Christian Kemp's USA travelogs

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The contrast was quite striking - I woke up atop the ridge on the right side of Napa Valley, so distant from most everything else; and by early evening, I was in a car on a multi-lane highway, heading towards the busyness of San Francisco.

We had reservations at the Gordon Biersch for their New Year's Eve party, and would sleep at the Holiday Inn. Drinks were included in the (quite steep) entrance price, but their Vodka Red Bulls had the right amount of Vodka in them.

Obviously, there were differences to the last New Year's Eve parties that I attended in Luxembourg - in San Francisco, there seemed to be fewer people (oddly enough). Whether that was because of recent terror threats and people just not feeling well in such an exposed space; or because in the US, everything is just larger and more spaced apart than back home, I don't know. People also seemed to drink less - in Luxembourg, I remember one year where I was disgusted by walking through the party (with some 1000 people, maybe), and having to watch out for a drunk person every few feet.

We left too early for my taste, but then again, in our small group of three people I was the only one who hadn't been out in an office or shop working all day long.

Finding a taxi to take us back to our hotel proved to be quite a challenge - it seems even though I thought there were few people around, there were still too many for the small number of taxis crusing the streets. To make things worse, it had become quite chilly, and it was raining. Still, this was one of the more unique New Year's Eves I've celebrated, and certainly the one that was furthest from home.

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Written August 4th 2004 in Luxembourg