Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

A week of celebrations and seafood

After our fraught journey to the airport last Monday (thanks to traffic jams, we arrived at the airport at 11.26, at which point I wouldn't expect to make am 11.30 flight - thanks to the fog that made the plane even later than us we did make it), it was nice to pick up the rental car and potter down the coast; we walked in hot sand and cold sea at Pacifica and stuffed ourselves with calamari and artichokes and lobster roll and shrimp linguine at Sam's Chowder house and watched a pretty sunset build up over the mountains as we drove to Sunnyvale.

As Tuesday was my birthday and we fancied a nice brunch, we drove down Big Sur to get it; Cafe Kevah, the terrace deck at Nepenthe, which does the best eggs Benedict anywhere and the only crab eggs Benedict worth eating. It was unusually hot so we drowsed on the desk with the scrub jay for a while, then drove down to see the waterfall that cascades onto the beach and then back to Moss Landing (cute sea otters, dramatic seas) and up to Redwood City where saffronrose, mrkurt, Arthur, spikeiowa and Tom braved the hot evening and the delightful New England lighthouse ambience for lobster at the Old Port Lobster Shack (I adore any restaurant with a functional lighthouse, but the food here is great too - and even better for the company!).

Wednesday we worked solidly - well, not counting enjoying the cake for Opteron's 6th birthday - with just a quick break to soak in K&M's hot tub, as the weather had cooled down just enough to make that a delight. Thursday Simon got up at oh-dark-something to go to a virtualisation conference in the city and I ploughed through various writing and editing until spikeiowa wafted me away on a tour of local highlights (look! a really big Frys!) to lunch at Vino Locale in Palo Alto (where we saw the original tall trees, now somewhat snapped off at the top). The courtyard is full of flowers, the bathtub is full of corks and the small plates are tasty - thought the spice in the sausage in red wine does rather overwhelm *everything*. Also, do not talk to the chef about UK TV; he will want to talk for hours, quickly exhausting my knowledge of what's on TV these days.

Spike dropped me at the Caltrain station and I knitted my way into SF and walked up 4th St to Moscone, where there are more new hearts; these are about 5 feet tall and decorated in various ways - my favourite is a mosaic of marble that looks exactly like a painting of the Victorian houses in SF known as painted ladies, but when you get up to the surface it's simply marble cleverly placed. Across the street to the St Regis for dinner with Jon & Tamzen, who were celebrating their 21st anniversary. I think Simon's poutine and steak was good; the memory is overwhelmed by the superb black code with even better shrimp dumplings. And the pink Oregon method champenoise is delightfully fruity.

Friday, we alternated between meetings (AMD graphics, Skyfire - my favourite mobile browser, mainly because it doesn't limit itself to running on the mobile and does the heavy lifting in the data centre where it belongs, and EverNote - who were in the middle of a feature planning session that looks like it will answer most of my complaints) and taking books to BookBuyers. Lunch with Skyfire at Maru Ichi where the black garlic in the roast pork ramen is wonderful and while the eel in the combination plate is yummy, it doesn't leave you enough space to eat all the noodles. After that, In-N-Out was more than enough for dinner. And then we went to Frys, went to bed and went back to Frys to return the external battery we'd bought because it didn't put out enough juice to actually power a laptop. The hotel was about 4 minutes from the airport so we had time for chai and scones at the airport Starbucks before scoring the front seats on the Southwest flight. The view was very pretty and the pilot put his foot down so I got about ten minutes of work done before we landed 20+ minutes early; personally, I think he wanted to get the spoiled brat unaccompanied minors off the plane as fast as possible.

Next post: a week in Vegas when we see daylight maybe twice and I learn to hate the HP ecommerce site with a deep and passionate loathing (guess how long it took to order a replacement battery? just guess...)
Tags: travel

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