Vacation Wrap-up

My sister and brother-in-law came out from Minnesota for a visit this week. All I can say is WOW!! We had a blast. I drove 1300 + miles in 6 days showing them the big state of California.

26.Feb.2005

I drove down to LAX to pick them up and then we drove over to our hotel in Santa Monica. We toured the local attactions (Third Street Promenade, and the Pier) on Saturday night. The highlight of the night for me was going to a British pub and getting a huge bear hug from some crazy Wales rugby fan.

27.Feb.2005

Sunday we took off early to beat the traffic to the California Speedway in Fontana. My sister and her husband were nice enough to buy tickets for all of us for the Auto Club 500. I had never watched a nascar race (live or on TV) so this was going to be a interesting experience. I have to say that Nascar really knows what it is doing. Almost every fan I saw was covered in Nascar clothes (hats, shirts, jackets, headphones, shoes, etc…) and I believe the attendence at the race was around 90,000. I won’t say that I am a die hard fan, but I certainly have some interest in the sport now.

28.Feb.2005

Monday morning we left for Pismo Beach which is on the central coast halfway between L.A. and San Francisco. I think the day and a half that we spent there was my sisters favorite location. You could tell that she was amazed by the spectacular beaches and laid back vibe that Pismo gave us. I will post a picture of the sunset that we witnessed soon.

Monday night we had dinner with my girlfriend and then just hung out in the hotel lounge exchanging some really great conversation. My girlfriend was extremly busy at school, so I just want to tell her thanks for taking the time to come out with us for a few hours.

01.Mar.2005

Tuesday we drove back to the central valley so that I could show my sister where I lived and worked. I gave her a mini tour of my place of employment and introduced them to a few co-workers.

Tuesday night we went out to eat with a couple of my co-workers at Torii’s. My brother-in-law was really digging on this place. It has a really fun atmosphere and it was great to see both my sister and her husband eating Japanese with chop sticks!!

02.Mar.2005

Off to San Francisco!! Let’s see, we went to the following neighborhoods:

The Haight:
Saw some very interesting/shady characters around. How do people live on the streets?? I wonder what the path they took in their early years to end up living on the streets.

Golden Gate Park:
We really just covered the tip of the iceberg at the park, I just wanted to show them how secluded the park is. I love how quiet it is while being so close to the big city.

Fisherman’s Wharf:
This is where we spent the majority of our time. We hit a bunch of the little shops, studied the sea lions on Pier 39 and also took a bay cruise that went under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz.

China Town:
Took a stroll through the madness that is China town. I love that you can just dive into a totally different culture just by hoping off the cable car and walking a few blocks. All the signs are in Chinese and you just lose yourself in all the little markets where people are battling for the best fish/meat/produce.

Union Square:
Shopping mecca, loads of people chilling out in the square.

SoMa:
Excellent little park called Yerba Buena. We sat on the overlook and could see over the whole park and the SF MOMA.

Marina:
We had to go to my favorite pizza place… Amici’s

So needless to say we were quite busy. We ended up staying in a hotel down by the wharf so that we could just take off from there to the Sacramento Airport in the morning.

03.Mar.2005

Took off early from SF to the Sacramento Airport. We stopped at a starbucks on our way, my sister had never been to one!! So they are now a part of the craze that is Starbucks. The airport wasn’t busy at all so I parked and went in to make sure that my sister got through security ok. It was a tearful goodbye and I have to say that I am so happy that they made it out here for a few days of relaxation. I really enjoyed their company the whole time and I am looking forward to the next time!!

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