Day 2

I knew that I didn't want my first night to be with friends.  I wanted to be able to do what I did, which was to sit in my room for a bit and then drop off to sleep.  I dropped off to sleep a little earlier than I'd intended, but it's not the end of the world.  But I didn't need to be sociable with anyone.  I was asleep by the time my hosts got back from work.  I did get to spend some time with them this morning, but by then I was more human.

At first I'd planned to stay in a hotel the first night to cover this anti-social time.  But when it came to booking somewhere, I found myself really resistant to everywhere I looked.  That's when I thought I'd have a look at AirBnB.  I'd first heard about it late last year when I was looking for somewhere cheap to stay in Paris (which in the end didn't come off).  But I hadn't really looked at it properly, it seemed a bit odd, I don't know why really.  But when I looked this time, I quickly found something that looked perfect.

And it was. For $89 +$11 fee for AirBnB, I had a beautifully comfy bed in a spacious, light room, in a gorgeously decorated Victorian house a short walk from the BART at 24th St & Mission.

My hosts Tania and Philip made me extremely welcome – I couldn't have asked for a better start to my trip.  I wanted to stay up later to help with jetlag, but by 5pm I was really flagging.  I was able to just shut myself away and slumber and although I was awake for chunks of the night.  

In the morning I emerged and said hello to Philip.  Who knew that the first person I would speak to properly when I hit the USA would be an expat Englishman originally from Dorchester? Tania was a little busier but Philip and I had a lovely chat uncovering mutual interests and resolving to meet up when they come over to London in the summer.

After they left for work, I hung around for a little and caught up with people online.  Then I set out to get some lunch and go up into the city.  I found a T-mobile store and got myself a US sim card for the month.  I now have unlimited calls and texts and 2GB of data for the month you can get me on +1-415-395-6224.

Then I walked along to CitizenSpace the ur coworking space and sat there for the afternoon, sometimes writing, sometimes just being. It was chilly.  I haven't quite got used to the climate and the need for corresponding clothing.

Then I took my first real train – I mean I'd been on the BART but the CalTrain feels like a train – down to Palo Alto where Robert came to pick me up and take me to his home in Half Moon Bay.  It was great to see someone I already knew! After a 45 minute drive we pulled into his garage and then I was into the chaos of a home with two over-excited toddlers.  I was pleased though to have some hot delicious Persian food (rice with dill – yum!)  But I couldn't manage very much longer without sleep.  Took a melatonin and slept through till 3 am when I woke up worried and needed to blog…

Originally posted on Please Look After This Englishman

Solve it while I sleep #1

I'm in Half Moon Bay with the Scobles.  It's 3.30am and I can't sleep right now, partly because my body still thinks its mid-morning but also because I'm trying to think through what to do next.  And that's no good, that sounds suspiciously like I'm in control.  So I'm asking for help.

I would like to get down to Long Beach (the other side of LA from here) for Saturday morning so I can attend the BIL conference on The Queen Mary.  I would need somewhere to sleep while in LB.  I don't know how to get there from here – trains are really complicated and the Amtrak site doesn't help much.

An alternative is to skip LA altogether and get going eastward – I have some contacts in Salt Lake City and possibly Denver as well as down in Tucson.

I don't have any strong preferences at the moment, but I think it's important I keep moving – I've got a week to get to Austin.

Please help me think it through, all suggestions welcome – and maybe do some research/ask around friends you might have in the West.

I also have the question of what to do tomorrow (Thursday) – I have the option of going into Palo Alto with Robert first thing (I think he's going to be watching the TED stream) or staying here and seeing the ocean, doing some writing, trying not to think too much.  Maryam has very kindly given me the option of staying another night here.

Thank you for looking after this Englishman :)

Originally posted on Please Look After This Englishman