Categories: "Daily adventures" or "Trips"

Alive in California

Allright I’m not dead yet. I’m actually back in San Francisco after a 5 week trip through Chicago IL, Kansas City MO, Flagstaff AZ, the Grand Canyon AZ, Monument Valley UT, Las Vegas NV and San José CA…

I just did the SF Friday Night Skate again ;) Gotta put up some videos for that!

In the meantime, if you’re interested, I’ve got a small boatload of pictures from the trip online.

So far:

  • Most amazing natural site: Grand Canyon
  • Most amazing artificial site: Las Vegas – The Strip
  • Most beautiful site: Monument Valley
  • Worst food: Amtrak
  • Best food: Chicago (still deciding between Gibson’s and The Chop House)

California, here I come!

Okay, this time there's no turning back! I have booked my Flight! I'm off to San Francisco on October 4th! B)

Wow! It's actually been 12 years since I left Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. And I've not been to the US once ever since. Despite my constant and renewed interest for the American culture. How could I let it slip away for so long?

This time it will be California for 3 weeks.

It's been pretty hard to decide for how long I would stay. I originally wanted to get an open ticket and stay until it got bored (or my VISA ended, or I ran out of cash, or I got homesick...:P) but it turns out that any open ticket costs 5 to 10 times the price of a fixed date round trip.

I settled for Air France which would conveniently fly me non stop from Paris to SF and back from Los Angeles to Paris, non stop again. 699 €, pretty hard to beat. (and yes, I chose to come back through LA on purpose! ;))

Now, of course I'm very busy evaluating the housing situation! A hotel inside the city costs somwehere between $70 and way too much. Of course, when reading the online reviews for the $70 hotels, I rapidly began to think that the $200/night offers were worth the price. :-/

I also checked Craig's list but I got bored really fast. Looks like there is no way to do any flavor of advanced search on this site! And if I have to browse through all the offers one by one, I'll never find until too late. That site may be extremely popular, I don't get it...

One of the most useful resources I have found is Orbitz. It is incredibly useful for targetting a specific area of the city. It also allows to narrow down on hotels with WiFi access.

Ironically, $70 hotels near the airport tend to get better reviews than $150 hotels downtown!

So I figured it would be cheaper to get a hotel out of town and rent a car than to try to get accomodation inside of the city. Actually I think, I'll stay downtown for a few days, and then get a car to explore the rest of the Bay Area. At that time, lodging off town might be more convenient anyway.

Haven't decided yet when and how I would get down to L.A. though...

Happy birthday to me!

Oh boy, last time I remember I was 28... and today I'm turning 33! :/

What has happened to the last 5 years?

Well, thinking back, I can list a lot of places where I've been and a lot of people I've met. Even a lot of people I've talked to online. But on the other hand, it still doesn't feel like 5 years have passed...

I wonder if this is just because I'm getting old(er) or if it's because a lot of my world has virtualized in the meantime...

Hum... gotta roll anyway! ;)

away...

When you have just spent one year between the sea and the mountains in Montpellier, can you still find some place you'd like to go on vacation?

Yes you can!

Bavaria

Sure you could probably find an even smaller village in the middle of nowhere, but this one is where part of my family lives, lost in the Bavarian forest! (Quick note for the international reader: Bavaria is in the south-east of Germany ;) )

I definitely could not live there for a year, especially after the Montpellier experiment (and also because they have no DSL!), but my week there felt like the most brain relaxing experience I ever had. I instantly forgot about the loads of stuff I have to do over here...

Of course, the downside is that coming back is even harder now! Btw, thanx for the 400 (not including spam) emails guys! Please expect a little delay before you get an answer...

French cities at night

French cities at night
Lyon, a few weeks ago...

During this time of the year, when the sky is grey all over the country, French cities actually look best at night. And it's a good thing 'coz I wouldn't have gotten a chance to take those pictures at daytime anyway! ;)

French cities at night
Blois, a couple of days ago...

It's funny how many cities I've been to lately... I just wish I had my camera handy more often... I really gotta get one of those camera phones... But they make crappy pictures anyway, so I'm not sure they'd really fit the purpose here... ahh whatever