The day began early because both Sheila (from Toronto) and I were awake early – just the way it is when you come from so far east. Had a leisurely breakfast then headed out to shop – well window shop mostly. We left the hotel on Sutter Street, turned right at the Mason Street corner, walked a block, turned left onto Geary and walked a block to Union Square. At the square we turned right onto Powell – the Sketchers store our destination but we were still 15 minutes early for store opening so we sauntered further down the street to see what else there was to see. Just as we appoached the UniGlo store at 9:17am the power in all of central SF went out!
We didn’t know that immediately. But the shops didn’t open at 9:30. We wandered the Union Square area some more. Thought maybe we might take a street car to the Fisherman’s Wharf district when a conductor told us everything was closed there, too.
So we slowly walked back to our hotel – the emergency lights were on but the elevators weren’t working. We climbed to the second floor to use a washroom, then I SLOWLY climbed to our seventh floor room, exchanged my wool sweater and turtleneck for a lightweight T-shirt and returned to the second floor. By this time we knew about a large fire somewhere downtown and also knew it would be a while before power would be restored so we relaxed, as others slowly joined us on the mezzanine.
Although we’d had a solid breakfast, we both started feeling hungry – that’s when we realized it was going to be difficult to find something to eat – all restaurants would be closed! However as luck would have it, the Italian restaurant on the corner of the hotel building was trying to organize sandwiches. So we went in and ate, figuring it might still be a while before we’d get anything else.
After lunch we moseyed toward Chinatown where most of the shops were “open” – the doors were open with their usual wares displayed on the street – but the rest of the shops were in darkness – cash transactions only.
Just as we were approaching the hotel after spending time in Chinatown the traffic lights came on. Power was back on in the hotel – but no elevators. We waited until one of the elevators would operate on manual mode and one of the staff took us to the 7th floor. It was close to 4:00 pm so we went to “happy hour” in the hotel to relax, then decided to try the streets once again.
We washed our faces, and set off to see if anything had opened – our first stop – the Sketchers store. We spent a lot of time there, finally each choosing one pair of shoes. Then back to UniGlo, and finally back to the hotel, stopping for sushi before calling it a day.