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Charlotte’s Busman’s Holiday in Oakland, California

Ghirardelli SquareGhirardelli Square

Really didn’t do much here except eat at a wonderful restaurant and go into Ghirardelli’s and smell the wonderful chocolate. There are some great little shops here – especially the one with all the dog ornaments, including a wooden sign that says "Skye Terrier on Guard Here" – which I might get if I go back on another Busman’s Holiday. I brought home some hot chocolate mix and a Ghirardelli’s cook book for Stephanie, but since I’d dropped a ton of money at Scotland Gifts in Jack London Square (including on toffee, fudge and Edinburgh Rock) I didn’t bring any chocolate back for the nurses in the office. I’m still trying to get them to forgive me for that! But, anyhow, back to the great "fish supper" I had. I loved the swordfish I ordered, but found out later in the night, back in the hotel, midnight or thereabouts, that I swordfish didn’t agree with me. Once I took care of that little problem, I had a greater appreciation for the fishermen in "The Perfect Storm."

Have a little story about Elsie, I think it is. When we lived in Paradise, I took the kids to San Francisco for a couple of days on holiday. We went to Ghirardelli Square, and my wee lass liked the flowers so much she picked one or two – as my mother would say, "bairnlike." My, oh, my ! That security guard was on top of me like a ton of bricks, yelling, "Don’t let your children near those flowers. They’re not for picking." And there I am, a baby on my back in one of those carrier contraptions, and four other kids under 10 to keep an eye on, and this guy is threatening to give me a ticket! I think I told him to go ahead and arrest me, give me a rest, and he could babysit my children – or something like that. Such happy childhood memories we have!

But I actually took this snapshot for one of the nurses in our office who was recently on a training conference trip to New Orleans a week or so before Mardi Gras. She had so many funny stories about how girls collect beads at that time of the year, that the mermaids reminded me of how much she made us laugh.

Ghirardelli Square is at the terminus of the Cable Cars. I remember taking the children on one of those rides about the time I was being threatened with arrest. The Susan B. Anthony dollar coins had just been put into circulation and they were used as cable car tokens because nobody would use them for anything else, since they were too easily confused with quarters.



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