Saturday, July 18, 2015

I don't hate California

Prior to the wedding, we had a few days to spend in California. We spent them in Mountain View, San Francisco, and the cute wine country and coastal areas around Occidental. I hadn't been out to California in about four years, which made me realize I've been pretty lax about visiting. I suppose my sister should get married more often. I am also committed to coming for the first niece or nephew. In the meantime, it really is a beautiful place and earthquakes, drought, and high cost of living aside, I can't help wondering why everyone doesn't live there. Everywhere you look are stunning vistas, perfectly rolling hills, and lovely and diverse flora. Not too shabby, northern California. 

My mom and I in the Mission.

These are a bit out of order, but we spent one day in San Francisco. On the advice of my parents, we checked out the free San Francisco Cable Car Museum. It's small, but very interesting. They have a real cable car bell you can ring which is surprisingly loud and gets quite old when kids won't stop ringing it. It was also just very interesting to read about how the city changed and rebuilt after the earthquake and fire destroyed it in the early 20th century. Perhaps the coolest thing though is that you can see the actual sheaves (a new word I learned; pronounced 'shiv') and cables running the eight cable car lines in the city. It's a pretty impressive show of simple but powerful machines at work.

Sheaves and cables, labeled by line
 After the transportation museum and a quick pop in to Grace Cathedral, we commenced our much-missed favorite activity of city walking. We walked to Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli Square and from there down to the Ferry Building for snacks. Completing the giant loop, we stopped in Chinatown for dim sum and returned to our hotel in Nob Hill for a break because I had a tiki bar crawl bachelorette party to attend that night.

We took a bunch of pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, but those are all overdone. This is my favorite picture from our city walk. 
 The day before all this (I was just too lazy to re-sort the pictures when they loaded like this), we went out to Silicon Valley to a party at my sister's then-future-and-now-current in-laws place for a party.

The stunning view from their house. Their neighbors have their own small vineyard.
 On the way out, so as to beat the apparently notorious traffic out of San Francisco, we stopped in Mountain View to visit the Computer History Museum. This museum made me realize just how much of computer technology is over my head, but it is a very interesting museum and very well organized. We only had about an hour before it closed, and I think I spent a little too much time puttering around the early stages of computer development and didn't get to appreciate the later stuff. Luckily, I did at least make time to sit in the self-driving car.

Sam took many artsy pictures of the displays at the Computer History Museum. 
 After our time in the Bay Area, we headed north to Occidental for wedding-central. The day before we had some time to go wine tasting and to visit a grove of Redwoods nearby. The Inn kindly provided us some passes for a few free tastings.

At a winery with my parents and cousin Mark. I realize, per the usual, Sam is in none of these photos.

Family amongst the trees. 

On the morning of the wedding, a few of us took a quick jaunt to Bodega Bay and to see the Pacific. It really made me miss seeing the ocean every day. I usually don't think about living in a landlocked city now, but there's something very refreshing about being so close to the crashing waves.
The mighty Pacific.
That basically wraps up our trip. It was nice to be able see some family, I don't get to see very often. And the wedding was of course the highlight, but the whole vacation was a nice getaway. 


  1. Everyone does live here, that's the worst part about it! I see your nod to Jonathan Coultan, by the way :) Definitely visit more, California loves and misses you!

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    1. Your blog is always messing with my groove, it either doesn't post my comments at all or posts them twice. gaah!

    2. Your blog is always messing with my groove, it either doesn't post my comments at all or posts them twice. gaah!