Monday, 10 August 2009

Not so classy in real life

Turns out that North American local television news is nowhere near as hilarious as Will Ferrel made it seem in Anchorman.

About the funniest thing talked about on last night's CTV Toronto News was a small boy catching a really big fish. I know.

There wasn't even any awkward banter or unintended puns.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Diary of a conference husband - part 3

On our third day in San Francisco I awoke to discover that my face had decided to reflect the current terrorist threat level - orange. The ocean winds from the ferry ride together with my dedication to the war on terror had overcome the freedom-hating sunscreen I had applied. Over the following days I kept on pointing out to the Wif that I was developing a rugged urban-surfer tan but she maintained that what I had achieved was actually more of a foolish tourist look. When combined with my flip-flops and backpack worn over two shoulders I could actually see her point.

We were due to travel to Toronto on our third day but as the plane didn't leave until 10.30pm we stored our bags at our hotel and headed off to the Castro.

This is SF's well known gay and lesbian district but as we wandered through it was just like any other part of SF that we had visited: lovely old houses, lots of dogs and couples out holding hands. The only difference to the rest of the city was the number of rainbow flags flying and an increase in the number of double entendres in the shop names. For example The Moby Dick tavern, a hairdresser's named Spunk and a cafe called the Sausage Factory.
From here we wandered through Haight-Ashbury which is filled with the typical SF house that you see in the movies and drug addicts begging for money which you don't.
Next time: 2nd half of day three, bison and what to do if your plane fills with smoke.

Friday, 7 August 2009

I am Jack's complete lack of surprise

This is the fridge prior to departure. Proof, if needed, that if we hadn't had this holiday it would have been only a matter of time before I'd start talking to myself and asking people to hit me in the face.

Diary of a conference husband - part 2

San Francisco has been and gone. No posts for a couple of days due to stupidly expensive internet and our busy tourist schedule.

Our second day in San Francisco we took a walk down to the waterfront. Apparently after the big quake in 1989 they took the opportunity to refurbish the wharfs and they did a pretty good job of it. The Ferry Building was great. A really nice spacious building filled with food stores with an artisan bent.
From there we wandered along the water front to Fisherman's Wharf. Imagine Disneyland without the rides. Just an entire wharf of shops with the single unifying theme of, "You don't really need this." There were stores dedicated to the left-handed, sports memorabilia, Hawaiian pearls, old-fashioned candy, magnets (x2), teddy bears you stuff yourself, Ireland, and a seemingly unlimited number of franchised theme restaurants. And it was being lapped up - busier than anywhere else we visited in SF. At first I figured that everyone had been told by friends to go check out how horrible it is but the cash registers were ringing with the sound of screaming bank balances so they must have been there for genuine reasons.
The next stop was Alcatraz. After the horror of Fisherman's Wharf, The Rock showed how to do tourist attraction with dignity. Maybe because it's run by the Parks Service, the entire trip was a pleasure. Ferry ride gave a great view of the harbour, the park rangers were courtious and helpful, the audio tour was really interesting without being overly informative. Overall, the best historic building I've visited since Pompallier.
Then it was a tired wander back to the hotel via a delicious Italian meal on Columbus Ave.
The roadside hot dog vendor is calling so I'll away.
Next time: The Castro, Golden Gate Park and Bison

Monday, 3 August 2009

Diary of a conference husband - part 1

We've arrived and its still not real. San Francisco is good fun. Feels like a foggy Melbourne. I don't have time for a full post so the highlights are:

- Plane movies: Adventureland (boy meets girl with issues, they have a misunderstanding and end up together in the rain. A bit like The Graduate replacing the older woman with an older man and set at a theme park), In the Loop (Billy Connolly is no longer the funniest swearing scotsman), Fast & Furious (a car movie that kept on stalling; bit like Paul Walker and Vin Diesel's careers), Star Trek (just as good the second time even though it was on a small scene and I was eating reheated roast lamb with plastic cutlery).
- First restroom I used in America had a Dyson airblade. Good start to the trip.
- Loo seats are bigger here: feels like you're squatting over a swimming pool.
- Chose where to eat the first night based on the photos of Bill Clinton and Deepak Chopra in the window.
- Taken on a winery tour by the awesome Jessica and Garyn. Lots of grape varieties that we hadn't tried before but it seems wine lushes are universal.
- Remind me to tell you about my Dry Creek Lambert Bridge Restroom Dilema.
- Robyn is a magnet for winery dogs.
- The chocolate bars you've seen on American sitcoms are just chocolate bars and no better than the ones back home but I now know what a 3 Musketeers tastes like.

Next time - Fisherman's wharf, Alcatraz and trying to find a resturant that doesn't serve broiled steak