Just to give confirmation I'm still alive:
- I CANNOT WAIT to get to New Orleans. (Or more to the point, get out of NorCal suburbia.) The three-hour stop over in Houston at 6 AM, not so much.
- It never rains in Southern California (with some recent exceptions); it sure does in Northern California (though not today).
- Restaurant food's extraordinarily cheap here. Chinese restaurant dishes for $6. Hot and sour soup (which I've dearly missed—it redeems tofu): $3.50. Not for a small bowlful: they give you the entire serving bowl! Similar story with the Japanese and Persian–Italian-minus-the-Persian I've had. I don't remember food being that cheap 10 years ago; is it the recession, or NorCal?
- The catch with being in a luxury hotel, it's still a bare room, and you have to now pay for everything—so you can't even improvise instant coffee in your room. That's not really a good deal after all. (And I've never had the heart to call room service for anything.)
- Walked over to Belmont for said Chinese meal last night; good to know there is some quaint-looking urban stuff in walking distance. (If you walk long enough.) Clambering over freeways to get there is horrid: it's that unwelcome reminder, which I'd repressed, that Californian suburbia was not intended for pedestrians.
- Walked down El Camino Real in the process. Uninspiring as a bunch of strip malls and brobdignanian lanes. In my youth I'd formed a different mental picture of the fabled El Camino Bignum; but then again, I'm not in Stanford.