Published: August 17th 2011August 10th 2011
Travel Blog Get Togethers & Friends New and Old
Most Americans are, by nature, the type who travel within their own borders and enjoy the company of a somewhat diverse culture. Or so they believe. America is a nation of immigrants and by and large, this is true. Only trouble is, the generations get a bit watered down and the ethnic diversity gives way to a collection of people who share a common language (bit of a stretch here) and the great influence of TV and the mega-corporations, which shape the society as a whole. Don’t get us wrong, we are American and by and large really like Americans, but the truth is, we really enjoy meeting people from other nations well as Americans who share our wanderlust. Travelblog has presented us an enormous opportunity, and that is to meet some fellow travelers from other nations. Combine this with living in San Francisco and you’ve got quite a recipe for a great way to meet some of these wonderful folks. And as if that wasn’t enough of a treat, we’ve been fortunate to hook up with even more folks. More about that a bit later.
In the past two months, we’ve had the pleasurable company of none other than: the Overlanders
This is a serious trifecta of travel magic in our opinion.
You may find that you want to recommend a few of these fine bloggers. That is a great way to compliment bloggers for taking you along on their global journey.
If you are going to be in the San Francisco area we would love to meet you. Send us a message and perhaps we can make some plans. At any rate….back to the real story here.
In June, we invited Dave and Suz Overlanders
over to our tiny apartment for dinner and in July we entertained Dave and Pat Slowfeet
. Our reasoning is that they would love a home cooked meal having been on the road so long. When we traveled, this was one of the things we missed most. Except for our family and friends of course. We intended to invite Peter and Mari over but we had a death in the family recently and our time was short. We did hook up with them last week in San Francisco, but regrettably our time
was short and we were only able to muster a few hours of great conversation.
Dave and Suz Overlanders
are seeing a great deal of the U.S. They are newlyweds on a world adventure. Dave is from Australia and Suz is from New Zealand and when they return home they will live in Melbourne. We had a wonderful evening hearing about their wedding a few months ago and all of their travels. Dave and Suz are experienced couch-surfers and we absolutely enjoyed hearing about their experiences. We plan to give it a try next year. They were able to provide us the ins and outs of the whole deal. Turns out it is so much more than a place to rest your head. It’s a way to see a world through a different pair of eyes and really soak in the local culture and steer clear of the normal tourist ruts. Slowfeet
, (Dave and Pat) are from the Northern Territory of Australia will be relocating to the Brisbane area when they return home in November. They have a fantastic trip planned across America and will be back in San Francisco in the fall. We hope to hook
up with them again. They prefer a more rustic approach to travel and we found ourselves somewhat jealous, until we realized that we really like a soft bed at the end of a great day of exploring. They think nothing of roughing it in a tent, then rising in the morning ready to have at it again. Some of the locations will provide them a chilly night snuggling in front of the campfire.
Several weeks ago we made arrangements to meet up with Peter and Mari while they were in the area. We were going to have dinner in Napa and had planned to invite them over for dinner instead of dining out, but Dave’s mom passed and we had to change our plans. We managed to catch up with them while they were staying at the Westin in San Francisco. What a sweet deal they had. We learned that Peter is the “master” of working a deal for accommodation and travel. This is due to the fact that he travels a great deal and has an in-depth understanding of the ins and outs of travel perks. They had a lovely suite of rooms for $90 a night
Moving to the San Francisco has allowed Merry Jo to connect with a friend from all the way back to her grade school days. Denise and her husband Galen live in San Mateo and we have been fortunate to get together with them a few times now. An observer would notice quickly that one thing Merry Jo and Denise share in common is their comfort with people and that neither of them have ever met a true stranger, as the people they meet are just friends in waiting….
Our first evening together included a fun-filled stop at a cemetery in Pescadero, followed by drinks and dinner at Duarte’s Tavern in Pescadero where we spent the first thirty minutes in a conversation with a rather interesting aging gentleman at the bar. We wiled away some time learning the history of Pescadero, some of the founding families and a bit of politics intertwined with finance.
We learned during the evening that Galen is an extraordinary chef and he invited us to their home for a curried goat Caribbean evening. They are well known in their community for their dinner gatherings and have been written up in the
MJ, Dave and Suz
local newspaper. We feel honored whenever we are invited to their events.
Galen and Denise are world travelers as we are always interested in hearing about their travels. Denise owns Blossoms Florists at the Hillside Shopping Center in San Mateo and Galen is an educator at Los Altos High School.
So here we are, sitting pretty and thinking ourselves quite fortunate in having had the chance to meet these great folks. The thing is, there was another way to meet neat people, and it involved a chance meeting. In this particular case, all we had to do was say “try the Eggs Benedict.”
Several weeks ago we were sitting in a sidewalk café in Healdsburgh, California having a lovely relaxing breakfast when we started talking with the gentleman at the table next to us. He has been living in Newcastle, England the past few years but was originally from South Africa. Our interaction was short but we offered him our email address in case he wanted some suggestions for things to do in the U.S. We had dinner a couple of weeks later with him. In recent weeks, he has been joined by his wife Linda and
Travel bloggers visit
son Wesley, who are incredibly busy exploring the great state of California. We’ve since dined with them twice and found them to be absolutely delightful company.
Each time we get together with them we hear delightful stories about their life in the states and new knowledge they have learned about the U.S. Often times they make us laugh until we cry. One such story was concerning the garbage disposal in their house. It is our understanding that they had not had one before and only had impressions of their capabilities. First time out they tired to grind bones from chicken or ribs into the garbage disposal. Yes, by now you are shaking your head. So, we explained they are for the small scraps that come off the dinner plates, nothing of substance. Now when talking about a garbage disposal they lovingly refer to it as a bone grinder. Fortunately they didn’t kill it, they cleaned it out really well and it lives to grind again.
Good friends from Seattle were traveling through town for a vacation near L.A. and stopped in the Marriott that is next to our apartment building. It is a long drive from Seattle
and they were a bit battle weary from riding in the car with two very active but well-behaved children. We walked them over to the Marin Brewing Company where we enjoyed getting caught up on our lives. We left Seattle in July 2007 and a lot has happened in all of our lives since that time. It was fantastic to re-connect. There are special times in your life when you have a friend that you have not seen in a long time and the minute you sit down with them it is like you saw them yesterday. You pick up easily where you left off. That was the case with Janinne and Erick. Sometimes it appears that time stands still, even if we age a bit…..
Back to the wonderful Travelbloggers again….A few months ago we met Cabochick cabochick
when we were in Mexico. She just happened to be in Cabo San Lucas at the same time we were there. Our time with Andrea was short but hopefully our paths will cross again. She has a wonderful job with the prison system in Canada and it affords her substantial time off work. We were regaled with tales of
driving the California peninsula in a station wagon with her parents when she was younger. She travels to some amazing places and uses her wicked sense of humor in her writing. Watch her count down clock as she has a couple of really great adventures coming up. This is clearly a person with a plan…and a wit to match!
Few who have visited San Francisco have left this town feeling the same. It has a power over you. Songs have been written and there are quotes aplenty:
“Leaving San Francisco is like saying goodbye to an old sweetheart. You want to linger as long as possible.” - Walter Cronkite
“San Francisco has only one drawback. T’is hard to leave.” - Rudyard Kipling We’ll save some of our exploits for the next blog so that you can walk with us and experience the diversity and uniqueness of this exciting city……till then!!! Just remember that the world can be just out your back door, if you’ll only take the time to look.
There are more photos below