Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Even When Bad Things Happen, We're Golden

Our stay at the fabulous $1 Orchard Hotel room was limited to one night, so we checked into the Warwick the next day. Totally not our style, but still lovely for just $60 via the ever trusty priceline.
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Nearby, we happened upon David's Delicatessen, the look of which reminded us of our beloved and delicious Langer's here in Los Angeles.
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And that's where the similarities ended.

The food at David's was insanely terrible. Almost inedible. This is what I get for not doing my homework and just going into a place because I'm hungry. Ugh.

Kosher corned beef hash crowned with poached eggs ($16.95).
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Bland. Mushy. Wholly unpalatable. I got through part of an egg and maybe three bites of the so-called hash. So utterly gross.

Luckily this came with a bagel and cream cheese.
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At least I could stomach this pedestrian little offering.

Hot pastrami and cheese sandwich ($13.95).
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Notwithstanding Mr. Monkey's amused expression, we were not delighted at all by this sad specimen of a sandwich. The meat was tough and nothing like the savory wonder that is our own Langer's pastrami.

Shame on me for just walking in. Boo to me. Booooo. But at least I have saved you from the same fate. That is something.

After our nasty brunch, we went to pick up our Mini convertible.
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Or so we thought.

The stupid rental car place only had a regular Mini even though we'd reserved the convertible weeks in advance. One employee even had the gall to utter the words, "You can't always get what you want." WTF? That's precisely what a reservation is for, asshole.

We ended up with this hardtop.
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We were whizzing down the Golden Gate bridge 15 minutes later. Whee!
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As I snapped away in our cute little car on the bridge, I started to hear some rattling on the side of my door. The rattling got louder. I looked out my window to see the side reflector undone and whipping back and forth violently, slamming and scratching the side of our car.

We were on the Golden Gate Bridge. There was nowhere to pull over.

Then the thing went flying. Flying. Right off of our car. Onto the bridge.

When we were finally over the bridge, we immediately parked at an observation area to survey the damage.

Here's the driver's side reflector intact.
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Here's the passenger's side.
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[insert wah wah noise here]

We drove back to the rental place, explained what had happened, argued with several employees about paying for the non-collision damage, won the argument, complained about the rude service we'd experienced earlier in the day, and got a convertible Sebring as a replacement gratis.

Yes, we got a complete refund for our rental, as well as a voucher for another free rental in the future. It pays to know how to argue.
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Hey, it wasn't broken. And it was free. That was good enough for us.

Not to mention, with a convertible, I could get shots like this.
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The delay we incurred from dealing with The Crazy Escape of the Mini Reflector threw a wrench into our original plan to visit Point Reyes National Seashore that afternoon.

But Mr. Monkey always knows what to do. We went to Muir Woods instead, which was closer and would allow us to get back in time for our dinner reservation.
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Mind you, I was still a gimp with two ankle braces, thanks to the previous day's tumble, but that didn't stop me from making the short hike. I was on vacation, damn it. What was I going to do? Sit on a bench? Every painful step was worth it.
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After our woodsy walk, we stopped to admire the Golden Gate Bridge a little more before we drove back into the city.
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Mr. Monkey found these bars in an adjoining bunker-type area.
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We made a quick detour to Lombard Street on our way back to the hotel.
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Then it was time to get cleaned up for our evening culinary adventure.

Next: Great food and great service the Michelin two-starred way.


  1. I am glad you didn't get stuck paying for the broken mini. What great pictures even if it is in a Sebring!

  2. That car fiasco is crazy! I'm glad you eventually got it comped. Asshats.

    Awesome pictures, btw. :)

  3. your posts about SF are making me sooo "home"sick for it. can't wait to be there in a few weeks...

  4. The cheese on that sandwich looked like plastic. I have eaten at Langer's for 25 years out of my 27 and I love it; it has no competition!!

    P.S. I love the trees. So beautiful!

  5. If you didn't take such nice photos, then bad food wouldn't look so good. :P I gotta learn to argue like you because I'd probably get stuck with the repairs.

  6. 1) It makes me SOOOOO happy that even though the inlaws have prevented me from doing anything SF oriented I HAVE crossed the Golden Gate Bridge (by foot and car) and I HAVE been to Muir Woods.
    2) My mom and I are trying to figure out how to get to Dottie's True Blue Cafe - which looks like an infinitely more enjoyable than David's.

  7. I love San Francisco.. Great shots!

  8. Looks like a fab trip craptastic mini and all. :)

  9. If two lawyers couldn't weasel their way out of that sticky mess, I would've died of shock! Good job, kids. Way to use your smartz.

  10. nice golden gate bridge photos. i hate renting a car. i've been given that "you can have what you want" BS quite a few times.

    oh, and as much as traditional decor is NMS, i don't mind it if tastefully and well done in hotels. i'm not one to refuse a night's stay in, say, a four seasons. ;)

  11. San Francisco is my dream city. Sigh. Good job on pleading your case to the rental car folks. My husband is big on not letting anyone walk allover you.

  12. Ahhh now I can't wait to go to San Francisco next month.

  13. "You see, you know how to *take* the reservation, you just don't know how to *hold* the reservation. And that's really the most important part of the reservation: the holding. Anybody can just take them."

    Gorgeous pics.

  14. i shall keep you on speed dial to argue on my behalf as this type of rental car fiasco happens more often to me than i'd like to admit.

    love your pics of the bridge!

  15. boo to non-edible (and expensive!) food. boo to shitty customer service and an even shittier rental car.

    yay to beautiful pictures!

  16. love your pictures, as always. and yay for getting a cooler car. love the golden gate pics, seriously makes me want to pack up and head to san fran right now, haha.

  17. oh my gosh, just last night was a rerun of Seinfeld where he gets in the fight with the car rental place person about his reservation for a midsize, which was no longer available... then of course george parks the car and it gets bashed...kramer gets fired from the woody allen movie... great episode. but totally reminded me of that... "isn't that why you have a reservation? to HOLD the car?"

  18. I need to learn how to argue better. I never get anything free. Do you have any suggestions on how I can improve?

  19. The best advice I can give about arguing effectively is to stay as unemotional as possible and use reason and logic to get your point across. Remain calm. :)

  20. I'm so bad at arguing with people. So so bad. Love the pictures of the bridge! I <3 San Francisco.

  21. ugh, i HATE bad customer service. unfortunately, it seems to be the norm these days.

  22. Wow, I can't believe you got out of the broken flying car piece thing situation so well. Applause.

  23. Well luckily it was just an external piece of the car that went wrong, esp on the bridge. Glad it worked out. Great pictures, you should frame at least one of them. The colors are so beautiful.

  24. being a lawyer sure helps sometimes! :D

  25. I'm looking over your San Francisco pictures bc I was there last weekend. It was a really quick trip, only about 48 hours. We rode bikes in wine country, visited Muir Woods, and ate some really delicious food. Lovely weekend!


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