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Category: trips:California

April 15, 2008

Balloons!!

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d and I went on a hot air balloon ride over Napa on Sunday -- quite a blast. It floats so smooth and gently over the valley, highly recommended. All of the balloon rides happen at sunrise so it's like seeing a secret side of the valleys: hot air balloons being inflated on railroad tracks and parking lots, flying over the vineyards, and then landing in whichever field the winds take them to. By the time the first winery opens they're already gone.

More photos

February 19, 2008

I'm having a blast

The Tour of California rules

January 9, 2008

Rose Parade Floats 2008

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Last year we woke up early for the Rose Parade; this year we chose sleep and warmth and the opportunity to see the floats up close. We took a shuttle from the Rose Bowl the day after New Years to go see the floats parked along the street. There wasn't as much pageantry nor animation, but it was great to be able to see details of the floats that previous were only revealed to me by my zoom lens.

Rose Parade Floats 2008

January 7, 2007

Rose Bowl 2007: USC clobbers Michigan

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IMG_4154We planned to go down to SoCal for the Rose Parade regardless, but once USC surprisingly lost to UCLA, the weekend re-oriented itself around USC football. There was the trip to the USC campus so we could pick up additional USC paraphernalia and visit Heritage Hall, where national championship trophies and Heisman trophy after Heisman trophy were lined up in abundance. Then there was the Rose Parade, which also seemed like a USC event given that alumni George Lucas was Grand Marshal -- he had recently given ~$160M to the school. Lucas also did the coin toss at the start of the Rose Bowl with Darth Vader at his side -- USC won the toss.

Then, of course, the game. Our seats were at the USC endzone side of the stadium, which gave us a good view of the yellow/red divide on the opposite side:

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It seemed that USC fans outnumbered Michigan 2:1 and we were loud. Actually, for the first half, we were only kinda loud. USC only managed 3 points and squandered at least one other scoring opportunity when QB Booty fumbled. 3-3 is not the most exciting score, though it did keep our nervous tension high. The entire USC offense seemed to consist of 1-yard running plays followed by lucky 3rd down passing conversions. My dad and I chatted during half time and it seemed to us that the USC defense was awesome, but the much vaunted USC offense was asleep.

The USC game plan changed for the second half to one simple rule: pass. Jarrett caught passes and darted away from defenders for 2 TDs. Steve Smith made long games. Fred Davis and Chris McFoy caught a couple. One TD drive consisted entirely of four passes: boom, boom, boom, TD. All the while the USC defense kept making excellent plays: interception by LoJack, sacks and a forced fumble by Cushing, anticipating the running plays before they developed, etc...

Everything went exactly how you want a game for your team to go: a close score early on to keep your attention, then a complete dismantling to leave no doubt. USC fans even got to see a glimpse of their future starting QB Mark Sanchez long before time ran out. Jarrett got offensive MVP honors and chants of "One More Year," Cushing got defensive MVP honors, and Booty reprised Leinhart's role by directing the marching band at the end of the game.

You can get the whole game on iTunes for $1.99. In fact, for $4.99 you can get the 2007 Rose Bowl plus USC's clobbering of Michigan in the 2004 Rose Bowl and the more disappointing 1989 Rose Bowl (for USC fans at least).

Rose Parade

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New Year's celebration this year was done on East Coast time in a West Coast setting. Knowing we had to be on the road by 5am for the Rose Parade, we did our toasts at 9pm and went to sleep.

My aunt and uncle helped us choose good grandstand seats, just a few blocks down from the start and with the rising sun at our back. We sat half-asleep -- d humming Star Wars themes -- watching the preparations on the road in front and the braying of mules on the highway below.

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I was able to pass much of the time waiting in line for coffee and soon enough the armada of rose-covered police motorcycles and pace cars started the whole thing going. I didn't think much of the fact that one of the pace car passengers was wearing a Darth Vader mask, only really noticing the "Our Good Nature" theme of the parade. Later I saw George Lucas' highly recognizable poof of hair in the Grand Marshal vehicle, and the march of the Stormtroopers made much more sense.

The floats were fantastic -- all naturally decorated in flowers and produce. Some were gigantically tall, one frog stuck its tongue out, and others rocked. The horses were also great fun: horses with My Little Pony manes, miniature dog-sized horses pulling carts, horses with glitter stars on their rumps, shaggy horses, and more. And lets not forget classic cars and marching bands, marching bands, marching bands. Most bands carried their banners in front, but Porterville had a better solution for the 5-mile route.

The Rose Parade is perhaps an event best done twice. From our seats in the back of the grandstand, we had a great view to take in the floats from above and we didn't have to worry about blocking anyone's view. But if you are in the front row, I hear you can smell the floats as they go past and, looking at my photos, I see that there are quite a few details that I missed: the frog was made out of broccoli and apples, the lizard is made out of large leaves, etc... We could have seen these details if we had gone to the float building or the float display afterwards, but we ran out of time. Although it pains me to think about waking up at 4:30am once more in my life, I think it would be worth it for a close-up experience.

Lizard - "Natural Beauties" "Nature Rocks" Frog

Two dalmations, one seems to not notice the parade going on:

"Discovering Underwater Nature"

January 6, 2007

Getty Villa

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I'm a fan of the Getty Center in LA and have been looking forward to the opportunity to visit the Getty Villa ever since it reopened in the beginning of 2006 after extensive renovations. The villa was constructed as a semi-recreation of the Villa of the Papyri, so named because many rolls of papyrus were discovered inside. Since its restoration, it houses the antiquities collection for the Getty. Architects for the Getty Villa relied on detailed floorplans drawn by Karl Weber, who excavated the Herculaneum villa in the mid-18th century. Volcanic gases forced the original excavation to be halted, and parts of the original villa remain unexplored.

The Getty Villa recreation is fun because it is a fake recreation: the architects were free to take odd liberties that restorations must avoid. Corinthian, Doric, and Ionic columns are intermixed, a Pompeii fountain recreation sits at the end of one of the villa's axes, travertine connects it to Meier's Getty Center, and other historical anachronisms and locational amalgams are present throughout. The architects even went so far as to add a modern "excavation" theme to the renovation. You're forced to walk up flights of stairs so that you enter the villa site from above. You then descend down stairs surrounded by concrete pressed to look like layers of wood. An archeological-styled ramp allows you to cross artificially added levels of the dig.

On the one hand, the architects went to great lengths to use Weber's floor plans of the buried Roman villa -- they even located atrium designs from other villas to determine whether or not the atrium should be one or two levels -- but then they throw accuracy out of the window to represent architectural cross-sections of history, ancient Roman and modern. Perhaps the cross-section is useful, because the Villa is there to house real artifacts of Etruscan, Greek, and Roman past. It is easy to discern simulcra from relic.

I have visited the actual archeological sites at Ercalono/Herculaneum and Pompeii in 2001, seen the old mosaics and paintings, and walked the layers of excavation. More than those sites, though, I was reminded of Forest Lawn Memorial-Park and Cemetary in Glendale, CA, which has a stained-glass recreation of the Last Supper, a full-size David statue, and many other replicas that I briefly talked about here. I had visited Forest Lawn because Umberto Eco mentioned it in his essay on "hyperreal" museums in Travels in Hyperreality and my frequent visits to Glendale made it an easy stop. I dug out my old notes on Travels in Hyperreality for this post to try and find a Forest Lawn quote that would describe the nature of the Villa. Surprisingly, I found this quote instead:

...We try to think how a Roman patrician lived and what he was thinking when he built himself one of the villas that the Getty Museum reconstructs, in its need to reconstruct at home the grandeur of Greek civilization. The Roman yearned for impossible parthenons; from Hellenistic artists he ordered copies of the great statues of the Periclean age. He was a greedy shark who, after having helped bring down Greece, guaranteed its survival in the form of copies. Between the Roman patrician and the Greece of the fifth century there were, we might say, from five to seven hundred years. Between the Getty Museum and the remade Rome there are, roughly speaking, two thousand. The temporal gap is bridged by archeological knowledge; we can rely on the Getty team, their reconstruction is more faithful to Herculaneum than the Herculaneum reproduction was faithful to the Greek tradition. But the fact is that our journey into the Absolute Fake, begun in the spirit of irony and sophisticated repulsion, is now exposing us to some dramatic questions.

I'll have to thank my past self for anticipating the reopening of the Villa and my eventual journey there.

I took a lot of photos and instead of processing them, I went ahead and posted a full set: Getty Villa Photoset (~200 photos). For those that want a briefer tour, I also put together a set of highlights

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January 3, 2007

Stormtroopers on Parade

Rose Parade - Stormtroopers

When you wake up at 4:30am to go to a parade, your mind is bound to go a bit crazy. When the mind struggles to put together a thought, it often grabs the first it can find and holds it in an iron vise. In d's case, this thought was the Star Wars opening theme song, which she blurted out repeatedly while sitting in the stands, waiting for the sun to rise. I joked with her that the first band to walk through would play that song, further cementing it in my mind.

We didn't know that George Lucas was the Grand Marshal...

501st Stormtrooper Legion. Ewok float. Grambling State Marching Band, aka "The Best Band in the Galaxy" in Imperial and Twilek garb. Naboo Palace float with multiple Amidalas. Anakin. Maul. And more -- I did my best to document it all.

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There was much more to the parade than just Star Wars, but it was a fun touch, as was the weirdness of seeing George Lucas and Darth Vader stroll out to mid-field to do the coin toss for the Rose Bowl.

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Rose Parade - Star Wars-17 Rose Parade - Star Wars-31 Rose Parade - Star Wars-26 Rose Parade - Star Wars-30 Rose Parade - Star Wars-01 Rose Parade - Star Wars-18 Rose Parade - Star Wars-37 Rose Parade - Star Wars-51 Rose Parade - Star Wars-52

More photos

December 30, 2006

Off to SoCal

Getty Villa, Rose Parade, Rose Bowl, and other festivities lie ahead.

Happy (Early) New Year!

August 24, 2006

Driving to Humboldt

Humboldt is home to every manner of redwood-tree attraction, from California's largest redwood state park, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, to the One Log Cabin to Confusion Hill -- it's the type of place photographed in old B&W California tourist photographs with cars driving through trees.

The best part about driving to Humboldt to go stroll among the redwoods, though, might be the driving. Heading north out of San Francisco you pass through the wineries of Dry Creek Valley (Unti is a favorite), Calistoga, and Russian River Valley. Then at Cloverdale you have a choice: north to Ukiah and the Mendocino Brewing Company, or east along 128 to the Anderson Valley Brewing Company and Anderson Valley wineries, or you could always head to Ukiah first and take the scenic route via 253 and do both. In Anderson Valley you might hear someone speak the Boontling dialect, which seems made up to attract tourists, but I haven't been yet to find out. If you headed out to Anderson Valley you'll eventually end up in the seaside town of Mendocino; if you take the faster route to Humboldt up 101 you'll pass through some more wineries in Hopland.

As you cross into Humboldt county you'll come across Benbow Lake State Recreation Area and the nearby Benbow Inn, which my dad and I had a good lunch at. Then you're in Garberville, last stop before the Avenue of the Giants and Humboldt Redwoods State Park.  Granted, with all the alcohol-related stops I mentioned above, you might not be making it that far without a designated driver or a spare liver.

August 21, 2006

What I learned about property in Humboldt

I'm back from the end of my summer travels typing on my brand new laptop, which arrived just as I was taking off on this travel-ending trip to Garberville, right in the heart of southern Humboldt County, California. We were up there to visit a ranch that's been in the family since the late 1930s. I hadn't been there in about twenty years -- I believe I was six for my one and only trip -- so it was one of those trips where your brain tries to make sense of the memories of a small child superimposed upon what the adult brain feels like it is experiencing for the first time.

My last trip involved swimming in streams, running after a bull, and learning how to shoot a pistol; this trip was more business. The property has been abandoned for quite some time and we were there to ascertain its value and learn about the logistics of property ownership in Humboldt County from realtors there. Garberville held the title of "Marijuana Capital of the US", though we were told it was now something like 10th place. A thriving marijuana industry creates some interesting issues: someone might be growing pot on your land, someone might be defending that crop of pot, and some DEA agent may be trying to seize your land for that crop. So my dad and I had some open conversations with the realtors there about this issue and learned some interesting facts:

  1. Marijuana production has shifted from outdoor growing to year-round indoor growing operations. This has created a social tension between the off-the-grid environmental types and the marijuana growers. The indoor growers use diesel generators for power, which leads to pollution of the land and water. Water is perhaps the single-most important resource in South Humboldt as it's hard to come by -- make sure to look for water rights if purchasing property there -- so a lot of growers end up getting turned in by their neighbors either due to oily slicks showing up in the local drinking water or because of the loud annoying noise of the generators.
  2. There are rarely prosecutions in Humboldt County for marijuana. California's Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) program funds seizure of marijuana plants, but it doesn't provide any funding for prosecution. The police will come in, seize the plants and equipment, add it to their tally, and then leave. The federal government isn't as nice, but they aren't as involved.
  3. It is very easy to get legal work in Garberville -- it is far more lucrative to get $200 for cleaning a pound of pot, so there are plenty of job openings of the W-2 variety.
  4. There isn't much pot-related violence in South Humboldt. There used to be back in the day, but it has settled down, and the Mexican cartels haven't made it that far north yet.
  5. If you are an absentee landlord and need to cover your butt, you can probably just call the local sheriff's department and give them permission to search your property on a regular basis.
  6. The marijuana trade helps keep the property values in South Humboldt up. Many of the sellers will ask for 50% down cash for property ranging from $100K to $600K and will get it. You generally can't get a mortgage on a property without a house, so to protect against the risk of a buyer defaulting-by-jail, sellers ask for this higher down payment -- they also ask because they can.
  7. If someone is driving a brand new pickup with a diesel fuel tank in back, it's not because they are in the construction business.

September 11, 2005

Photos: Oakland Zoo

My, what big teeth you have

As you can tell from my previous entries, we went to the Oakland Zoo today. It's not the biggest zoo, nor does it have the most exotic animals, but it's fun, accessible, and easy to get around. I took photos of camels, bears, bats, tigers, meerkats, tamarins, gibbons, siamangs, elephants, giraffes, and more. As always there is a photoset on Flickr, with some highlights are below. The bat photo has a neat shadow of the bat's claw, and a two-headed camel must be a rarity.

Oakland Zoo photoset

Oakland Zoo-01 Two-headed Camel Siamang Gibbon Tiger Camel Shadow of the claw Meerkat

June 14, 2005

Big Sur Photos

update: * Big Sur/Sykes Photo Map (Google Maps * Big Sur + GPS: Phase 1 * Big Sur + GPS: Phase 2 * Big Sur + GPS: Phase 3


I took a lot of photos in Big Sur, but it was in a documentary, not artistic, mode that I took most of these photos. I carried along a GPS unit to mark where each photo was taken, and my hope is to combine these two sets of data together to make a nice map. So, my main focus was taking photos of the exact same landmarks, but from different angles, over the course of our ten mile hike.

It's going to take quite awhile to put together to grand map, but in the meantime I've thrown together a photoset. I didn't do a great job on processing/filtering this photoset -- I've noticed that some of my selections are blurry or could use some color-correction -- but I am currently overwhelmed by my photo backlog (two sets of wedding photos still to process).

On a photography note, I almost exclusively used my 70-200 f/4 lens for these, which was both good and bad -- it was easy to take the documentary photos of the Big Sur landscape, but along the trail it was pretty difficult to get non-blurry handheld shots because of the copious shade. It's too tough to switch lenses while you're trailing behind the hiking group, so I'm curious to play with a monopod to see if it is hike-friendly, quickly-deployable gear, or possibly I just need two camera bodies :).

Some sample photos:

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Big Sur-15 Big Sur-01 Big Sur-45 Big Sur-53 Big Sur-07

And the rest: Big Sur Hike Photoset

June 13, 2005

YAPPS

(yet another Pinnacles photo set)

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I'm not sure how exciting you'll find my second Pinnacles set, but if you looked at the first one, you can see that the sky was a bit more ominous this time about (it ended up being a perfect Cali blue by the end).

More about these photos in the extended entry, as well as comparisons between my hay photos and horizon line's hay photos (to demonstrate that we are in fact different people, despite posting photos of the same places).

Continue reading "YAPPS" »

April 18, 2005

Pinnacles photos

My Pinnacles photo album is up, as is horizonline's (we have very different photography styles).

Highlights: * The moon was showing its face during the afternoon, and I managed to capture a nice image of a plane contrail crossing the moon. The moon also makes appearance in several other photos (good size reference for how big the rocks are). * We also ran across a bunch of different lizards. You can decide whether you like vertical lizard or horizontal lizard better. * The small-but-adventuresome Balconies Cave makes a brief appearance in some of the photos * Things shaped like things: Bird-shaped rock 1, Bird-shaped rock 2, Wizard-shaped tree

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April 17, 2005

Pinnacles Panorama

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Still going through the Pinnacles photos, but this panorama should give a better idea of what Pinnacles looks like.

March 31, 2005

Photo: Kid with metal detector

Not all my photos on the beach were subjected to overexposure -- I get a kick out of these photos of this kid on the beach in Santa Monica trying to wield his metal detector so that he can go treasure hunting with his dad.

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note: photo is crooked 'cuz I'm lazy

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March 28, 2005

Back from SoCal

I had a good weekend with d down in LA, where we toted our twin Canon Digital Rebels around and snapped photos of everything vaguely building-like. From my previous entry, you can tell that I spent some time at the beach. We also spent part of the weekend watching a table 20 LA'ers go ga-ga over the new PSP, eating dinner with my Aunt and Uncle, and discovering that, contrary to common sense, other Yale women have dated MIT men (Friendster collision!).

Most of our weekend, though, had more of an architectural theme as we saw Gehry's home in Santa Monica and the Getty on Saturday. It was my first visit to Gehry's home, d's second; d's first visit to the Getty, my second. On Sunday we went to the Renzo Piano exhibit at LACMA, which should be there awhile considering how much money they raised to build Piano's future extension to the museum.

I just upgraded to a Flickr Pro account, which means I should have plenty of storage space to blog aplenty about Gehry's home and the Getty (no photos of the Piano exhibit allowed), but for now, the beach entry will have to do as I must find a way to sleep off my Red Bull and coffee.

March 25, 2005

Off to SoCal

Hope you all have a great weekend

February 22, 2005

Sonoma/Dry Creek

Photos from my weekend trip to Sonoma/Dry Creek. Larger versions of my favorites are in the extended entry, even more in my Flickr album. I converted some of the photos into black and white because I like just looking at the shapes/lines that you see in wine country (and the haze/rain was making the color-correction too difficult in some cases). This was the first real test of my new telephoto lens (it only took 2 months), and I'm really pleased.

Wellington

Continue reading "Sonoma/Dry Creek" »

December 26, 2004

Blurry Xmas Photos

xmas lightsAs tends to be tradition for many, we spent part of our Christmas finding the neighborhood where, through collective group pressure/shaming/egging/bribing, nearly the all of the homes were done up in Christmas lights. I got tired of waiting for the car to stop long enough to take a good crisp photos, so I decided instead to see what sorts of blurry photos I could take with a $700 camera. The technique is rather trite, though I do like my blurry-style Christmas tree and snowman. I also think this photo has a nice xmas ribbons effect. (full album).

November 26, 2004

LACMA fun

I went with my Aunt and Uncle to see the "Renoir to Matisse: The Eye of Duncan Phillips" exhibit at LACMA over my Thanksgiving weekend. While I enjoyed the exhibit, I think I would have enjoyed it more if the title wasn't such a misnomer; it should have been titled "A Renoir to A Matisse, with stuff inbetween," as the exhibit only featured one painting each of its headline artists. If they used a more accurate title they might have also charged less and it would have been less crowded.

The Renoir was quite good, but the Matisse was not one of my favorites (I'm much more fond of the Red Fish from the Pushkin exhibit that LACMA held). There were several Van Gogh paintings that I liked (all three from the last two years of his life), including one of a grass field that I appreciated for the way it changed under different distances of viewing. There were two Klees that I liked as well (and two I didn't like), which is unusual given that, in general, I've never liked his stuff. Also in the collection was a Degas dancers painting that I liked much more than the ones at the Norton Simon.

After we finished the exhibit we wandered into the permanent collection, where they had displayed some Gaugins, Renoirs, and Cezannes that I had missed in my previous visit. In some ways, these were more interesting than the ones in the Duncan Philips exhibit, as some of them were outside their typical style (at least in my experience); there were also more of them than in the Phillips exhibit. I also took another look at the de La Tour Magdalen with the Smoking Flame painting to get some closer shots.

I've posted a photo gallery of the entire experience (only the first twelve are from the Duncan Philips exhibit, the rest are from the permanent collection). With some of the paintings I was diligent enough to snap a photo of the placard, but within the actual Renoir-Matisse exhibit photos "weren't allowed," so the need to be discrete overrode documentation.

December 29, 2003

Burbank

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December 8, 2003

Los Angeles Cathedral

I got some shots of the recently built Catholic cathedral in Los Angeles while I was down there for Thanksgiving. Although it's big like a cathedral, it does defy expectations in terms of design. It reminds me most of the MIT church in terms of its unconventionalness, though even in it's "sparse" appearance it still managed to cost a pretty penny. The coolest feature is probably the tapestries on the inside, which were designed using a computer program that allowed them to weave in an especially high amount of realism into the faces of the saints that are depicted. The sculpture of the Virgin Mary below was done by Angelica Houston's husband and is supposed to be a blend of all races. My Aunt says that all races ends up looking a lot like Sandra Bullock.
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Los Angeles Cathedral

November 29, 2003

Gehry Disney Part 2

When I last visited the Gehry Disney Concert Hall, I only managed to get photos of half of the building, as the garden and children's amphitheater side were closed off. Luckily, I was down in LA again so I made a circuit around the other half. The photos are much closer up than last time, so it might be a tad bit hard to get a grasp of the overall building, but the new photo set includes close-ups of the small shiny part of the building, the garden rose sculpture, some interior shots of the lobby, and a couple of shots that show how the bracing is done. I still haven't made it inside the actual concert hall, but I'm hoping to get tickets to a December show when I next visit.
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Gehry Disney Photos Part 2

November 27, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm off to SoCal...

September 29, 2003

Frank Gehry - Disney Concert Hall

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The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles is complete and they'll be letting visitors in soon. I like most of Gehry's work so I wanted to get some photos while I was down there for the weekend.

I also had the opportunity to visit a Gehry exhibit just across the street at the MoCA, which was really interesting. I imagine what they do with this exhibit is whenever a new Gehry building opens, they transport this exhibit over there to help promote the opening. They had tons of models of (none of these projects have finished construction, and some may never be constructed): - Le Clos Jordan winery in Ontario, Canada - Corcoran Art Museum extension in DC - NY Times headquarters - Marques de Riscal in Elciego Spain - Princeton Science Library - Puente de Vida, Panama - Stata Complex in Cambridge, MA - Gateway to Venice - Astor Place Hotel in New York

And by tons, I means dozens of models, large and small from various stages in the planning, from unintelligible preliminary sketch (not a single Gehry sketch was understandable to me), to final working models (where available). If your name is Mr. Tyler and you happen to like architecture, you might enjoy seeing this exhibit if you happen to be in LA...unless you really dislike Gehry.

I wasn't allowed to take photos of these models, but I have posted my Disney Concert Hall photos.

September 7, 2003

Moaning Caverns

this entry contains a photo, click to view After Jeff's great stories from his previous visit, we decided to venture with him back to Moaning Caverns, which is halfway to Bear Valley along highway 4 (east of Stockton). This was my first time (a) visiting a limestone cavern and (b) rapelling, and I had a lot of fun. The rapelling only lasted 5-10 minutes, but it's definitely the way to view the cavern. The photos can speak for the rest.

Continue reading "Moaning Caverns" »

August 10, 2003

Photos: Squaw Hike

We hiked from the bottom of Squaw Valley up to hicamp this weekend, where there's a nice hottub and gondola (to take you back down) waiting. Here's a sampling of photos from the hike:
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Continue reading "Photos: Squaw Hike" »

May 26, 2003

Monterey!

Went to Monterey - saw some seals, sea otters, sea gulls, sea urchins, sea anenome's, humans, etc... I've posted some of my photos (the otters were too far away to get a good photograph).

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More photos in the extended entry...

Continue reading "Monterey!" »

February 2, 2003

Tahoe

wombat arranged a nice trip up to Tahoe. We stayed at a Pioneer Trail house with a hottub. The first day of snowboarding was rather surreal on the account of the Columbia explosion. The first thought I had when I woke up and saw the smoke trails was "Oh no! Not again!" though I can't really be sure whether I was thinking about the Challenger or terrorist attacks, or both. When I was on the slopes I ran into a guy who said he ran into people that had seen Columbia overhead when it passed over California and said that they saw it sparking. I wasn't sure whether or not I believed the second-hand information, but it could well be true.

It snowed during the latter part of the first day and I was able to make a couple of jumps in the terrain park, though I was over-rotating my landings in the half pipe. meta stayed on the sidelines on the account of her faulty ankles and icy conditions. The trip back sucked because Amanda's fuse box decided to start having a hissy-fit. We ended up driving back from Kirkwood with me periodically wiping the newly formed ice layer from the inside of the windshield. Man that hottub was a good idea.

On the second day we only spent a half day at Kirkwood. meta's right ankles was still acting up.

December 21, 2002

Flying to Burbank

... to visit my Aunt and Uncle

August 17, 2002

Sonoma

Visited some wineries in Sonoma with Reichbach, Weaver, Chet, and their crews. Got some merlot at Ravenswood, and also did some tasting at Sabastiani and Buena Vista (not recommended). Tried to party in the city, but I forgot a good pair of shoes and couldn't get into the club.

March 2, 2002

Sonoma County Bike Ride

~30 mile bike ride

Rich, Bryan, Martin, Brianna

Started in downtown Sonoma next to the bike rental place. Headed down First towards Sabastiani. Got on bike trail, past Denny's, towards Valley of the Moon. Rode past Glen Allen up hill 1/2 mile to Benziger. Joined Wine Club. Headed down (almost hit by car, top speed 35 mph), stopped at Wellington. Free port chocolates. Stopped at Kenwood (disappointing). Headed back to Glen Allen Village Market. Goat cheese + tortilla for the Girl Scouts. Back to the bike store.