Sean & Sket

Two weeks ago Sean & Sket arrived, having already spent a couple of weeks touring around California and Nevada with Sean’s family, and before that eight months backpacking in Asia. This was their last stop before heading on to Canada, where they are presently, and where they’re hoping to make a go of it on two-year working visas.

They were dropped off at my place by Sean’s family. I hadn’t really put it together that it would be the last time Sket & Sean would see them all for some time, so I was somewhat taken aback by the tearful farewells.

Once we’d shipped in their metric ton of luggage, into the house, we set out up to Alice’s for some food, and from there on down La Honda to the coast, and up to Half Moon bay. I’d never been down La Honda [that side of Skyline], nor along the coast there. It was surprising – a lovely drive (though that wasn’t unexpected) but also some things I didn’t expect, like the real gritty biker bar down in La Honda or San Gregorio or wherever it was. Or the huge rodeo that we passed, complete with grand stands and all the other bells & whistles. And beaches! There’s actually a couple of rather nice beaches right there, at the end of La Honda thereabouts. I had no idea; I’d looked on Google Maps before but hadn’t noticed anything like that. I’m going to have to head over there sometime, before I move, and actually take enjoyment from them.

At Half Moon bay we just wandered around a bit, watching the fog ever so slightly dissipate, the wheels clicking over in my head as it dawned on me that hello, it’s summer, good luck getting a clear day. ’twas something that gave us grief a fair bit during the week, though we weren’t without at least one good day, when we went down the coast to Big Sur.

But I skip a bit.

I believe it was the next day that we went on up to S.F., taking the coast from Half Moon bay so we could come up around Sutro Heights Park, where we stopped for food at Louie’s, before heading over to Coit Tower by way of Lombard street – which Sket & Sean had no real prior knowledge of, pfft. :P

And we ended up parking down near Fisherman’s Wharf, taking the cable car over the hill to union square to at least see the place, and so Sean could um and ah over a MacBook Pro for a while, before returning to check out Ripley’s Believe It or Not. That was actually somewhat interesting, although the sections composed largely of body parts or strange sadomasochistic practices didn’t really do much for me. The highlight for all of us was actually the tunnel at the end; you walk through on a suspended platform that is itself not moving at all, but the tunnel rotates about you, and has mirrors at either end, in such a way that you feel like the tunnel walls are stationary and it’s you that is rotating. It was amazingly effective; I’m inherently quite sceptical of such things, as many of those sorts of illusions rely on belief and willingness, but this one actually worked with precious little effort on my part.

After that we found Fisherman’s Wharf was essentially deserted. Even Hooters was closed. So we left, stopping for dinner at Denny’s.

Oh, and we went over the bridge too, because I got turned about heading into the city and figured what the hell, while we were there. And we drove through Golden Gate Park; we didn’t have any time to stop by that point, and there’s much too much to do there for one day anyway.

I filmed our whole ride on the cable car, to Union square, hanging off the side of it. But it turned out to be way crooked. Camera’s need fluid levels built in.

So, what else… as alluded to earlier we went down to Big Sur for one day; stopping in Carmel Valley for food, driving down to a little past Big Sur, and back to Carmel proper to wander around and indulge in English chocolate (hint: the same as Australian, but more expensive) and so forth, and Italian food, before heading back. Alas the weather ruined the sunset entirely – we could not even see it for the damn clouds. Curse you Californian summer!

At some point we also went down to Palo Alto for a wander, though as was evidently the status quo, we got there after most places were shut, so, it was purely sightseeing (aside from food).

Otherwise… Sket & Sean thieved my computer for most of the week, to do their job & house hunting, and flight booking, and whatever else. While they were occupied with that I demolished “MacPerl”, which was actually as helpful as it was amusingly outdated. That and half a Dilbert book. And some podcasts. Generally not doing a whole lot, which was just fine by me. The week off (well, short of Wednesday where I did go in) did a lot of good, I think.

Monday morning we left at 3am for SFO for their 6am flight. Booked through Air Canada who then after taking the money disclosed that the flight was actually with United, who then proceeded to gouge $100US out of them for the privilege of having their luggage hauled as well. #%@! United is most likely the worst airline in the world. Hawaiian Air are second, but their stupidity is more an incompetence than actual malice. United makes no such illusion.

And Air Canada can take spot #3 for being such dicks, too. I’ll give them a miss in future.

So we never made it to Santa Cruz, which Sket wanted to see. It has minimal attraction to me now – I much prefer Half Moon bay or Carmel. In any case, Sket & Sean chose dealing with real life over sightseeing, so that’s their problem. :P

A good excuse, though, for them to come visit again sometime, once they’re solidly on their feet, wherever they end up sticking in Canada.

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