Posts Tagged ‘Trip’

Palo Alto and San Francisco

February 27, 2017

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How most trips start.

Last Sunday I flew on a trip to Palo Alto primarily to visit my youngest brother who works in the post-doctorate program at Stanford University. I packed the night before, filling up my old duffle bag with a bunch of clothes and putting together what I called my “go bag”. The flight was leaving at 7:30 in the morning and would arrive in San Francisco at 10:30 in the morning. Sort of like time travel. I got a call from my mom and she told me she would pick me up which surprised me because I had been planning to drive myself. I am extremely nervous about making flights on time and I knew that I would have trouble getting to sleep. I was right. I fell asleep at 4 am and I was woken up at 5:15 by the sound of my mom’s little car. We were off to San Francisco.

Our western destination.  It rained almost the whole time we were there.

I actually love most of the plane ride experience. I hate security but we randomly got Pre-TSA which made things a little simpler. After that, we were in an airport. While airports are expensive, I find them interesting little pockets of culture you cannot find anywhere else. The food is usually pretty good and the people who work there are super friendly. Once we were on the plane, I enjoyed it even more. I had time to sit where I was not at work and not connected to the internet. I watched two movies and an episode of The Librarians. I also listened to some podcasts while I tried to rest my eyes and I worked on the Bron story that posted this past Saturday. By the time we landed, I was fried.

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The site of the blue jeans store that Wiseau owned while making The Room.

The rest of Sunday is kind of a blur because I was so fried from only sleeping about an hour. I remember visiting a farmer’s market, playing video games with my brother and crashing at the hotel. The next day, we got up and decided to go into San Francisco. It was my third trip into the city but it was still awesome. I got to eat Dim Sum for the first time at a place called Tom Kiang. It was absolutely delicious. I do not eat much Asian food in general but I was glad to eat with my family walking me through it. We went to Fisherman’s Wharf which is where I was stunned to find the above tribute to the legendary Tommy Wiseau. It was the highlight of the trip for me. Ice Cream at the original Ghiradelli shop was a very close second.

Classy as all heck.

The next day we went and saw my brother’s lab and a lot of Stanford stuff. It was very impressive but not my story to tell since it involves his workplace. Of course, I am very proud of what he has accomplished and I know my folks are very proud as well. I knew him when he was just getting his start and now he’s at the top. Stanford is pretty cool. I went to school on the East Coast (which is technically still happening) so I never really experienced the laid back California attitude. A lot of scruffy dudes walking around in shorts and sandals and a huge bike culture. It is very different from what I am used to but I am sure I would have enjoyed it if I went to school out there.

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This was at Google.

The final day of our trip was a weird mishmash of things to do. We had planned on making a second trip into San Francisco but instead, we stuck around Palo Alto. We ate a great Mexican place called Palo Alto Sol where I ate a spicy burrito drenched in sauce. It reminded me how different the West approaches Mexican food. We decided to go visit Google since we were kind of in the neighborhood. We did not get a tour but we did visit their campus and their brand store. I almost bought a YouTube shirt because I am such a big fan. We went to the Computer History Museum which was pretty crazy. Seeing all the technology from start to present is pretty humbling. Also, my brothers and I got to walk our mother through the history of video games and software. Also, there was a huge exhibit on World of Warcraft of all things.

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We also found this on Day 3.  It’s California. Drink it in, maaaan.

Finally, we climbed into our plane at 10:30 pm for a red eye flight that would arrive at 6 am. Once again, I spent a sleepless night. After a long, tiring week and a peaceful red eye flight, I crashed at 8 am in the morning and slept a good chunk of Thursday so I could rest for work on Friday.

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Trip Diary: Nantucket Pt 1

June 23, 2009

I was invited to a wedding and my mom’s birthday up in Nantucket, MA for Monday and I decided to give you a taste of what it’s like to be me. This is part 1.

6 PM (6/21/09) –       Done with the performance and photo call for the day.  The equipment is powered down, the lights are out and the doors are locked.  Faced with packing and planning.  Would I be any less on edge if I had known my plans earlier? I do not know.  Will wind down and then get back to work.

1 AM (6/22/09)   –     I need to get to sleep very, very soon.  Anyway you slice it, tomorrow morning is going to suck.  It’s going to suck big time.  All for the greater good.

6:15 AM –  I stumble out of bed and as I suspected it’s bad.  Need crowbars to open my eyes but I’ll settle for some caffeine and adrenaline.  Time for a shower.

6:49 AM – I’m driving!  Always feels good to start the trip.  Calms my nerves to actually be making progress.  First full song on the radio is “Call Me the Breeze” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Couldn’t think of a more suitable song for driving.

7 AM  – Realities of the drive set in and I realize there’s another hour to go if I don’t hit major traffic.  I am confused why AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” has not played yet.  I am headed toward Newark afterall.  Ah well, the wheels on the car go round and round.

8 AM – Minimal traffic means I arrive in the parking garage way earlier than I expected.  I wistfully think that I probably could have slept another 45 minutes.  Then I decide to think of more pleasant things while I put my tie on while humming U2’s “Vertigo”. Security is next.

8:20 AM – I have made it through security.  Who, despite what I have heard, were very helpful.  Tips to get through security: 1. Wear a tie (probably should be a dude for this) 2. Be a coherent, intelligent individual.  That’s it.  The woman in front of me had a pint of perfume and several lotions.  I did not see what became of her.

8:30 AM – I finally calm down enough to eat.  I’m enjoying a Sausage, Egg and Cheese McGriddle.  Who would have thought that the kid who used to eat everything in sequence with military precision would enjoy this mish mash so much.  Then again I, I enjoy scrapple so my sanity is already in question.

8:40 AM – Yes, the food didn’t last that long.  I’m sitting at the gate a full 2 hours before my flight and I think I’ll read a book.

8:40 AM – 10:45 AM – Reading aforementioned book and exchanging texts with Alex.  Both of us are sending texts to our brother who is not attending the wedding or the day of our mother’s birth.  We sincerely hope that the texts woke him up and did not allow him to get back to sleep.

10:45 AM – I board the plane.  The gate changed overnight from C97 to C99 and there was a last minute change that moved the gate all the way up to C95.  As this group has the gates seven feet apart from each other in a semi circle, this was not a problem.  I walk onto the crosswalk as to not get chopped up or bowled over by the Matchbox cars that carry the luggage.  I climb aboard the plane and note that my seat is 3D, which is hilarious to pro-wrestling fans. I promise.

Noon – I’ve not flown for something near to 8 years.  I realize now why this was a good idea.  I can feel every pocket of air hitting our plane.  Don’t look down!  I nurse the coke the nice stewardess brought me while listening to my FauxPod and I thank the powers that be that I did not die on take off and leave a pro-wrestling reference as my last written thought.

12:30 PM – Landing was rough.  40 mph winds with a bit of rain.  Let’s just say that we tilted and then we bounced.  Mom and Len were there to meet me in the windswept parking lot.

12:45 PM –  Mom promptly gets lost trying to find the pharmacy, inadvertently giving me a tour of Nantucket.  She tells me startling tales of our geneology.  We finally stop at the pharmacy to pick up a few things and kill time waiting on Alex to land.

1:30 PM – Alex shows up and has as rough a landing as I did.  He says he liked it.  He’s crazy.

2:00 PM – Bass fishing video. Yeah.

2:20 PM – Small birthday party for mom.  She’s happy with all of her gifts.  Obviously, I’m concentrated more on my mom’s birthday than the wedding at the moment.  Give me a break, she’s the only mom I’ve got.

More to follow… I won’t leave it at a mere 20 hours.  Next episode we get to the wedding.  Too tired to continue typing at the moment.


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