Tuesday, May 18, 2010

San Francisco Book Festival Award

We flew back into Yellowknife from San Francisco last night – arrived here at 11 PM.  Only got to bed after 1 am – after unpacking and cleaning up.  This morning I was up at 6 am again and then at 7.30 am I  realized that I’m a total idiot and that no one knows that I’m not asleep but sitting with bags under my eyes and dragging my frail body all over the house that I climbed back into my made up bed and slept until almost 11 am!  Not that this has made any difference to how I am feeling right now, and 6 cups of coffee hasn’t even given me the buzz I so badly need.  So I’m zombifying behind my computer with my eyes the size of saucers, road maps lining the whites in a delicate blood red and thinking of absolutely nothing – I can sooo get away with that, being blond and all.

 San Francisco was fantastic, we have both been there before and loved it last time too.  The awards ceremony was equally good.  I was so touched and honoured.  It was such a surreal moment for me.  On Friday night I was told that I have to say a speech when I go up to receive my award, which set panic in motion and the only way to calm my nerves was to drink heaps of alcohol.  My Saturday morning hang over was testimony to a wild Friday night.  The ceremony itself was great, I met many like minded people – some not so like minded and some air heads, but all in all it was great.  I was the second person called up and although Kim said my speech was fantastic, I thought it was all gobbaldy gook.  I managed to talk for about 7 minutes (you can’t stop me when I get going).

We spent Saturday walking around San Fran – if you are really clever, you can select the roads that don’t go over the hills and just walk around – your walk is longer but less tiring.  We walked down to the piers and then walked all along the water front to Pier 39.  There we caught a sight-seeing bus that lasted 2 hours.  It took us to all the famous land marks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, where I could get some really lovely photographs.  The weather was cool, so be warned when you go... Otherwise be prepared to buy yourself one of those $19.95 reversible jackets at the tourist shops (been there done that.  TWICE).  We went to some lovely restaurants, ate like pigs (sorry pigs - not your fault) but loved it.  It was unfortunate that our trip was so short because there was so much more that we’d love to have done but didn’t have enough time for.

My week in Vancouver was also great.  It was much warmer than Yellowknife, so it was a welcome change. I managed to do all the things I wanted to do.  I went shopping, went shopping and on the occasional day I went shopping!  I also went for walks - one morning I got up really early and decided to go for a walk around Stanley Park with my camera.  The beginning was great, but after walking for 3 hours I was already exhausted.   I spent the entire day walking – 7 hours of it!  Not by arrangement, but rather by accident.  I realized that I had gone far too far in one direction and it would take me longer to get back if I turned around so I decided to use my internal GPS to take a short cut back.  Unfortunately it didn’t turn out to be so short and eventually I was quite lost.  I was already exhausted after 3 hours of walking, so you can imagine how bad 7 hours were.  When I got back to my hotel room I was totally drained.  I lay on the couch in the lounge room and it took me 20 minutes before I could sit up again to take my shoes off.  Needless to say I didn’t make the mistake again.

I saw a raccoon while I was out walking....  I was quite a distance from him but saw him climbing out of the sea and walking between the rocks to the sea wall.  At first I wasn't sure what it was, it looked a bit like a goose but it's gait was rather different so I turned around and walked closer to see what it was.  He walked up to the sea wall and along it and I walked up to the stairs going down to the beach when he turned round, spotted me and then came after me.  He was not aggressive in any way, but because this is the first time I have ever seen one, I was cautious.  He walked right up to me with his big eyes and I backtracked until I was out of his way, then he walked past me and into the bushes behind the sea wall.  What a beautiful little fella he was.

Now back to the grindstone and life as it always is...

~ Vanessa

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