seeing the USS Carl Vinson bearing down on you is not something anyone would soon forget.
After about two hours up there on the rocks, I was starting to react badly to the weather. It had been predicted to be much warmer with less winds, so I had dressed accordingly. When I started getting chill cramps in my legs, I knew I was done. Walked back to the car (where Kiri had wisely retreated to long before) and we decided to at least get a glass of wine before leaving. Drove back to Treasure Island Wines
got in, got a glass of a really nice white. While at one of the standing tables I got in a great conversation with a fellow disabled guy who worked for a company Lord&Sons has heavy business with, and he was shocked to learn that Benicia branch had closed. Kiri wanted a grilled cheese from her new church
and I needed to sit down. Here's the first suck. There were about 40-50 plastic chairs, all of them reserved for "VIP" ticket holders. I sat down because I really had to at that point, and immediately got scolded. I told this officious woman I was disabled. No budging. So I told her that telling a disabled man that he can't sit on an empty chair when over half the chairs were empty made it almost certain I wouldn't be giving them my business any time soon. I saw a lot of that, people coming in, drinking a glass, getting told off, and leaving. The second suck was you could not see anything. A B-2 Spirit did a low, slow, pass over the island and we had to run around the corner to get any sort of look at all. When they said "wine-tasting and viewing" I expected what other groups were doing, setting up on the island's west side so people could see!But we did get some pictures.