The Great Western Sensory Overload (Seattle to the Bay Area)

Andre and I traveled to many places over the 2012 Holidaze – a needed distraction after a long year of hard work. In consideration of end of the baktun (or Myan calendar cycle), we decided to spend the end of the world together, and in a perpetual state of sensory overload. First up we headed to the Bay Area for some pre XMas activities with his family.

We begin on 12/21 at the Dragon Gates of San Francisco, Chinatown. Our mission is to touch and smell everything.¬†Foiled out the gate… the lanterns along Grant Avenue prove just out of reach.

SFdontHundreds of little nagging signs leap out from each surface in this beautiful store. “Don’t Touch!” “You Break It, You Own It!” “No Trying On!” From nowhere, a voice yells “No Photos!” just as I find the “No Photos!” sign hidden below me.

SFbunzI recover by looking at delicious bunz and holding in the sensory overload.


Our overload adventures continue in Berkley at the Telegraph Avenue Holiday Street Fair. While smelling dozens of bars of soap, a torrential downpour arrives, and we help the vendors cover their inventory, before it lathers away.

Andre runs into old friends, so I take his sister into Amoeba Records to kill time. She’s a musician, but reveals this is the first CD store she’s ever been in. “Wha?!? We’ve set the bar too high,” I lament.

SFAmoeba Records

We end the journey with too many records and stuffed with Turkish food.


SFXmasOur walkabout continues when we discover Andre’s Tio has never been in a Nordstorm’s. We brave the ginormous, downtown San Francisco Mall, where the Nordstrom’s alone is three stories tall. We survive the lion’s den, but barely.

And so it goes, back and forth between family, extended family, and friends. We eventually head out of the Bay Area on the morning of 12/24.











By XMas Eve we are back in Seattle and in more familiar sensory overload territory. We spend the night beneath the 600 foot, decorated TV tower out of our window.

SEADawgsEarly XMas morning we are back at the airport again. Ever noticed the incredible number of adults that fly with a little dog in their carry on? Notice how many say they are service dogs? How does a dog best serve zipped inside a bag? “Prepare my chapstick, Fi-Fi!”

The overload continues, in the second leg – The Great Western Sensory Overload (Seattle to Texas).

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