WAY TO GO!!
Clipper card, Clipper card, where have you been all my life?
Long before BART, we rode the Key System to San Francisco.
Although I was only knee-high to a tadpole, I clearly remember the "smoker car" where bluish smoke hovered over all of the occupants. I remember the day the F Key train jumped its tracks and careened far past the Berkeley tunnel, coming abruptly to rest on Solano Avenue just short of the Park 'N Shop. Lots of people stared.
Long ago. Maybe 60 years or so.
But now I have come of age.
I've just gotten my first Senior Clipper Card at the Embarcadero Plaza.
Showed the kid at the kiosk my ID before he would issue me my discounted card.
Told him that his job (and the long lines of whiny people) looked somewhat worse than my old job at the Main Library's Information desk. He replied that he remembered that desk well, having asked the librarians on duty there many a question. He also thought perhaps he knew me from those days.
What goes round, comes round...he was pleasant and well informed, just as at the library, folks tend to answer questions with a certain aura of authority.
But that's the point...
What goes round, comes round...
And here I am, with my newly-minted Clipper card. Able to jump on board virtually any transportation vehicle in the SF Bay area. Ride it as far as I care to, then jump to the next mode of transportation.
A quick slap of the card at the turnstile, and I'm through the gauntlet. It puts the Key System to shame, although I think I still have a couple of those little brass Key System tokens left.
Tokens make nice jewelry but Clipper Card can't be defaced without losing its value. This is the only disadvantage to the Clipper Card that I can figure out.
Never mind. I've got places to go and people to see. My newly purchased Clipper Card is gonna get me there fast and easy....as my Yelp friend Ivy would say...
"You go, Girl!"
Thanks, Clipper! I'm outta here!
Thought that it was about time to write an update on Fastrak.
The Artful Dodger (AKA Dog Mobile) has been successfully outfitted with a transponder. This latter device gets a workout several times a month when we head north toward UC Davis.
Emmett Dogstar is in a study...he's the first canine in our family to try for a sheepskin even if it is only a Ph.D. in Clownology.
I am Emmett's chauffeur. Sort of a helicopter dog-mom. Only he goes the circling, I stay stationery.
But to get back on target. this is about FasTrak.
WONDERFUL little piece of plastic it is! So smart! Gets me right on through the toll lane without a wince. Keeps me from fumbling through my pockets looking for change. Prevents me from pulling out plastic baggies, (clean) poopy cloths, or crumpled leashes.
I've got big pockets, a little pooch *and* a driving license that says I don't need no stinkin' tickets.
With Fas Trak, I'm steady at the wheel, hit the chute as fast as one of Grandin Temple's cows...and arrive in Davis as quick as a wink. Under an hour, start to finish.
Including slowing to 25 at the toll booth.
Cruise on by.
Danged the expense.
Catch me if you can, Mr. Highway Man!Its been reviewed over and over, but what's a body to do but Yelp!
This system has serious flaws,… En savoir plus
El Cerrito BART station was completed the year my son was born. It seemed impossible to believe that I would ever turn 65 and be eligible for a senior citizen pass.
And yet it happened.
And yes, I did ride BART on my 65th birthday. With a green senior pass, which I purchased from Safeway.
So now, its my primary means of public transportation. I walk from the house to the Plaza station. Takes fifteen minutes downhill.
Travel easily and cheaply to SFO. (Hey, I'm a senior, I travel. A lot.)
BART has weathered the years well. I'm rarely late to catch a plane. Even when the bridge is crowded or closed.
I almost always get a seat. Although never a senior seat.
Those parallel seats are preserved for i-pod using, gum-chewing, toe-tapping Red Bull-drinking ...folk. (I shall not be sexist, though the senior seats *do* go to the swiftest, strongest, more bullheaded members of our society. ANd you know who you are.)
But I usually get a seat. Oh, sometimes I have to sneeze a bit, or scratch my head vigorously. But...soon I'm sitting. Alone.
I get on at El Cerrito Plaza, where the escalators have yet to be fixed. (Soon...I'm told) At EC Plaza, the folk are friendly, the telephones work, *and* the restrooms are open for use. And...its close to my house. (The last point trumps all else.)
I get off at SFO. Literally.
All things considered, BART has aged well. Served us well these many years. Kept us (more or less) pollution free.
And, for my money...its better than most metro-area transit systems.
And I should know. I've been there, done that.
I've been intending to ride the new Link LIght Rail system to SEATAC since it opened. This last trip provided the perfect occasion.
After arriving by ferry in Seattle, I walked up the hill to University Station. Why University rather than Pioneer Square?
Because a local fellow told me that University Station was closer to the ferry. And maybe it was.
Next time I'll try the Pioneer Square Station to see which one is really closer.
And whether the hillside heading for Pioneer Square is less steep, although I can't say that the invigorating walk up to 3rd Street was all that difficult.
Okay...so I did huff and puff a bit, d'ya have to rub it in?
And for $2.50, there will be a next time. A taxi from the ferry to SEATAC costs $30 bucks or so. And for $30 bucks I can find a book at Hudson Bay Co, get a snack at an airport vendor. Or...
Well, $2.50 is going to grab me every time.
So...here's the story. Coming from SFO, think SF's Muni Metro. This is *light* rail, not *third* rail. BART speeds along, Muni Metro does not. Nor does the Link Light Rail.
Allow plenty of time. Taxi's will get you to SEATAC in a twinkle. LLR will not... focus on that $2.50 fare.
I've no complaints, mind you. I got to see parts of Seattle that I've never seen before. Riding "shotgun" on the elevated portion of the LLR car. (Those with baggage will probably want to stay at street level. )
I got to look at some mighty fine signage and artwork as we passed from station to station.
Oh, and...(take this message to heart)...I saved about $27.50 traveling along this route.
I did mention that the ferry from Bainbridge to Seattle is free if you are heading toward the city, didn't I?
Go ahead, "Frommer" it. This is a cheap and fun ride. Enjoy.
Now this is good stuff!
The ferry to Seattle from Bainbridge is free if you are a walk-on.
So, not only do you get a spectacular water view of the city as you approach, you can smile to yourself while awaiting docking. No money has passed hands.
Good stuff. Nice tables, comfy seats. Easy offloading..."walk-ons" watch that spectacular moment when bicyclists steam out from the car deck followed by motorcyclists roaring out into the streets of Seattle. And then they off board.
Into their own elevated sidewalk...which goes over all of those busy streets and straight up into the heart of Seattle.
Fine travel. Good stuff. Did I mention free?
Actually, you never have to ask about Waldo, because he's always on time, always cheery and always ready to drive you to your destination.
Small town. Good taxi services. Get's ya where you want to go. Pronto.
Just overlook the beat-up cars, and the occasional cracked windshield.
Port Townsend is a sea port, a working class town, you know.
With an artistic, eccentric Victorian overlay. Great for those of us who don't *need* drop-dead perfection.
The cars run, they getya where you need to go. You want pretty? You get yourself back to Carmel-By-The-Sea.
Port Townsend is lucky to have these folks. Treat the drivers well, tip 'em generously.
And tell Waldo I sent you.
OMG, what to say. These guys are my heroes. Seriously.
You will remember that the Artful Dodger was rear-ended one Saturday afternoon not long ago...
See my five-star review of ECPD (and Officer Chris Purdy) for a refresher course if you've forgotten...
State Farm and Farmers worked out a settlement. The other driver was 100% at fault.........so...it was slam dunk that my car would be fixed. Right???
Hold it. The Artful Dodger may be the finest Caravan since GM came over on the Mayflower...but its bluebook just ain't that high. And if the damage to the car is 70% of the repair cost then the car is "totaled."
You get a check in the mail...
Or so I'm told. SO...
I spent a fretful weekend worrying about my Artful. Was his old body gonna be declared DOA?
(Art is a guy...your car may be a girl...but my car is a guy..........get it?)
Was the Dodger going to be shipped out to the glue factory?
I didn't want money. I didn't want another Caravan...I just wanted my faithful companion back to haul trees, dogs, odd objects from Urban Ore.
Made it clear to anyone who would listen. I just wanted Old Blue Boy back.
David and Henry at 101 AUTO BODY heard me.
Said the damage to my car was less than 70% of the value of the car. Said...they would do the fixing.
I picked up the Artful Dodger today. Beautiful! Totally cleaned inside and out. Sporting a new bumper and taillight.
Looking like Secretariat coming out of the gate. A real winner....
So thank you 101 Autobody...I'll be back. Meanwhile...I've got to take the dogs to UCDavis, pick up a tree or two. Maybe buy a clawfoot bathtub from Urban.
And....oh yes, I forgot...I need to stop by that recently reviewed drive-in movie place. See a man about a horse....
Sigh! All good things come to an end and the rented Jeep Compass had to go home. No more swinging around to the Creek, no more jammin over to the Point, no more...
well, it knew my time as a fancy-antsy swingin' Nevada Jeep "owner" was gonna fade away...and it did.
Thanks, Enterprise. It was a fun ride. A real shout-out to the car washer who makes those cars look so good. And to Rich, who was there for me when I first arrived, and was there for me when the Jeep was returned.
And to the cutest little Enterpriser who drove me to pick up my "real car" and and also casually suggested that Enterprise *does* sell its fleet.
It was fun, fun, fun till Daddy took the Compass away..........
LOCAL LIBRARIAN CONFESSES TRUE LOVE
Yep, it had to happen. Love at 66. Lift-off!!!
I told you that I was gonna be one of the first people to ride on Goodwin Aviation's new biplane tour.
I warned you that I loved little planes.
And (the truth is in the details)
I let you know ahead of time that I'd been a Goodwin Aviation passenger and fan for many, many years.
All true. But not quite true enough...
A couple of weeks ago, I arrived at the Port Townsend Airport after a reasonably uneventful trip from San Francisco to Seattle on Alaska Airlines. And...as luck would have it, a friend met me at Boeing, so I hitched a ride into town.
Left San Francisco midmorning and was flying in the clouds above Port Townsend before dusk. In a biplane.
Snoopy and the Red Baron would be proud of this granmama...
...This is how it went down...
"Climb aboard" said Captain Steve. "Its okay to stand on the leather seats."
"Oh, look. There's Richard. You might if he comes too?"
Intro were made all around. Richard and I climbed into the front seat of the plane. Open cockpit. One seatbelt to share. It was danged cozy...
Amelia Earhart got her leather hat secured. Richard, (think "Lucky Lindy") put on the other hat.
Steve-the-pilot climbed into the backseat after starting the rotary propellers.
Now...folks, I don't know if you can imagine how amazing it is to be flying through a clear blue sky with your pilot in the *back* seat!
I'm not sure if you need to know how many loops we made over the Port Townsend Paper Mill or along Water Street.
I don't think you want to know that Richard's companions tagged along shooting pictures a hair's breath (or so it seemed) from our right wing.
I just want to impress upon you the following information: it was fun, life altering. Amazing, mindboggling.
And you can fly too...Goodwin Aviation sells tickets. Honors gift certificates for a year after purchase.
And...well...fill in the blanks.
Amelia was right...I, too, may just never get back down to terra firma.
I may have to try skydiving next...THIS JUST IN...from Steve Goodwin's website:
Yelpers take note! Goodwin Aviation… En savoir plusBy far the most exciting journey to Port Townsend from SEATAC is with Goodwin Aviation.
Pilot Steve… En savoir plus
A quick update for State Farm and WIlson Chan's office:
Last week a young yahooligan decided to throw a monkey wrench into my plans for a peaceful weekend.
The yahooligan *could* have been an old coot. I didn't see him or her.
In the interests of full disclosure, the monkey wrench was actually the business end of a socket wrench. RIght through the rear window. Smashing to smithereens the safety glass.
We found the mess on the street in the morning. Called the police department, of course. They responded but could do little but take a report.
I needed my car. Functioning. With windows that closed.
Furby the dog, was scheduled for his physical at UC Davis on the following day. An hour away. Considered taking him in a cab, but the thought of a stressed dog letting 'er rip in a cabbie's sanctuary...well, I vetoed the idea promptly.
Enter Wilson Chan and State Farm. Yes, they would repair the car. Would give me suggestions about local glass shops. I wanted mobile service. DIdn't have time to go schlepping about getting estimates. Not a problem.
State Farm stayed on the phone, put me through to a glass place. Made sure that the appointment could be made ASAP. I paid the nominal deductible by credit card. The mobile guys rolled up. Put in the new window. Helped clean up the glass. The glass guys were great, State Farm was great. A major problem became a non-event.
Oh, and Furby? We got to the appointment in plenty of time. He got a clean bill of health. Won't have to go back for some time.
Now its Emmett Dogstar's turn....
THANK YOU, WIlson, State Farm and the Glass Guys. And I'm sure the taxi driver thanks you too!I've been a client of State Farm for about thirty years and began working with Wilson Chan's office… En savoir plus
Aeroflight Executive Services, what to say?
Need a place to tie down your small plane in Seattle? Aeroflight
Need a place to wait for an air taxi while at Boeing Field? Aeroflight
Need good coffee, a restroom, and perhaps a chocolate chip cookie while waiting for a friend to fly in? Aeroflight
Need a few lessons to "freshen" that private pilot's license? Aeroflight
You get my drift. The Aeroflight folks are friendly, professional *and* real. And (IMHO) the service at Aeroflight beats anything at SEATAC by a mile. (That would be a nautical mile, for those of you who are new to the field!)
In the past four years, we've used AAA road servce twice in Port Townsend. On both occasions, the service was amzingly prompt, courteous and efficient.
Both times were uniquely different. One the first occasion, Peter accidentally left the key in the car while it was running and yes, somehow, the car door locked. (I never did figure this out.) AAA was prompt, popped the door open, and stopped the car.
On the second occasion, the car just wouldn't start. The dash panel did what can only be described as an aurora borealis moment. It then died. Triple A got us going so we were able to reach the mechanic without difficulty.
Five stars to these folks.
ITS NOT A CLUNKER, ITS A CLASSIC!
Yesterday my car went in for maintenance. John (the owner) was able to fit it in on less that a day's notice and the bill for all of the work came to less that $200.
Realizing that my 1998 Dodge Caravan would probably qualify for a "Cash for Clunkers" rebate were I not terribly frugal, I think the fact that Plaza Auto is able to keep it in running condition, passing all smog tests *and* get it done before our next run to UC Davis is wonderful....so four stars on this go-around.I have used Plaza Auto Service for my 1998 Dodge Caravan. Initially, I took it in to be smogged, but… En savoir plus
Listes mises à jour récemment par Dorothy C.
Yelp Elite Senior Squad
(who should know better)
We're not in SoCal, the "little hill" is in Albany, and we aren't really a sleepy little suburb, we're a "destination community". Fine schools, good views, nice people...
" El Cerrito, the Jewel of The Bay"
Its time for all good ('n frugal) Yelper to hit the highways, byways and "my ways."
Adventure is out there!