Today was a leisurely day. I woke at 06:30 and finished reading “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” (required reading for linguistic pedants, like myself) and pottered around for a couple of hours, chatting to Char, before replacing the CMOS battery in her PC and troubleshooting her (SCSI) scanner. (I thought I was on holiday!)

This afternoon we took a trip south to Santa Rosa where I spent the afternoon wandering around the Charles M. Shultz Museum. Shultz lived in Santa Rosa until his death on 12 February 2000. The highlight of the museum for me was the giant ceramic-tile montage of Charlie Brown and Lucy, made from individual comic strips. I have a postcard of the wall.

Tomorrow we travel further north, to Boonville, to visit the Andersons in Anderson Valley.

Meanwhile, text messages from Palo Alto have been coming thick and fast, but bearing little actual news about the Enneagram course. The news I have so far: Jane has Julian Anderson’s gift in her suitcase, and her GHD (Good Hair Day) hair straighteners don’t work in this country (despite what something said about them on the internet). Never believe anything you read on the internet!

A Day and a Half

What a long day! It felt like a day and a half, what with us having to wind our watches back 8 hours when we landed at San Francisco International Airport and effectively re-live the hours between five pm and midnight, albeit not strapped into a British Airways seat.

The trip from Edinburgh to London was fairly uneventful: we got on a plane; it took off; an hour later it landed in another UK capital city; we got off. London Heathrow upset me slightly. Or rather, Harrods at Terminal 4 upset me. Not Harrods as such, the “CHILDRENS” signs hanging above racks of clothing, small enough to be worn by infants, upset me. CHILDRENS?! Where is the apostrophe? Actually, I’m now not entirely confident that the name of the store isn’t “Harrod’s” and that it too hasn’t been mistyped.

There is little to report about the flight to San Francisco. It lasted over ten hours, and I watched the first episode of Little Britain (“Yeah! I know!”) twice on my personal in-flight entertainment screen and bugged Jane with Lou & Andy-style quotes: “I wanna go to Florida!”

The breaking of the Fellowship took place at a BART station within the airport as my cousin Charlotte and I waved goodbye to Jane and Dorothy, as they set off in search of their (an) hotel in Palo Alto; I received a text message a couple of hours later to say that they were happily booked in (and exhausted). Meanwhile in the airport, Char and I had to wait ninety minutes for the next bus to take us north to Santa Rosa, where Char had parked her car to drive us the remaining 12 miles north to Healdsburg. Where I am now.

Travel Insurance!

So there I was hunting out our passports when I noticed a folder entitled ‘Travel Insurance’. How could I forget to take out travel insurance?! Thankfully we have an understanding bank (The Royal Bank of Scotland) who work at supersonic speeds.

00:44 and we’re still packing. Bed now, and up early methinks…

San Francisco & Seattle

In a couple of days (Thursday 15 January 2004) Jane, her Mum, Dorothy, and I will be winging our way towards San Francisco on holiday.

Friday 16 – Thursday 22 January
Jane and Dorothy are attending an Enneagram Course (in Menlo Park, near Palo Alto) to train to be Enneagram tutors. Meanwhile I’ll be relaxing in Healdsburg (about 60 miles north of SF) with my cousins.

Friday 23 – Monday 26 January
Once their course has finished, Jane’s Dad, Peter, is flying out to meet up with us. We’ll spend a couple of days in SF together before Jane and I fly up to Seattle, Washington, for the weekend. More visiting: Mark T. Powell, from NYCgb days, and members of the Lothian side of my family, whom I’ve never met before.

Tuesday 27 – Friday 30 January
Then it’s back to San Francisco for a few days before we return to the UK, just in time for February.

Given that I’ll be unable to access my UK broadband server while I’m away I’ve resurrected my Blogger weblog. Assuming that I’ll have some access to the net while in the USA. (I understand they have computers there too.) I’ll use this space to keep you up-to-date with what we’re doing.

In the meantime, please pray for our safety, both during flights and while we are in the US. Now back to planning and packing…