Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 10, 2016

I’m back!

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

You may have guessed but I was on vacation for the past few weeks and, to be honest, I haven’t read the comments for the posts that went up while I was on vacation.

How was my vacation you may or may not be asking, it was great-ish.  Long plane rides are never my idea of a great time and jet lag is a beast, plus we were set to fly two days after the terror attack in Nice to Paris so that was sort of rough.

How was Paris?  It was beautiful and oh so Parisian.  It definitely seemed less busy than it should be in the summer break months.  It appears that French hotels have seen a 10% decline in July from previous years.  There was a noticeable military presence in the city of lights that seemed, well, conspicuous with all the machine gun toting and all.

We spent a lot more time in London which was interesting post Brexit vote.  On our first day there we did one of those hop on hop off buses to get oriented and number two son asked about the Brexit and if Londoners had voted to Brexit and as the words exited his mouth we spotted a anti-Brexit protest parade on Piccadilly Road.

Unlike Paris though London felt really really busy.  Like busy all the time.  I still marvel at the waves of human bodies that use the public transportation system all the damn time and at how efficient the train commuter train system is around London.   Also, did I mention how walkable London is?  Small streets except for the ring road that our flat was located near.  Almost every car deferred to the pedestrian indicating an intent to cross which was novel, but really made walking a pleasure and made you feel safe as a pedestrian that you weren’t going to get flattened by a speeding car.

Anyway, it was exciting to see how two major cities and their suburbs can get by without being completely car dependent.   Although Paris did have these electric car shares everywhere which was sort of neat as well, although they looked a bit rough and clearly people were not necessarily that careful with those cars.  It wasn’t as though the traffic everywhere in London was miserable so it forced people out of their cars, I mean some areas like the neighborhood we were staying in had empty streets all the time.  But the less car dependent culture meant that neighborhoods actually had neighborhood shops.  Like multiple small grocery stores in a two or three block radius, multiple pubs also in that two or three block radius, and, get this, bookstores.  The tube was simply lousy with folks reading actual physical books as opposed to e-readers or playing on their phones.

But even though it was nice to visit, I’m still glad to be home.  It’ll take a bit for me to get caught up on everything that happened while I was gone.  Including, if I’m not mistaken, the inability of the landlords to get their measure on the ballot due to insufficient valid signatures, which means that Tony Daysog’s door to door effort to “collect signatures” really is just a ploy to get his name back into people’s faces and good graces.



  1. London has had a “Congestion Tax” for several years.

    Comment by frank — August 10, 2016 @ 7:49 am

  2. In Mexico City you are prohibited from driving on certain days of the week depending on your car type or year and the last digit on your plate

    Comment by MP — August 10, 2016 @ 8:39 am

  3. In Caracas,
    It is important to remember that pedestrians do not have the right of the way as they do in the U.S. and many European countries. If you slow down or stop at a crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to cross, you could cause an accident with unsuspecting motorists.

    Comment by jack — August 10, 2016 @ 9:43 am

  4. Welcome back! Nothing like a trip to far away lands to get some broader context and appreciation for what seems quite good and what seems to be a work-in-progress here at home, and all of the cultural stuff in between.

    Comment by Dya — August 10, 2016 @ 10:47 am

  5. . It definitely seemed less busy than it should be in the summer break months.

    That’s because Europe goes south in August. To southern Spain mostly, Torremolinos has some of the best bare-ass beaches but all of that part of Spain is great.

    Comment by jack — August 10, 2016 @ 6:25 pm

  6. Welcome home, Lauren. We missed you, as all of the previous comments attest. 😉

    Comment by Jon Spangler — August 12, 2016 @ 9:20 am

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