Thursday, 26 July 2007

Back from Yosemite

Am interrupting my Harry Potter reading time to let you know I got back from Yosemite in one piece. There's something about communing with nature that..well...ack I got nothin. It looks the same as the time I was there last September. We did go on a 7km hike though, which we didn't do last time (w00t!). I must say the views were worth it. Enjoy!

On top of Sentinel Point


Merced River–some of the very little water that was flowing at this dry time of year.

Not the only one struggling with the heat.

Aaaah, nothing like a long walk to make you feel like jumping off a cliff.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Summer in the Bay

Hello my lovelies,

Oh how I've sucked at posting this month! Mucho sucketh. I promise I've been busy and not just bone-arsed lazy. Well, mostly anyway. The thing is, it's summer now. Apparently that's a cause for celebration. In Australia, there is vicious amounts of sunshine, causing one to have a guarded respect for it; all Aussies know the dangers of skin cancer. Here, however, copious amounts of mostly weak sunshine makes walking about fun, and makes all food taste better on a paper plate.

On the 'travel' front, I've been over to Half Moon Bay twice. I use the quotes because it's not really out of town, though it does feel like it.

Just 15 minutes west from us, and on the coast south of San Francisco, is the little town of Half Moon Bay. It's cute like the way you imagine American seaside towns to be. Even though there's only one road through the hills to it, causing huge bottlenecks at peak times, people still commute from there. Once you get over the hills it's no longer a suburb in the Bay area but a country-style escape—market gardens and flower farms and such. I guess I can see why some would think it's worth the hassle.

The photos above are from the front garden of a lovely and bizarre antiques shop in town called 'Half to Have It', which is bursting at the seams inside with all manner of vintagey goodness. Those birdhouses above are made in China though, muahaha.

Meanwhile, we were also quite chockful of activities in the 'Sitting on a blanket outside' category. Actually Yen and I have become quite pro at packing a picnic.

First up was the radio-sponsored 'Summerthing' concert at Golden Gate Park, featuring the musical stylings of Everclear and Smashmouth. They should have called it 'Remember those guys from the 90s?'

Yen, me and Yee striking a pose—you really got to entertain yourselves whilst waiting for a song you recognise.

Next up, 4th of July fireworks. There was no national anthem or music of any kind actually. The fireworks were big, but kind of random. What's up with that? Also there seems to be a much shorter minimum distance from crowd to firework. I was stoked to be right under the exploding sky, but the jury's still out on my hearing.

Then a trip out to Tomales Bay, north of the city, for cheap oysters by the water. It takes either one and a half or two and a half hours to get there, depending on whether you Google the right place or not(!) Suffice to say the long and windy car ride left me unsociable. I am only smiling here because they have oyster knives in my back.

Finally, the piece de resistance, the Stern Grove festival. It's a concert series held in a large-ish umm the city. We saw Lavay Smith and a New Orleans jazz band, and the SF Symphony Orchestra here. Because it's a smallish space, you have to go early to stake your claim on some real estate and watch a lot of shirtless men before the music. Awesome.

My most exciting news is this most rubbish picture. I know you can't tell, but I had a cut and colour as a hair model for the first time ever. Being skint will do that to you. I wasn't sure whether I'd have to start wearing hats afterwards or not, but both my trainee stylists did great jobs. They were at big name salons, so they had very good seniors supervising them. It takes longer than it might usually, but it's so worth it. Colour was US$30 and cut US$15. Bargain, no?

Actual conversation:
Me: Hi, can I make an appointment for a cut and colour?
Apprentice: Is it virgin?
Me: Excuse me?
Apprentice: Is your hair virgin?
Me: Ummm. Yeah, it's uncoloured.
Apprentice: Ooh great. it's really hard to find virgin hair.
Me: I see...

Lookit! My book cover on Singapore TV!

Just to prove I haven't been faffing around getting attached to the couch.