April 4, 2007 Though I didn’t spend my spring break anywhere remotely tropical, it was much needed, and I enjoyed the little bits of excitement interspersed between my regimented schedule of loafing, eating and sleeping. I spent my first week on the other side of the country visiting my boyfriend, Frank, at Stanford (in California, not Connecticut). I’ve been there a few times before, and it’s never occurred to me that it’s an actual school…where people do work. I have a terrible case of self-centered tunnel vision, so if I’m on vacation isn’t everyone else? I love visiting Stanford because the campus is huge and resembles a mini-city (they have their own outdoor mall…on campus…Their. Own. Mall.), so I didn’t feel claustrophobic at all. Also, because Frank happened to “miss” some of his classes, I wasn’t demoted to the position of housecat whose sole purpose was to guard the room while he was away. One day we went into San Francisco, rode the trolleys, went to Golden Gate Park, and wandered around Pacific Heights. I know…I’m such a tourist. But apparently not a seasoned one. Even though we were really hungry while browsing through the Japanese Tea Garden (the oldest public Japanese garden in America), we decided to travel deeper into the park to find an alternate exit instead of retracing our steps and eating at the cute restaurants on Haight Street. Anyway, to summarize as best I can, hunger made us delirious as we frantically attempted to find our way out of the park only to become lost in a seemingly endless residential neighborhood. So we hopped onto the nearest bus (and no, I didn’t know where it would let us off) and stayed on it for just about forever. No joke. When we finally got off, we were where we had originally started on the complete opposite end of the city. After we got food (California Pizza Kitchen…I know, I was upset, too, but I was way too hungry to care), I decided that Pacific Heights (which was back on the other side) would have views too good to pass up, and we took yet another bus all the way back. It was worth it though. I felt accomplished after scaling hills so steep that I was afraid that I’d plummet to my death if I didn’t grab onto every single car, tree, traffic sign, and passing jogger. The photos I took of the bridge, the bay, and the cute little Victorians were postcard worthy. And we even found the house where Mrs. Doubtfire was filmed. We were very proud of ourselves.
But all good things must come to an unfortunate end, and I was home by 7 AM on St. Patrick’s Day, which wasn’t an accident, because New York is the place to spend the holiday. I met up with some friends from high school to see the parade. The people-watching alone was fun. A baby wearing a green afro inspired one of my friends to spray paint her hair green right there on the street. And St. Patrick himself made an appearance as he wandered through the crowd taking photos with everyone. The parade was good too, but it’s always the same format: uniformed high school bands that make me jealous of their musical abilities, the groups of kilted bagpipers, and the thousands of NYFD and NYPD silently strolling down 5th Ave. To make things more exciting during the musical lapses, we had the brilliant idea to start screaming clichéd Irish names into the massive amounts of firemen and policemen passing by. “Mike Sheridan” and “Tommy McNally” elicited some responses and waves. Then we went to Jekyll and Hyde for lunch, a lovely themed restaurant whose target audience was perhaps a little younger than us, but I’m not giving up my childhood that easily. It’s a really quirky place with actors that dress up like dusty butlers and other weird characters with fake British accents. They come up to your table and start bizarre conversations and perform morbid, yet tasteful, skits. Seriously, it’s really fun the first time you go. Maybe not so much after the 4th. But the Margarita Chicken Quesadillas are devilishly good.
All my friends left that Sunday, so I spent the second week of break on my couch. I’m not ashamed to say that I rarely left it. My little cousin got me into this online phenomenon called “Webkinz.” Basically, it’s like the Sims for children under 12, but I just can’t seem to have enough of it. I don’t know why. But both my mother and my sister are obsessed with it as well. I’m sure my addiction will come to the point where my friends and loved ones will have to perform an intervention to get me to leave my room, but as of now I will be satisfied with the knowledge that I have at least another month to go before my condition gets that bad. So that's basically the "gist" of my break. Aren't you lucky that you didn't ask me in person?