A Weekend with Max

Max was in California for a couple of work related conferences, and came up to visit for a weekend in between. We had a good weekend touring around and seeing the sights. It was nice to see family again.

Sunday morning we headed up to check out San Francisco. We started off with a bridge tour, crossing the Bay Bridge, the Richmond Bridge and back in the Golden Gate, stopping off at Treasure Island and Marin headlands along the way. Now if only they'd make the side walls on the bridges either lower, or see through, so people could actually enjoy the views from the bridges.

Back into town we had to do the driving tour of various neighbourhoods, The marina, the embarcadero, financial district, market street, the tenderloin, russian hill and pac heights, and finally lombard street and coit tower. We had to wait for Australia to be awake so we could ring home when we went down "The wiggly street." The wonders of modern technology also let Max call home on his tri-band GSM phone, without a problem in the world, except perhaps the phone bill when he returns home.

Lunch in a trendy cafe in hayes valley, with a slice of san fran life. Men having brunch together at 2pm. We'd been invited crabbing with jess and eric, so headed up there to meet them. We had a lovely afternoon feeding the sea lions. We did actually pull up a couple of little crabs, and even a little sole, but nothing worth keeping. A bit blustery and cool, but otherwise very pleasant. Albertsons had some nice crabs though, and nice clams, and catfish, and before you knew it, we'd caught ourselves a seafood extravaganza for dinner. Who said we weren't good fishermen?

Monday being a holiday, we decided to head out to Yosemite, despite rain, and a forecast low cloud level. Left about 9am, took in the sights of Pacheco Pass and it's wind farm on the way out, then did the quick driving tour around the valley, including a walk up to Bridalveil falls, on which we both managed to leave our cameras in the car. Lunch in the cafe, then it was on home again, but this time via 140, down the El Portal road.

I'd never been out this way all the way, and it was really quite pleasant. As we came out into the central valley, the sun started peaking through a bit here and there, and the clouds were higher and thinner and we got some wonderful afternoon light. Rolling green hills, farm land, it was really very pleasant. We stopped a few times on the way home to work out what each different tree was, (pistachios, almonds, pecans, cherries, apricots and oranges) and also to take a couple of pictures, but before we knew it we were back at the 5.

More new driving, we decided to head back to san jose via 130, over Mt Hamilton and the Lick Observatory. A new road to a housing development and golfcourse in the middle of nowhere was a bit of a delay, but then we were up Canyon del Puerto Road, which was very quiet, and very scenic. Quite steep sided, with the odd farm here and there. Not exactly the quickest way home, it was 2 hours from the 5 to my place, but quite a pleasant trip nonetheless.

WIth Max leaving the next day, we had to go and check out a Frys Electronics store before we went home. Max loved it. And of course, now I have a little remote controlled car which drives around the office, and Helen and Matthew both got presents they were after. All in all, a very enjoyable way to spend the weekend.

Bay Bridge from Treasure Island

Tunnel View

Yosemite Falls

Royal Arches

Max and Middle Cathedral

El Cap meadow and Lower Cathedral

Max checking out the pistachio trees

An oat field near Turlock

The South Bay from Mt Hamilton