Category Archives: vacation

Planning A Trip

I have been talking about going to Paris and London for a few weeks over the summer, but now I am planning it. It is actually happening, and I am days away from booking things. I figure once I am done teaching summer school I will have a few weeks before Fall semester, and the insanity of holding down two jobs, going to grad school, and my own life, so this may be my last chance for a while to go back. If I had a little over two weeks I would throw Amsterdam in there as well, but really two weeks is just enough to have a hectic yet relaxing trip in two countries. And since the last time I have gone the TGV has improved significantly, which should facilitate travel a bit.

I am currently a little too excited, so I am simply looking at flights and hotels because I know myself well enough to know I will totally overbook everything if I start. I figured I can fly into Charles de Gaulle, spend the week, take the TGV to London, spend another five days, and fly out of Heathrow.

I haven’t done international flying in so many years I am a little confused about the ticket buying process. Last time I did it I went through a travel agent, and she basically did everything for me. Also, I didn’t have an itinerary, so I kind of just landed and found the hotel and everything while there, wandering around. Maybe it has to do with my age, but now that just seems so haphazard. The idea of landing in a foreign country with no planning is all of a sudden terrifying, despite that I have done it a dozen times. A few months ago when I went to San Francisco and then later to Portland I had everything pedantically planned out weeks in advance. So you can imagine I am not about to fly to Paris on a whim. When did this happen to me? I used to drive cross state, or even half way across the country due to vague inclination, and now I am all of a sudden neurotic about everything. I need to plan the flight, hotel, distance. When did I become this person?

Well, I may have gotten more responsible (if that is how you want to look at it), but that won’t stop me from having an amazing trip. In the meantime I will be off finding an online algorithmic calculator that can project the exchange rate eight months from now.



I am on vacation and I am blogging. I know, I know. But after a very full day I need to unwind. And I just washed my hair, so I can’t go to bed yet.

I arrived into the city late this afternoon. The picture below is of me driving across the Bay Bridge.
Unfortunately when I originally planned this trip I had not taken into consideration that it is Fourth of July weekend. There wasn’t a terrible amount of traffic, and no more people than usual, but a lot of the places were closed. I am terrible at navigating all the one-way streets, so I parked somewhere in the middle, and walked everywhere. I was originally going to to go to The Hidden Vine for dinner. They have amazing reviews, and the pictures look gorgeous. They too were closed. I will try them again on Saturday. Every coffee and pastry shop within a five mile radius was closed. A lot of the tinier, but wonderful, restaurants were closed.
After having driven all day, and at this point had been walking for over an hour, I was famished. I was about to pop into any restaurant that looked decent. I stumbled upon the Colosseo Ristorante. It was a charming little Italian place, and I had amazing ricotta and spinach ravioli.
The view was very nice. I didn’t take a picture of the view since there were a lot of other people sitting directly by the window. But it was nice. Just trust me. Yes, I brought a book to dinner. Why not?
I ended the evening going to Fisherman’s Wharf to watch the fireworks. But I was not really feeling it, so after having staked out a good spot, I left. I walked around for about an hour before returning to my hotel room.
Parts of the city at dusk.
Walking in between buildings.
My hotel room isn’t great, but they have some very nice amenities. And by amenities, I mean their shower. Oh my God I just had the most amazing shower ever!! And the shampoo! I felt like one of those girls in the Herbal Essences commercials. I need to find out what brand they use. Then buy a tub of it.

The Ironic Vacation

Next weekend I will be in San Francisco for four wonderful days! I have been wanting to go back for years.

I am currently planning the trip and trying to fit in as many different places each day as I can. I am pretty sure I have more things in mind than there are hours in the day for, but nevermind that.
This is my list so far:
I definitely want to stop by Fisherman’s Wharf (last time I was there they had amazing bread bowl clam chowder, and I have never forgotten in).
I want to climb down the stairs of Telegraph Hill (and actually take pictures this time!)
Walk around Haight-Ashbury.
I want to go to the Museum of Modern Art.
There are half a dozen cafes I want to try. And at least two restaurants.
Go to the Palace of Fine Arts.
Eat chocolate at Ghirardelli Square.
Visit the Japanese Gardens.
Oh, and I want to go into Berkeley too! See all the little shops I miss, and find that poster shop that has the pictures I want to frame. Even though they probably sold years ago.
As the week progresses I am sure this list will grow exponentially and get completely out of hand. I will have to wield my unruly list all weekend. Darn.