I’ve now had two days of school visits in San Francisco and the Bay area. I’ve also realised that I am the world’s worst navigator (despite managing to get around Melbourne with my publicist Dot last month with not one wrong turn). Today I have failed miserably. Granted that the stress level was somewhat increased by the left hand drive/wrong side of the road issue – which seriously I’m just getting my head around.
Well, the upside is that I’m still married – despite getting us onto the wrong freeway, from which our only path of escape was through a deserted industrial area, complete with redundant railway yards, barking dogs and cars missing their wheels – yes think Chevy Chase and some of his ill-fated Vacation routes and you have the picture.
Fortunately we arrived in Benicia in one piece – and what a gorgeous little town it is. The main street looks like something out of a movie and apparently it was slated as the capital of California for some time before they decided to make it Sacramento. There are historic buildings, cute cafes and antique shops where the prices are incredibly reasonable. The real estate numbers would make any Sydneysider weep.
Afterwards we visited Bookshop Benicia and spent some time meeting kids and signing books. It’s a great shop that’s been in town for 18 years.
Yesterday I visited a girls’ school in Pacific Heights called Hamlin which is housed in one of the old Flood mansions. WOW! Apparently the Floods made their fortune as silver barons and tomorrow I am visiting Sacred Heart School which is in the other Flood mansion two door’s along. The houses are very different so I am looking forward to seeing it too. Hamlin is beautiful and the view from the old solarium at the back of the house takes in the bay including the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Truly breathtaking.
I spoke to the girls in Year 2 and 3. They were interested, asked great questions and reminded me a lot of the girls I work with at home. The best question came from a little girl called Sophie who asked me if I could have any character from the Alice-Miranda books over for dinner, who would it be and why? I said that I would have to have a whole dinner party – one would be too few!
Last night we met a lovely couple from South Carolina in the hotel bar. They asked if we could fit in another school visit to Greenville – I suspect that we can’t L It was a funny coincidence that they live an hour from my friend Dianne who we are visiting in Greenville South Carolina in couple of weeks’ time.