Steve has officially experienced a “Corkery Family Vacation!”
Our family’s vacations go down in history as some of the most memorable and unlucky trips of all time. Let me give you some little tidbits of some of our vacations (at least the ones I remember):
Hawaii, 1995. We stay at the “Coral Reef” located between an alley and the market. Excited 9, 7, and 6 year old girls race to jump in their resort pool: it was a lovely green color with the smells of garbage from the dumpsters behind it. Paradise.
Albuquerque, New Mexico. October 2002. Our van breaks down on our way to Pittsburgh in this lovely town. Does anyone know that Albuquerque hosts an annual hot air balloon festival? In October? Booking up all the hotels? This sends our family of 5 and Grandpa walking from hotel to hotel to find one vacant room with our luggage in tow. Grandpa’s wheezing, all of us are complaining, and what happens? Rain. Finally, some hotel clerk took pity on us and let us in.
New York City. Rush hour. The Corkery family picks this time to get off the subway to walk a “few blocks” to their hotel, dragging luggage through the hustle and bustle of hundreds of businessmen and women in Times Square.
Washington DC. In February. Walking through the Mall in the falling snow with no one else around (because who visits DC in FEBRUARY!?). Wandering around, looking for food, only to end up in the cafeteria of the Department of Agriculture. Classic.
Lake Tahoe. 2006. Mom takes a fall while skiing and gets a concussion that later leads to brain surgery. The next day, Brittany falls and breaks her arm. One trip. Two visits to the ski resort first aid.
Disneyworld. 2008. We get a great deal to stay at “All-Star Music” resort. Our room? The very last room in the very last building up against a swamp. We also hit some of the coldest days in Florida, sending freezing cold, grumpy mom back on the bus to the hotel by herself.
Hawaii. December 2010. Whale watching tour. We haphazardly crash a Christmas party that was on our whale watching boat. A “Biker Chick” Christmas party. Mid-aged, smoking, sagging, scantily dressed boozers dancing to “Mustang Sally” while the Corkery’s look for whales.
Pittsburgh, 2011. Everyone takes separate flights to Pittsburgh, including a mini-dachshund. Everyone makes it…except for mom. We were all there for her cousin’s wedding and she never made it.
San Francisco, Present Day.
Although Steve did get to participate in the Pittsburgh Corkery Vacation, this one tops that!
Steve and I arrived in San Francisco Saturday pretty early in the morning. We did a Priceline deal and ended up at the Hilton in Chinatown. For the price, it was a sweet deal with a great view and cozy beds, but that came with some costs.
A View Of Coit Tower from our Room
We walked a good distance through the Financial District with our luggage. Somehow, “luggage in tow” happens a lot on my vacations…
We arrived, checked in, and headed out to look for some cute little café for breakfast. But guess what? It must not have been morning in China because nothing was open!!! We wandered around, pathetically looking into restaurant windows, hoping something would be open. Nothing. Even Little Italy was all closed up!
So we proceeded to go to where we heard there was food: Ferry Building 1 in the Embarcadero. We ate at the first restaurant we saw, Boudin, right before Steve died of hunger. A bread bowl never tasted so good.
Steve unbearably hungry
After that, we went back to the hotel and napped until dinner with my cousins at Pier 39.
We woke up nice and early to the construction going on right outside our window. On Sunday. Yeah. Another thing I found out the Chinese don’t really observe. It was Steve’s birthday so we ended up going to Union Square that evening for dinner.
Celebrating Steve's Birthday
But Monday was game day. There were tons of Steelers fans walking through the city so we were pretty pumped up.
We boarded the bus, which had a good mix of locals and out-of-towners ready for the game. But we were packed in there. And with Monday rush hour, plus game day traffic, the normal 27 minute bus ride took us a little over an hour. We stood the entire time, bracing each other during sudden stops and sharp turns. Not to mention the guy sitting near us who had something clogging up his lungs that he so stubbornly tried to clear out the entire ride. Think of “Snots” from Christmas Vacation under the table….
And there, in the distance, we saw Candlestick Park and couldn’t be more excited! We stood in the ticket line, each of us ready to get our purses searched and the pat down.
Standing in Line
When the last of us, Frankie, walked into the stadium…BAM! The lights went out.
We were all at the “are you kidding me?!” stage, and walked up the dark ramps to our seats. The power did come back on, and we were at least glad the game wasn’t cancelled. That would have been it!
We sat behind some pretty obnoxious 49er fans that stood the entire length of the game. My sister was not happy about that. Especially when the lights went out for a second time.
After some guy ran across the dark field and was tackled by half a dozen security officers, the game resumed. Steve and I also found out that because the power went out, all the credit card machines were down. Cash only = no food for us.
Then the Steelers lost terribly. Embarrassingly. Before the 4th quarter ended, a herd of Black and Gold, once towel-waving fans began the Great Exodus.
But to where, you ask?
The TWO HOUR bus line!! Yes, my friends, it took us TWO HOURS to get back on the bus to take us to the city! No one could tell us why. The security said, “This is an exception.” WHY?! And so there we stood, with hundreds and hundreds of other fans, Steelers and 49ers alike, in the cold, hungry, and tired. But wait!
BAM! The lights went out again. Now we are cold, hungry, tired, AND in the dark!
By 11, we boarded the bus back. We actually got seats this time and made it back to the city in no time. We walked back to our hotels, and Steve and I also discovered that NOTHING in Chinatown is open past 11!
Hungry again, we asked the front desk where we could get food, even if room service was available. Nope. But they did give us a menu for a pizza place that would deliver.
So we ordered pizza, which would arrive in 45 minutes. FALSE.
It arrived an hour and 40 minutes later.
Steve had tried to cancel the order but couldn’t get a hold of the pizza place. We asked the front desk to tell them to cancel the order when they arrived, but soon after Steve got into bed, our phone rang. Pizza was here.
The only upside to this is that while Steve asked for change for a $20, the pizza guy was in such a hurry, he didn’t realize we hadn’t paid, and neither did Steve. We got a free pizza.
So, at 1:15 in the morning, Steve and I sat in our dark room, on our bed, eating pizza out of the box. That is a memory we will have for a long time.
Tuesday was our day to go to the Walt Disney Family Museum. We originally planned for Saturday, but being too tired that day, we asked our family to go with us on Tuesday when they were there. We walked to my parents hotel, ready to go, only to find out that the museum is “Open Every Day Except Tuesday.”
As I picked up my shatter dreams off the floor of the Hyatt, we changed our plans. We did the tourist thing and visited Lombard Street, Fishermen’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Pier 39. We found out some people really hate the Steelers and glare at us the entire bus ride and not-so-inconspicuously snap photos of us on their phones, while others mumble under their breath that “you are standing in the crosswalk” when looking at the bus route map. In conclusion, San Franciscans really aren’t the nicest people.
Then Steve and I headed home.
What fun is a trip if it isn’t accompanied by a great story? I think Steve and I are going to have some pretty awesome adventures and we really did have a good time in San Francisco. We could have used a little more food and a little less noise from the construction, but we look forward to logging down our many trips in the future.
Here are some other pictures of our trip:
Steeler Fans Everywhere!
Check San Francisco off the List!
At Ghirardelli Square before the Game
Mom and Her Two Sons
Talk about a Steep Hill!