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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!


#31. I walked across the Golden Gate Bridge when I was thirty-one years old.

Okay, maybe this isn’t so unique or anything — I don’t really know. Certainly, on the day my wife and I walked the bridge (both ways, of course), there were a lot of people out there doing likewise. Dozens, if not hundreds. It’s a long bridge, after all.

So perhaps more important for me than the bridge itself is that this was my first — and only, to date — trip to California. I was in ‘frisco for a week-long conference, and my wife flew out for the weekend afterwards. We hooked up with an old friend from college, and she and her husband showed us the sights, including the bridge.

We also got a chance to see — but not eat in — Chinatown, (What kind of ripoff is that?) the ultra-windy Lombard Street, and the Embarcadero. We checked out the bay, and peered out at Alcatraz (but again didn’t have time to visit — gyp number two for the trip), and watched the sea lions lounging by the pier. (Now there’s a job I could get into — Hey, just lie here for eight hours or so, then go for a quick swim, and then get back to lying here, all right? We’ll bring you some fish later.‘)

But the real treat (for me) on the trip was a visit to PacBell Park. Unfortunately, we were there in late April, so we could only see a preseason game. Of course, that also meant that we could actually get tickets, so I suppose I should be careful what I wish for. But the park is gorgeous; they’ve really done a great job with it. The sightlines are great, it has personality, and having the water just beyond the right field fence — genius. Of course, when we went, there weren’t too many boats braving the chilly April night air for a shot at one of Barry Bonds’ longballs — just a kayak or two paddling around and trying to stay warm. But it’s still a great idea. I most certainly approve.

Plus, PacBell had the absolute best concessions of any ballpark I’ve been to. Sure, they had the requisite hot dogs and popcorn and peanuts, and I’d wager that they offered some specialty food that we didn’t see or get to sample. But we did have Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale — yes, together, thank you — and that was absolutely heavenly by stadium standards. Usually, you’re lucky to find an Amstel Light and an ice cream bar. This was the shit, boys and girls — the primo shit.

So, I enjoyed my first jaunt to Cali, and I’d like to return sometime to see some of the things I missed. (But mainly just so I can sing, ‘I’m goin’ back to Cali… to Cali… to Cali; I’m goin’ back to Cali… yo, I don’t think so‘ to my wife during the entire trip; ain’t I a stinker?) I hear the wine country is especially nice, as well as San Diego, and most of the beaches. I mean, I’m not pretty enough to live there, of course. But I can still go to booze up at their vineyards and splash on their shoreline. It’s a free frickin’ country, you know.

Maybe we’ll even make it back to San Fran, and actually eat in Chinatown, and go see Alcatraz, and do some of the other things we missed. (Hey, we didn’t have any Rice-A-Roni, either — what the hell were we thinking?!) But as much as I enjoyed it, I’m not walking over the Golden Gate Bridge again. It’s a long frickin’ way, folks, and it’s tiring and windy and cold. Besides, that’s what cars are for — goin’ over bridges and shit like that. I’d rather spend my time doing something cool, like going back for another ball game. If there’s one thing that never gets old, it’s a dinner of good beer and even better doughnuts. Two great tastes that taste great together. God bless you, San Francisco!

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