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Friday, November 20, 2015

GAWA Day #65: San Francisco to Honolulu

This is the final day of my Global Around the World Adventure (GAWA).  The local TV stations seem to think that today will be the busiest travel day of the year for San Francisco Airport, as people are now trying to avoid that Thanksgiving Eve bustle to take an extended holiday.  SFO might well be unusual, but here is the truth (air travel in the U.S. this year):

Surprisingly, the day before Thanksgiving only ranks as the 121st busiest day of the year.  Thus, the  absolute peaks for air travel are almost all on summer weekends.  One exception:  THE SECOND BUSIEST DAY THIS YEAR WILL BE NOVEMBER 29, THE SUNDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING.

Two slowest day of travel by air?  Thanksgiving and Halloween.  Christmas is a day when plane ticket prices are low.


Perhaps tomorrow I'll provide my worst and best of all 65 days and summarize the whole journey.  Today?  A few things about San Francisco that might surprise you, or not:
  • SFO is home to 3,500 restaurants, the highest per capita in the nation, and 1.5 times more than the number two city, which is Fairfield, Connecticut.  However, only #8 in bars/capita (New Orleans is #1).  In 2014 San Francisco had zero Michelin 3-Star restaurants.  Now, two, and add three more for the Bay Area.  Thus the five rivals New York City's six.
  • Something Chaine members might want to place on their travel schedule:  Napa has a Truffle Festival from January 15-18.  Truffles:
    • are a version of mushrooms, which are fungi
    • depend on animals eating them to distribute their spores
    • normal size varies from marble to golf ball
    • no variety is known to be poisonous
    • if you're searching for them, they are always at the root of trees, with the best being younger (15-40 year old) Douglas fir
    • not all truffles are of expensive gourmet quality
    • white truffles can be found in Oregon (from northern California into British Columbia), but add Texas to the list
    • immature truffles do not have that special pungency sought by chefs (which is why Oregon varieties are unpopular because they are many times not ready for consumption)
    • are best used raw as shavings
    • refrigerate (although if you have the real stuff, the aroma transfers to other foods) and store in a paper bag, never plastic, although freezing can work
    • you can grow truffles
    • you can train your dog (pig too) to search for truffles
    • join the North American Mycological Association to get educated (there is no chapter in Hawaii)
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Typhoon In-fa is up to 115 MPH, but should be easing by Guam sufficiently south, bringing some rain and high waves:


However, there will still be some strengthening, with a current projected path safely turning north before approaching Japan.

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