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Laura in CA

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Laura in CA last won the day on February 12 2014

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About Laura in CA

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. A friend of ours had to get rabies shots in Central America (he was bitten by a dog), and they were the old-fashioned painful kind (in the stomach). He said that the kind of rabies shots he would normally have gotten here in the U.S. would not have been painful, but he couldn't switch types during a course.
  2. I'm learning a lot in this thread about front-loaders. It's especially interesting about making shorter cycles for American consumers. We always get a kick out of the super-long cycles in Europe – here are photos from the washing machine in our holiday flat in the UK last December we took to show folks back home. Who in the U.S. would accept a 2.5-hour cycle? You do have to plan ahead! ... we're used to popping stuff into the washer and expecting it to be done in, well, under an hour. When we lived in Europe the "Kochwäsche" cycles (95º C 😮 ) impressed me – pretty much steaming-hot water
  3. Don't get me started on "low-flush" toilets that have to be flushed several times instead of once ... 😁 or the mercury-containing compact fluorescent light bulbs that cast a cold glow, give one a headache, AND don't last any longer for us – but are a pain to recycle (we do, of course) and presumably need a lot of handling to recycle, as they are hazardous materials (and who knows how many people do not recycle them, as it isn't made as easy for the U.S. consumer as I have seen in Europe and Asia). Edit: I've banned CF in our house (we use old-fashioned bulbs) until LEDs are more widely av
  4. Check out this puppy in Manteca! Now I see why many people I know who work in the East Bay/Peninsula/SF/San José live in Manteca (& other cities such as Stockton, Modesto, Merced ...). A teacher friend of mine has a colleague who lives in Manteca and teaches in Dublin. She has to leave her house at 5am to have an "easy" hour commute to Dublin; if she leaves at 6am she'll basically never get to work. She arrives at her grandmother's house in Dublin at 6am and takes a 1-hour nap, then goes to the school to work. What a way to live ... BUT my friend says her colleague was able to buy a big ho
  5. LOL and I see why – we were pricing 1- and 2-bedroom condos/townhouses for my son who is moving back to the Bay Area. In our town you can get a pretty nice 1- or 2-bedroom condo for $400k or a bit more, which (boy, have I lost all sense of perspective!!) I was thinking was pretty reasonable – he should be able to save a 20%+ down payment ($100k) within 2 years on his SV salary (AND living at home and commuting, I hasten to add – we've emphasized that we are doing him a favor 🙂 ... a friend of his who works at Google is paying $2.8k PER MONTH for a 1-bedroom apt in Mtn View/Sunnyvale). Any
  6. Six figures are normal starting salaries, even for kids just out of college (& the OP's dd bought a house 5.5 years ago, so she must be a few years out of college). My 23yo son just interviewed at four SV companies last week, and it's absolutely crazy the kind of money that is flying around here (signing bonuses, stock options, etc.). Just crazy.
  7. ha, no worries about finding alternative providers in California 😉 If you want to PM me, I'd be happy to talk with more details about places to live. We are in the East Bay, which is relatively affordable; our son starts at a tech job in SF in a few weeks (he has been lured from out of state). He's not looking forward to the commute (on a bus and then BART), but the job seems perfect for him.
  8. jumping in late – but congrats! we have a 2001 Outback and love it for the snow. And rain. Our son bought a 2017 Crosstrek (he lives in Utah and it's all he drives in the winter; he also has/had a convertible and a motorcycle) and my husband is eyeing them also. We will probably buy our son's Crosstrek from him soon 😊 as he admits he doesn't really need two cars (he's moving to warmer climes).
  9. I was in New Orleans earlier this year for my first time ever, and I found these videos super helpful – riding the St Charles streetcar and this one. In hindsight I should have gotten off at the cemetery midway (Lafayette Cemetery No. 1) but I had a bad cold and was happy to just ride the lovely streetcar around. I would also be interested in tour ideas. Following!
  10. Food trucks are huge in California; I think they may have started with Roy Choi in LA. My brother took us to one of Roy's trucks (Kogi Van Verde) and I didn't see the appeal at first – we were all hunched over the car hood in the dark, eating (wonderful) food (Korean–Mexican fusion)! But since then I've become a convert. I think the advantage is the variety, especially when you have a bunch of food trucks. Everyone in a family can get what he or she wants; then you gather and eat, together, your widely different choices. And at many of these events there is seating, near the group of trucks. P
  11. The Oakland Amtrak station (at Jack London Square) is also an easy walk from the BART station – just a few blocks. We've done the walk lugging a small suitcase each.
  12. We've done the Coast Starlight 3 times recently, twice from Oakland and once from LA. I guess we've always gone north, and flown home from Seattle. The most spectacular scenery is definitely on the LA-to-San Luis Obispo (roughly) part. After that it goes inland. It's still pretty, but except for seeing Mount Shasta (around 6–7am northbound), which is beautiful and snowy, it's not "coast" and just normal farmland, hills, rivers, mountains, etc. Very pretty but not spectacular. We've had both a roomette (perfect for one person; cramped for two!) and a sleeping cabin. Even the roomette
  13. My husband learned that stretch at Fleet Feet and swears by it! He's fine when he does that (and wears good shoes).
  14. Four years ago we did a river cruise with Grand Circle with my parents (who paid). There were wonderful things about it and some things that made me want to SCREAM lol. The fact that it was "free" made it all right. Our main frustrations were mainly a result of the age of the other passengers (99% were old and although active, slooow) and the usual inherent disadvantages of any kind of group activity, even when the groups are small, as on a river cruise (my husband and I usually travel independently). But the scenery (Budapest to the Black Sea) was amazing, the crew and staff were excellent, a
  15. Haha, I've taken photos of our car at the airport! And we've had some bad experiences returning cars. At Heathrow last September we got gouged something like £500 for a microscopic scratch. A photo wouldn't have helped there, unless we'd taken close-ups of all the bumpers, I guess. Luckily this was a work trip so my husband's company paid most of it. And returning a car at Edinburgh train station last July, we left it there around 11:30am since we had a 12:00 train back to London. They said they'd process it right away. Well, it wasn't checked in until 18:00 so we were charged an extra day. 🤯
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