Traveling San Francisco and Oakland

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

There’s nothing like getting away from your daily activities to open up your mind to other possibilities and perceptions of the world in which we live. My favorite travel is international but I take advantage of opportunities for lots of local trips on weekends. Living close to Los Angeles International Airport I am fortunate that there’s plenty of affordable opportunities for travel that can be done over the weekend. I typically travel at least twice a month for chiropractic events but I find it’s also important to do some non-chiropractic related travel once in awhile. This past weekend I took a trip up to Oakland & San Francisco and was back in Los Angeles by Sunday night.

I adjusted people in my chiropractic office until 7 pm on Friday and had an 8:30 pm flight to Oakland out of LAX airport. Some people would get nervous having a flight time so close to end of the day office hours, but once I got a travel preperation pattern down, everything typically flows nicely. For nearly all travel on the West Coast I use Southwest Airlines. At LAX, Southwest is in the first terminal, which allows me to park the car, grab my one carry-on, and walk to the terminal. I valet my car at ParkOne and get it washed while I’m out of town.

A flight from LAX to Oakland is about an hour and we were on the ground there before 10 pm on Friday. I was staying at the Marriott Courtyard (Courtyard Oakland Airport) and I’ll call the front desk for a shuttle pickup when I’m walking off the plane. That typically saves about 15 to 20 minutes if waiting for a shuttle.

The neighborhood around the Courtyard on Hegenberger is not anything spectacular, but I love the location for its convenience. Shuttle from the airport to the hotel takes less than 10 minutes and check in for me has never been a hassle. There is a sushi restaurant just next door to the Marriott that I believe opened less than two years ago. Great place to go for a late dinner and some drinks.

Breakfast at the Marriott, waffles with fresh strawberries, and I’m off for a morning walk towards the bart station at McAfee Stadium. You can get a hotel shuttle to the bart if needed and you can also take the local bus. I like walking for the exercise and getting out to see the sights. A round-trip on the bart from Oakland Coliseum to Powell Street in San Francisco runs about $6.70 round-trip. The trip is less than 20 minutes and the trains run quite frequently (I don’t know the exact schedule). Getting off on the Powell Street exit puts you just underneath the Westerfield shopping Center Mall which is right by Union Square.

Powell station San Francisco Bart
(A photograph of the bart map at Powell Street station in San Francisco. There is an iPod advertisement to the right of the train window.)

Apple iPod advertising on ad space owned by CBSApple pretty much has all advertising secured in the Powell station. Every pillar and location for posters featured an advertisement for iPod. I didn’t notice it at the time, but looking at my photos later, it looks like the actual advertising real estate is owned by CBS. Nice job by Apple in branding the entire Powell station.

There were lots of people in town on Saturday for the Nike women’s marathon so stores like NikeTown at Union Square were busier than I’d ever seen them before. I took some time to talk to some great folks at the Adidas store on Market Street. They were doing custom foot scanning for individually designed athletic shoes.

After getting done with the pre-day marathon involvement I had lunch at Max’s, which is just off of Union Square, and headed back to Oakland after a day of shopping Nordstrom’s, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s Men’s store, Bloomingdale’s, and others. Besides Los Angeles, this part of San Francisco has some of my favorite places to shop. My motto on clothing is pack light on Friday and leave room for new clothes to take home.

If you’re planning to stay at the Oakland Marriott during football season you may want to check ahead and find out if the Raiders are playing while you’re staying at the hotel. On game day, you’ll encounter groups from the Raider Nation inside the hotel lobby and at breakfast. On this particular Sunday the Raiders were hosting the Kansas City Chiefs but I didn’t see any Kansas City fans at the hotel. Quite a few people were in town for the game and the restaurant was significantly more busy than it was on Saturday.

One thing I love about the Marriott Courtyard (thank you folks) is I get to check out and leave my bag at the hotel, while I go to see the game. I decided to walk to the stadium rather than use the hotel shuttle service. I’ve been to several football stadiums across the nation, but there are none like the Oakland Coliseum when hosting a Raiders game. The music is loud and they don’t mess around playing dorky country-western songs. Oakland knows how to rock a stadium with songs such as Hells Bells by AC/DC, Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne, and Welcome to the Jungle by Guns & Roses. The raiderettes even danced to Crank Dat Soulja Boy but I don’t think the crowd was ready for it. I guess they missed the Spongebob version. In case you’re wondering, final score on Sunday was Kansas City 12 and Oakland 10.

Went for pizza at Red Brick after the game and headed back to the hotel for a shuttle to the Southwest terminal. If you’re flying Southwest on a Sunday night during football season you may also want to check if people are going to be coming from a Raiders game. If so, be prepared for some pretty hefty lines (they move quickly) and lots of people dressed in silver and black.

I travel with some essential electronics which include my laptop, Sprint Internet access card, digital camera, and some various cables, so I can pretty much hang out in an airport all afternoon or evening and get plenty accomplished. Not that I wanna hang out in airports but it is at about that time that all the activities of the weekend come together in ideas for web site articles, blog posts, stories in my office, etc. Fortunately, Southwest was impeccably on-time for both the Friday night flight and the Sunday night return flight. We flew the coastline from Northern California to Southern California and you could see the fires in Malibu while we’re approaching the LA airport. When we landed on the tarmac I thought I heard the flight crew say “Welcome to Los Angeles, you are now free to call your chiropractor.” @ 9:39 pm | Article ID: 1193200796