For reasons that are way too complicated to go into at the moment, our usual friendly destination on our old street in Berkeley could not take us in this time around.
Thus, at the last minute, while we were still lounging in palatial splendor at F&L's place cliffside in Mendocino, I was forced to scramble for a Bay Area motel/hotel that would not break the bank during the highest of high (if slightly fog-frosted) tourist season.
Using Tripadvisor (which I highly recommend, by the way) we came up with the Emeryville 'Garden' Hilton, ostensibly so that I could pretend that we were actually going to an Oakland Oaks game while we instead wander around the local Ross Dress For Less and go bonkers buying cheap wine (and a three day growth?) at Trader Joes.
All joking aside, the faux-falutin' hotel that is actually cheaper than the La Quinta in Bellingham, is pretty much perfect rare occasion-type deal for C., The Two E's, and me.....Big lobby....Fancy-Schmancy sheen everywhere....Room decent, if a little noisy as it is right next to the freeway....And the two E's love all the 'amenities'....Me, I am currently sitting in a stinkin' Starbucks (which I can't believe given that I'm only a couple of miles from the gourmet ghetto and the birthplace of Peets' - although the WiFi is decent and free, as it is everywhere down here) because the kids want to go to the fitness room and the 'spa' instead of MLK Park off of Hopkins to play 'hats' with the eucalyptus shells....Oh well, what the hell....We are in 'America' after all....And when in Rome with kids-in-tow it does sometimes pay to fiddle.....Speaking of which, the busking was very fine in the truly bizarre culture clash zone that is the Point Arena Pier the other day.....
(and just so you know - Oakland is not on fire after the BART shooting verdict....Despite what the TeeVee may have told you - more on that later)