Saturday, October 3, 2009

We will find you acting on your best behaviour...

It’s not like we didn’t know it was coming... it’s not like it snuck up on us in the night or just dropped out of the blue. Still, it’s strange how you suddenly find yourself at the airport, bags in hand, shoes on the floor from the security scan, boarding passes lost, hopefully somewhere in a pocket or bag or kids shoe. Its madness, its chaotic, it’s just a terrible way to punctuate the end of era – it’d be so much nicer if you could just do it twice at the beginning of a holiday and then never do it again – just mosey on home as easy as you please with no stress, just pleasant memories...

Still, it IS an adventure, it’s exciting in a way I suppose, in an “I hope I don’t say something stupid and get hauled off to Guantanamo“ kind of way. It’s strange how the only time you REALLY think about saying something totally inappropriate is when it’ll get you in BIG trouble, like at a wedding, a funeral, a birth, or worse... when there’s the possibility of a rectal exam involved...

I thought our last few days in the continental US would be spent like a man raging against the end of the day, flailing about in an energetic frenzy trying to cram as much in as possible... thankfully San Francisco is such an easy place to wind down in that we didn’t need to... it’s relaxing and rewarding and invigorating all at once... We took tea and dim sum in Chinatown... we tried shopping again in Union Square – but we’re still hopeless shoppers. We did the Alcatraz thing and visited the island. I thought it would be hopelessly touristy – but it’s a great visit... and the Audio tour as you walk through the old cell block is amazing; informative, moving, nostalgic, exciting and violent (shrapnel marks in the concrete from grenades used by Marines in the Battle of Alcatraz...)all in the right doses... The sun was out, the air crisp, the breeze light and refreshing.

On our last day we biked along the north shore towards the bridge and watched kites and windsurfers on the Bay. As evening fell we rode the cable car up the hill, past closed bakeries waiting for the early morning rush, past cozy front rooms, inviting lobbies, past corner groceries and small parks to a little pizza joint called Za and the BEST pizza we’d had in the states. I should have called this 'The Pizza Blog' as I’ve realized there’s more variety in pizza styles than hot dog styles and I actually enjoy pizza more – for shame!

After a great meal, we rode the cable car back down the hill, past views of distant lights, the fairly light strings of the bay bridge spanning the still quiet bay, views of lovely Coit tower and, with the wonderful smell of the smoking wooden brakes of the trolley... and that's it. And as they say in Madeline - There isn’t any more. Three months on the mainland was over just like that... except for the wonderful thrill of the airport run early the next morning.












 
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