Left My Heart in SF
Trip Start Jun 05, 2006
58Trip End May 03, 2007
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I'd already been to Alcatraz, done the Golden Gate Bridge and got the T-shirt, but my stay in California was rounded off perfectly with some gorgeous crab cakes and Pinot Grigio from Ciopino's on the Wharf last night. And after plenty of praying to the Gods of Impossible Physics to get my suitcase shut, I headed for the Cable Cars to get my last fix of this beautiful city.
An lo and behold, who should I see at the Crookedest Street in the World (a falsity - loads of rural English lanes are more bent than Lombard Street in the world's, er, most bent town) who should I see but my good old wino mates from the previous day.
"Gordy (the driver) was talkin' all about you when you got off that bus last night," wino one said
"He was sayin' that British girl - she got a lot of bottle goin' all on her own to Australia she's but she's going to bring back some Australian man," my second partner in Pinot chipped in.
It was good to know that conversation on the bus had skipped forward at least two Elizabeth Taylor marriages since the point where I got let off at the hotel where it was something like 1833 and the Californian settlers had discovered that grapes left out in the sun tasted kind of good.
I then whiled away a couple of hours in Union Square the central shopping area. Lots of office workers sunbathing on the grass and beautiful displays of art work put out on the central lawn opposite Macy's.
But before I could even think about leaving the sunny climes of California for Oz, I got a lovely taster of what lay ahead of me. I ran into Sharon and George, native to NSW, at the cable car turn around point.
And what do you know, fate threw me a real bone that day as Shazza and George were flying out to Sydney that evening to. Just on Air New Zealand (transfer in Auckland) while I was living the high life with Qantas - yah boo suckers!
I then spent the next five hours with the pair chatting about everything from how annoying tipping every who shares air space with you is to discussing the finer details of what was coming up next on EastEnders (yes, it's on cable out there - they're up to the bit where Andy Hunter has been thrown off the motorway bridge.)
And whatever snide remark my dad has gleefully made about Aussies being an uncultured bunch should be counteracted by Sharon's regular evenings immersing herself in Brit culture
"I get the dogs fed, finish tea and sit down to watch Coronation Street, that's Corrie right? Family Affairs and then EastEnders every night
And hearing that the rug had been pulled out from under Family Affairs prematurely still wasn't enough to put Sharon off.
The prison officer by day/Brit soap obsessive by night shrugged her shoulders and confidently reassured me that something of similar ilk will be along to plug that gap very soon. I put in an early bet on Hollyoaks.
George then delighted in informing me that the whole country would be enjoying a lazy day on Monday because it's a Bank Holiday in celebration of the Queen's birthday.
"She's your Queen..." he exclaimed......"but we're going to be the one's celebrating her birthday on Monday and you don't even get a bank holiday!!!!!!!" This, for some reason, resulted in violent convulsions of laughter for at least 10 seconds. Maybe it was the genuinely shocked look on my face at this revelation.
So after a fun Chinese meal at San Fran International, it was off to Oz. I got Shaz and George's number and have been invited for a beer and forthcoming Anzac Day celebrations, where boozed up Aussies put a bet upon which side a coin will land on. Only in Australia eh?