Thursday, August 13, 2009

California Day 1: Arrival

Thursday July 30th 2009 turned out to be the longest day of my life, quite literally.  After taking the tube from where I had been staying to Heathrow, we managed to check-in on time (save some minor passport trouble) for the 10 hour Virgin Atlantic flight to San Francisco.  We set off around 11:30 BST and arrived around 14:30 local time at the other end.  I mentioned the in-flight entertainment in my previous post so I will not bore you by repeating it here.  Once we got to US immigration, we were asked the standard questions and had to give the relevant fingerprints on the electronic reader (NB: They want four fingers, not your forefinger).  We were picked up from the airport and driven to our hotel/ apartment where we stayed briefly before going out to dinner.  We ended up going to a pizza place in the evening and I had a bottle of Samuel Adams to go with it.  One of my friends had warned me that we would not be served by anyone with an American accent, and while this was true in the pizza place (with the obligatory ID check for the beer which I passed with my British driving license), it was not true at the Ice Cream parlour where I was given some traditional, polite American service by an American (How you guys doing today?).  I like to try things I would not normally get at home while on holiday, and I think I blended in well asking for blue Cotton Candy flavoured ice-cream topped with Gummi Bears (although I did chose the small portion which might have revealed my foreign origins).  Gummi Bears proved to be a rather time-consuming topping, so I did not manage to take full advantage of the visit to the shops nearby.  We ended the day with a round of mini-golf before heading home.

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