Despite what one may think from reading this blog, I do have a life outside of chess. I just returned from a wonderful 9 days in San Francisco and Napa Valley. I was out there for vacation and to walk the Nike Women's Marathon. I do a number of endurance events to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's through their Team in Training program.
When I travel abroad I always try to find the local chess scene. I find it's an interesting way of meeting the locals, and gives me a different perspective of the country. I've visited chess shops in London and Paris, and played in cafes and parks in Saltzberg, Amsterdam, and Paris. On my last European trip it wasn't hard since I was on Susan Polgar's Budapest trip. Since so many of my trips in the US are chess related I tend not to look for chess when I'm vacationing in the States.
Before I left I did actually Google the Mechanic's Institute and found out there was going to be a tournament the day before I walked the marathon. I was seriously considering playing in it since it would have been a good way to stay off my feet the day before the race. I had not packed a chess set or clock, but I had brought my Mon Roi. I figured there would be chess sets and clocks at the club, and the Mon Roi took up very little space. Also I had intentions of posting my "Girl's Knight Rematch" game that I won against Lilia Poteat. However posting on this blog took a back seat to vacation.
The Mechanic's Institute was only a few blocks from my hotel, but when I woke up Saturday morning it was sunny and warm. Even this chess addict didn't want to spend a sunny day in San Francisco holed up in a chess club. It was probably just as well since I looked at the cross table, and would have gotten paired way down in the first round. I don't need to travel to San Francisco to play a 900 player or an unrated of unknown strength. What would you rather do? Play chess or see this??
Then again maybe maybe smelling chess players is better then smelling these guys. The sea lions stink, but they're cute.