California Visit

Mid-winter break was awesome!  Here’s basically a day-by-day account:

Daniel, our own “Ethiopian Super Natural”

We took our time enjoying the waterfront and the Exploratorium, which is similar to the Pacific Science Center in Seattle.  On the pier next to the Exploratorium is an exhibit that records sounds and then plays them back 12 hours later.  Since our visit was shortly after the football season and the Seahawks won the Super Bowl (43-8 in case any Denver fans forgot), David went by the microphone and yelled, “Go Seahawks!”  Unfortunately, we weren’t going to be around at precisely midnight when it played back.

I get so much joy out of watching the kids interact with Science exhibits, and this place had so many interactive exhibits!  It was incredible to watch in wonder at their exploration.


Sarah & Caio joined us on a tour of a couple wineries.  The first is an incredible Italian castle, Castello di Amoroso.  It’s an amazing place and well worth the tour.  The second is the winery that produces my all-time favorite Merlot (and now my favorite Zinfandel, and a couple other reds).  We sampled a significant number of wines and discover
ed that Sarah and I have a very similar palate.  We both signed up for the Markham wine club.  The first place was for the tour; the second for the wine!

Chef Ryan

After the wineries, we went back to Ryan and Janel’s home for a rather-impressive tri-tip dinner (and some good wine). Ryan’s parents made the drive and it was great to spend time with them.  Then we played games and the kids goofed off!

A bit conspicuous

Next,  we wore our Seahawks’ gear and got pictures with the San Francisco skyline.  We toured Alcatraz (yes, it was actually the first time for many of us and it was very interesting).  People made jokes but treated us very well, especially considering this was just a few days after the Super Bowl!  Even though Allison and Eileen are 49ers fans, they indulged us with the pictures.


One of the things we enjoy while traveling is touring college campuses. We went to Berkeley and had Ryan as our tour-guide. As an added bonus, Janel and Ryan had done their homework and found an excellent Ethiopian restaurant near the campus. Dinner was awesome. The next day we went to Stanford and caught up with Sarah Howard and kids.  What fun!  Then we visited Janel’s school and classroom.

Click on any picture to see the rest of that gallery.

At Stanford