California Dreaming

I’m back. Actually, I’ve been back since Sunday, but the first day back at Vicar School (for the first day of the final year *gulp*) followed by a very full day back at church, followed by jet lag sucking all writing ability out of my brain has meant that blogging has been in abeyance.

As the rain lashes against the windows, the sun and heat of California seems like a dream. Was it only this time last week that I was sitting outside a bar in Berkeley eating sliders? Or sitting in a hot tub enjoying a glass of wine? Ho hum. Life continues in London and at quite a pace.

The highlights? Well, to follow on from my Silicon Valley adventures, we did return to Apple. Inside Infinite Loop 3, we spent over an hour sitting in the pleasant gardens outside the Apple canteen. (We arrived at ‘cookie happy hour’, surely any hour that involves cookies is happy?) Shannon had originally met the head of Apple’s ‘Evangelism’ team in May, through a mutual friend, and fixed up a meeting at his office so he could share some of his thoughts about the connections between business, the church and theology. Fascinating stuff.

Liz @Apple

While at Apple, it seemed foolish not to make the most of the company store and (finally) avail myself of an iPad. (Especially as our new friend provided his employee discount too.) It’s already been a smart move, given college’s decision to go paperless in its teaching as of next week.

There was also enough Mexican food to feed a Mexican family for quite some time. (Apparently ‘Cal-Mex’ is a thing in the same way that Tex-Mex is – who knew?) I can recommend specifically:

  • El Metate in the Mission area of San Francisco. (Home of an awesome al pastor tostado salad.)
  • Nopalito on Broderick St, to the north of the city. (Awesome sangria and dark chocolate & cinnamon popsicles.)
  • Facebook’s burritos.
  • The Paleo diet version of tortillas – lettuce leaves. A handy tip for a low-carb Mexican dinner.

Napolita feastBeautiful Mexican feast – all thanks to a recommendation all the way from Houston. (Randomly, after I posted this on Instagram, discovered that a London friend had eaten here last year!)

I also learnt some things that could be valuable to readers, should they be hopping over the pond any time soon:

  • Swot up on the Royal Family. In response to hearing my British accent, I was immediately asked – with immense excitement – how George was. George? Oh, the newest prince, obviously! People appeared genuinely disappointed when it emerged that I hadn’t actually met him.
  • Also swot up on Doctor Who. I was asked my opinion on the new Dr on more than one occasion (at this point, do I confess to the blog that I’m not that into the show?), and was at least able to recognise his name out of context! 
  • Don’t be offended if people think you’re Australian. The American ear genuinely struggles to discern the difference between British, Aussie and Kiwi – but then, how good are you at telling the difference between New York, Minnesota and Oregon accents? [To be fair, I’ve been mistaken for an Aussie in London too.]
  • Downton Abbey is a great leveller and excellent frame of reference. (Always laugh at American impressions of characters.) All of a sudden, there seems to be a greater understanding of the importance of tea – at one point, I even discovered a box of Earl Grey tea bought solely because it had a building that looked like Downton on it, which is no bad thing! Oh, and it’s a rare occasion that we Brits get to gloat that we see a TV series earlier than America does, series 4 begins on Sunday – they have to wait till January.

There are some specific blogposts to come, both here and on the Matryoshka Haus blog. (Want to know about public transportation in the Bay area? Stay tuned…) In the mean time, there ought to be some Friday Fun here tomorrow.

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