My Life Abroad: The Adventures of Two Birds
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Fri
11
Jul '08

Arriving in America (day 1 of 35)

Arriving in America via Qantas 

35000-feet-qanta.jpgMan, I seriously felt like we got upgraded to Business Class.  When we checked in I complained of Rod’s “long legs” – cause that works sometimes to get different seats (of choice), and they offered us Emergency Exit Row seats.  So that was nice.  But when we sat down we found that the third seat was free!  OH MY!  It was great, I got the window and got to lean against the bulkhead to sleep and Rod got this isle to stretch out his legs.  As you can see from this picture at 35,000 feet, it was purce clouds.

With about 3 beers and a cocktail each, watched a movie (Rod watched Fargo and I watched Untraceable and with Ashley Judd and Flawless with Demi Moore), we popped a sleeping pill, had a meal and we slept almost the rest of the way. Meals were decent and we had good service. We actually felt rested when we arrived! I’ll have to rate this the best flight one of the very best, and it was Qantas (we usually fly Air New Zealand).

Enough about air travel… we had a car waiting for us at the airport, you know… one of those guys in suits with the bluetooth headset glued into his ear with a sign that said Ms Hay. Funny. He was a Pom (English) named Steven that’s lived most of his life in America. He was great and explained every street and shopping centre, bridge and building on the way from the airport to Union Square.We’re staying at the Marriott on Market Street in downtown San Fran. We are here, on Fox FM’s dime, for three day. Yesterday we shopped… Old Navy and GAP is right across the street from the hotel. Couple malls. Then we were off to the Fillmore to meet the Veronicas.

The Historic Fillmore Auditorium

the-fillmore-wall.jpgThe Fillmore Auditorium is a San Francisco icon. It is one of the venues that has been around since the mid-1960’s.  The Fillmore became a focal point for counterculture in general with acts like The Grateful Dead, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, and so many others. Legendary ambience and stellar performances with light shows, strobe lighting and uninhibited dancing was what it was known for. Started by the infamous Bill Graham, the auditorium fell to the hands of a deteriorating San Francisco neighbourhood and the venue was moved in 1968 from the original building on Geary Blvd to where it stands today on Market Street. In the 1980’s the Fillmore became a private club called “The Elite Club” and later became a club for headlining punk acts like Black Flag, The Dead Kennedys, and Public Image Ltd. During the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989 the venue was severely damaged and closed. Graham died in a freak helicopter accident in 1991 (ironically right outside the main gate to the Navy Base I was stationed at in Vallejo California), when his helicopter, flying too low, got caught in the electrical pole wires and all were electrocuted. In 1994, through the wishes of Graham, the Fillmore was reopened with the band The Smashing Pumpkins playing the first show. The Fillmore has once again become a San Francisco hot spot with frequent shows, the capacity if 1,250 guests. The venue was great, a real experience, and there were plaqued pictures of many artists and bands that have played the venue, quite a sight.

The Veronicas play The Fillmore Auditorium

The Veronicas were one of the opening acts and played a short :30 minute set with some of their music from their first CD and some new tunes that have just been released. They were known by the crowd and were warmly accepted. They closed off the show with Hook Me Up before Natasha Beddingfield headed on stage. We were called back stage to meet the girls as they walked off stage.They are so tiny and when I say tiny I mean they come up to my shoulders.They introduced themselves Lisa and Jess and the first thing Rod asked is “who’s with Dean?” ha-ha!I believe it was Lisa, she said “I am” and batted her eyes. Cute. They were so nice and asked about us – this was their gig on the U.S tour and they were heading back to Brisbane on Sunday. I got a coule little posters for some friends from work’s girls, and brought things of the girls for Jess and Lisa to sign – which they did gladly. I took a few shots during the show. We had a really nice time , they put on a great show and my personal item to take home wasn’t a signature – I got my picture with them for the blog and here it is:  (I am crouching down a bit so I don’t look so damn tall!)

me-and-veronicas.jpg

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Next stop China Town…

We’re off this afternoon to walk around China town and tonight to the top of the Macy’s building for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory” which is a great restaurant that also makes specialty Cheesecakes (per the name). From there we hope to get some good pictures of the city at night. Tommorrow we are going to take a bay cruise, possibly a dinner cruise. Stay tuned for more info, I’ll be blogging daily as we have FREE wireless Internet access from the Hotel!  Only in America! HA-ha.  Here’s a few shots from our first day in San Fran the city around Union Square, the hotel, and Rasselas Jazz Bar (click on the pic to enlarge):

cablecar.jpg gap.jpg old-navy.jpg marriott-lobby1.jpg

marriott-lobby2.jpgmarriott-lobby3.jpg jazz-bar-rasselas.jpg jazz-bar-rasselas2.jpg

***

Mental Status: 15-hour flight was’nt too bad, still recovering from jet-lag but making the best of it. 
Favourite thing this week: Looking forward “this week” to selling more Reunion tickets, and seeing Mom on Sunday.
Book this week: Two books this week:  1) Everybody Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger (the author of The Devil Wears Prada and Chasing Harry Winston), and 2) The Dark Tide by Andrew Gross.
Happy Moment today: Helping Candace buy her ticket to visit us for Thanksgiving.
Looking forward to next week: Visiting my Gramma, seeing my friend TeeBiss and meeting his fiancee, and Lucy’s Mexican cooking!
I already miss: Norelle, Melzie, and my kitties 🙁

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