Tuesday, August 27, 2013

San Francisco: Napa, Silicon Valley, & Muir Woods

All together now: Awwwww :)
My brother-in-law and his wife took us to a Wine Tasting in Napa. We got to tour the facilities, and we were lucky enough to be visiting just weeks before the grape harvest. We got to try some right off the vine!

Fresh sparkling wine grapes.

I'm not much of a wine drinker, but the experience was so much fun. I learned a lot about how wine is made and bottled. I didn't realize that getting the yeast sediment out was such an involved process!

Our guide. 
Some rose sparkling wine

Muir Woods was another fun outing we did as a family. After watching Ken Burns' National Parks documentary, we were especially interested to see the park named after outdoorsman and national park advocate John Muir.
Redwoods and Sequoias. 

These twins are tall... but not as tall as these ancient skyscrapers!

I might not be outdoorsy or a huge fan of hiking, but even I can understand how blessed we were to be in such a beautiful place.

We took a day to drive to Silicon Valley, which as my husband the software engineer says is his "Mecca".

We visited the Intel Museum, which was neat for him to see in person how their processors have developed over the last thirty years. It was a small exhibit, but also free.
Name... that... technology!
We drove through the Googleplex.
There it is!

There it goes! Oops!
We also tried to see the Computer History Museum, but unfortunately it was closed. Since when are museums closed on Tuesdays?

I'd heard of the Winchester Mystery House before, so I'm glad we got to go see it. Back in the late 19th century, the wife to a Winchester Rifle Company president allegedly was convinced by a medium that she was being haunted by those people who were killed by Winchester rifles. So what should she do? Why, buy an unfinished house and continue to build on in until the day she dies. Duh. The result was a maze of rooms, stairs to nowhere, doors that drop down two stories, a chimney that ends before reaching the roof, twisting staircases, and one confused house staff. Today it is a museum offering tours of the home and garden. We walked a full mile in that house and didn't see the same room twice!

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