Had a very productive day.
Everyone got shoes.
May not sound like a big deal to many, but considering the mood the children were in and the short fuse I am currently sporting, it is nigh on a miracle we managed to get even that done.
Hobbit Husband had a test drive in the Tesla S which he’s already on the Antipodean wait list for and we’re just waiting on delivery in October/November 2013. He was sufficiently impressed, as was our dear friend Sneep who joined him for the test drive and will hopefully be meeting us tomorrow at the Exploratorium: http://www.exploratorium.edu (It is like a mega geeky science place near or in Golden Gate Park that we’ve meant to go to for years and have never quite gotten around to…) Right up the Hobbit alley actually.
We did not make it to Monterey Bay Aquarium. But we will be back here and take them through another time. There’s heaps we did not do and heaps of people we meant to see and did not, but we have also had a lovely and relaxed visit with our charming cousins in Livermore and our dear friend Sneep.
Time for some culturally insensitive observations.
On average, Americans seem to be pushy. At least three people attempted to push into queue as I was going to pay for something or other (probably kids clothes at Macy’s if I recall). I asked a cashier when I finally reached her if it was just because it is the holiday season, and she was quite certain that it was not. Everyone just thinks they are the most important apparently. It’s the way things are here. Converse to their pushy and rude behaviour, however, they did not seem to mind at all when I stood up for myself after getting pushed in on several times. So I guess there is a system here, and I suppose it works. Well, works for the locals who understand it.
Tipping does my head in as well.
We had a lovely dinner at a family restaurant we have been going to with our cousins for years now, and because there were 8 of us, they put the tip on the bill, which meant I was not inclined to pay the more than double tip I had planned to pay as the waitress was very patient with us and brought the kids pizza dough (which my mom would have loved more than the kids I am sure) and was very pleasant indeed. Upon seeing that they already added the 18%, I was not about to add any more, despite planning to leave more like a 30% tip… Grrrr.
Driving is another area which boggles the mind a bit here. People don’t let other people move into traffic, and that also seems to be normal. There were numerous occasions we waved people in today as letting them do so was neither here nor there and was not affecting our route or plans as we were all waiting at lights or turns etc. Most of the time people seemed unreasonably grateful for the gesture, and another time or two, people actually looked genuinely pissed off at us for letting them in. Hobbit Husband has a different take on things, and thought people were confused by the gesture and then looked at him as though he were crazy to let them in. At any rate, it is a strange place. I don’t think I could live here.
So tomorrow we are united with my Bestie S, his gorgeous life partner A and their beautiful, intelligent and independent daughter O. We will also be meeting up with my mother in law. We are all staying close to the port where the boat will be departing, and we will take turns driving passengers and luggage down and then return the car to a relatively nearby Enterprise location.
The real fun starts once the boat takes off, and our first stop in Cabo we are being greeted by an amazing man named Chris who is a sustainability junkie (economic as well as environmental) even moreso than the Happy Hobbits and he is enthusiastic and interesting and I am sure we will be welcoming him in as an honorary Hobbit forever and ever after spending the day with him over the weekend. He’s going to show us around Cabo and we’re going to talk about our individual and combined plans to save the world! I’ll fill you all in when I am sure he is fine with me doing so.
Right… that’s what happened today, and that is what is happening the first stop after we get on the boat.
Hope wherever you are when you take the time to labour through this latest grueling post you are well.