Somer tells everything there is to know about the ANA coin show. Enjoy!!!
A Very Special San Francisco Snippets
By Somer Athari
First and foremost, do you notice anything different? You should have jumped right out of your seats when you saw this new and improved Web site up and running. It was a hard thing to prepare, but Rusty and Marie are now able to relax just a tiny bit with the Web site finally visible to the public. Also let me add that this week's Snippets is a very special one, not just because I will be telling all about the coin show in San Francisco, or because of our new Web site, but because it is the 30th Southgate Snippets that I, Somer Athari, have done here at Southgate Coins. Quite an achievement huh? Since we have been redoing the Web site, I have had a chance to look back in time at all the great things this company has done, while I have been here to document it. Last week at San Francisco, that was just one more amazing thing that this company has done, so of course, I am here to give you the scoop as always.
All the preparation had set us for this day. We even had schedules for friends that would be coming to help out in San Francisco. Paul and Dana, who have been company friends far longer than any of we girls have worked at Southgate Coins, also came along to help out in all the coin show festivities.
We left Tuesday morning, just before noon. With all of our inventory, bags, Walkie Talkies, and of course our anxious selves, we jumped in the cars and head out on our 4-hour journey into San Francisco. Mind you this was Sarah's first time to San Francisco so when we saw the Bay Bridge in all its grandeur, our excitement both for her and ourselves hit a peak. Shortly after, at 4:00 P.M. on the dot, we arrived in line at the Moscone West Center in downtown San Francisco. After a slightly unorganized ANA dealer registration process, we were all inside and set up by 6:30 P.M., with just enough time to rush to the Hilton Hotel and get dressed for our first meal out in the big city, Chinese in one of the biggest Chinatowns in the USA. We arrived at exactly 7:45 P.M., and Rusty and a good company friend, Paul were already there. We girls ended up with a unjust taxi driver who took us around the block a few times before dropping us off at Hunan’s Home and Restaurant, so needless to say his tip was just as stiff as he was.
After we were sat and made our lengthy order, Rusty asked our waiter if we ordered too much. The waiter looked at us four girls and the two gentlemen. He said immediately that we definitely ordered too much, and I began to agree with him when all the food came out and was placed onto the over-sized lazy susan. The waiter and I were wrong. I underestimated our capabilities to eat serious amounts of food. Even though us three girls and Marie don't seem able to eat too much, we all love food. We completely cleaned all the plates, all but maybe a little bit of chow mein left over. Success!! We exited the restaurant full and very happy. From there, we walked up the gigantic hills in heels attempting to catch a trolley. Unfortunately, they were full, so we just walked back to the hotel, which was fairly close. The thing about San Francisco, I call it the big city but it is very very compact, only 7 square miles in its entirety. (Sarah and I learned this tidbit of information from one of the cab drivers while there.)
The next morning we all arrived at 8:45 A.M. to the show ready to set up and greet the public at 10:00 A.M. Of course way before the public came around to say hello, the dealers came by, in huge hoards to greet Rusty and Marie, because many of those dealers haven't seen Rusty or Marie in probably close to 20 years, after Rusty stopped going to almost 40 shows a year. Many of the faces we girls didn't recognize, but luckily everyone wore name tags and it was nice to finally put the voice and the name to a face; people that we have talked with since the very beginning of our employments.
After a hectic morning, lunch at Mel's was greatly appreciated, and then a busy afternoon followed shortly behind. At 6:30 P.M. we closed up just as the day before and walked to the hotel, frantically finding fancy, fashionable clothes to wear to our much desired restaurant, Scoma's, which we had heard many great things about by certain fabulous customers. I have been talking about having halibut there for probably 4 months, so obviously that was my first choice. I got the broiled halibut and Sarah not being a big fish connoisseur, she got something similar to my choice, but the blackened option, whereas Heather ordered her favorite, the gigantic crab cakes. Rusty ordered the swordfish, and Marie ordered the scampi. Marie, Sarah and myself all agreed that the mashed potatoes were some of the best we had ever had.
Paul and Dana both wanted the petrale, so rather than getting the same exact thing, Paul got the pan fried and Dana got the baked. I tried them both, and I can honestly say that both were scrumptious! Even our waiter, Gasper, who must have worked at Scoma's his whole life, because he knew absolutely everything there was to know about the menu, and of course was the best waiter I have ever had. Everything was just wonderful, in fact it was all so great that Heather just had to order extra of their fantastic bread to go! After such a great meal, we were all exhausted and went straight to sleep, awaiting the next morning, but savoring the outstanding meal.
So, onto Thursday morning, we all walked down to the Moscone Center in the infamous San Francisco fog, to our 3rd day at the ANA. By this time, we were pros! We set up in no time flat, and prepare for the busy day at the coin show. Sarah and I were scheduled to take a couple hour break to walk around San Francisco and see some of the sights. I have been before and thought that a cable car ride was necessary and a walk down at Pier 39, The Fisherman's Wharf. We had a blast seeing all the tourist attractions and even a glance at Alcatraz, the old island prison nicknamed "the rock" for obvious reasons. From the mid 1930's until the mid 1960's, Alcatraz was America's premiere maximum-security prison, the final stop for the nation's most frightening inmates. We grabbed a cab back to the coin show, which seemed much farther away than it actually was.
The rest of the day was pretty exciting. The very first CCCCOA meeting started at 2:00 P.M., in a large conference room made for kings. The meeting was fairly short to start only an hour long, but much was said by members and of course Rusty and Paul, the President and Treasurer. I have a feeling that events are already being planned for this new and exhilarating club.
It seemed that shortly after it was already time to pack up and set out to Harris' steakhouse for dinner at 7:30 P.M. It was here that I saw one of the most amazing things that I think I saw on this trip.
Heather, the hearty eater, ordered a 22 oz. Porterhouse steak, the same steak that Rusty and Dana ordered as well. I watched her intently as she ate the whole thing, and yet claimed that she could still eat more, whereas Dana was struggling to finish his last bites. After that meal, we were all falling asleep in the car on the way back to the hotel. A great end to a great day.
Friday, was the day for Marie and Heather to go on their excursion out of the coin show and into the fantastic San Francisco weather. Sarah and I took over the booth until their return, and lunch at 4th Street Bar and Grill came quickly, as we were awaiting a really, really, really exhilarating event at 2:00 P.M.
Rusty brought me upstairs where all the large auctions were taking place and gave me my instructions as I watched a few. I ran back downstairs and told the girls to hurry for I would need their help very soon. I had all the info I needed and a cell phone incase anything happened to where I would need assistance, other than Sarah and Heather. I had our paddle, with our bidder number and we were ready for the auction. All three of us girls in our blue aprons stood in the back of the auction waiting patiently for our turn to make our move. The lot that Rusty wanted came up onto the screen and the auctioneer began the bidding and up my hand went. Sarah was on the phone with Dana, giving him the numbers and as quickly as it started, it was over and I was informed that I won. Then two other lots came up and I blew everyone away in my path. The Southgate girls had gone to an auction and won everything they desired. Of course, immediately afterwards, we walked casually out of the auction room and screamed in delight to have such an opportunity!!
The rest of the day seemed to fly by, and just like the previous days, we rushed out of the center shortly after 6:30 P.M. Our last night out in San Francisco had to be a delicious one, so it was to be at a very special restaurant, Ristorante Milano.
YUMMY! Now, I've been to Italy, and this food reminded me of a small restaurant right in the heart of Italy to the "T." This place not only made all their fresh foccachia bread, just like they did in Italy, but also handmade pasta. Even some of the waiters were Italian born, very authentic.
After dinner we all decided to treat ourselves to dessert and Marie and Rusty had a treat for us three girls. As we waited for our tantalizing tiramisu and peach sorbet, Marie handed all of us presents full of fancy lotions, body wash, and tasty lip gloss, also all handmade. Everyone left full and exhausted. We really needed our rest for the final day, which was chaotic.
Our last and final day in San Francisco rolled by as fast as the fog does after 5:00 P.M. We packed everything up in our rooms and had it ready to go in one of the cars and headed out to the show. The whole day was full of careful packing a preparing for the drive home. Rusty was busy running around the show looking for pieces that he just had to have for the inventory in the store. We planned out whom was going to pack up what case and to make absolutely sure nothing got left behind. Before we knew it, 5:00 P.M. had come and the rush to pack everything began. Sarah and I began the process while Heather and Marie parked the cars in the closest location safely possible. We were on the road by 6:30 P.M. and Auburn for dinner by 8:30 P.M. As we made it into In-N-Out right on time and I could see Rusty's excitement soar as his low-carb diet went officially on hold for this very occasion. When he received his Double-Double Cheeseburger, I could almost see tears streaming down his face as he took the biggest bite in history. I offered him the rest of my strawberry milkshake, but he explained that this off-diet moment was just for the burger.
Before I knew it, the colorful Reno downtown hue was in sight and we were homebound, Rusty and I in one car and the rest of the girls in the other. When we made it back to the shop it was 11:15 P.M., and we were all tired and yet overwhelmed with all the memories of everything that had just occurred in San Francisco. We unloaded and went our separate ways.
So there you have it, all the details of our trip to San Francisco. I hope this holds even a candle to actually being there experiencing all that we experienced. It isn't an easy task to sum up all that happened there in five days, but I did tell you about all the most important things. Until the next entertaining week.
Your skilled coin show specialist,