Hi, friends (and other random readers–welcome!)! So much has been happening, but I’ll have to keep it to the short version. The good news is that there are photos!
First, I’ve finally started an online album of our wedding photos, which you can view here. Flickr is pretty great, but it has an upload limit of 300 MB per month. That will make it at least another month or two before they’re all loaded. Kind of a pain, but I guess I still get to share all our wedding pics with you for free. I probably shouldn’t feel so young and entitled that I take that for granted. (Self-reflection!)
Second, (and after this I’ll stop counting. I always lose track after two. Unlike Liz Lemon, I’ve made no commitment to always come up with a third thing when I’m making lists. I should take up Piraha) Pillsbury has been treating me wonderfully! If you’ve been following along (and even if you haven’t, because “If you’ve been following along” usually means “I’m going to repeat myself since I don’t trust you to remember stuff”), you know that I just spent a week in Washington, DC (my first time ever) followed by a week in San Francisco (ditto). In between was a trip by bus to Knoxville.
Here’s what I have to share about Megabus: the prices are fair, but they were ill-equipped for a break down at 4 am. Waiting on a bus for a few hours is less fun than riding on a bus for a few hours. You might think there’s not much difference, but there’s one key change in the bus’s behavior when the power isn’t on: the toilet does not flush. Nevertheless, people use it.
I took a bus from DC to Knoxville to meet the Rasmussen crew for family pictures and to catch the tail end of a reunion. The pictures turned out great! I don’t know where they are, but if we’re facebook friends, check my wife’s page. She’s posted some.
I’m going to get the grumbly part out of the way to focus on the fun. I flew Frontier airlines. I like them. Just one piece of advice, though. If you don’t have any pilots, you don’t have to be in a rush to board. If I have to wait, I’d like to do it someplace where I can buy Cheetos and feel reasonably comfortable that I can move my arm without finding my elbow rubbing someone else’s elbow. And if you can avoid it, please don’t taxi away from the gate until after you figure out the brakes are glitchy and the mechanic looks at them. It’s unnerving when you have to taxi back to the gate with the knowledge that your brakes aren’t working. I don’t want to be willfully ignorant about much, but maybe that. Just tell me you forgot your iPod. I’ll understand.
Okay, the fun!
When you find yourself in Washington, DC, definitely look for this cafe called Bread & Chocolate, and eat this:
It’s chocolate banana French toast, and it is amazing! They also have a spinach and chevre omelet I wouldn’t say no to. (Different days, of course. I couldn’t have eaten a Tic Tac after all that French toast!)
Aside from that, I don’t think I really found any gems off the beaten path. I did a lot of urbikking, but DC has been covered pretty well. It’s fun to see a lot of that stuff in person, but there weren’t a lot of surprises.
Except that my phone takes way awesome photos! As long as the light’s right and you don’t shake your hands or mess up the settings by touching the wrong part of the screen. I wonder how many videos I’ve made of me saying, “Wait. I reversed the screen and started recording video.” (The answer is zero, but you can wonder aloud for humor without being a liar.)
I’d like to share what I’ve been learning in my job training, but it’s all hush hush. I feel comfortable denying that I’ve actually secretly been recruited to the CIA, though the trip to Washington doesn’t help dissuade that opinion. So think what you want. All I’ll say is that if you go to the Fairmont hotel and order the Rooftop honey and praline ice cream, you will either find yourself being swiftly transported to a secret underground facility, or you’ll get some delicious ice cream. Win-win unless you’re lactose intolerant. (The Fairmont hotel has its own beehive on site from which said honey is harvested! YUM!)
DC, bus to Knoxville, then flight to San Francisco. Here’s the first person I saw on my first night in the city:
Downtown San Francisco is littered with homeless folks. It’s really sad. What I thought was interesting and unique, though, was how much gratitude they expressed for any gifts. I always had some change in my pocket (or, in one case, most of an omelet left over), and so I tried to be charitable without exaggerating my generosity in my head (“Look at me! The world just needs a little change!” You know how far a pocketful of change goes? Yeah, you know. If I had a nickel for every time I was happy about having a nickel, I’d have stopped receiving nickels when I was about four). One guy was playing the harmonica outside Walgreens. He had some competition. There were one man bands and street drummers everywhere. I dropped some money in his cup, and I could have sworn he almost teared up as he said, “Aw, thank you. I was just about to give up.” Again, I don’t want to exaggerate his meaning. Maybe he just meant he was about to give up playing the harmonica outside Walgreens. But maybe not. It struck me that hope can be pretty cheap.
So that was my most spiritual experience in the bay. But there was more touristy stuff.
I did a lot of urbikking there, too, including walking up the stairs from Sansome Street to Coit Tower.
The tall one in the middle. Not the pointy one. You don’t have to walk the stairs, but you should go up into the tower, which was a semaphore in the telegraph days. There’s a 360 degree view of the city. It’s breathtaking! My battery was dead by the time I got up there, so I couldn’t take any pictures. You’ll just have to go see it for yourself.
A lot of folks were riding around in these little yellow cars that did GPS guides around the city. That seemed like it would have been a lot of fun. It takes you on Lombard street, which I didn’t drive. I did walk the stairs next to it, though.
Next to Coit tower, my favorite thing in San Francisco was the cable car museum. Definitely do that! It’s not just a museum. It is the central hub for the cables. You get to see them in action and learn how they work! Even if you’re not a nerd, it’s on the way to everything. So just hop in for a minute or two. It’s free between 10 and 6.
Finally, you should get a double chocolate malt from Super Duper Burger, go to the Grove (they have the BEST bacon I have ever had in my whole life; I went twice just to confirm–it’s consistently amazing!), and eat breakfast at Dottie’s:
Lamb sausage and goat cheese is a great idea! Thanks, Dottie!
It’s good to be back home with my lovely wife. I missed her so much! Things just aren’t quite as much fun without her. Even when they’re really really fun.
I’ll be home for three weeks getting MOS certified. Then I get to spend a week in New York, my last on-site training. After that, back to Nashville to go to work in the Batman building. Exciting times!
I hope you’re all doing well and eating only the most delicious foods. Because of all the eating out over the last couple weeks, Shai and I are purging with a protein and veggie cleanse. I’m going to break it with a bacon sundae from Burger King. Please join me if you’re around!
PS. I was interviewed today for a radio show. It’s about my music. If you forgot (or didn’t know) I write music, this is the revival of my secret talent/hidden career. Get in on the new ground floor! Details to come!