Posted by Gillian

Over and Out

Home at last. It feels very odd. Leeds was hotter than SF on our return. The dog has acquired an entire new set of vocalisations in our absence and is keen to use them as much as possible. I’ve gone back to having no idea where anyone is any of the time. I don’t know … Continue reading

Back in San Fran

Staying in a hotel on the 42nd floor in downtown San Francisco, however wonderful the place, is a slightly alarming experience. Great views compensate for the scary elevator and the fact that I cannot walk up and down the stairs every time I enter and exit the hotel. I dragged everyone yesterday to Alamo Square … Continue reading

Birds in Bodega Bay

Running from birds outside the schoolhouse Aggressive seagull and other birds perched en masse in Bodega Bay Leaving Napa Valley today, we diverted over to classic Hitchcock territory: Bodega Bay where The Birds was filmed in 1963. As if bears and deer mice and everything else wasn’t enough, we had to terrify ourselves with a … Continue reading

Napa Valley Foodies

The Napa Valley in California is lovely. Lovely climate (but we are in September now, so probably anywhere would be lovely) and picturesque vineyards with a backdrop of scenic mountains. And lots of seriously good wine and food. Tastings are mentioned by others. I’ll just mention the delights of a Dean & Deluca picnic. Six … Continue reading

All About Bears

Traipsing the trails of Yosemite, we still haven’t spotted a bear. But that’s probably no bad thing. One member of our party who shall remain anonymous had a bit of a bear flip on a route march this morning up the valley. We entered a dark and gloomy wood, and by the time we’d convinced … Continue reading

Risk Assessment in Yosemite

I spent a not inconsiderable amount of time on the drive to Yosemite lecturing anyone who cared to listen on the dangers of national parks and how to survive desert hiking (actually of little direct relevance to Yosemite but of general survival interest). I felt we were as well prepared as we could be to … Continue reading

On Top Of The History Of The World

There’s no substitute for getting out of a car and sitting in the raw relative ‘cool’ of 88 degrees F and contemplating the awe-inspiring (in the true sense of the term) scenery of Death Valley National Park. Above is Rainbow Canyon in the Darwin Falls Wilderness area of the park. The evident and colorful stratification … Continue reading

Death valley delights

<a Sometimes stopovers become more interesting than the destination. In fact, given the journey is the important bit, stopovers ought always to be of fascinating interest so it's no surprise that Furnace Creek in Death Valley CA has been a delightful interlude. As we stopped off in 120 degrees blasting burning dry heat and reminded … Continue reading

Leaving Las Vegas

Las Vegas did not disappoint. I didn’t gamble and didn’t drink and didn’t shop but had a great time. We are all sorry to leave. There’s something endlessly fascinating about a city in the middle of a desert with suburbs called Paradise and a load of fantasy-themed hotels aimed at over 21s. Although the outer … Continue reading

Respite in Vegas

Inspired by seeing the sunrise yesterday, I have adopted similar tactics for staying in Las Vegas these next few days. Out running the Strip as the sun appeared above the horizon was a good judgment call. I was surprised to see so many people up and about at the gaming tables and propping up the … Continue reading