Tuesday, June 01, 2004

California knows how to party!

Now that I've got the jet lag out of my system, I'm still in a hazy fog of bliss and seafood after the jaunt to San Francisco. It was great fun and I again want to thank my sister and her husband for hosting me and Jeff.

There's too much to recall and too many fun things to talk about in a blog, but I have to say, that whenever the family gets together, it's a lot of eating and movies. My sister -- a size 10, kickboxing, rock-climbing, tiny ball of rage -- eats approximately every two hours. I saw her wolf down ice cream, Chinese food, Korean barbecue (which is wonderful simply for the number of side dishes that come with an entree -- I mean we had a table filled with kimchee, picked vegetables and other goodies), Nutella and pretzels, burritos, chicken wings, pizza and other random things during our time together. It was impressive to behold -- I think she has me beat in the appetite department.

It also never fails that whenever we get together, it's like I'm the dopeier one of the two of us. I think I irritated the hell out of her by yelling out, "VAAAANNN HELLSING!" randomly after we saw that movie -- which is a wonderful comedy in my book and David Wenham's hotness was slightly damped by the hair and the frock, but he's got cute bedhead in that movie.

But it's fun to yell out stuff in that same, low-pitched, dramatic tone. Perhaps I took it too far when we saw a Black Angus steak sign and I hollered out, "BLAAAAACCCCCKKKK AAAAANNNGGGUUUSS."

I love her. She puts up with me. I'm like Flavor Flav to her Chuck D.

Jif and I did the usual touristy stuff -- visited Napa Valley (which I'm convinced is a wonderful excuse for a cultured trip by alcoholics. You can start on one side of the valley and make your way up and down, tasting wine and attempting to avoid DUIs), Fisherman's Wharf (I thoroughly recommend seeing the sea lions on the floats. It's like a nature special right before your eyes. And they make a terrific amount of noise whenever an interloper attempts to invade a float), Alcatraz, Monterey Aquarium (lots of fun -- although when I saw the tuna, I didn't think, "poor tuna, I'm never going to eat you again." I saw floating tuna steak.)and a ton of other things.

We also experienced the joys of an In-and-Out burger. While I don't think that they're as sublime as Culver's, they do have one oddity that Culver's lacks -- biblical phrases printed on the seams of the fry containers, underneath cups, etc. It's really quite odd, but at least it's not as in your face as other businesses.

None of the phrases are horrifying "hellfire and brimstone" and it's not that annoying. However, it does get the curiosity going. I have a cheeseburger wrapper saved for that reason.

I also discovered the joy of Schaffen Berger chocolates. You have to love a company that was forced to make milk chocolate at the demand of its customers.

We also road-tripped down to L.A. (ugh! Six hours in a car -- I was a zombie by the end of the trip and when we checked into the hotel at 2 a.m.) and saw the usual touristy stuff like the Santa Monica pier, Rodeo Drive and the Hollywood sign (most of the stuff while driving because we only had a day). The great part of that trip was eating a lot of good Chinese food. Makes me sad that I don't know enough Chinese to order the good stuff from a menu.

All in all, it was a good trip. And it does make me want to move to California. But only if I'm one of the idle rich.

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