Prowling my world, camera in hand

22 September 2012

Week 37: San Francisco to Alicante

Filed under: — Administrator @ 08:34

Week 37 began in California and ended in Alicante. On the way home, we passed through Philadelphia, where Jim Shulman was kind enough to meet us at the airport and to host us during our 12-hour layover. And at the end of the week one of the big “life events” happened: our daughter went off to start university in the UK.

On Sunday morning we drove to the Muir Woods, passing through San Francisco on the way from the Bay Bridge to the Golden Gate bridge. Here is the outside of one of my favourite places in the city, the City Lights bookshop:

Muir Woods was impressive and it was good to hike a couple of miles in anticipation of the long plane voyage home:

We left San Francisco Sunday evening and arrived in Philadelphia very early Monday morning. Jim Shulman met us at the airport and took us for breakfast at Hymie’s Deli:

Afterwards, we went to Jim’s house, where we relaxed for a few hours and admired his and John’s collection of various interwar memorabilia, not least the impressive gramophones, all of which work:

And Jim has the records to play on these magnificent machines:

Jim’s husband John likes decorations with a cow theme:

We went for lunch at another local favourite of Jim’s. Here is the waiter with the desert selection:

A local bookshop. Jim has lived in this neighbourhood for many years and knows many of the shopkeepers and restaurant owners:

After our lunch, Jim drove us back to the airport, and we flew to Madrid, where we arrived Tuesday morning. The worst part of the trip home was the last leg, a 430 km drive from Madrid to Alicante. The next three days I was working and did not take a single picture, until thankfully the weekend arrived…

On Saturday morning my son and I went to the local Carrefour to buy food. The next day my daughter was going off to university in Wales, so we wanted to celebrate with a nice curry at home. In the parking lot of the supermarket, we saw this strange use of a parking space:

While I was preparing the curry, my son and daughter were talking at the kitchen table. He will start his last year at the University of Bath in early October, so he has a lot of useful advice about UK college life for his sister:

This is a very special bottle. In the French tradition, we had bought, back in the 1990s, bottles from our children birth years. We were lucky that both our children were born in good years in Bordeaux (1989 and 1994) so the wines would keep until their 18th birthdays. Monica turned 18 back in May but we decided to save her bottle for the last evening before she went off to university. So on Saturday night, the wooden box that had travelled from France to Belgium to Switzerland to the Netherlands and finally to Spain, was cracked open:

Monica even posed with “her” bottle:

Finally, the big day arrives. Sunday morning in the check-in queue at Alicante airport:

A mix of apprehension and excitement:

Baggage dropped off, brother and sister say goodbye just before security. They will see each other during the fall semester, as Bath is only about 100 km from Cardiff, but this is nonetheless a big day, the excitement tinged with sadness:

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