Saturday, May 29, 2010

California, California...'re such a wonder that I think I'll stay in bed.

Actually, I've enjoyed California quite a bit. It has many landscapes to choose from. Lots of rich people. Lots of poor people. Lots of people just trying to make it.

San Francisco was beautiful. It was built on a mountain and has lots of hills surrounding it, which is where you get the ridiculous slopes on their streets (fun to drive on and climb!), and the city's grid is understandable until you get to the mountain and everything becomes a giant spiral. It was exciting to ride on a subway again. Subways are one of the greatest pleasures in my life. I just don't talk about it.

We spent a long time in Golden Gate Park. Well, I did until Deanna gave up on finding me or the structures I'd been talking about finding, so she went back to Haight to shop. I explored the botanical gardens. I hiked up Strawberry Hill and got a decent view of the bay from it. Strawberry hill is surrounded by a giant mote-like pond filled with birds and turtles. Didn't find any strawberries, though. It was raining off and on while I walked around by myself. I made several phone calls and killed my cell phone's fully charged battery, but it was worth it. I needed some solitude and contact with friends. Not having the ability to text keeps me at a great distance from everyone else during this trip and also made it quite irritating at times. If Deanna gets pissed with me, she can just text someone to vent about it. I have to wait until I'm totally alone, which has only happened a handful of times. Very frustrating.

Yes, we've been quite pissed with each other off and on throughout this trip. I finally confronted her about it the last time and she blamed it on PMS, which I think is a cop-out. But at least it's been better since I confronted her.

So, yes, after Golden Gate Park, we climbed a giant hill that gave us a superb view of San Francisco. Then, we went to Chinatown. We watched a woman making fortune cookies in the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company. A man shook a tray of cookie samples at us and we indulged. Hot fortune cookies are pretty good. Then we found a restaurant that was surprisingly cheap for being as nice as it was. The reason we selected this restaurant, though, was that it had whole Chinese chickens hanging in its window. I drank about seven cups of tea and six glasses of water. I also ate an enormous pile of shrimp chow mein (with FRESH shrimp...I can't get over the seafood out here). Then we returned to the Castro, but on the way there, we accidently bought our way onto a different rail system and had to pay them a total of $3.50 just to leave that area of the station and go somewhere else, altogether wasting $5.00. When we returned to the Castro, I made her walk around with me a little because I wanted to gawk at the gay district a bit instead of just using it as a travel point. There isn't much to say, really. It was a rich queer's paradise. High-end bars and shops. Rainbow flags everywhere. There was a storefront that I supposed was being preserved because it was where Harvey Milk's headquarters were during his campaign.

When we wanted to return to Michael and Natalie's place, we realized we didn't know how. We called them asking for directions and whatnot. I think they were disappointed that we didn't get to hang out with them more or allow them to show us around the city. I felt bad about it. Natalie tried to get us to the right bus stop and then my phone died. When I called Michael, he suggested that he just come pick us up. We greatly appreciated the rescue.

We left at 5am the next morning because we wanted to avoid LA rush hour traffic. About 10 minutes on the highway, I realized that I had left my cell phone at their apartment. We had to turn around. We still managed to make it to LA well before rush hour, though we didn't take the fastest route (US-5) OR the prettiest (US-1). I was kind of bummed out about it. But we still got to our destination in a timely manner.

We took Spencer by surprise with our early arrival. He went jogging while we played Rock Band. When he got back, he took us to see the sights. I have now seen all that Hollywood jazz. I touched Bette Davis' handprint in the cement. I was very happy. Today, he's taking us to Venice Beach. I'm pretty excited.

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