San Francisco

Banana slugs really do like bananas!

After a very jolly Friday night, Andrew and I forced ourselves out of bed early on Saturday morning (yuk) to go on our weekly running club run. We spent the majority of our run chatting with Laurent and Mignon discussing the best British detective series. We all agreed that Vera and Shetland are great, although there was a clash of opinions on Morse, who I think is a miserly misogynist.

After the run, we went for brunch again and this time there were 19 of us, so we filled up half the restaurant. My favourite discussion during brunch was the strangest things we have eaten. Turns out I have eaten some pretty weird things – guinea pig, snake and toad stand out. Osama told us he had eaten balut, a delicacy of fertilised developing egg embryo, which I think I shall be avoiding like the plague thank you very much.

After brunch, Andrew and I went on a cycle along the bay to San Bruno as we wanted to try out an arcade called GAMA Ride, which had really good reviews. On route, I took Andrew to Coyote Point as he hadn’t been there yet, and then it was a further 15km or so to San Bruno, mostly on a lovely trail along the waterfront. There was a boring bit at the end past the airport, but at least there were proper cycle lanes!

On route to San Bruno
On route to San Bruno

GAMA Ride turned out to be in a mall, and on route we passed a prom dress shop with the pouffiest dresses I have ever seen – even Cinderella would have balked!

The arcade turned out to be great fun – you put money on a card which you could then use to play all of the arcade machines. We played air hockey, the basketball game, a giant space invaders game and a really terrible Lara Croft shooting game (she had a particularly offensive British accent). After an hour or so we jumped on the Caltrain back to San Mateo as we couldn’t be bothered to cycle back.

On Sunday, our UK posse went on a hike to Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve, which is about a 45-minute drive from San Mateo. The trail is a good 15km and started off with some pretty challenging uphill walking.

The gang at Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve
Smiling even though we have just walked up a massive hill

We had the bluest sky imaginable and after a couple of km, we reached the end of the uphill portion and spent the rest of the walk on a gentle downhill through scrubland and a beautiful redwood forest. It was so pretty with the sun dappling through the trees.

Sun dappled Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve
Sun dappled joy

We also got to see a bunch of bright yellow banana slugs. They are so yellow they are almost glowing, and they really do look like a banana. They are, in a word, revolting.

Banana slug
The banana slug

By the end of the walk, my feet were pretty sore – I am not used to long treks – so the rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and playing a bit of table tennis.

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