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Dr John Hawkins

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First Night in San Francisco

Posted on 2010/11/20 18:35:49 (November 2010).

[Friday 12th November 2010]
So, we were going off to San Francisco for a week. I was there for work - the launch of my project - but as always had been distinctly unenthusiastic at the prospect of the flights, so Chie had very kindly agreed to come along with me for the first few days.

We got the morning flight from Heathrow, which thanks to the timezone difference meant we landed early afternoon in San Francisco. We flew out in economy, but managed to get the exit seats, and chatted to the airline staff who were sitting directly opposite for take off and landing, which helped me take my mind off the unpleasantness of the whole thing somewhat.

Took the Muni train thing from the airport into the city (public transport is perfectly OK in SF as long as you only want to go up and down a single straight line), and were at our hotel a little after 4.

Deciding as always that daylight was important for trying to beat the jetlag, we headed straight out for a wander. The hotel was on the Embarcadero, which meant it was right on the sea front, not too far from the Bay Bridge. Also nearby was the Ferry Building, now a kind of permanent farmer's market thing, which I'd wanted to take a look at as the launch event for my project was going to be held there on Monday.

In an attempt to stay awake, I got a respectable espresso from Blue Bottle Coffee (albeit that the notion of speed the name espresso gives you was somewhat at odds with how long I spent waiting to actually get it) and Chie oddly had some sorbet.

Having left a distinctly autumnal England, I have to begrudgingly admit it was rather nice to arrive in a California that seemed like, for all intents and purposes, it was still in summertime.

In the evening I decided we should try out a pizza place my colleagues in SF seem very fond of - Pizzeria Delfina. Getting there proved a bit of a challenge - we had an early initiation in what would prove to be a week long theme of struggling to get a taxi. We did eventually figure out how to flag one down though (by more or less throwing yourself under the wheels).

We had quite a long wait for a table (hardly surprising for a Friday night!) but - and unusually I'm told for the US - we were able to wait outside with a drink in hand, which was quite pleasant in itself, given the weather. We may have been a bit too tired to thoroughly appreciate the pizza by the time we got to eat - 8:30 California time, which would have been about 4:30 AM in UK time. Still, it was pretty good, but fear not Oliveto, you're still my global number one (I shall, however, allocate Delifina the crown of best in the US).

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