Let’s start at the beginning.
Our flight over on Virgin America was so much fun that it passed with a shocking amount of celerity. G & I were totally surprised when they announced we were getting ready to land. Thanks for the tip GW.
We arrived on Tuesday afternoon and it took us until about Friday to get our jet lag sorted and until about Saturday to get the city sorted…but now we have a basic grasp of it all.
A few highlights:
-We are in the Financial District right across the street from Equinox. Michael got us a special deal so we can use the gym just for the time we’re here. THIS, for me, is the greatest and most luxurious thing on the planet. As sort of a single mother these days, the gym doesn’t really happen…it’s just me and a late night Jane Fonda VHS.
-We are down the street from the fabulous and fancy Ferry Building. This lovely spot encompasses not only the famed Slanted Door, but other various trendy, farm to table outposts. This is extra heavenly because we are here for a month and not about to eat out for every meal so the Ferry Building is going to serve as our grocery store. My first official meal was there at Hog Island Oysters…just a dozen oysters a fresh, delicious salad and a crisp glass of white wine.
-We found a great carousel near the Yerba Buena Gardens and another on the Fisherman’s Wharf. The Wharf, ps, is not my favorite place on the planet as it’s packed with tourists this time of year. I hate to say it, but I may not make it back to see the famed Bushman I’ve been told to hunt down on its docks. Apparently a man hides on the corner behind some tree branches and jumps out to scare people—!! I might have to settle for this video instead.
-We did our first cable car (yes-the Powell line) and our first (and probably last) uphill walk to Lombard Street…the walk was so steep that my achilles tendons ache…but oh the views were so worth it.
And true to form at about 11pm on Friday night the buzzer rang…to reveal none other than Nanny Rigsby. If you need a refresher on Nanny Rigsby, you can see the portions of re-posts* at the bottom of this post.
Nanny has a predictable affinity for authentic Chinese food and since San Fran has a formidable China Town, you’ll know he hunted down what he considered the most authentic place to have our traditional lobster with spring onion, ginger and crispy noodles. Forget about the fact that the whole meal only cost $12.00 (!!!).
*RE-POST—NANNY IN PARIS
By Wednesday evening we were still all pretty tired so we headed to bed early. The boys were sound asleep and I was just brushing my teeth when suddenly…the phone rang. It was the land line in the Paris apartment…and I thought…uh-oh…no one has that number but Michael and his Parisian co-workers…I better grab it just in case.
I quietly whispered (because 2 out of 3 of us were sound asleep in a 500 square foot space)…’hello?’
‘Hullllloooo!’ the English accent blared through the phone, ‘Um, Elizabeth? I think I’m standing right in front of your apartment, but I don’t know for sure’.
I whispered to myself Seinfeldianly…’Rigsby!’
I went to the window and looked out to see Nanny Rigsby himself (surprisingly quite pulled together) standing across the street looking around aimlessly holding a rolling bag. He spotted me and said, ‘Hang up! Hang up! This is costing me a fortune!’
Ah yes. He’d come to visit for only his secretary knows how long. We’ll never get the exact length of his stay out of him because he really doesn’t even know what it is. Did I mention the apartment was 500 square ft and already occupied by 3 people? I did? No matter. The fun would be to see all 6’2” of Nanny Rigsby fit into a bathroom made for elves.
So let’s backtrack a little…Michael’s friend, who we call Nanny Rigsby, is from England. They met in Africa on a horseback riding safari. My my. Nanny was in the bathroom of the Norfolk hotel stealing what the English jauntily refer to as loo rolls, but what is also known as toilet paper. This is all you really need to know about him. No wait…I will also tell you that we refer to him as Nanny Rigsby because he truly, truly loves the baby and we are convinced he flies across the Atlantic via open umbrella.
When we first arrived in Paris, two weeks before Nanny showed up on our door step, apparently Michael called him and gave him our address and phone number. He said he would pop over from England that first weekend…and then we never heard from him again.
No, wait. That’s not true. He left us a message at some point saying he wasn’t sure he was going to be able to make it because there was some sort of crisis and he had to have lunch with the Prime Minister. Then he mumbled out…’no no no I’m sorry, did I just say I was going to have lunch with the Prime Minister?? Ha ha ha!!! Oh no no no… I’m kidding. I didn’t mean that. I meant I’m having dinner with him. Bye!’
Then we never heard from him again. I told Michael I thought he had probably been kidnapped.
But he had not been. There he was at 11pm on a Wednesday night, red faced and blustery sitting on the sofa in our living room in Paris ready to regale us with stories, each one more riveting than the last. We had no choice but to stay up and listen to his adventures. In fact, they were so good, I’ve been banned from retelling them in this blog for security reasons (!?!). But ask us in person…(after you’ve had a thorough background check).
In the morning the baby was nothing but thrilled to see him.
*RE-POST—NANNY IN NYC
I swear to you, on Sunday evening, December 18th, the eve of our moving day…I became almost as ill as I was when I got back from Paris. I’ll spare you the details…but Nanny Rigsby…our new hero and personal savior…went to meet the movers by himself Monday morning at storage and oversaw the whole move.
He said, ‘I’m British. I love telling people what to do. I’m born and bred for it really.’
I’m not sure how I’ll ever repay him, or any one of our amazing friends and family who came through for us during this weird, perfect storm of 2011.
Monday afternoon, when I finally dragged my feverish, nauseous self out of Jane (after cleaning, packing and sorting out the baby) I got to the new place and this is what it looked like…
But by Tuesday evening, we (even though I had eaten nothing but applesauce) had it looking like this…he did ALL of the Christmas decorating.
The bedrooms, however, still looked like this…
If you were wondering if that photo above is of a life size cut-out of Michael, you would be correct. It is. And if you were also thinking…did the movers stop and take pictures of each other with their arms around said cut-out? They did.
Rigsby has a fantastically bizarre obsession with Chinatown. So on Friday, before he left I told him I would take him to the restaurant of his choosing downtown. So of course he leads me down to some crazy place that I couldn’t even find again if I tried. It had no sign and just a couple of escalators heading up to nowhere.
When you got to the top of the escalators you were let out into a room capable of seating 1200 people. It was ridiculous. 1200 people? It was like 3 city blocks long. There were women with carts pushing around soup and dim sum and boiled chicken’s feet. You would take something and they would mark it off on your bill. We must had had 25 different things. When the bill came it was only $30.00. Classic Nanny Rigsby.