16.5.08

California

I like sunshine, it means I get to wear sun dresses and stupid sunglasses and smell like Haiwian Tropic sun lotion. Its probably a good thing that I happen to like sunshine as the bay of San Francisco is currently going through an immense heatwave which took temperatures to over 105f today (not sure on the celcius translation is but maybe about 40...). Therefore the usual mist that covers the bay is nowhere in sight meaning that San Fran couldn't be any more beautiful. Our days have been spent wandering round drinking Starbucks iced pink lemonade, sitting in parks and watching sunsets :-D (we had amazing meal at The Cheesecake Factory on the roof of Macy's where the sunset was just amazing). Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, the Golden Gate Bridge, Nob Hill, we've wandering through all of it taking far too many photos and cursing the geographical layout of this city (its on a massive hill).

The trip to Alcatraz was so interesting and its quite ironic that the prison was built in such a beautiful place, maybe they were silently trying to torture the prisoners re. the freedom they had been denied. Greg and I managed (somehow) to end up on a private tour which took us to bits of the prison that had been closed to the public for decades as they don't have sufficient volunteers to handle the numbers of tourists. Seeing the "forbidden" areas just made the trip even more special and our guide was so knowledgeable about the prison and its infamous inmates like Al Capone. We also managed to meet a former inmate, Darwin Coon, one of the last to leave when the prison closed in 1963. He was in for bank robbery and is one of only four surviving inmates still alive.

Then Thursday was spent doing what Jen and I do best, BEVERAGING!!! We booked a winery tour of the Napa and Sonoma valleys to sample their finest products ;-). This could have been a cheaper day had we done it ourselves, however then we are faced with the issue of two alcoholics who can't drink at a winery because they have to drive home....I DON'T THINK SO. We went on a bus packed full of grannies to visit three very different winery's all over northern California. We sampled four or five wines at every winery and I have just one word; LUSH!!! It was really cool getting to try wines that I wouldn't usually order because (I thought) I didn't like them and obv the fact that we started boozing at 10am was a massive plus. The countryside was beautiful and it didn't feel like we were in America, totally more like Tuscany. Needless to say the wine slipped down rather easily and led to an amazing end to our San Francisco experience.

Also I had some amazing news from school (HEC) today, one of my massive projects from this semester scored me a nigh on perfect grade which according to my prof is unheard of for a HECer never mind for an exchanger. She has subsequently offered me a place on their masters scheme/research program no matter what degree classification I get, SCORE. Just a shame that the last thing in the world I want to do now is go back to school for another few years!!!

2 comments:

Amin said...

Hi Lorna,

I'm sooo jeleaus. A private tour? NICE! and congrats for a masters place. can't wait to see you again!! Only two days left!!

Christian Ehm said...

Wowowiwa,
now I read all about your trip, r(e)ally amazing!! Feel free to give me some tips for hostels, sightseeing and whatever you consider important for a good west-coast-customs trip.
xxx
Christian de Montreal

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