Sunday, August 1, 2010

Various thoughts on traveling

I'm back in San Francisco, friends, after what turned out to be an insanely long vacation. Haven't touched a computer in 12 days and spent the entire day yesterday sleeping. I did far less drink-related things on my trip than I thought I might, but I do have some photos to throw together over the next few days and turn into some hopefully legitimate content. While I try to get back into the rhythm of a normal life, a couple thoughts:

1. If I get the choice, I will never fly with anyone other than Virgin America. Good lord. If you can think of something that makes your flight a little easier to stomach, they probably provide it. The wi-fi is great. The individual televisions are great. Being able to press one button for 21A beer and another button for candy, then swipe my credit card and tell it to email me my receipt - great. And how is it, in 2010, that every single airline in the world doesn't provide you with regular outlets so you can charge your devices? I don't travel with a computer, but I did use wi-fi on my phone. The HTC Hero, for all its great features, has god-awful battery life, so I figured I'd get about an hour worth of usage. No matter - I could plug it in! I am shocked how happy this made me. Aside from having to wait an obnoxious amount of time to get my checked bag back at SFO, I honestly cannot come up with a single complaint. Baggage claim always sucks, so I'm clearly reaching to find something wrong with them.

2. Long Island wine country is beautiful. Don't waste your time with going to the South Fork. I only had two days out east and I really wish I would have spent both of them going north. They're packing a ridiculous number of wineries into such a small geographic area. There's literally three or four wineries per mile, and there are really only two roads that go west to east. We traveled on the south one, then wound back by going the north way. I had to drive, so I couldn't do nearly as much tasting as I wanted to, but I truly fell in love with something everywhere I went. The wine is great, the people are lovely, and the country is beautiful. Pictures and a legitimate write-up will come soon.

3. Every single person who drives in New York is a psychopath. I don't mean this in the "People out east are bad drivers" kind of way, I mean it in the way that if you can actually sit in that traffic day after day, there must be a switch that gets flipped in your brain so you don't rip the car apart with your bare hands. I realize I planned a pretty ambitious trip with a lot of driving, but I had no idea that I would literally be stopped for hours at a time. We're talking 5 hours to go 130 miles kind of stopped, and that was actually one of the easier days. Never again.

4. Riding a bicycle along the greenway in NYC is one of the loveliest bike experiences I've ever had. 33 miles in 3 hours, seeing a city I once lived in and loved in a completely different way. It's largely separated (and is completely separated for the entire length of the island on the west side), it's largely flat, and I honestly wish we had a trail like this in SF. I would take every single one of my non-cycling friends on this and they'd probably love it. Oh, and I had to rent a hybrid because they didn't rent road bikes, but it was shockingly lovely experience.

5. I missed San Francisco in a way I never, ever thought I would. New York is great, and I loved the hot weather, but it is so nice to be back home.

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