Stateside: Northern California

Well, I’ve now been back in the US for just over four weeks. I am immensely enjoying the freedom but am missing KSA a lot. I knew I would miss the people but am surprised to find myself having culture shock back in my home country.  I expected it upon moving away and it added to the excitement of moving. I didn’t expect it moving back so it caught me unprepared.

Right now I’d still rather go back than be here, which is a lousy feeling. I know that this is due in part to my strange, transient living arrangements currently so I’m just working on my patience and waiting for things to settle in. I am in Northern California working in the Bay Area for about two months, at which point I will then move to Southern California to set up housekeeping in San Diego. While this area is fun to visit, it doesn’t offer the lifestyle that I am looking for long term. I need the beach and warmer weather. Additionally, I am getting tired of living out of my luggage and really looking forward to having my home things and my tiny dog with me. Plus my toys! I want my kite gear, longboard, paddleboard and bicycles desperately. I am getting really tired of running or walking being my only outdoor activity option.

Anyway, as I don’t have my toys and I am living in a pretty cool area for tourists, I am making a point of touristing around. I have explored San Mateo (while staying there for two weeks) and then Redwood City (living here for the duration of my stay) and yesterday went into San Fran to Pier 39 for the day. I commute into the Mission district two days a week but hadn’t seen anything else of the city and that area, while interesting, isn’t the best representation of the city!

I took Bart to the Embarcadero stop and the street was lined with vendors selling all different handmade things. I poked through there and got a small painting to add to my travel souvenirs. Then I took a streetcar (such a tourist!) to Pier 39 which is all tourists and makes for the best people watching. I poked into all of the stores, watched the sea lions for a while, caught a few street performers doing their thing and then had dinner at an outdoor table where I spent almost two hours nibbling and watching the people. Live entertainment at its best. Following are a few photos of the sea lions. Other than the smell, they are so much fun to watch.

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Alcatraz, not a very hospitable looking island

I probably took way too many photos of these guys but they are really fun and funny to watch. Lots of wrestling, fighting, barking and playing. Plus weird contortions with their flexy bodies!

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This guy had his flipper up the entire time I was there, he appeared to be sound asleep. No movement, just the flipper flying high
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If you haven’t been here, this gives an idea of where these guys are hanging out. They have just taken over some floating docks right next to Pier 39, which is a really busy tourist pier. It isn’t remotely a “nature” spot!
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I took this because of the two guys fighting on the second dock but look at the facial expression of the guy who pig piled on top. Its hilarious! Way better than those two big dudes being loud
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This light colored one was all gashed up but he looked so peaceful sleeping in the sun
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This photo makes me happy.
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Silly silly silly
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Who knows more about these guys than I do? Did they once have tails? Sure looks like it here

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