San Francisco: Day 1

My adventure began at 5:30am, not unlike usual, actually. Every other day, except Saturday and Sunday, I get up at 5:30 anyway. So, no biggie there. I got up, got showered and shaved, and hopped in the car to the airport. Pretty routine process at the airport, too. Strangely, it’s been about 6-7 years since I had flown last, so it was kind of like seeing it all new again.

We landed in San Francisco about 11:15am local time (2:15pm Eastern). As I’m waiting on my bag, I met this guy David Reeves, a mobile developer (focusing on iOS) who lives in Atlanta. We struck up a conversation about how this was my first WWDC and his fourth and what we did, yado yada yada. Anyways, we shared a cab into the city and I finally got to my hotel about 12:30. Nice hotel, the 55 Parc Wyndham. Kinda felt underdressed for the occasion as a group of Singapore modeling contestants was arriving at the same time.

Once checked in, I got on the elevator to get to my room and struck up some small talk with the guy next to me. His name was Daniel and he was from New York and this was his 5th WWDC and all that. We parted ways once we got to my floor and I proceeded to get settled in to the hotel room. As I’m unpacking my bags, this guy’s name keeps ruminating in my mind. Come to find out, he’s the co-host of this iOS/Mac developer podcast I listen to all the time. A podcast, I might add, that I just got done listening to on the way to the airport that morning. Small world, huh?

Moscone Center (West)

After getting things put up and out of the wrinkly suitcase, I ventured out to sign in to the conference as well as get some lunch. After all, it’s roughly 3pm eastern at this point and I haven’t had anything since about 6:15am. I walked over to Moscone Center and signed in, received my swag WWDC jacket and badge, and proceeded to take some geeky Apple pictures of the building, the badge, and the inside inside of the conference center. (Sorry, couldn’t help it).

I'm official!

Little sidenote: The first person in line for the Stevenote (or the keynote as given by Steve Jobs) sat down right as I was walking out of Moscone. He sat down at 1:15pm local time and was ready to sit there all the way until 10am the next morning. Now, you may call me a rabid Apple fanboy, but that’s ridiculous!

After getting a bite to eat at Chevy’s Fresh Mex (yummy salsa, by the way), I headed to back to the hotel to drop off my stuff and charge up my phone a bit. After resting a little, I headed back out to see downtown. Last time I was here (around 2004), we stayed further north (toward the Golden Gate bridge), so we didn’t really get to this part of the city. Much around here is the same as any downtown, with the exception of the trolley cars. I ended up walking all the way down Market Street to Embarcadero, dead ending at the Ferry Building. I took a couple of pictures of the Bay Bridge (mistakenly thinking I had gone as far west as I could…I’m really not good at geography!) and headed back. This time, I took BART back to Powell Street as it was much easier on the legs. I had forgotten how nice it is to take a subway system around a city.

Market Street and the Bay Bridge

Before heading back to the hotel, I stopped at the Apple Store to check it out. Nice place with a little theater for mini-sessions on things Apple and Apple-related. In between one of the sessions, I made a FaceTime call with Jayme and the kids (as they had free WiFi). We’ve tested out the FaceTime functionality before (just as proof of concept), but this was our first real-world use of it. It was totally kick-ass! To be able to actually see them and talk to them made my day!

Our view from our table!

My cousin Jill and her husband, Jonathan, were heading up from Moneterey to meet me for dinner, so I headed back to the hotel to rest before they got here. After dozing a couple of times, i got the message they were here. We drove down to Fisherman’s Wharf and decided on the Fog Harbor Fish House for dinner. Very good food, I must say, and from where we were sitting, a gorgeous sunset view on the bay. Good times and good food! After dinner, we headed over to Chocolate Heaven off Pier 39 for some after-dinner snacks. Fudge, FTMFW!

Utterly exhausted at this point, they drove me back to my hotel. (I’ve got to stop here and thank Jill and Jonathan for driving over two hours to come see me. They obviously did not have to do that, and it made me feel good to have some company for the first night. Family’s awesome. Thanks, guys!) Needless to say, I was dead to the world in about 15 minutes!

The Day’s Images

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