San Francisco - Watsonville

Trip Start Jan 22, 2006
Trip End Aug 16, 2006

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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, March 1, 2006

A really stormy night, where I was awoken in the early hours to hear rain and wind lashing the outside of our hotel. When we checked out this morning and loaded up our car, the car park was covered in leaves and branches, also the swimming pool was overflowing. The local news report talked about an impending tornado in California which briefly made us panic, but then we realised it was in the North-East and many miles away from us. California is bigger in size than England and it's easy to forget that sometimes.

Yesterday we spotted in Lynne's diary/expenses book that today was Shrove Tuesday and therefore we were hopeful of gorging ourselves on some pancakes to celebrate Pancake Day. After our pancake making disaster earlier in the trip, we counted ourselves lucky to have an IHOP (International House of Pancakes) right next to the hotel.

Lynne wasn't feeling very hungry so she made do with an orange juice, whilst I had some industrial strength coffee and ordered the smallest breakfast they had on the menu (not very small as it turned out!). My breakfast also came with free pancakes or toast, without thinking about it I pumped for the toast option, which Lynne raised her eyebrow at since we were only eating in an IHOP because it was Pancake Day.

Still everyone else was chomping through huge piles of them and they were covered in lashings of various sticky syrups and cream. I did have pancakes earlier in the trip (February 7th to be exact!) and I wasn't a great fan of them. American pancakes are of a different texture to the English variety and there's no choice to have sugar or lemon on them either (which is the only way I like them).

The internet cafe didn't open until 1pm, so we had some time to kill before commencing another mammoth updating session. The day before we'd spotted an outdoor shop just down the road, so we popped in there to idle away a hour. Lynne was getting a bit sick of carrying around both of the cameras and any other junk that I could fit into her handbag when we went out for the day. I was getting tired of getting strange looks in the men's toilet when I had assumed responsibility for carrying the bag for awhile. So I treated myself to a small "manbag", which means I can help carry things whilst still feeling secure in my sexuality.

After more timewasting at a book shop, we headed back to the internet cafe that we've single handedly been keeping in profit for the last couple of days. Three hours of solid typing later, I was finally back up to date with my journal, as well as having time to let my family know that I was safe and sound (and to check I hadn't been written out of any wills in my absence!).

Watsonville was about 60 minutes away from the suburb of San Francisco we'd been staying in (Redwood City) and is just down the coast from Santa Cruz. For the remainder of our time in America we'll be heading South back towards Los Angeles. Only 10 days left in America now, on one hand it feels like we've been here for ages, but it also feels a bit strange that the first leg of our trip is almost over.
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