A report on our brief trip to California.
We get up at 3:30 am for our earlier than the crack of dawn launch and catch our flight out (Jetblue, which was decent). Upon arrival in Oakland we find coffee and breakfast. We call up zammis
' father and find him in San Francisco, more or less on schedule. Weather is absolutely gorgeous (and stays that way the whole weekend). We spend the afternoon doing requisite tourist activities: eating at Fisherman's Wharf, riding cable cars, getting Ghiradelli chocolate. We did stop at the little cable car museum which was neat. I really like cable cars and I think part of the attraction is that they are Victorian era technology that is still in use, seeing the powerhouse is like a glimpse of what a Steampunk world might be like.
From the It's a Small World Dept. we find ani_moore
wandering the streets :-) Sadly we don't have much time to hang out with them as we're off to find one of my friends from high school and do dinner. We meet at a taco place in the Mission District and have a good time catching up. From there it's off to Napa Valley where we are staying with my uncle. We find his place fine and fall over, very exhausted.
Sleep until noon. We discover Bush is in town, fly nearly 3,000 miles and we can't escape the asshole, least he could have done is give a ride, but no, he had to have room for his Presidential mountain bike. Anyway we spend the day visiting wineries. Fortunately my uncle is in the wine business so he can tell us which of the 20 gazillion wineries are worth visiting, we manage 4, plus one port distillery and come away with several bottles of yummy stuff. As my uncle's family goes off to join the local anti-Bush protests we head to the next valley over to meet up with Sam's extended family (the actual purpose of this trip). We have a very nice Italian dinner (hmmmm, lobster ravioli) and I get to meet many aunts and uncles and siblings and cousins. After dinner it's back over the mountains and more sleep.
Sleep in some more, do a little shopping (olive oil and chocolate), then more reunion-ness at Sam's aunt's house. More yummy food and conversation. Despite's Sam's threats her family seems relatively normal1
. Back to my uncle's for even more yummy food (I'm not sure how we manage to not explode), including the largest shrimp I've ever seen (inner voice: those aren't shrimp, those are king prawns!).
Lazy day in that we don't have to drive anywhere most of the day, lay around reading2
and napping. Some more of my relatives come up from San Francisco so we can have a mini-reunion of our own. More good food, conversation, and wine (with another bottle to take home3
). After that it is time to say our farewell's and drive back to Oakland to catch our flight. Once in the airport we realize we left the chocolate we bought behind, Doh! Ah, well, a relatively minor mishap for an otherwise lovely trip, and at least it'll still get eaten.
Arrive back home Monday morning newly sleep deprived since I couldn't sleep on the plane. Sleep most of the day once I get home. 1
Though I must admit that my idea of what's normal is set by my own family4
, so I may not be a good judge. I'll stand by my father's mantra "I'm just regular, it's everyone else that's strange."2
Sharon Shinn's Mystic and Rider
, a fun, light read, nowhere near as good as Archangel
I would recommend to anyone.3
When someone that grows grapes for a living offers you a bottle of wine you say yes.4
In case you've forgotten about my family, my grandfather's letter