Sunday, May 8, 2011

Last day of sunshine

My last day in California . . . :(  I'm really going to miss the sunshine.  But, I also missed my animals, so I'll be glad to see them.

Again we got late start--although i was up at 7.  We drove to the Cannery District in Monterey.  It was lunch time when we got there so we checked in at the hotel and then got something to eat.  We ate at some Mexican place that i can't remember the name of (it was the one that you thought had the world's best salsa, mom.  although, haha, I didn't even like the salsa).  But, the food was good.  The annoying this is that they put the calories right next to the food though . . . I ate chicken enchiladas (really fatty enchiladas).  Dad had a taco salad.



The Mexican restaurant

So a few minutes after we ate I got really sick.  I was standing in the After the Quake store and then my stomach started to hurt so I stood there for a couple of minutes with my arms crossed hoping it would go away . . . well it didn't.  I must say it was slightly convenient that I got sick because dad wanted to go to this really pretty scenery that was like an hour away--so we would have spent over two extra hours in the car :(  But, thank goodness we didn't end up going!  I did want to see it . . . but I didn't want to waste all that time in the car.  We just spent the afternoon looking at all the shops in the cannery district.

This is a view of the cannery district from the car :)

This is the tunnel/bridge we walked through several times--it was really cool and there were a bunch of shops on both sides on several floors.

Here's me with a really cool stained glass window.

So after we walked around the Cannery District for just a little bit and then we went to the beach.  Several people recommended that we go to a certain state park for shells and there were like no shells at all.  Yes it was pretty, but hardly any shells.

There was this really pretty lime green . . . thing (I can't remember the name of it . . . anemone maybe?)  It's in the center of the pic under the water

Then we went to Fisheman's Wharf and dad looked around for a few minutes.  And then we went back to the Cannery District to get some fudge--I had a real craving for fudge.  Then we went back to our hotel, the Quality Inn.  It may have been smaller than America's Best Value, but it was a little nicer.  So then we leave CA at noon tomorrow (or I guess now that would be today . . .I started writing this last night).

To my mom:  Happy Mother's Day!!!! I love you so much and I"ll see you soon . . . ish.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It's a jungle out there (well actually a rainforest . . .)

Yesterday was the last day of Dad's conference! Yay!  So we got to spend the whole day doing stuff.  It was weird to actually be eating dinner at 5PM instead of at 8PM lol.  We checked out of the hotel at 11AM and then dropped one of dad's friends off at the airport.  Then we drove back to San Jose and stopped by the Tech Museum.  And . . . they wouldn't let us n because we had just renewed our membership and didn't have a recent card with us.  Then we drove the the ExplOratorium, and they wouldn't let us in either for the same reason.  here's a couple pictures of the hotel that I didn't get earlier in the week.

Oh, I thought I looked like an engineer with all of my over stuffed bags . . . so dad took a picture :)

This is the outside of the hotel--where you pull your car up to. and that's our car.

This is the hallway to the left when you first come in.

This is the sitting area to the right and there that weird Affinity fountain.

So here's a picture of me in the really cool chair!!

and this is the outside of the hotel

 And we drove under the golden gate bridge!

and under the rainbow bridge lol (ok it's the rainbow tunnel, but I think driving under rainbow bride is funnier)

I wasn't really that excited about going to Muir Woods because . . . well, I live in the woods.  So I didn't think it would be that cool.  I was soooooooooooooooooooo wrong.  We barely walked into the forest before it was time to leave because I was walking to incredibly slow!  That was the most beautiful forest EVER!  I took about 200 pictures at least (haha, I bet you're really jealous, Laura :p).  and actually I think I got some good ones too.  They're all on my mom's camera so I'll put those on the blog later.  I did get a couple with my camera though.

Here's a sideways panorama of a tree.  It was the only way to get the whole tree in the picture


The Muir Woods sign.

 And here's me in front of a giant tree.

So then after we went to Muir Woods is the time we decided to go to the ExplOratorium.  And, like I said before, we didn't end up going.  But, they had this art palace right next door with these awesome Corinthian style columns.

Then after that we parked not too far away to go eat dinner and walk around the pier area.  This is right near pier 39 that we went to a few days ago.  In fact we ate right across from Pier 41.  First we walked through Ghirardelli Square and I was so hungry I was ready to eat just about anything.  So I immediately picked out a 50s diner called Lori's (I think).  But when we were in line dad pulled out his map and I saw another restaurant that I decided I would much rather go to.  My hunger could definitely wait!  So, we walked a couple of blocks and then got to our restaurant.

Yes, we ate at the Rainforest Cafe!!!!  I love RFC!!  This was the most amazing RFC i've ever been in.  It had three floors and was built kind of like a tree house.  I got a couple of pictures--but the lighting was bad.  We were in the under the sea room.  Dad ordered Mahi Mahi and strawberry lemonade and I ordered Maya's Mushroom Ravioli served in lobster sauce . . . so good!  And I had raspberry lemonade freeze in a cool light-up cup.

These are the stars at the top of the third floor.  I'm on the bottom floor looking up.

You can barely see the railing of the second and third floors.


Me.  These look weird because I used the flash on my cell phone camera . . . and it really doesn't work that well.
 Ok, this is from the top floor looking down.

Here's dad on the top floor.

Here's me on the top floor.

And here's me and an awesome gorilla.

We walked around a bunch of other stores after that and then it started getting really cold and windy so we headed back to Ghirardelli square. 

This is the ice cream shop we ate at.  Dad had dark chocolate and I had cookies and cream.  It was pretty good ice cream :)

This is as much of the Ghirardell sign as I could get in a picture from where I was standing.  lol and I just noticed it says "mustard" in the lower left-hand corner :p

This is a ship that I saw on the way in!

And we went down Lombard street.

We got to out hotel around 9PM.  I thought it would be weird going from the Hilton to America's Best Value.  So the Hilton was around $300 a night (dad's company paid for that) and this one is only $70.  When we got to our room we started laughing.  It was humongous!  We even had a deck and a kitchen! lol.  It was cheap so there were some downsides.  There was a teeny bit of mold on the bathroom window and there was no setting in the shower between boiling lava hot and extra freezing cold . . . so yeah that wasn't so nice.  But, it was way better than we expected!

That's it for now!  Have a great day.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Finally, I saw the beach . . . sort of

Today was the last day of the conference and the day we were supposed to go to the beach.  After the conference ended, we drove to Santa Cruz to look at a hotel for tomorrow and go to a beach.  Right after we arrived in Santa Cruz, we decided not only to not go to that hotel, but also to not go to that beach lol. 

Actually, we jumped out of the car and looked at the beach and I did get some pictures.  I didn't get any pictures of the first beach we went to.  But, here's some pictures of the second beach.

I wasn't really going to talk a lot about these pictures because they're pretty self-explanatory.  But, I just thought I'd say that I love this one--it's really pretty.

Oooh, this is a pic of this really cool rock island that had a huge tunnel in the center.

Here's me in front of the island.

 So, yes we ended up driving to two different beaches before just deciding to go to this one beach at a state park . . . and none of them had any shells :(  Dad said that we would just keep driving until we found a cool beach that we liked--one with lots of shells and no people.  So we went on this road really close to the coast . . . but it had no cell phone reception!  Seriously!  And (wait it gets better) so we were talking about what would happen if someone's car broke down or they were attacked and they were no where near a call box . . . then dad realized that we had almost no gas.  That's right, the nearest town is like more than 10 miles away, we're in a no service zone, and the gas light is on and the meter is like below E.  Haha, amazingly, thank the Lord, we actually made it to a gas station just in time--it's a good thing my dad noticed when he did or we would have been stuck!  After that we decided that we would just stop at the beach right there because it was past 8 already.

The beach was really secluded--no people.  But, it had very few shells (just a couple bivalves . . . nothing really that cool).  It was really pretty as well.  And this is the beach that we drove by earlier and turned down lol.

This is the view on the way to the beach.  It was a ridiculously long trail to get there!  But it was pretty.

 Here's my dad on the beach :)

Here's a blurry pic of me.

 The path up to the beach.

This is the beach before going down the steep rocks to get to it.

Me on the beach again.

 The moon was pretty . . . and there's no zoom on my camera so it's that little white speck in the sky.

We were really hungry then so we drove back to Santa Cruz and walked around for a long time before deciding what to eat.  We ended up eating at this cute little place called Joe's.  I had a picture of my dad, but his eyes were closed lol.

I look awful because my hair exploded at the beach lol.

Then we got ice cream from Coldstone Creamery.  I had white chocolate ice cream with Heath bar, Butterfinger, and KitKat mixed in with carmel and chocolate sauce.  mmmmm that was good.

Now we have to move out of the Hilton tomorrow morning so we'll be going to some cheapy hotel lol.  I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow.  Thanks for reading!