See the little pufferbellies

Friday July 19, 2002 – We got up around 8:30 and had breakfast in the room today, packed up and headed south. Along the way we stopped at the Intel museum to see exhibits on the making of chips as well as some of the Intel corporate history. For a corporate museum it was actually quite well done and put together. After we finished there we continued to drive south along the coast to the Winchester Mystery house in San Jose. There are a number of theories circulating about this strange house built by an heir to the Winchester Rifle Company, but it is an enormous house with some very interesting architectural details and beautiful grounds. We took a guided tour of 110 of the 160 rooms there which I found enjoyable, even though we didn’t spot any of the supposed ghosts that haunt the mansion. We ate lunch in San Jose and then continued south to the Big River Roaring Camp where there is a historical narrow gauge railway up into the mountains and back down. We got to ride on this historical steam train through the coastal redwoods of the region; it was an experience I really enjoyed and a great way to see these magnificent trees. After we finished this hour long excursion we drove the rest of the way to our destination for the night of Santa Cruz, CA. After checking into the hotel we headed down to the boardwalk and beach area of this small seaside town where Josie played briefly in the cold ocean as the rest of us watched on and then we continued to walk along the boardwalk ending up riding the traditional wooden boardwalk rollercoaster that afforded fantastic views of the bay from the top. Later in the evening after it got dark and we had our picnic dinner in the room, four of us went back and rode a second time which was a totally different experience with all the lights of the pier and boardwalk turned on. We got back and all watched the end of In The Line of Fire which was on TV and then we all headed to bed although tomorrow doesn’t look like it’ll be a long drive through Monterey to Salinas where we’re spending the night.

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