Friday, November 4, 2011

Kyla in Cali, Part 2 of 2

On Wednesday, I took Kyla back up to San Francisco. This time, we drove halfway and then took the subway the rest of the way to save time (and money, really, since it's cheaper to park than it is to take the train the whole way). We went to the Ferry building, Pier 39, and Fisherman's Wharf. We had lunch at the Crab House so that Kyla could try dungeness crab. She didn't think it was any better than any other type of crab. She found a few souvenirs that she liked and we saw the sea lions. We peered at Alcatraz from a distance and she saw the Golden Gate Bridge.

Jonathan was able to take a day off on Thursday to accompany us down to Monterey. It's a coastal area about 90 minutes away, so it makes for a rather nice day trip. On the way there we stopped at a surplus store for a few minutes (they're so much more prevalent in the south than they are here!). We made a lunch reservation at Cafe Fina, at the Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey. It had a lovely write-up in Frommer's, and we requested a table by the window to see the sea lions, as the book suggested. Alas, they granted our request and we had an entire floor to ourselves, though the sea lions weren't out. We did, however, get to see a few otters, so that was fun. The food was wonderful - I really recommend the shrimp salad sandwich.

After lunch we walked the rest of Fisherman's Wharf and admired some of the views. Then it was on to Cannery Row, where we found some decent parking and went to the aquarium. It's a very nice aquarium. Be sure to leave yourself plenty of time, especially if you want to see any of the demonstrations or the animal feedings.

see the pretty scallops?
tons of sand dollars
great shot (if I do say so myself) of a live barnacle
honeycomb moray eel
Purple-striped jellyfish
black sea nettle
green sea turtle
leafy sea dragon
 We stopped at a beach point on the way back so Kyla could touch the Pacific. We also stopped at a roadside produce stand where I picked up some avocados, kiwis, and almonds. We treated Kyla to In-n-Out for dinner, a Western-US fast food place. That night we made it over to the local miniature golf course, which had been decorated for Halloween. I actually won, which is a rare occurrence. Both Kyla and I got two hole-in-ones, though on different holes. This was the same place where I played for my last birthday, but this time we did the other course, so it was still new.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Kyla in Cali, Part 1 of 2

My sister came out to visit us for 10 days as part of her birthday celebration.

Since I was already in FL, we flew out together to California on a Monday and arrived rather late due to a storm in San Francisco, so we spent Tuesday and Wednesday hanging around the house, showing her local places, and not doing anything too exciting. Well, we did go to the drive-in movies on Wednesday (and stayed for a double feature!), and she enjoyed her first time to one of those.

Thursday, though, was the first day of excitement - she and I spent a few hours at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose. I found out it existed last spring, but hadn't been. They actually have the largest collections of Egyptian artifacts in the western US.
the entrance
Canopic Jar Sarcophagus - it was designed
to hold a jar of the  mummy's internal organs
Tahure's mummy. She was about 28 when she died. 
Gazelle mummy! Elderly women kept gazelles as pets.
Taweret Figure of limestone. 
cat mummy.
Nile catfish mummy. Fish and beef were mummified for
the deceased to "eat" in the afterlife.
baby crocodile mummies, to honor the god Sobek.
That evening we took her for Mediterranean food in downtown Sunnyvale. We particularly love a place called Dish Dash, where we all enjoyed our meals.

Saturday we took the train up to San Francisco to meet up with Jim and have Thai for dinner. Sadly, Kyla didn't enjoy Thai food (and we went to a family-style restaurant, so she was able to try four different dishes) but she thought that the pirate-themed bar (Smuggler's Cove) that we took her to afterward was neat!

Sunday afternoon we took Kyla to a bridal show in San Jose. Since event management is currently the arena in which she wants to enter, plus she enjoys doing work with brides at her current job, I thought she'd like going to a show. I never went to one while I was planning my wedding, so it was interesting for me, too. After she got into it, Kyla had a great time and mentioned it was one of the highlights of the entire trip.

That night we decided to go to the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. It actually has quite a history - it's this giant, 150+ room mansion that was constantly under reconstruction for over 30 years. Sarah Winchester believed that the spirits of the men killed by Winchester guns were out to get her, so she kept building onto her home so they couldn't find her. We opted to take the flashlight tour of the house, though I'm sure it's much more spectacular in the daylight! We also went through the "maze" that they had up, which was really a gargantuan haunted house. It took us 15+ minutes to walk through it, and it was VERY well-done. Groups were timed well, the people who popped out were actually pretty scary, and the decorations in each scene were exquisite. Kyla isn't one for too much scary, but a good time was had by all... plus, it started our Halloween festivities!

Monday was pretty low-key, as we had planned to go miniature-golfing but got rained out. Tuesday we spent time at home going over some things for her upcoming college transfer and such.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

September 2011

We flew to Orlando on the 16th and drove to Tallahassee the next day to enjoy the Oklahoma game. It was a fun time even though we lost. We stayed the night with my friend Heather and enjoyed some Tallahassee favorites, like Gumby's pizza.

Amy with Heather
Jonathan and Amy
Band in the stands
Band on the field
Osceola & Renegade
Jonathan took a few meetings but was otherwise headed back to Cali. On the other hand, I spent some extra time in Florida, though I was stuck with a miserable cold for a chunk of the time. I enjoyed some game nights, some frozen yogurt, a belated birthday dinner with my brother, and the ringing in of my sister's 21st birthday. I spent two lovely days catching up with my camp friends and spent the night at Tori's house. Oh, and dentist and doctor appointments, LoL.