Vincent Cheung

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Florence

With few plans in place, all my evenings when Florence was here were spent planning (and mapping) what we were gonna do the next day. Sitting here in the Chicago airport waiting for my delayed flight, I finally have time to blog, though I don't have Flo's pics yet.

Here's the rapid-fire bullet point version of the past week:

Wed., Aug. 2nd - The arrival
  • Florence arrives

  • Winning my volleyball game to come out on top of the losers bracket

  • Posing as a U of M Masters' student doing an internship in the Bay Area, I get her into the Google Engineering Intern Open House. Having noticed that Janna indicated in her calendar that she was going, I invited myself as her guest :)

  • The food was crap, the talks were ok, the free shirt is really what counted, and being able to sneak around security so I could show Florence around was great


Thurs., Aug. 3rd - San Francisco
  • Big tourist day, though I had two things to do this day (lunch with Nevan at UCSF and Kelly Clarkson's concert), which we worked around, i.e. Florence shopping while I did other things

  • Twin Peaks on a clear day, Golden Gate Bridge without fog, and walked all along the pier

  • The Vegas plan falls through with Mike not feeling great, Adam's idiotic move of trying to stand on an oversized exercise ball and getting a concussion, and everyone else being wusses


Fri., Aug. 4th - Museums
  • Asian Art Museum

  • Chinatown

  • Legion of Honor (for the Monet in Normany exhibit)

  • Japantown

  • Getting kicked out of Kan Zaman on Haight St. for not ordering a minimum amount of food at 10 pm when we just wanted dessert

  • Gelati in North Beach

  • Twin Peaks at night in the fog


Sat., Aug. 5th - Winchester
  • Slow afternoon let me plan out the Napa trip

  • Winchester Mystery House (a horribly built mansion where they charge an inordinate amount of money for you to see)

  • FREE FOOD AT PANERA. Oh how I miss free food :p. Thanks Sean!

  • Poker at Panera where Brian and me had a side bet to see who would drive to Napa. We both lost in the same hand to Mike. Brian kindly volunteered to drive, which ended up being a good idea b/c of his car's navigational system and my lack of a printer (and resulting poorly hand drawn maps)


Sun., Aug. 6th - Napa
  • 30 wines!

  • The key to the day was the schedule that I told people, and the contingency plan I had in place, knowing that we wouldn't make the original schedule

  • Rubicon Estate (Francis Ford Coppola's winery), Beringer (crap), Beaulieu (meh), random small winery behind BV (suprisingly good), and Domaine Chandon.
  • Some of the wineries we went to were way too commercial

  • Nice find for lunch at some sandwich shop in St. Helena

  • Mitsuwa for dinner, meeting up with Janna, Sean, Adam, Michele, and Jenny in addition to our group of me, Florence, Brian, Mike, and Natalia.

  • Coldstone


Mon., Aug. 7th - Yosemite
  • 400 miles of driving, 5 hours of hiking/walking

  • In-N-Out for dinner


Tues., Aug. 8th - Tech company tour
  • Nasa Ames, Microsoft, Google (for lunch at Cafe 7), Yahoo, Juniper Networks, AMD, Cisco, Intel, NVIDIA, Apple

  • Victorious in Google's volleyball tournament finals part 1

  • Snuck into the Google Dance ;). Not even "The Enforcer" could stop me!


Wed., Aug. 9th - The departure
  • Xerox PARC, Stanford Linear Accelerator, Stanford, Jamba Juice, Cheesecake Factory, SFO


Thanks for visiting Florence, it was a blast!

Flight is soon (hopefully) and my battery is running out...

2 Comments:

Florence said...

Welcome back! Glad you made it home without too too much trouble. I had a great time visiting and meeting your friends, although I must admit I was a little bit disappointed that Adam and Mike cancelled the Vegas plans. ;) Count me in for next time though!

I remember my surprise when you picked me up with a hand drawn map...and we got lost...and then hand drawn was the only way to go...

Comments by day:

The arrival
- Google is so cool

San Francisco
- loved the sun and the palm trees, not the wind
- I think I need to move beside Loehmann's

Museums
- ah, Monet
- Kan Zaman: who eats dinner at 10 pm? At least we saw a bit of belly dancing.

Winchester
- thanks for dinner Sean
- played poker for the first time. Mike took me to the cleaners. ;)

Napa
- favourite was Domaine Chandon
- need to learn how to choose a good photographer
- you should have told me to get a Like It size at Coldstone

Yosemite
- very scenic, though wouldn't go hiking alone

Tech company tour
- can't wait to try the chicken space dinner

The departure
- Janna was right. That peanut butter Jamba Juice drink was really good.
- Cheesecake Factory - yum!
- sure glad I left the day before the liquid ban. Don't know how my wine would have done in the cabin.
- Vince, you should have given me more stuff to bring back. I had the space. Maybe it was your massive pile of change that weighed down your luggage.

Thanks again for letting me stay with you!

Vince said...

I would've given you more stuff had I known. I just didn't think that I'd have a problem with weight after giving you all that stuff! It must have been the 25+ shirts (some are gifts!) I got from Google and all the papers...

Really, I didn't buy much when I was down there. But I guess I got a lot of free stuff :p

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