Freedom Tour: Day One

So, I left Manchester for my first destination, Chicago about an hour and a half later than scheduled, which didn’t make for much fun. That, coupled with a middle seat made for some uncomfortable travel. Apparently the airline had no idea I’m vegetarian, so I wound up getting a quarter of the lunch I could have had. So, delayed and hungry, we finally land in Chicago, with about an hour until my connecting flight for San Francisco leaves. Of course, getting through immigration is a big queue, and sure enough, I wound up being flagged and having to go and sit in Homeland Security while they figured it out. This happened before, and I told the guy this. Anyway, they did a really good job of it, and eventually found the glitch in their system that was causing me to be flagged – apparently my Canadian namesake is who they’re actually looking for.
So, 6pm in San Francisco comes, and we land, and by the time I locate Jason and MJ, it’s almost 7, or 3am in the UK. Dinner was at Q and the Ultimate Vegan Grill, which is well recommended, though caution – it’s a BIG plate of food.
I was pretty much beat by this point, but Jason gave me a little tour of the bay, including a little visit to Sausalito, and over the Golden Gate bridge to the edge of Marin County. I like San Francisco – it’s cute, homely and has lots of trees and places you can go which are unspoilt. It also has a ton of restaurants, some very cool companies and lots of great people.
It’s now almost 7am, and I’m up to head down to Mountain View for the Google Summer of Code summit, which an 8.30am breakfast, and judging by the Official Google blog, I’m in for a treat:-

– Googlers prefer Canadian bacon (45 lbs.) to chicken-apple sausage (30 lbs.)
– Steel-cut oatmeal (10-12 gallons) wins out over organic grits (6-8 gallons)
– We polish off 5 cases of fresh fruit (cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple)
– Devour 160 breakfast burritos (eggs, veggies, cheese)
– We cook 80-100 lbs. of red bliss potatoes
– We use 2 gallons of egg whites (for the omelets)
– Googlers gulp down 9 gallons of fresh coffee every morning (just in our cafe)

Running tally of Mountain Dew consumed: 100ml.
Tomorrow, I travel up to Boston for a week. I hope to experience Grendels, meet some very cool people from the likes of OLPC, OpenWetWare, Science Commons and the like, and also I’m looking forward to finally meeting my colleagues at the Free Software Foundation.