One point I made was that, since my cataract surgery, colors are vivid again, and I particularly noted the beauty of the various shades of green all through my Bullet Train rides:
I almost always had some kind of bento with beer and sake on long Shinkansen trips:
Then later that day trained to Matsumoto to say hello to Pearl's Gold Koi:
The following morning I had a gigantic breakfast, where you can see the fabled Bangkok traffic in the background, and also the Sky Train, which is adjacent to this hotel. I then moved to the Sheraton Royal Orchid located on the banks of the Chao Phraya. Here you can see a reflection, and below that photo, a boat sailing by at night:
I'm building up my Starwood stays, so I moved to the Plaza Athenee Grande Meridien, where I went down for my first French meal. Oops, it was closed, so I instead went next door to Ugetsu where I might have had my best Japanese meal on this trip:
Where but in Bangkok would you find Pink Pussy?
My final meal in Bangkok was a two-course foie gras extravagance with truffles:
These past few days I have never had more foie and truffles in my life, and the best is yet to come, for First Class Thai Air from Bangkok to Sydney is a 9 hour feast.
It all starts with Dom Perignon and an elaborate caviar presentation:
The main dish was truffles lasagna.
So I'm now in Sydney, and here is Australia's flag at sunset:
I had a hot dog with beer at the Cal-Hawaii football game in ANZ Stadium, which has a seating capacity of 83,400. The announced attendance was 62,247, although I counted a lot less.
Sydney is, indeed, one of the best cities in the world. They are today #8, with San Francisco, Portland and Honolulu generally around 30 as the best the USA has to offer.
I splurged on only one meal, an excellent truffle artichoke soup and much more in Circular Quay:
The flight from Sydney to San Francisco on the Dreamliner was 13 hours long, but I couldn't sleep even for a second:
Had two lunches in SFO, a mini-class reunion and gathering for the Blue Revolution. Jim, my freshman roommate at Stanford, had a photo taken with Kathy way back in 1958. Before and now:
In the lobby of the Westin St. Francis is a Chateau Montelena tasting room. I had the latest version of the bottle that changed the wine world, their Chardonnay:
Finally, the only four things I bought were a $2 cane, an assortment of my 8th generation safari shirts from Jackie's Tailor in Bangkok, an Emporio Armani watch--an identical version which was 15 times more expensive at an adjacent department store--and a bottle of single malt whiskey from Tasmania:
On my flight back to Honolulu I actually slept for a couple of hours, the first time I've been able to do this in decades, and, therefore, missed taking that aerial shot of beautiful Honolulu. However, I awoke just as the plane was approaching Honolulu Airport and managed to take this, plus to show where I started, Diamond Head:
While Hawaii was spared by Madeline and Lester, I might indicate that Tropical Storm Hermine will actually strengthen back into a hurricane: