Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Glass Elevators

For Father's day Robin said "anything you want to do".  I thought... and said sushi, and, to find an elevated view of SF like my Grandma Betty had showed me when I was 10.  It was a beautiful day in SF. Robin had just finished the marathon under her goal time.  With sore legs she followed me and the girls all over as we began my quest for the highest view of the city.

I had tried this before to no avail.  I researched the web as we set out.  Problem is that since 9/11, most of the rooftop restaurants have closed due to security.  And the tallest elevators were secured with room key access only.

I've always remembered that day my grandmother took me on an adventure to the City.  Riding BART from Oakland, going into a tall Hotel, riding the glass elevator to the top, feeling my stomach do loops as the ground became distant, and eating a $6 hamburger in a fancy restaurant.  However, I didn't remember which hotel it was.

After reading through many reviews on the web, first we tried the St. Francis hotel.  Anna and Ariel were so excited when they saw the glass elevators on the outside.  But, inside, there was no access to non-guests.  And most likely we will never be guests imagining how much a room would cost in those new towers.

We enjoyed a Sushi Boat lunch and then continued on our search, on a hunch that the Hyatt might be the ticket.  We walked about 15 blocks.  Robin never even complaining.  Even though "sneaking" into buildings is definitely not her thing.  Finally, there it was!  The memories were coming back.  I think this is the one!

Inside the elevator said access was restricted only to the top 3 stories.  Robin encouraged us to try it and we were off.  The walls gave way to a wide open view of the grand interior of the hotel, with starlights hanging 140 ft fromthe ceiling and, yep, that same turning feeling in my stomach.  What a great view!

At the 14th floor we had a great veiw of the Embarcadero, the Bay and a water art structure that the kids were excited to try out. We had a great time touring the hotel.  I wish I could tell my grandmother how wonderful that trip was and how powerful the memories were.  And here I was giving my girls memories of the same place.  I wondered if it would stick as much as it did with me.  Something about the heights, the glass elevator, the stunning construction of the Hyatt Regency.  I think my grandmother knew that a young boy who would grow up to be an engineer would be facinated by it.  Finally, after 30-something years, I got to see it again and it was just like I remember.  How many things can we say that about.

Thanks Robin and Anna and Ariel for the Father's Day adventure. And thanks, Grandma, for the memories.