So, I got to enjoy by far the longest and most relaxing vacation I've had in three years, earlier this month. For my memory as much as everyone else's edification, the report, part one.
Wednesday:, June 14th: Gary gave me a ride, leaving Norwich about 3am and getting to the airport at 4am for my 7am flight. This is altogether usual travel stuff, still, one of these days I'll know what it is to fully sleep the night before a plane flight. Pleasant flight into DFW, where I get nostalgic for the TRAAIN predecessor to the Skylink. Still, Dickey's Barbecue made for delicious and cheap lunch, and then on to San Jose airport! Small talk with the info desk employees while killing time waiting for warphammer to get me.
And then, to the DragonHaus, where he, archai, and kreggan reside; I flopped down for nap while he headed back to work. After nap, I mentioned that In-n-Out Burger was on my list of California musts, so we hit it promptly. Mmm. Double double Animal style, delish. The fries animal style, not so much. I got set up with Warp's netbook, and then, a proper sleep. The next morning early...
Thursday: Onto the Caltrain (Ooh, double-decker ride. Wow. the CVSes look wacky. Wow, the hills) and then the overly-crowded Chinatown bus into San Francisco. Time for the excuse for this vacation: Brand New Conference. Arrived by 9am, with Armin and Byrony, and soon many volunteers arriving. Bag-stuffing: fast! Discussions for the next day, and all wrapped up by noon. We're good. Off to the Apple store briskly, then for tourism wanderings! Cream puffs at Beard Papa! Coffee at Peet's! The Cartoon Art Museum! The California Historical Society! A quick sandwich at Lee's, free chips from Sabra, as I wandered down towards the water.. right to the Ferry Building at Pier 0.
From there, a nice steady wander northward. Walking along piers, looking out of the prettiness of the bay, the birdges, the ships, the ..dang that's a big gull. (o_O) Stopping in at the TCHO factory for free chocolate samples, and all the way up to pier 39.. where I could see, hear, and smell the sea lions. I rode the carousel there, in part because austin_dern and bunnyhugger would expect me to, and I rode the bunny naturally. From there, to the base of Telegraph hill.. and then, posessed of an hour to kill and nothing else to do, I climbed up the stairs. and then the more stairs, all the way to Coit Tower. Pretty views. And then back down, in time to meet Warp and eapa for dinner at Il Fornaio. Pleasant food and conversation indeed (Including mention of fenris_lorsrai whom Eapa knew as a kid), and then rode the street cars to the BART to the Crowne Plaza SFO for the night.
Friday: Up in the stupid-early hours to catch the BART in, and after Jack-in-The-Box for breakfast (Don't judge me. I can't get it in Connecticut) on to Brand New Conference! Volunteers all did a fine job, and despite the usual last-minute complications (Book sales? No one told me about book sales), it all went swimmingly. Fine speakers- as usual the later in the day, I more I got to see them. Glad for the mid-afternoon brownies, because I didn't get to escape for lunch this year. Next year in NYC, there'll be better/more options surely. NYC is full of 8$ falafel places to dine, San Fran.. you have to hunt a little more for fast cheap good ethnic.
After the conference, the after-party! Which was like last year's: too hip and noisy for me, but still, enjoyable. Warp joined me for some of it, we chatted with the Photographer and folks about, and then left to return to Los Altos for dinner with Archai, Kreggan, and arokh at a birdy-ish pizza place, then back to Warp's place for TV and internet and relaxation. The working and scheduled parts of the vacation done.. and now onto high-quality relaxation time.
..but I'll get to that in the next post.