Farid, the Food network and everything in between?

Trip Start May 30, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hello All,

OK, this IS the last of our entries from the US.

We started the day by waking up on time after a body-shifting night's sleep. Everything went smoothly leaving the house and we said our sad goodbyes to Mae and Adriano's empty couch and we were off to the airport.  We arrived a little later than expected but it was in enough time to lug the six, yes six, bags out of the trunk and backseat onto the oil-stained cement of the parking garage.  What is it with airport parking garages that they always have that strangely disturbing, creepy feel and are always filthy?  We were able to persuade our luggage onto a cart and proceeded to the check-in/luggage counter.  Using a broken scale at the house I knew most of our luggage was close to the 50 pounds and not a panty more weight limit, but I was still nervous cause who knows how off balance those airport scales really are. I saw a 20/20 on it one time, it described how they rip you off by not having it weigh and balanced correctly.  We were good on all of them except one and it was 3 lbs over! We luckily had about 7 lbs. left in another bag and transferred to that and we were good to go, AMAZING.

The first flight was on time and left PHX around 6 a.m. I was happy to see that each seat-back had a little HDTV. Which I took full advantage of, minus the headphones so I tuned into something that really doesn't require them, the Food Network.  I love food on TV, whether it is instructional or a travel eating show, I love food on the TV.  We approached Utah and it was beautiful! I had to crouch over and twist my head in order to see out the window I illegally opened the shade to, cause the person in front of me was laid out sleeping over the three seats, but it was worth the humiliation and risk.  I had never visited Utah before so I was surprised by the mountains flying in they were gorgeous along with the great Salt Lake and rolling green hills.

We had a couple hours to kill, spending most of the time in bookstores browsing the vast selection of books, that I was already sure I wasn't going to buy, while Tania caught her last bit of American celebrity gossip in People, which focused most on how Eminem almost died from taking enough of some random drug to kill three elephants and now he has found god, but wait he just put out a new album that only mentions the drug part!?.  The flight from there to San Fran was disappointingly not as techie as the last and I had to resort to a neck pinching attempt at a few minutes of shut eye. Little success there.

We arrived in San Fran a little late but Farid, Tania's Amu (uncle in Arabic), and his son, Nathan, were there ready to give us a FREE yet priceless tour of the San Fran area.  Seriously, if I had a dollar to invest, which I don't, I would advise Farid to start a Bay area tour biz, only on the weekends of course.  He is an engineer and I don't think it would be a good idea to quit his day job.  But anyhow, he gave us the best tour of the city!  It was worth at least a few hundred bucks if someone were to pay for it, and hey it came with a tour guide, we'll call him Nathan.  After just a few minutes in the car Nathan had begun to correlate a Sim City like, but way more advanced, video game called "Civilization" to the evolution of species and mankind and many other technologies that neither Tania nor I fully comprehended.  But, if I had that dollar to invest I would put it into a megaphone for Nathan and a double-decker bus for Farid to drive on their 6-hour tour of the city.  Be ready for culture, insight, Nathan's views on the Haight and Ashbury district and everything else, and humorous and insightful debate between a father and his 12 year old son who comes off as a young man just entering MIT with an opinion on every just about every subject except, well, I haven't found that out yet.  Thanks for the wonderful tour guys!

Now I am sitting in the San Fran Int. airport writing this and watching my princess get her beauty sleep while we wait for our 1:35a.m. departure.  I have had my first taste of what Taiwan is going to be like since everyone around me is speaking Chinese, and as much as I thought I have learned and as confident as I was, I am starting to wonder if I am sitting in the Guadalajara waiting area because I don't think I have understood a word they have spoken, AHHH!
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