Aug 5th – 15th - We headed from Morro Bay on up to Emeryville, CA to spend the week visiting with our oldest daughter, Laura and her husband, Dave. We camped at Anthony Chabot Regional Park in Oakland, and were able to drive a fairly easy 30 minutes over to Laura’s apartment each morning, then get back before the park curfew (and ours) at 10 pm. The campground was very nice, and we got to see lots of wildlife on our drives in and out of the park.– raccoons, deer, foxes, even a rattle snake in the middle of the road that the Ranger was protecting (Fred told him that in Louisiana, we just run over them and consider it a bonus. : )
As I am writing this and looking back over all that we did, it seems like we fit quite a few activities in with our visit.We spent some time just hanging out with Laura and Dave at their apartment.
Dave works on computer programming and had a big project going on and had to work some this week…..while Laura and I worked in the kitchen, making bread or a nice pot of soup. The cats, Patches and Peanut, helped out whenever they could.
Laura and Dave have a new 'addition’ to their household – a mourning dove has nested and is raising her nestlings in a planter on their balcony. This is the second nest for this mourning dove this season. She already successfully hatched and fledged two little doves earlier this summer. The planter, originally had some herbs, but they have ‘bit the dust’ since they could not be watered without disturbing the momma dove.
We did manage to make some time for celebrating Laura’s birthday, a bit belatedly – We went out to one of Laura’s favorite restaurants for dinner, and of course, opened presents.
On Sunday afternoon, we headed into San Francisco for an Aaron Neville Concert in the Park – It was fantastic!
There was quite a crowd, so we had to sit on the hillside. We had a decent view and could hear just fine. And…..we got to do a lot of crowd watching. People sure are ‘interesting’. One group had brought such a grand picnic – wine, complete with wineglass holders, cooked food, plates and real flatware……I think that we may have to ‘up our game’ a bit. : )
Monday morning we again headed into San Francisco (we were getting pretty good at finding our way on the BART) to sit in on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Laura was excited that they were in session……she really likes the appeals litigation. It was quite interesting. You can really follow the case from just hearing the lawyers argue a few of the details. The cases that we watched were “Habeas Corpus” cases where the Lawyer for the defense is asking that the client be released from prison because something or other was wrong in the trial process. The debate occurs purely on the level of “was the law or procedures followed”. I can see Laura doing this…….
Our second Saturday of visiting, Laura and Dave came out to see us at Chabot Campground. It was the first time that they had seen the Airstream, and it met with their approval. ; ) We enjoyed the beautiful California weather hiking around lake Chabot – Oh, did I say that the temperatures had been in the 50’s at night and warming to the high 70’s…….
After supper, we enjoyed a rousing game of Quiddler where Dave and I each won a round…....
Our last Sunday, we drove to San Jose to tour the Winchester House -This mansion was built by Sarah Pardee Winchester, the heir to the Winchester fortune (of the Winchester rifle and firearms). After her husband died, Mrs. Winchester consulted a Spiritualist who told her that she must buy a house and continue to build on it and never finish….which she did, until she died…..38 years later.
The house is 24,000 square feet and has 160 rooms, unusual staircases to nowhere, windows that look out to walls, and doors that drop off to the kitchen 12 feet below. It was so complex and ‘crazy’ that one could get lost……
Being architecture and construction buffs, we all enjoyed touring the Winchester House. It was noted, however, that this could serve as a ‘cautionary tale’ ….should I ever get too carried away with my remodeling plans! : )
More adventures to come……too much for one post!