I put on my warmest jacket against the February chill, and set out on foot. The smell of salt water, and uncharacteristically blue winter sky, lifted my spirits. I explored Pier 39 and then headed to the other end of the Wharf where I met a writing acquaintance and S.F. resident, for a private wine tasting at a new wine store. Fueled by great food and drink, I returned to the streets with stops at Ghirardelli, Boudin Sourdough and several other food purveyors.
As the sun set I walked briskly towards the hotel again, where I joined a large crowd of ruddy faced guests before a roaring fire, still wearing fleece and scarves as they sipped wine and munched on freshly made bruschetta. Conversation flowed as it often does in a room full of strangers without agendas or previous connections and I found myself talking with a couple visiting from Ireland.
Before we knew it Jackie and I had talked for nearly an hour beyond the last guest's departure. Only then did I realize how good my comfy bed and soft pillow sounded.