Back home... we have a mall with a couple small strip mall-like plazas around it. It's really not that great, but it's what we have.
Here in CA, it seems like there is a Walmart and/or Target every 1/4 mile. Not to mention the myriad of other stores around here that we don't even have at home. The number of shops, restaurants, plazas, etc is really staggering for someone like me. I'm not used to going to Google Maps and typing in a place and finding 5 or 6 of the same place within like 15 miles. I'm usually lucky to see one within 50 or 60 miles depending on what I'm looking for.
Was reading Autoblog yesterday (as I normally do) and there was a little "review" of a book about the Yugo (yes, the Yugo, the sad little car). It made the book sound pretty entertaining, so I figured it might be a good read for my 5 hour flight home on Saturday. Headed over the bn.com and looked it up. There are at least 5 or 6 Barnes & Nobles in this area... within about 15 miles, like I said. The closest one that had the book in stock was Dublin. I put a hold on it. No major plans for the evening, so I figured it would be a good night for a drive. Plus, like I've said, there are a ridiculous number of plazas and shops out that way.
I've been surprised at how easy things are to find out here. Well, I guess more surprised by how easy I am able to get around. I've driven in some traffic outside of Philly, NYC, DC before.. but not a whole lot. But after a quick peek at the Google map, I was on my way. Found the B&N... browsed around a bit. Grabbed my book. Headed over to Best Buy to browse around and waste some time. Noticed that this is one of the stores with the "Magnolia" place in it. This is where I would have been able to buy my new TV if I got it in a store (they don't have these ANYWHERE near me at home). They didn't even have my TV there though.
After killing some time, I figured dinner sounded good. That was awesome cause there seemed to be about 50 different restaurants right in this little area. I had mentioned Fuddruckers yesterday and figured why not... I had a burger for lunch, might as well have one for dinner too.
Glad I did... it was awesome. One of the things that I don't really care for when traveling is the "customs" and such in a place I've never been. Like after I finished off my 2/3 lb burger and was going to leave... where do I take my basket and cup? No garbage or tray return kind of place that I've found. So I took them to the counter, not wanting to be a jerk and just leave them on the table. Um, apparently that's just what you do there. Just leave everything on the table. Alrightly then.
The burger though, was great. I'm instantly a big Fuddruckers fan... for one major reason though... they don't put anything on your burger. That is, I ordered a bacon cheese burger. I got a burger on a roll with bacon and cheese on it. NOTHING else on it. They have a whole "buffet" of toppings/dressing items for it. So I can put exactly what I want on it and nothing more. SOOO much better than having to ask for something without stuff.
Lunch today? Don't know. Have to look around. I know my contact here had mentioned possibly going out to lunch with him today. I may end up doing that. Don't know. I think he's pretty busy. Dinner? Not sure about that either. I may end up at Pier 39 tonight with some Scion people. Maybe see some sea lions... maybe Alcatraz. Who knows.