Friday I left work early, at 4, after being a little worried about the temp being able to do everything she needed to do. But I figured she couldn't mess too much up in an hour, and then this whole week she could ask Patti and Jan questions if she had any.
So we went to Starbucks and started on south. And drove and drove and listened to music and it got dark and we stopped in Chico at about midnight and slept at a rather icky Motel 6. Lots of shady characters around there in the night.
In the morning we slept until we woke up, and watched some Back to the Future which was on TV, and started down towards Sacramento.
We got to Cory's mom's house at about noon, and chatted with her for awhile before she took us out on a walk around campus where she works. I was wearing sandals which weren't very good for walking, and ended up getting blisters on the balls of my feet. Ow. It's hard to limp on both feet. :) Then we settled back in her apartment and started going through pictures so she could get copies of the ones she wanted. (Her apartment is teensy but it's covered with framed pictures of family, and the only ones of us were at the wedding.) After we showed her a few pictures she'd see something that reminded her of a story, and she'd tell us, and eventually it was time to start down south to Joel's house and we had only looked through about a third of the pictures. Oh well. So we drove down to Concord and had dinner at Joel's friend's pub, and then his mom went home and we sat around at Joel's and hung out for a few hours before sleeping.
Sunday was family day. We got up and drove over to Menlo Park, where I looked through things and chatted with Grandma and Grandpa and got hot and sweaty from running around. We spent a few hours there and then went to The Sequoias, which is a senior facility that is just a few minutes from their house, so we could see where they're going to be moving next week. It's a very nice place, with lots of places to walk around and be outside in the fresh air, lots of grass and trees, and Grandma's apartment's sliding door was unlocked because they're still getting it ready for her so we went in and looked at it. It looks nice too. She seems to be excited to get over there - I think it'll be nice for her not to have to worry about the house and Grandpa and whether they have to move - they're going to be staying there for the rest of their lives.
After our little tour, we drove down to Mountain View to Cory's grandparents' house and met Joel as well as Cory's aunt and uncle there. Everybody seemed to hit it off pretty well. Grandpa was quiet (it's hard to interact with strangers when you're pretty much blind and really hard of hearing) except for a few little funny stories he told. We spent a few hours there having a roast and really good potato and cheese casserole and green beans. And wine. And now I've made myself hungry typing about it. :)
We were planning on only seeing them for that day, but they talked us into going back over on Thursday so we'll be doing that.
Monday we went into San Francisco and spent all day there. We got to Golden Gate Park right around noon, or a little before, and walked around. The California Academy of Sciences and the Young Museum were on our list to see, but we didn't know until we got there that both are closed for renovation until 2008. Phooey. So we walked up the panhandle of the park and down Haight street and poked around in the shops around Haight-Ashbury and ate lunch at a taqueria. (The burritos were big enough that we shared one for lunch and later shared the other one for dinner.) There were a lot of young people on Haight-Ashbury, and most of them had an interesting sense of style. There were also a lot of panhandlers. And I thought Portland was bad. :)
Then we walked back to our car via the Japanese Tea Garden, which was really pretty. I got my coworker Jan a little windchime shaped like a bird, to thank her for watching Trout for us.
Next we went up to the Presidio to go to the Exploratorium and the Palace of Fine Arts. We got there at 4:40 and ran in to get tickets to play in the Exploratorium but of course it was closing at 5 so we didn't have to pay to get in but we also didn't get to see hardly anything and what we did see was very quick. We drove around just south of the park and saw some pretty nice sights from the top of a couple of hills, and took lots of pictures.
After that we found our way up to Twin Peaks, which is a very nice overlook of the entire city. There's a spot to park and look in little telescope thingies, but we opted to park a bit further back and then climb up to the top of one of the peaks, which is only a couple hundred yards up from the road, if that. It was very windy and started getting pretty cold so we didn't spend as much time as we wanted to up there. We sat in the car and had our other burrito for dinner instead.
Then we went to the Civic Center, passing by Castro Street which is the mecca for gays and lesbians in the city. We saw a lot of male couples walking dogs and pushing strollers, all domestic-like. We parked by the Opera House and took a couple of pictures of City Hall, which is really fancy compared to the Opera House. You'd think the Opera House would be fancier.
After we walked around there a couple of minutes Cory decided he wanted to seek out the Westin St Francis Hotel or something like that, which he'd been in as a kid to ride the glass elevator up 30 floors. We drove another mile or so and parked on the top of a hill, hiked down, found it, got in there and it was hugely decadent. I immediately felt uncomfortable - I was worried people were going to tell us to leave unless we were guests. I found a bathroom but wouldn't go in because there was a towel lady in there. Heh. So we rode a couple of elevators, none of which were the ones he wanted, and then we finally found the right one. By this time I was ready to leave because I felt so icky in there, but we went in and Cory pressed the top floor button. Of course, at the top floor we were greeted by an employee who asked if we were there for "the event." We muttered something about having pressed the wrong button and left.
We wandered around that are for a little while, looking at all the people and all the upscale shops. I went into Gap and found a top, and went into Urban Outfitters and found another top that I liked more than the Gap one but it was $230. For a freaking tank top. Whatever, dude.
Then we found a place to have a drink and I had a glass of riesling, Cory had a martini, and we shared a slice of peach upside-down cake. 'Twas good. Then we hiked up the three blocks back to our car and found our way back to the Bay Bridge.
It took us almost half an hour to get through half of the Bay Bridge - traffic was super slow and we couldn't figure out why. It was after nine by then. When we passed by some flares traffic sped up again, and we didn't see any other evidence of an accident - until we got to the other side of the bridge, when I spotted a couple of cop cars and two tow trucks, one of which was carrying a black, burnt-out shell of a car with the tires hanging off the wheels in shreds. It was completely destroyed. That must've been what had happened. Oy.
When we got back there were some people over at Joel's house so we stayed up and hung out for a while before bed, even though we were really tired and my blisters were bigger and uglier than they were on Saturday.
Today we woke up and went north to Vallejo with Joel and his friend Jared to have breakfast with another couple of friends (Kevin and his wife Fiona) who are going to be moving to Scotland next week. (Fiona's Scottish - she has a cute accent.) We drove around for awhile before finding the diner we wanted, which was closed on Tuesdays (sounds familiar, eh - everything we want to see is closed on this trip!) and went to another spot to eat. Greasy diner breakfasts were had, and then we parted ways with Kevin and Fiona and came back to Joel's.
Then Cory and I parted ways with Joel and Jared to go to Berkeley. I really liked Berkeley - it kind of reminded me of some neighborhoods in the Portland area. We went to the university and poked around in the library for a bit and went to the top of the tower where 64 bells are hung, with a carillon. We went to a cafe too, for some coffee and apple cider, and then we found our way back to the freeway and came home, via a road right next to the Claremont Hotel. And now we're about to leave again to have dinner and see a movie, so I shall end this abruptly.