Sleeping at the End of the Line

My favorite place to stay while visiting San Francisco is a little motel just a few steps from the beach. Yes, it’s a motel, meaning the amenities are spartan, but it’s clean, the owners are nice, the parking is free and there’s the best organic coffee shop next door. My son lives just a half mile away, and I like being in his neighborhood. Since the last time I was here back in August, they have added new carpeting, some new furnishings, microwave, little refrigerator and coffee pot, and woo-eee! wireless internet. These are not the reasons I stay here, though. I would stay here without any of those reasons, including my son. I really love the ocean. AND of course, this place is just a few steps from the beach.

Mr. Demonic likes to stay in places with work out rooms, so he was reluctant and skeptical when I brought him here last April. We were in town to see my son’s recital. This was the second ocean-side motel I had brought him to. The first is about two miles south, near the now infamous zoo where the tiger escaped and killed a kid. That one is really cute, all art deco, but a little more expensive. Mr. Demonic complained, loudly, about the no work out room situation. I gently pointed out the beach just across the way, with five miles of even sand. He could run. He was still skeptical, until he went on his first run, when he returned happy as a clam. I was so happy that I had converted him.

Baby Pandemonic, otherwise known as my daughter, doesn’t like this city at all, so she was going to complain no matter what. She prefers southern California. She also “doesn’t like” her older brother, and thinks we favor him. Her favorite hotels have room service and movie options in the room. This place has neither. In her case, I wasn’t concerned about winning her approval.

I could never understand the inclination of people who want to stay in the thick of the City, or the ones who want to stay on Fisherman’s Wharf. Downtown is manageable, but parking is so expensive. Fisherman’s Wharf is a chaotic tourist trap, and grossly overpriced. Wherever I travel, I don’t want the locals pointing their fingers at me and saying “freakin’ tourist” with disdain. I grew up in an area that had two industries, the military and the tourists, and believe me, I’ve done some of that finger pointing and name calling.

If there is a downside to my current location (which I don’t think there is, I love it here), it’s the fact that right in front of my motel is the end of the line for one of the subway routes to downtown. (There is actually an upside to this, as you can hop on the train to go downtown, thus eliminating the need to find expensive parking.) The trains screech to a halt and there’s a turning circle in the middle of the intersection. The subway doesn’t run from about midnight to five a.m., but during that time, the buses do.

I find it very soothing to sleep with the trains rolling by every ten or fifteen minutes. As they idle, the drivers leave to get coffee, but they keep the trains on, and since they’re electric, they hum. You’d think it would be too loud to sleep, but it’s not.

I have the best sleep at the end of the line. It’s deep, and I don’t dream. When I wake up, I feel like I have truly rested.

In case you couldn’t figure it out, I need to come here every few months for my sanity.

10 Responses

  1. Finger-pointing and name calling. Yep. Been there.

  2. I come from a town where tourists were just residents who hadn’t figured it out yet, so we didn’t do that. But it sounds very lovely at the end of the line, Pan. 🙂

  3. We’re pretty modest in our tastes and our greeds. When we lived in Oregon, Cannon Beach played about the same role in our lives as San Francisco does in yours.

    We lived in Los Angeles at one time. It plays about the same role in our life as San Quentin might for someone who had escaped.

    Now we live on an island, but we’re not close enough to the coast to walk there. Actually, we could walk there; we just don’t.

  4. Well, I guess the grass always does look greener on the other side, and maybe I would not be as enchanted if I lived here. On the other hand, maybe I’d be deliriously happy.

  5. I find it utterly deplorable that you are not catering to Baby Pan’s every whim. Shame, shame- bad Momma Pan.
    I agree with her, I think you DO like the boy-child more.
    It is positvely boheimian of you to think she should exist without room service.
    Hehehe, have fun.

  6. I tend to favor Baby Pan’s taste in hotel rooms, but I lower my standards for a water view. I would consider sleeping in a tent to be near the water. (Well, not really…but I once stayed at a place in Michigan called The Wagon Wheel to be right on the water. Let’s just call it “primitive.”

    Actually where you are sounds heavenly, even more so as I look at my view of snow out the window.

  7. It’s only right to sacrifice a bit to be near the water. 😉 Enjoy.

  8. Yup, I think so too. There’s nothing like a morning walk on the beach. It’s worth a little sacrifice.

  9. I just love the smell of the water. Well, and the breeze. And, hm, the twinkle of the light. But other than that, feh… 😉

  10. I’d much rather be near the water than in a fancy place. You have the right idea. It is very nice of your son to be somewhere that you love to visit.

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