If you’re going to San Francisco…

At long, long last I managed to take some vacation time off of work, and hit the road with Lauren for a long weekend of driving, sightseeing, and catching up with old friends.

A few weeks ago I received an IM from the sister of one of my old roommates – Alex – from UCSC asking if I might be able to make it up to visit him. Alex lives in Redwood City. Having just been granted my vacation days from the City after a year of non-stop work, I decided that I could probably use a few days off. And so I put in a request to take off half of last Friday and all of Monday so that Lauren and I could head up to Redwood City to meet up and catch up with Alex, and to spend some time tooling around San Francisco seeing sights.

Friday

After a few weeks of waiting, last Friday finally arrived, so I went into work in the morning, got a Motion drafted and sent off to the Council Office that requested it, and promptly hit the road at 12 o’clock to drive up to Buellton to pick up Lauren, and then to drive up to a hotel I booked in Redwood City. And so I was off!

I got to Buellton at about 2:45, and Lauren and I were out the door and driving at about 3:10. We hit one spot of pretty hard rain on the way up, but that didn’t last for any more than 15 or 20 miles, and we made pretty good time. Once there I gave Alex a call and we arranged to meet Saturday morning at his house.

Saturday

We spent pretty much all of Saturday hanging around with Alex and catching up on old times – Alex and I hadn’t seen each other since I transferred from UCSC to UCLA, and it was great to catch up. Alex is working on breaking into the music industry, and has quite the little studio set up at his house; he entertained Lauren and I with several of his songs that are really quite good. Somehow, we also ended up stacking tennis balls into pyramids and throwing more tennis balls at them. It’s quite odd, I know, but it is reminiscent of the kinds of things we used to think up back in our college days to keep ourselves entertained. And, thanks to some quick thinking with my camera, if you ever wanted to know what it’s like to throw three tennis balls at a pyramid of stacked tennis balls, you can watch a minute long video here. We also got a game of Monopoly and a game of chess thrown into the proceedings!

Pictures from Alex’s House

Sunday (and San Francisco)

On Sunday, Lauren and I made our way to San Francisco to see the sights. Lauren had four *must see’s* on her list: the Palace of Fine Arts, Ghirardelli Square, Fisherman’s Wharf (where she hoped to get a sourdough bread bowl of clam chowder), and Chinatown. We managed to get to each of them, and we took a bucket-load of pictures. I’d been to Ghirardelli Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Chinatown before, but I hadn’t been to the Palace of Fine arts, which is the only remaining structure of the 1915 World’s Fair that was hosted by San Francisco. And it’s quite a remaining structure; huge, beautiful, imposing, impressive, and picturesque. I’m glad we got a chance to see it. The rest of the sights and stops were also a great deal of fun. Here are some (actually, a great many) pictures:

Pictures from Driving Around San Francisco

Pictures from the Palace of Fine Arts

Pictures from Ghirardelli Square

Pictures from Fisherman’s Wharf

Other San Francisco Pictures

Monday

On Monday, Lauren and I drove down to Santa Cruz where I showed her my old college campus (she hated it, and hate probably isn’t a strong enough word; actually, you can read Lauren’s description of the trip here on here MySpace page), and we stopped in downtown Santa Cruz to do a quick walk around and to stop in my favorite bookstore, Logos. Downtown Santa Cruz has actually changed quite a bit in the 3.5 years it’s been since I went to school there. There’s a great number of new restaurants and shops, and the place has gone a great deal more upscale than when I was there. I was also extraordinarily jealous when I saw that there is now a Trader Joes right in downtown Santa Cruz, whereas when I was there, I had to take the bus from campus to downtown and then drive 10 miles to the next town to get to Trader Joes. C’est la vie.

In any case, we then left Santa Cruz and headed south for home. We made one last stop at the Madonna Inn, where they have crazily themed rooms and a men’s urinal that resembles a stone waterfall, for dinner about 30 miles or so north of Buellton. After eating and doing a small bit of exploring (we had to find the waterfall, after all), we drove back to Lauren’s Mom’s, where I dropped off Lauren before heading home to jump into bed and get ready for work.

And so ends the tale of my vacation! All in all, it was a terrific time, and it was great to be able to take some time (however little) off work to go on a road trip.

Cheers!

(and, just in case you missed it before, the video of the tennis ball pyramid getting destroyed can be found here.)

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Date: Wednesday, 13. December 2006 0:16
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Journal, Photography

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2 comments

  1. 1

    Sounds like it was fun. Glad to see the pics. Wish I had a website to post my pics, damn it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. 2

    Well, there are tons of places online that will host pictures for free (flickr is the big one, I think); I could also set up a gallery deal on this site (I’ve got way more webspace and bandwith than I actually use) – something like http://www.ko.jawlz.com or the like. Up to you!!!

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