The next day was the journey home AND OUR WEEPING DEPARTURE FROM THE PALACE. I cringed at the thought of traipsing back down Geary Street to the hovel we had been shoveled into for five nights, but it had to be done. So, very nobly, Jessica and I checked out of the palace…remember that it looks like this:
and returned to the scenes of our struggles. It was very much like the beginning of this video:
Back in that one room rickety shack with the bunkbeds, Jessica and I hastily reassembled our bags, then went to meet our host. She was nowhere to be found. So we sat in a creepy basement for an hour. I called the number she had given me, but it was disconnected. Charming.
Eventually we found out that she was dealing with another building that was on fire or something. She has quite the business, but I’m not entirely sure she’s figured it out. My dream job, when I retire, is to run a little hotel. I’d make sure that my guests had more than they needed: espresso machines and Egyptian cotton sheets and trashy magazines. I’d certainly provide them with hand soap and working light fixtures at the least. I left Jessica to deal with the checking out process while I slipped down to Macy’s to visit the post office. I never did understand why it was in the basement of a department store. I suppose to ship your purchases home?
The rest of the day wasn’t awfully thrilling. We walked all through Fisherman’s Wharf and discovered a part of it I had never seen. It was incredibly overcrowded, but a bird shit on Jessica, and that was amusing. We watched the water for a spell. I nearly died drinking an iced coffee — why would anybody ever want anything so horrible? I have honestly never tasted something so vile in the entirety of my life.
We stopped at La Boulange to say goodbye to those wonderful ratatouille tarts:
I wept a few moments for my fallen icon, who had left her handprints in the concrete outside the Hotel Diva…how appropriately named:
Then it was time to head to the airport, so we went to grab our bags and were soon headed to Oakland in an Uber with very tinted windows. It felt awfully glamorous.
The traffic barely moved and it took absolute ages to get across the bridge and to the airport, so I was relieved when I got to the ticket counter.
“You must not have got our message. The flight is cancelled.” A harassed looking man told Jessica and I when we gave him our identification. Jessica, kept it together well and didn’t collapse into a pool of tears. I was quite proud of her for that. I wanted to laugh, but I was too annoyed to do so. After concocting some sob story, we got a flight that would get us home on time instead of eight o’clock in the evening, so everything was all right. Instead of three flights, now we had two! Marvelous.
We had to go back to San Francisco to depart from that airport, so we got into a shuttle with a bunch of assholes and talked about what kind of food we were going to eat at the airport. That’s a big deal, reader. We just couldn’t decide, so we had to wait until we saw it with our own eyes. Then we laughed at how stupid it was to have come all the way to Oakland for $70 only to turn around.
This airport seemed a thousand times nicer than the one in Oakland, and there was, for some reason, a display of all the great Universal monster movies.
I adore all of them, so this was a fun distraction before we sat down to eat at Cat Cora’s restaurant. It was decent. I had a few cocktails.
We had to fly entirely across the country to Atlanta, Georgia, to make our connection, so I waved at Iowa from the window and tried to get some sleep, sleep which did not come.
In Atlanta, Wolfgang Puck had a decent breakfast spot, so even if we were exhausted, we were culinarily satisfied. And then from Atlanta, we were home. And it was effing hot. Like, how do we survive that humidity? After a few weeks in California, I was not acclimated.
I fell asleep the second I got home, right after opening a package from my friend, Angela Lansbury, who signed my Playbill:
then went to my mother’s wedding reception, where I was the main triumph…I mean look at my hair: