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Flickr: All the photos posted are KBG originals.
Favorite chill spot -note the fog in the distance…
I set out towards Embarcadero to zig-zag the city. The sun rises across the Bay greeting Friday morning commuters. Many of which are already congregating beyond the doors of their favorite coffee shop, foot tapping and empty coffee thermos, in hand.
The aroma of fresh espresso billows from each café pushing the morning’s dew across my cheek and towards the water. The palms along Embarcadero paint quite a contrast against the canvas of the opaque, lingering fog.
After inhaling this clean, fresh air I am heading to San Francisco’s traditional Italian neighborhood – North Beach. I think it is time to splurge a bit on this mid-May morning with a latte and pastry.
For the last couple days we have ridden the Caltrain into SF while Brian attends classes in the Financial District. At little more than a half hour, we ride the ‘baby bullet’ line in the AM/PM.
I love the ‘flow’ this mode of transportation offers. I wonder of my fathers’ perception on the ‘flow’ of trains? Affectionately and appropriately enough, he acquired the nickname “Roger Rack ‘Em-Up” from his fellow engineers and conductors at CSX. I am sure “GL” whose name is, of course – not Roger, will attest to the importance of good flow.
A more fluid commute mitigates morning stressors, lending an opportunity to breath in the day – or – breath out the day. Versus the occasional honking road-rager and STOP! GO! traffic resulting, at the very least, in steady wear & tear on the brakes. By which I refer to both the driver & passenger brakes! Ha! My heart rate increases at the mere thought (… I love a good ‘race’)!
Not to be forgotten is the enviro and economic impact of choosing the train vs. personal vehicles. (Hmm, I should research commuting options in relation to our individual/local/global ‘carbon footprint’.) For us, all factors are considered – especially practically! Plus, the walk to/from the PA station and footing a couple of miles across the city works as a solid reason to pass on the gym later in the evening.
The Ranglin’ Gypsies have ascended onto Las Vegas!
Folks from other counties sometimes formulate their ideas of US culture around the likes of Michael Jackson and Britney Spears – have I done the same thanks to scenes from cinematic favs. such as Oceans Eleven, Oceans Thirteen and “Hangover” (HA)? For a city neither of us have visited previously, it is hard to leave expectations or preconceived thought at home. Especially with the countless groups on my plane, alone, chatting up their impending bachelor/bachelorette fun.
Originally, we planned to drive out from Wednesday-Sunday where Brian would be working the Military Recruit job fair on the 5th, and meeting with local directors and employment coordinators the following day. This would leave a couple days for us to experience the ‘hub bub’ of what is arguably the Entertainment Capital of the World. – Change of plans cut our leisure time a day short so we are making the most of the ‘must see’ suggestions.
This weekend is a Vegas trifecta for tourists & folks looking cut loose for a couple nights. Cinco de Mayo celebrations offer 2 for 1 tequila drinks and “The first one’s on us – If you wear a sombrero!” promos. LV is as excited to celebrate the Derby as my hometown and the MGM Grand plays host to the Welterweight Championship fight with Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley, Saturday night.
On Thursday evening, we walked the strip, noting many a sites and oddities. Strolling the Venetian, we admired the recreation of Italian architecture and piazzas. We enjoyed bruschetta and pizza at Enotecca Otto, one of Mario Bartoli’s LV restaurants (oh, but absolutely horrible service).
While Brian attended meetings on Friday, I scoured the internetfor the best dinner & a show deal; landing reservations for Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity and dinner @ Gallagher’s. That afternoon/early evening we soaked in the HOT HOT HOT Nevada sun, poolside before getting ‘gussied’ up for the evening. Our feet, still sore from the miles we walked last evening, arranged for a taxi to take us to New York-New York. We arrived an hour before our dinner reservations (7:30) and grabbed a drink at the Rok Bar, which was trying to attract an evening crowd with happy hour 1/2 off specials.
Dinner. Superb. When making reservations, the customer service representative encouraged the 5 star Gallagher’s but warned of the “over-sized American” portions, especially for the 4 course meal that came with the dinner/show ticket. I purchased one dinner/show ticket and one show ticket – both in the front row with were plush, cozy love-seats. We ordered an extra side at dinner and split the 18oz sirloin “New York Strip”. Needless to say, I met my ‘red meat’ quota for the year AND we left with full bellies for less than $40.00 a person (counting gratuity).
The show was just as entertaining as the food mouth watering! Brian and I participated in the pre-show fun a couple times and they took polaroids to prove it (which I didn’t know were still in used – ha)! Some couch couples were not so light hearted when put on the spot.
After the show, we walked to the Bellagio to catch the highly recommended fountains.
We arrived at 12:15 am – only to learn the shows run until midnight. We enjoyed people watching until our feet were ready to hail another taxi back to the hotel – The Bellagio Fountains will be upgraded closer to the top of our ‘must see’ list come our next LV visit.
This has definitely been a weekend to remember and a fun way to celebrate Brian’s birthday!
Check out this cool position – What an awesome opportunity this would be!!
How about working remotely form Palo Alto, eh? I’d do it in a heartbeat!!