I forgot to blog about our trip to California! We left out on Thanksgiving day. The airport wasn’t too bad (especially when you can use the business class line!) When we got to Brandi and Howard’s house, we settled in and then started making a Thanksgiving feast. They have the greatest little house. It is around 100 years old, and they even have a picture taken from bird’s eye view of their community from the early 1900s. It has a lot of character.
During the trip we visited Sonoma where we went to two wineries and tasted several kinds of wines. I don’t like to buy random souvenirs because I never know what to do with them, so we have started a tradition of getting a Christmas ornament on each of our trips. So I got a beautiful ornament in Sonoma that is a real grape vine leaf that is dipped in gold. We also bought a gold dipped redwood leaf at Muir woods. It is one of the only redwood forests left, and I was also able to get my grandmother a baby redwood that she had wanted during her visit, but forgot to pick up on the way out. We got our first real look at the Pacific from Muir Overlook. We also went to a lookout area over the Golden Gate Bridge and got some great pictures.
On one of the first days, we visited Berkeley and the botanical gardens there. The vegetation on that side of the country is so different than here, I found it fascinating. Once in the city, we visited the zoo (yes, the same one in which the tiger escaped.) The exhibits there are so wonderful because you are able to see the animals so well. We did some shopping in China town…twice.
We got to see the sea lions at Pier 39, which I loved even though it wasn’t the time of year that sees the most action. We then took the last Alcatraz tour of the evening which is totally worth it if you have never been. We were taken by surprise when we returned from the tour because we were hard-pressed to find somewhere open to eat dinner. It is like everyone, even in the hot tourist spots, goes home at 5.
Brandi also took us up to see Lombard Street (aka curviest street in the country). I was so intrigued by the way the houses were built into those insane hills. We walked (climbed) past an elementary school and the children were outside at recess. Everything was just so different from how I grew up. Just some fenced in pavement on a steep incline of a street.
We of course went to the Apple Store there. The one thing we did not do was ride a cable car. This was my first time to the west coast, and I really enjoyed it. I am so glad we were able to see Brandi and Howard as well. Thanks sis!