Monthly Archives: July 2002 - Page 2

Golden Oppertunities

Thursday July 18, 2002 – I got to sleep in a bit again today. Some people got up earlier and made a KrispyKreme run so I got some fresh doughnuts for breakfast. We gathered up all our things and packed the car, checked out of the hotel and drove around San Francisco for a while taking in the sights one more time. We drove down Lombard Street, the “Crookedest Street” in the world and through another part of Golden Gate Park. We ended up over by the bridge itself and we walked halfway across and back because it was pretty windy and cold for some of us. I got a few ok shots of the bridge up close but nothing spectacular because there was a pretty low dense fog in the bay today which was too bad because I saw the opportunity for some great stuff. After we got back from our walk we drove through a couple other parts of San Francisco and tried to spot some seals offshore for my mom but were unsuccessful in doing so. After that Anna and I got dropped off at the TechTV studios where we had a one o’clock appointment with Chris Pirillo to see a broadcast of Call For Help. As it turns out CFH was dark today but he thought they might be doing some blocking, as it turned out they didn’t block today either but we still both had a fantastic time. It was just what I was looking for, a bit of a chance to see the inner workings of TechTV and more of the studio. I can’t stress enough what a great guy Chris is, he not only showed us around the studio a bit and let us take some pictures of the CFH studio but we had a good talk and walked up to Peet’s for his caffeine fix. I’m amazed by how much excitement he can show for technology, I may be just as excited as he is but he does a real job showing it. After he left we waited around a bit for the TSS broadcast, I got to meet Greg Dege from Leoville who was also there for the broadcast and is also a great guy. The TSS show itself today was pretty good and being there was fantastic, I hope I have the opportunity again sometime. I would have liked to get some photos of the set and TSS crew, but didn’t feel comfortable in the much more formal audience setting they’re using now. During the show Leo was generous enough to sign a copy of his book for me. After the show ended we headed South out of town running into a bit of traffic, but eventually getting to Sunnyvale, CA one of the Silicon Valley cities where we’re spending the night. We ate dinner at an ok local pasta restaurant but nothing spectacular. Tomorrow we’re heading just another hour or so down the cost I think to see some more coast and attractions so I should head to bed I suppose.

The Rock

Wednesday July 17, 2002 – Slept in a bit today and got up around 9:30 read the paper and had breakfast then I headed out with Josie to Barnes & Noble to get a copy of Poor Leo’s 2002 Computer Almanac for him to sign at the studio tomorrow. We got back and were met shortly by Mom & Dad who had also gone out and about in the morning. We all walked down to the Alcatraz tour pier where we boarded an 11:45 ferry with our pre-purchased tickets. We got to the island and first watched a brief video about its history ranging from military fort to prison and finally a national park. Our tickets also included a self-guided audio tour of the cell house. We completed that and then I was able to walk around the island and take a number of pictures of both the prison itself and views of the bay, bridges and city. Some of the pictures should come out quite interesting with the contrast of the freedom the Golden Gate Bridge gave to San Francisco with the chain link fencing of Alcatraz. I hope they turn out as well as they looked when I shot them. After returning to the wharf we took the cable car up to the Cable Car Museum where we got to see history in motion, literally as the power plant still produced power for the four remaining cable car lines in the city. We walked down and through Chinatown where we found a restaurant and stopped for dinner. Our next stop was to take the bus down to Market Street and see the Sony Metrion shopping/entertainment complex, after a walk through of that we headed back to the old Ghiradeli chocolate factory where we got some free samples and purchased some chocolate to eat later tonight. We walked back to the hotel where Anna, Mom and I continued on to Pier 39, which is a shopping and entertainment pier, in search of a San Francisco polo style shirt for me. We found one and then headed back to the hotel where the others had just started watching A View To A Kill which of course centers around Silicon Valley and San Francisco. We ate our chocolate and all had some milk during the movie. Tomorrow our only real plan is to see the Golden Gate Bridge up close and possibly walk across. Anna and I will be visiting the TechTV studios again to see broadcasts of Call For Help and The ScreenSavers then we leave San Francisco behind as we continue down California stopping for the night in Silicon Valley.

Golden ScreenSavers

Tuesday July 16, 2002 – We slept in a little bit again today and got up around 8:30. Our first stop for the day was in Sausalito where we got out and walked around a bit and got a view from the city across the bay. We headed in towards San Francisco but turned off just before the Golden Gate Bridge and went up to an overlook. The fog had lifted pretty well and we were able to get some great views of the city and bridge. I got my picture taken and we took a family picture with the bridge in the background as well. We headed back down and were soon crossing the bridge to the city. After entering San Francisco we drove around Golden Gate Park and through the city a bit. We stopped by the “Pink Lady” houses for another picture with the city in the background. We drove down to Fisherman’s Wharf and found and checked into our penthouse hotel suite which is fantastic for all of us and has a great view of the wharf. We walked down and around the corner to Johnny Rocket’s for a light late lunch and then went back to the hotel where we got the car and drove over to the TechTV studios. My parents and everyone except Anna and myself explored San Francisco a bit more while Anna and I went to see a Live ScreenSavers broadcast. It was a pretty exciting thing to be a part of, the cast and crew of TSS was a great group of people who are truly excited and passionate about their jobs and I look forward to another broadcast on Thursday. Anna and I took a bus and then a trolley from the studio back to the hotel where we met up with our family and we headed out to the Italian section of town where we had reservations for dinner. Afterwards we walked back to Fisherman’s Wharf and explored it in the dark. Now Josie’s making cookies in our kitchen here and everyone’s watching Princess Diaries and then I think my mom wants to watch Live and Let Die, both of which are movies that take place in San Francisco. Tomorrow we have tickets for Alcatraz and we’re going to explore the city some more it should be an interesting few days here, if only it would warm up a little bit!

California here we come

Monday July 15, 2002 – Another day and state brought another change in scenery today. We got up a bit later today and ate breakfast in one of the downtown Reno casinos and then headed out. Since we only had a few hundred miles to drive my dad drove the whole way today. We left Reno around 10:30 and were soon in California. The mountains seemed to pop up again as soon as we got into California. This time they had even more foliage and were even more beautiful than the ones we had seen the last couple days. Just after we entered California Josie started her movie Holiday in the Sun, I opted to listen to some music and contemplate life a bit while watching the beautiful scenery instead. Sacramento went by in a flash, we hardly got a look at the city which might be interesting to explore. One thing that continually strikes me is how fast these western cities fade into the country. Back home we have miles and miles of suburbs before you get to the country, but here in minutes you can go from urban to farmland or desert. About three in the afternoon we arrived at our destination of Novato, CA where we checked into our hotel and picked up a map and some information about Marin County, CA. We then headed to Muir Woods National Monument where you can walk through paths to see a costal redwood forest, I got some great pictures there and the scenery was truly breathtaking. Someone had suggested we take a more scenic route back to Novato so we took California SR 1 back up the coast for a ways, which was a very interesting ride right along the cliffs down to the Pacific Ocean (our first look at it!) with hairpin turns and people flying by. I think it made my Dad a bit nervous to be going along making all those turns with our car. Anyway the 15 minute ride to get to Muir Woods was about an hour and a half ride home but it was very scenic and we got to see a couple of reservoirs and a number of canyons. When we got back we found a great local pizza place in Novato called Mary’s Pizza Shack. We had a good dinner there and headed back to the hotel where Noah and Josie decided to go ahead and take a swim although the rest of us thought it was a bit cool outside for that. Tomorrow morning we’re going to head into San Francisco, drive around a bit and get lunch then Anna and I head to TechTV for a live ScreenSavers show which we’re both excited for.

Ben’s California Trip Travel Log Part I 7/12/2002-7/14/2002

Ben’s California Trip Travel Log Part I 7/12/2002-7/14/2002

Friday July 12, 2002 – Today we started on our annual summer family car trip. I woke up at 8:30, my usual time and started gathering up my things and finishing packing and other miscellaneous jobs around the house. We ate a small lunch around 11 and planned to head out about noon. We left just about on schedule and made pretty good time down 35 to Des Moines with my Dad driving where we turned onto I80 heading West. Just outside of the Iowa border I got a phone call from Darci at TechTV who kindly arranged for Anna and myself to get tickets to two ScreenSavers broadcasts while we’re in San Francisco. It was quite thrilling to finally get to talk to Darci after having emailed back and forth on a semi-regular basis. Our first movie, chosen by my sister Anna, was Meet Joe Black which I had not seen before. Although I’m not a fan of Brad Pitt the movie was good and I look forward to watching it again. We stopped to stretch and get gas in Western Iowa, where my Mom started driving, and continued on to Lincoln, NE where we had dinner. After dinner my brother picked Air Force One and I started driving through Nebraska. The sunset was a very interesting and beautiful thing for me to see while I was driving, clouds hung low in the sky and the bright red-orange sun traveled in and out of them creating a distinct circle of color in contrast to the stark grey sky.We called ahead and found a place to stay in Fort Kearny, NE. It’s about 10:30 local here and I think I’m going to head to bed, planning to get up at 5 and start right away, apparently the interstate is flooded and closed outside of North Platte, NE and the detour can be time consuming if it’s busy so we hope to hit that early in the day.

Saturday July 13, 2002 – We got up at five this morning and soon headed out on the road. My dad, used to getting up early in the mornings took the first driving shift. I turned on some music and watched the scenery for a while before taking a nap. This is unusual for me since I have to be pretty tired to take a nap in a car, although as I get older it gets easier to do. We stopped about nine for breakfast at McDonalds just before we got to the detour area. After eating we headed out again and soon found out the bridge had been repaired and there was no detour so we gained a bunch of time. I took another nap(!) after seeing there was no detour. We stopped just before we hit the Wyoming border and I took over driving for a while Josie watched A Walk To Remember. We stopped at a rest area briefly in Wyoming to take some pictures and stretch a bit (pictures to come later). I continued driving the 200 miles to Rawlins, WY which is located in south central Wyoming. I should note that on our previous trip through Northern Wyoming to Yellowstone I was continually struck by the beauty of this state especially traveling up through the mountains and the fertile valleys. Southern Wyoming is nothing like this, it is desert, the elevation goes up; however, not through mountains and the land is anything but fertile. Our original plan was to stop for the day in Rawlins, but since we had few delays and had started so early in the morning we decided to push on after stopping at a local grocery store and eating a picnic lunch in the park. My Dad took over driving again and took us to Rock Springs, WY where we stopped to get gas and stretch our legs out. My Mom took over driving, this makes some of us nervous as she’s not quite as comfortable driving a loaded vehicle at these freeway speeds as my Dad and I are, but she did a fine job nonetheless. I watched my first movie on the trip, Rush Hour, chosen for the references to California in the movie. Mom took us to the last town on I80 in Wyoming, Evanston where we stopped, found the local Catholic Church, went to mass and ate dinner. My dad picked up driving again and we are currently headed through Utah to Salt Lake City where we plan to spend the night before heading to Reno, NV tomorrow. The scenery changed the minute we entered Utah, it’s an amazing contrast with Wyoming, suddenly there are houses along the freeway, and green mountains as opposed to the dry sand of Southern Wyoming. It looks like we’re going to be in a hotel before sunset tonight, which is too bad because I think it would be a beautiful location to see a sunset over these great green mountains in the distance.

Sunday July 14, 2002 – I got up a little earlier today than some of us and I went to go hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir do their Sunday broadcast, the acoustics in that room are truly amazing especially considering its age. The choir was pretty good although I think the room and sheer volume of voices add more. After a pretty good breakfast in the hotel we headed out on the road with a destination of Reno for the night. The salt flats of Utah were something to see, the white seemed to stretch on and on to the distant mountains, and we stopped to take a closer look after we got past the Great Salt Lake. When we got just inside the Nevada border Anna took over driving and took us about halfway across the state to Button Point where we had a snack (no lunch today) and I took over driving. Movies today were Rookie of the Year, The Fugitive and Sister Act. I drove us the rest of the way to Reno where we had reservations ahead of time. Northern Nevada was surprisingly green for being desert; the mountains were a beautiful blue-green in the distance which contrasted beautifully with the blue sky. We walked around Reno a bit after arriving and had dinner at a casino buffet before settling in for the night. I think we’re going to sleep in a bit tomorrow because we don’t have to drive very far to get just outside of San Francisco where we’re spending the night before heading into SF Tuesday morning.

More to come as internet connections permit, pictures to come after we get the file developed at home…