Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

A trip through 2008

New places visited: Arizona canyons and Meteor Crater; Palm Springs; Les Arc (my first ski-ing resort, where I didn't manage to ski but did toboggan); the East Sierras; Passe a Grille (and some other new islands around St Petersburg/Tampa) and ice cream shops across Florida and the Fountain of Youth where rowanf did an archaeology dive; Madrid (and the Rock In Rio concert, which is further away than you'd expect for somewhere where the headline act goes on stage at midnight).

New places visited that we've wanted to go to for years: Joshua Tree, which we've seen signs for on many trips. Watts Towers, Los Angeles, which I read about in a Kaffe Fasset knitting book in the 80s and wanted to see ever since. Mono Lake, which I saw on a postcard in a hotel a previous January. North California - not only had we never just gone North from San Francisco without not getting past the wine country, but I've wanted to drive through a drive-through tree since I was a child - we did two! The Getty Villa, for which you have to book so we usually aren't organised and do the Getty Centre instead. Mount Shasta, which I used to see from plane windows before we started taking later flights home and always wanted to see from ground level.

New things finally visited in places we've been before: We've driven past the Computer History Museum in Mountain View more times than I can count; we finally visited with rowanf and galileopan, and then went to a conference upstairs (the Internet Identity Workshop I've had a standing invite to for many years) where we found the charming Honeywell Animals. Lurgashall winery when we've been drinking the wines for years. Santa Monica where we found both a fabulous diner and a delightful breakfast cafe (range pancakes!). Macworld in San Francisco; only my second ever US Apple event. Ad Hoc, the Thomas Keller permanent temporary restaurant in Yountville. Ravenswood winery - and the second time we went it was the Zinfandel barrel tasting.

Revisited after much time: Moscow, which is as monumental as I remembered but very different from my 1984 visit in other ways. Lulworth, which we seem to have last visited in 2003. Corfe Castle, which we haven't seen in years. Edinburgh, where we should see friends more often and at greater length.

Revisited but new to Simon: Moscow; Juan Les Pin and Cannes; Bletchley Park

New to me and revisits for Simon: HP's Wood Street office which has a Regus floor where he once worked - amazing glass elevators; Cirque du Soleil La Nouba in Orlando

Favourites we introduced friends to: Cirque du Soleil (to which we took both my sisters on separate continents); Justin - the members tasting room and the dining room

Old favourites in new places: Loudon Wanwright in Los Angeles

Places we just keep going: Las Vegas; the Grand Canyon; Yosemite; Paso Robles; Napa/Sonoma; San Francisco - Santa Cruz - San Jose - Big Sur - Los Angeles; San Diego; Mojave; Tehachapi; Death Valley; Cinncinati; Orlando; the BT Telecom Tower

Best place to work this year: the (closed) cafe at Stinson Beach

Countries: Scotland, US, Russia, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland (but either we never left the airport or we left the airport and didn;t stop until France)

States: Arizona, Nevada, California, Florida, Ohio (Kentucky on the way), Texas (but only to change planes)

Things regretted in 2008: losing my Eddie Bauer down jacket in a hotel in Arizona; losing a cat to illness and a quarter of a cat to bone cancer; being disorganised enough as a result of losing a quarter of a cat to cancer to have missed a phone interview twice, irritating the interviewee into being unpleasantly rude; getting stressed by bank account fraud; not seeing friends as often as we'd like; quite how often I put my back out and that osteopathy is not available on the NHS; that money really is a consensual fiction.

Things not regretted in 2008: how much we are able to travel, the interesting places we see, the amazingly cool people we get to meet and talk to, the nifty and novel things we get paid to write about, the fact that we can alternate between being pushed to finish 200 words in a day and writing 15,000 words between us in a week; returning to editing and commissioning for the first time since 2001 and launching a new magazine just before everyone realised that money is a consensual fiction.

Things planned for 2009: doing nearly all of it again, plus some new and fun things
Tags: annual, travel

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