donderdag 20 januari 2011

Hello San Francisco!

An 11,5 hour plane ride later, we were back on the ground but this time it was familiar for some and completely new for others. I'd actually been nervous about taking Daniel to the Bay Area, simply because it's my other home, and we are staying for 3 months, and if he didn't like it we might have a slight problem. Oh yeah, and because I wax lyrical about it all the time about it, so I was having to convince myself I wasn't FORCING him to like it. Why I ever worried is beyond me. What's not to like?
My uncle Chris picked us up, and we were taken straight from the airport to the cooking school my aunt Frances works at where we sat down for a 3 course gourmet lunch, after which we were driven across the Golden Gate back to Berkeley, where we stopped at the Berkeley Bowl (the most fabulous, wonderful supermarket in the world) and the Farmer's Market (complete with little bluesy bands busking) on our way home to our home for the next 3 months- the garden apartment under Chris and Frances' house. Really, I don't think Daniel could have had a better introduction to California :)
It's good to be back.

Goodbye New Zealand

Our last few days in NZ were not particularly memorable. After 5 weeks of consistent traveling (actually 9, Japan included), we were shattered. Christchurch was HOT and muggy, which encouraged our lethargy. We rented bikes on the second day to go into the city center, and after about an hour of cycling we realized how ridiculous the idea was. We ended up taking lots of breaks in the shade, peering at the sights and sounds of Christchurch from a slightly cooler distance, and making stops at markets and whatnot selling large containers of icy fluids. It was a good thing we went into the city the first 2 days, as the last 2 days it was positively pissing down and we were not too enthusiastic about doing much of anything that involved going outdoors. Our hostel was wonderful, with enough to do on wet rainy days. Most of the other guests seemed to be biding their time like us, waiting to leave the country or pick up their camper and start their journey. It was a renovated jailhouse, which had closed in 1999 and reopened in the form of a hostel. The owners had done a great job, and it had paid off- the Jailhouse had won tons of awards, and had been crowned Best Hostel in Australasia! It was kind of weird staying in a cell, but we were able to lock it ourselves so that was good :)
We ended up spending our remaining hours watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy- I'd never really seen them (I know, I know... and I haven't read the book either), and it seemed appropriate after we'd seen or been at a lot of the places it was filmed. Pretty cool! We watched until the VERY end of our trip- we literally handed in the dvd as we left the hostel for the airport... And that was that. A sort flight to Auckland later, we were boarding for San Francisco- sad to leave NZ and wishing we had more time there, but excited to be heading out to the next chapter in our adventure! Here's the best part: We haven't even hit the halfway mark yet :)