Sunday, 27 November 2011

Letter from America, Part 2

It's now Sunday morning and I am writing this blog while I wait for Dad and Mum to get ready for church, they're the ones on the right, the guy on the left is Larry, one of the greeters at the church.
They attend Hollister First Presbyterian Church. Mum plays bells in the bell choir and dad writes a monthly column for the church's newsletter, not bad for 88 and 92 respectively. It is a warm, welcoming church, full of life and caring people, I thank God for the love and care shown to Dad and Mum during the years they have been members.

We had a quiet Thanksgiving, just the three of us, turkey, stuffing etc. I'd forgotten how much food gets consumed at Thanksgiving in the USA. Nob Hill grocery store had a two for one offering in pre-cooked 1/2 turkeys, plus mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy, all for $10.00. I have enjoyed the endless football which started last Thursday and will continue through till tomorrow evening's Monday night football. The only disappointment was the 49ers lost their last game, still it looks like they will manage to be the division champions.

I pass this truck every morning on my way down to the doughnut shop, they do grow them big in the USA.
Talking of doughnuts, tomorrow will be my final day at the trough. The count so far is Days 11 - Doughnuts 16. So it looks like, even if I don't have any more, (fat chance) the Doughnuts have won the day.

Went over to Santa Cruz to spend a couple of days with Rich and Sandra, They have just moved out to California for work. The plan is for them to be here for two years. Rich's company asked him if he would like to work in the head office for a couple of years and Sandra's contract was ending, so they thought it was a good opportunity to see a bit of the world.

This is the famous Cameron's restaurant in Half Moon bay. Burgers beer and live music. The band playing the night we were there was not a Beatles band and they did not perform on the Ed Sullivan show, the band is called "Nigel and Clive" , never could figure out why the name. The band played lots of Beatles and 60's type of music, very well might I add.

Next day, Saturday, we went out for breakfast, can't remember the name, but the food was great. Across the road was this person, make up your own mind.

I leave Hollister tomorrow afternoon to go back to Santa Cruz. My sister is going to drive me to San Francisco airport for 05.30AM Tuesday, so I will stay with her and the family till it's time to drive to the airport.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Letter from America

It's Thanksgiving in California today, tomorrow is Black Friday, more about that later. The reason for my presence here in California is my Mum. She had to go to hospital last week due to a mix-up in medication and I felt it was time to visit. I was supposed to fly out on the Tuesday morning at 0900 from Gatwick airport and you guessed it, no plane.

Delta's Boeing 767 was stuck in Atlanta, sick,  and another had to be found to replace it.

My flight eventually left three and a half hour late and after the standard one hour wait in immigration and customs I found I had missed my connecting flight, the second one of the day.

I went to the re-booking desk and explained to the nice lady behind the counter that the flight she was going to book me on would get me into San Francisco to late to get any connection to my Folks in Hollister. She said not to worry, they would put me on the first flight in the morning and to compensate they put me up in a 4star hotel. At least that's how it was described, shuttle, dinner and breakfast was included. It turned out to be OK, the bedroom was obviously a smoking room and the cleaners had sprayed the room with some kind of deodorant to kill the smell, making it worse.The flight to San Francisco was uneventful, especially because of my new Bose N/R headset.

 I took Bart north to San Bruno where I changed to the south-bound service to Milbrae and the transfer station for Caltrain. As  yet the link from San Francisco airport is not in full time service, although the tracks are in place and some maintenance trains use the tracks.

The Caltrain service starts at San Francisco and runs down the Penisula to San Jose with three times a day to and from Gilroy. Three north-bound trains in the early morning and three south-bound trains in the evening.

By the time I arrived in Hollister Mum was out of hospital and back home and ready to head off next evening to the bell practise at Church for the Sunday service.

I'm not getting used to the time-zone change, I usually fall asleep by eight in the evening and wake somewhere about three in the morning. I listen to KCBS on a tiny radio, tucked under my pillow so as not to wake anyone, till about five in the morning when I get up, dress and head down to the doughnut shop.

This is the morning selection I can choose from, if you look at my Facebook page you'll see my daily count, and my daily choices.