on saturday we woke up at about 4 am, drove to the airport at about 4:30 am, and found the airport to be packed. we took off just before 7 am, flew into st. louis, took off from there at about 9 am, and arrived at san francsco at about 11:30 am. we got out luggage, found our rental car, and the first place that we headed to was the winchester mystery house.
the winchester mystery house is pretty weird as 1) all the doors and stuff in the house meant to be used by mrs. winchester are all about 4 1/2 feet tall, and 2) it’s got crazy architecture like doors that open into walls and stairs that go up to the ceiling and don’t do anything constructive at all. they say that the house was either created that way because mrs. winchester was either a really bad architect, or that she thought by doing all that building that she would be scaring off the sprits of the people killed by winchester guns.
after we visited the winchester house we ended up just driving to our hotel in san jose, as we were pooped from travelling and didn’t have anything else planned. along the way to san jose as we passed a sign that said “cupertino” i joked that we should go visit apple computer headquarters as that’s located in cupertino. soon after i said that i ended up spotting their building (i didn’t see anything that said “apple” on the building, i just recognized the building from quicktime vr movies i had seen). i’m such a dork, lol.
on sunday we drove to church, then right after that we drove to fort point (which is just underneath the golden gate bridge) and explored there. it used to be a civil war fort in the past, and during wwii they had gun emplacements there to prevent enemy submarines from sailing up the bay.
as we left there we went by the national cemetary and saw the grave of our ancestor william hussey who had served in the civil war. then we drove to downtown san francisco and poked around at fisherman’s wharf. we found an in-n-out there so i made the family eat there so they could see why i had been craving in-n-out food since visiting san diego, lol.
we tried to go on a tour of alcatraz, but they were all sold out through wednesday and that was going to be the day that we would be returning, so we had to give up on seeing alcatraz.
after fisherman’s wharf we drove down lombard street – part of which is known as “the crookedest street” – and made our way up telegraph hill to coit tower which gave us an incredible view of the city.
that night after we found our way to yet another hotel (we ended up staying in a new hotel each night), a friend of my dad named mr. rodgers met up with us and we talked civil war and california for an hour or so.
on monday we drove to napa valley where we saw dozens of vinyards. we ended up stopping at the v. sattui winery where we explored the winery (there wasn’t much we could really see there unfortunately) and had a little picnic lunch.
after that we drove to armstrong state park (i think…. it was armstrong something-or-other…) where we saw lots of redwoods and other tall trees. one of the trees we saw – “the armstrong” – was about 1400 years old!
after exploring the forest we drove to the beach. we walked along the shore for about an hour or so before driving to santa clara to find our hotel. we found a mexican arestaurant named “acpulco” near our hotel that we went to for dinner. unfortuately the restaurant wasn’t that great service-wise (for me, at least), and the hotels were declining in quality as well – this one seemed to be in the ghetto of santa clara. o_o;;
tuesday we breakfasted at a diner that was right across from our hotel and had a great breakfast. i ended up ogling a few of the waitresses there, lol ^_^;;
we first drove to muir woods where we walked around on the paths through the woods. it was really nice to see, but there were many more people here than there were at armstrong state park. on our way out i stopped in the visitors center to get a shirt, and the otakuette working the register and i chatted for a few minutes about anime, hehe. *^_^*
then we drove to this place that overlooked the golden gate bridge. it was really really windy up there, but we were basically up on a mountain right next to the pacific ocean. after taking several pictures there we drove across the golden gate bridge and into town.
the hotel we stayed at this night – the winchester – was the swankiest of all. only valet parking, bellhops to cart your stuff up to your room, etc, etc. we even got back from eating to see that they had opened up the foldaway bed for me, heh. i felt kind of awkward there, personally.
after we got situated at the hotel we took a cable car ride downtown and went around fisherman’s wharf again. we stopped in a few shops (one of these stores sold all sorts of beers from around the world – i got a picture of their wall of beer bottles for sale, lol).
when we were leaving the hotel, my sister kelly had given her digital camera to my other sister anne to carry in the pocket of her sweatshirt. somewhere downtown while we were walking around it fell out and nobody noticed it, so kelly lost her camera and about 200 pictures she had taken (so she was frustrated about that), and anne was devastated that she didn’t notice kelly’s camera going missing, and i felt really bad for both of them, so everybody was sad. ;___; mom’s planning to put a lost & found ad in the paper just in case someone found it and checks there.
we stopped for dinner at a 50’s theme restaurant called “lori’s diner”. anne was still occasionally crying because of what happened with kelly’s camera, and one of the waiters was carrying around icecream for some group and when he saw she was crying he gave her an icecream to cheer up with. we all were putting the mishap behind us as we finished up eating and headed back to our hotel. hopefully someone will find it and see the ad in the paper and give us a call as the camera didn’t have any identification on it at all. ^^;;
now we’re all getting ready to go back home tomorrow. we’ll be flying out at about 1 pm, and arriving at about midnight. then i go off to work the nex day – i hope i’ll be all rested up for that, heh… ^_^;;
damn, that portable keyboard ate up almost all of my battery power! o_o;; pics will be up sometime tomorrow, hehe ^_^;; i can tell already that lots of these are going into my “best of…” category for pics i’ve taken *^_^*