Saturday, 18 August 2012

California Dreamin'

Having spent the past 3 weeks in California, I must admit to being slightly shell-shocked on my return to the UK. My body clock is all over the place which, combined with the mini-heatwave we appear to be having, is causing me no end of sleeping problems. It's about 6:45 am here on Sunday morning, a time which I never knew existed, and I must have been awake since 4 am. I'm also trying to adjust my body's expectation with regards to being fed ... no more huge american breakfasts for a while, but somehow a bowl of Cornflakes is not the same.

I do love visiting the US, and San Francisco in particular which, along with Boston, are the only 2 places I have ever visited outside the UK where I could seriously consider moving to. For our first week we hired a mountain cottage in a place called Midpines near Mariposa. Temperatures reached 100 degrees most days, which meant that we had to get up early to do any form of serious walking in the Yosemite Valley. Our second week took us to a house about 10 miles from Santa Cruz, in a place called Aptos. The weather here was considerably cooler, with refreshing sea mists most mornings. Our final week was spent in San Francisco where we had an appartment in the Castro district. Needless to say I have 100's of photographs which I could share, 10's of descriptions of fantastic day trips, restaurants, etc., but for now I'll stick to the briefest of summaries and 3 of my favourite pictures, 1 from each of the 3 weeks.

 Half Dome, Yosemite, California

Santa Cruz beach

 Golden Gate Bridge, looking back across to San Francisco

I now have to face up to the reality that I return to work tomorrow. Although many of my team and colleagues have also been on leave, I am sure my email count will be in the hundreds. I also need to do some exercise and the Californian cuisine has taken its toll on my waistline.

Having said I won't go into any more detail about my trip, I will however relate the visit I paid to what I consider to be the world's best record shop Amoeba on the Haight in San Francisco. I visited it on a business trip several years ago and was a bit concerned that it may no longer be there, or may be a scaled down version, but I was not disappointed and it was still there in all its glory. I didn't have a great deal of time to browse but was very leased to pick up a copy of Dr Strangely Strange - Kips of the Serene which I'd been looking for for a while, plus a few CDs by the Charalambides.

    

More holiday tales, and various other musings in my Search for Space will follow.

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