Saturday, May 10, 2008

Notes from the Hotel

Daniel and the boys are off to The Great American, a theme park of humongous proportions about 30 minutes south of our little hotel on the bay.  I decided I needed a day to rest, drink my magical elixer from Mountain Rose Herbs,  and NOT shake myself silly on death defying roller coasters.  It's been hard to get enough water, tea and fresh fruit and vegies while on holidays, and my fibro myalgia is starting to really make me aware I need to be more careful.  But a day resting at the hotel isn't the worst thing to do on holidays, now is it?

It's quiet here by the pool, and the wireless internet is wonderful.  I have lots of good books to read (we stocked up at Maker Faire) and with the computer and a nice soft down comforter on the bed I'll feel good as new when the guys get home tonight.  *sigh*

The hotel provides a big buffet for breakfast and dinner, and our entertainment in the morning is watching the food one particular hotel guest can pack away.  The first few days we were here, we politely observed without comment, but the last few days it's been a race to get down in the morning to watch this master of consumption at work.

He's a tiny little chinese guy who probably weighs just over a hundred pounds.  He sits by himself and eats, and eats and EATS. 

He starts with a plate piled high with sausage and hash brown patties, a dozen of each at least.  Yesterday there was bacon instead of sausage and he must have had at least three pounds of it stacked on his plate.  It was fascinating watching it disappear, one slice after another, down the hatch.  

Next come the waffles...these are huge waffles that you cook yourself on an electric griddle.  They are the size of a dinner plate, and about an inch thick.  Our hero sticks his fork in the middle of the waffle, and holing it upside down, he begins working his way around it, from the outside.  The man is like a machine...chomping, chomping ...or maybe it's more accurate to say he nibbles, till it's al gone.  He eats carefully and methodically, not stuffing and belching...he is quite polite, though he doesn't have western cutlery mastered yet.

And the fruit.....he loads up a big cereal bowl with cubed melon and packs that away.  Sometimes two bowls.  And yogurt, a few containers at least,  and while he's eating his other food, he eats bananas; half a banana to a bite, with one hand, while holding his waffle carefully balanced on the end of his fork in the other hand.  He is a marvel!  At the side of his plate he has another bowl of granola and milk, or sometimes Fruitloops, that he somehow manages to sneak in with all the rest of his food.  

He never speaks, and rarely takes his eyes off the TV in the corner of the room while he eats.  I don't know where he goes in the daytime, but we suspect he works at one of the huge corporate headquarters that surround the hotel.  Wal Mart's head office is within walking distance, and my theory is that he was sent here as a trade delegate by his country to sell more cheap consumer goods to Americans.  Daniel thinks he's a computer genius making six figures, working at the Hitachi headquarters across the street, and that he's saving so much on groceries that he will soon be a millionaire.  

I'ts kind of impossible not to speculate about him.  He shows no evidence that he is aware his eating is anything out of the ordinary.  The food is there, free for the taking, and I imagine that's not the case in his past life, whatever that may be.
When he is finally finished, he stands up, clears his table completely, and leaves quietly, (without even staggering or loosening the waist of his one blue suit!)   He usually fills up two styrofoam cups with sausage and hash browns from the buffet table to take with him, though I can't imagine him being hungry for days after consuming that much at one go.

(*ahem* toothpick people watch me at a buffet table with the same fascination and disbelief?)

San Francisco

I'll try to sum up a few of this week's experiences...
The Palace of Fine Arts: Overwhelming.  It's under renovations and I want to come back to see it when it's complete.  

The beach:  It's been very windy al the time we've been here.  We wanted to do some tidal pool exploring but the waves are so big! (and why do they always show those Tsunami shows on Discovery when we're on holidays on the west coast?)

China Town: ...great deals, interesting food, colourful characters, strange aromas and sore feet.

Cable cars: Vintage  San Francisco, where riding public transportation is an event.

The Aquarium: Experiencing the undersea world without getting wet.

Taking a ferry around Alcatraz and under the Golden Gate Bridge: windy, wild and exciting!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Makers who made my head spin

Art Car(Truck) with 3D flames and a garden growing in the box. Ooooh...Aaahhhh.

Silk screen guy at Swaparamarama. We got a guitar done on a cool shirt for Levi.

This girl had it good...she had this cool chair to cruise around Maker Faire in style. Yup. It is remote control and speeds right along. No sore tootsies for her!

Recognize the guy who has Levi by the neck? Yup, it's Adam Savage of Myth Busters. He's an amazing maker who builds models and all kinds of cool stuff. He started out building models out of paper when he was a kid, and was an artist who made sculptures before he got into movie sets and special effects. He's a really nice guy!! He makes altered books! (and he's actually signing Levi's T, not choking him).

These sculptures are made of metal cable over a pipe armature. The girl in the background is TALL, and her hair is made of chains that hang loosly down over her shoulder. They are beautiful.

This Art Car was so beyond belief! It is covered in antiqued ceiling tiles, metal embellishments of all sorts and even musical instruments.

Made by a guy known as "The Pen Guy", it's a "Mercedes Pens", covered in crayola markers that are attached with silicon. Fun, and all the kids loved it!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Survival and Arrival

We did it. We drove the last leg of our trip south today, leaving Reno and our $24 hotel room...

Yes, it cost $24.
I booked it through It's a cool way to get great deals if you have a sense of adventure. The Hotel name is a secret until after you pay, and there are no refunds. You pick your general location (city), view a synopsis of the hotel amenities, read reviews by other users, and pay. THEN you are told the hotel name.

Our first night we stayed at the Best Western in Idaho Falls Idaho. It was nice, with a great breakfast. They served my Dad's favorite American breakfast, something I'd never had before, biscuits and gravy. Tasty, but sort of weird. It made me think of him and wish I could tell him about it.
The falls were right across from the hotel.

There was a freak snowstorm and when we woke up Thursday morning everything was white. Aaargghhh!

Our second day of travel took us past Twin Falls Idaho, and when we stopped at a tourist info for a rest, it turned out it was the spot on the Snake River where Evil Knievel attempted to jump over the canyon. WooHooo! Remember him? Yes, he lived to jump again.

We ended our drive at our new home (for the next 9 days) in South San Francisco. This room was also booked on (honest, I don't get a commision!!). It is at the Hilton Homewood Suites fir $66 a night. We were happy with this reservation. It's great, and it's right on the Bay.

Tomorrow morning...Maker Faire.

I may be too tired to blog about it.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Global warming???

We drove 13 hours straight south yesterday, at lot of that at 75 MILES an hour at least...we arrived at Idaho Falls Idaho last night.

It was sunny when we arrived, thought there was some snow on the drive. We woke this morning to a blizzard.

We're driving to Reno tonight. Expecting better weather.