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San Francisco

Last Days of 2007

December 5 to 13, 2007

Andy and an I visited Chabot Observatory and just had to have our pictures taken in the zero-G simulator.

What a time it has been since my return from Antarctica. Julia and I hosted our "big trip" going away party in San Francisco. It was great fun to see all of our friends although in one place. The bar we picked to host the party was very loud; but the drinks were good. Lawrence returned home to Australia on Saturday 9 and made it home safely. I will see him soon in Japan. Soon Andy my good skiing friend from Australia dropped in on his way back home from a veterinarian seminar in Georgia. It was good to see Andy and he will join Lawrence, Julia, and I in Japan too. Andy was extremely happy as he was looking for an 8 gigabyte SD card and we found it at Best Buy. Gone are the days when men went out to hunt game to bring back to the table; now we go out to hunt gigabytes! Andy returned home with his gigabytes and two Apple Iphones in hand; he has plans to sell then and make a killing on eBay.

From Julia: It was a relief to see the Antarctic explorers back safely with their land legs working properly. David and Lawrie were close to scurvy after a week of steak only in Argentina and goodness knows what on the boat in Antarctica, so we celebrated their return with lots of huge and delicious meals loaded with fresh fruit and veggies (and wine). With less than a week until we take off I am enjoying every moment of last minute planning, packing, and saying goodbyes. I am contemplating various luxury problems, such as how many shoes to take, and if It's worth taking an extra party dress just in case I need something for New Year on the train to Luxor.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The view from the Dipsea trail.

From Julia: In a desperate last minute attempt to get fit enough to keep up on the hiking trails with Mary and David S. (my super fit mum and her super fit partner) when we get to England, David and I hiked on Mt Tam for the day on part of the Dipsea trail. It was an absolutely perfect day for hiking; cool with bright winter sunshine.

The hike ended back at Muir Woods and we felt like wilderness survivors as we trudged out of the National Monument past all the clean, non-sweaty tourists fresh off their tour buses. After getting home we ate our way through the whatever was left in the fridge, actually quite a good thing to do when you will be away for 6 months. We devoured all remains of David's chocolate stash in the bottom drawer, then collapsed to sleep.

All I can add is that I am continually amazed at how beautiful California is. There was a time in my life when I would argue to the death that Melbourne and Australia was all that one could want for a place to live. But having now experienced California I find I must expand my dogma. Wales has a lot to beat; but you never know.


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