#98 – Looking Back: My SF Pride 2011 Weekend — Saturday

(Note: If you’re just tuning in to read this, be sure to read the previous entry, “Looking Back: My SF Pride 2011 Weekend – Friday” to find out what happened on the first day. ^_^; )

Continuing: Saturday was the first full day of my adventures at Pride Weekend in San Francisco last weekend, and it was the best and busiest day of all three, from getting up and getting going for breakfast, all the way to the wee hours of the night, making our way back from a bar and drag show. It was another exciting and wonderful adventure, adding more pages to my ongoing story…

Before we go on, here’s a video of selected moments from Friday’s Trans March – I’m in there around the 10:25 mark, with one of my sister River City Gems members.

Saturday: Still with me? Good! ^_^; — Saturday started off with breakfast around 9 with three friends, a stop at Walgreens to pick up some stuff I didn’t pack with me (And I did quite well dealing with the clerks on my own!), and then back to 5th and Mission for lunch (well, an appetizer, since I was still stuffed from breakfast!) around 12:30 pm, with about 10 of of the other Gems.

After lunch, I spent the next three hours checking out Macy’s Union Square and several shops in San Francisco Centre with my roommate, Loni, and another girl from the Gems, Allison. I came within minutes of having my ears pierced at Claire’s, but chickened out at the last minute. (My time will come, eventually…) I’m kind of proud of myself, though, as I was able to deal with not being manipulated, though I really did want to get piercings. (Trust me – Clip-ons hurt. Three days of wearing clip-ons for 12 or more hours straight was agony to the Nth degree. It took a couple days for my lobes to recover.) I stuck with just window shopping, while my friends bought a few things for themselves. Most of the sales associates whom we met were quite helpful, and even complimented us on our outfits and looks.

(We did have one awkward moment in a public restroom which was quite packed, with GGs waiting to use the facilities but we maintained our composure until we got out of there. ^_^;)

Around five p.m., we returned to our room to get ready for dinner at Fang, a Chinese restaurant a few blocks east of the Marriott Marquise. Some of the Gems had been to Fang last year during Pride, and knew the owner, who treated us to a very enjoyable dining experience. I chose a formal ensemble, sporting my little black dress from River City Sparkle 2010 (My first time out in public!), opera-length gloves, black tights, and my 3.5″ heels (Which I was able to walk in for about 20 feet from the hotel entrance before switching to my ballet flats for the rest of the evening. ^_^;), and a swing cardigan for the cooler evening air.

Dinner was incredible – The owner picked out all our multi-course offerings, from appetizers, soup, and main courses, to dessert. Four of us, including myself, had hot sake. It didn’t seem like a lot of food per person,, but we were definitely satisfied by the end of the meal and didn’t leave the table hungry. I would say I’d look forward to returning, hopefully without a year between visits.

On our way back to the hotel before after-dinner activities, as we passed by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, a dance performance, which was going on while we were at dinner, reached its climax, with the performers, musicians, and audience making their way into the lobby, and out the doors into the night air, dancing and celebrating, to our delight., Tilda, one of the Gems who organized our dinner gathering, took the opportunity to get a few photos of us with the dancers. That encounter, coupled with meeting a bridal group on our way to the restaurant, were just two unexpected, but fun meetings on our way to and from Fang.

After dinner, some of us headed back up to our rooms, while I went with some of the others from our group to Marlena’s on Hayes Street for drinks, and a drag show. Once inside Marlena’s, it was more or less standing room only, with just a bit of assertiveness needed to make our way through the bar towards the stage, and eventually, back out the front doors to attempt to catch a cab back to the hotel.

After an hour and a half at Marlena’s, making our way back outside, and meeting up with some of our sister Gems who had chartered a limo to drop them off, there were about nine or ten of us, and by just around midnight, it was virtually impossible to get a taxi back to the Marriott. Half of our group decided to hang out at Arlequin’s, a half-block east of Marlena’s (Also across the street from Caffe Delle Stelle, an Italian restaurant most of us had visited in the past.), to attempt to wait for a taxi. The other half of our entourage, including myself, decided to take our chances, and walked about 10 blocks back towards Market Street to our hotel.

The walk back, while testing us for endurance, and comfort (as far as our feet were concerned), went without incident, as they closed off most of the side streets near City Hall for the main festival for the weekend. We did have a couple groups of guys who weren’t quite friendly towards us, and in fact, took a bit of juvenile pride in remarking “Oh, they’re dudes!” toward us. Thank God we were able to let it slide. 😛

I made it back to my room just after 1:30 in the morning, with our third roommate, who was with the group that waited, making it back about 40 minutes behind me. How we managed to get enough sleep overnight, plus get up with enough lead time to get ready for the march Sunday morning, was a miracle in itself.

All in all, it was a very long, yet fun Saturday for all of us, but the real fun was a few hours away, with the Sunday parade. Please check back for Sunday’s exploits! ^_^;

Coming Up: Sunday, the Pride festival parade, and heading home – See you in a few hours!

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