America: not all it's cracked up to be

And that's a total generalisation, I know. But it is also the truth. From my point of view, anyway. Sure, it's pretty and the weather (in California) is lovely and warm. But the prettiness stems mostly from it being different and it actually gets kinda boring fast and the heat can get too much. So I really don't understand the attraction. And now that I'm done with my bitching about it, I can move on to the stuff we saw and did.

The first couple of days we spent in Monterey where we stayed with my sister and bro-in-law in their tiny, but cosy flat. She took us for a drive down the coast and we saw some lovely scenery, Carmel, an old church, pelicans and the Bixby Creek Bridge. Which is rather famous I understand, although I don't exactly know why.

We saw the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which we thought we could do in an hour, but it turned out to be really cool and interesting, so we were there for like 2 hours. I'm sure my animal-loving sister could have spent even longer time there.

On the way to Antioch where the in-laws live, we went to San Jose and saw the Winchester Mystery House. That was REALLY cool! If you ever get the chance to see that, do it, it really is amazing. We went on a guided tour and the guide was really cool and funny. The house is enormous and has staircases leading nowhere, cupboards leading to walls and staircases with tiny steps.

The first day in Antioch was the day of the reception for sister and bro-in-law. It was nothing like a Danish wedding party/reception. People were rather informally dressed and it was just people walking around talking, eating and drinking. Of course, we only knew the, very few, people who had been in Denmark for the wedding, so...I guess we felt a bit lost. But it was still nice. And the happy couple had to do the Danish wedding dance and the women got to rip my sister's veil. Which is customary in Denmark, each piece that you rip off the veil is a piece added to the happiness of the couple. But that was so funny, cause the best man's mum looked almost like she was going to cry when we started ripping the veil! "Your beautiful veil!!", she wailed!!

The day after the reception, the in-laws took us San Francisco, which we only drove through, although we did stop briefly in Chinatown and at the Presidio where George Lucas has taken over the Letterman Hospital and is turning it into the Letterman Digital Arts Center. Apparently there's a cafe there, that's open to the public, but as it was a Sunday, nothing was open. But still, we could walk right up to the gate, and since it's probably as close as I'll ever get to George, it's still pretty cool. ;-)

We had our lunch at Fort Point, a very lovely place to people watch and it has a view of the Golden Gate bridge, Alcatraz and parts of San Francisco. After lunch, we drove over Golden Gate bridge into Marin County and went to Muir Woods, to see redwoods. Not the wide kind, though, but tall ones, the coastal kind. And they were REALLY tall! It was a really beautiful place, so serene and quiet. The only sounds there was from the small creek running through it and the muffled sound of the people walking around. And I had to hug one of them big trees, didn't I? ;-)

Going back to Antioch, we passed San Quintin prison and we drove right up to it. I must say it felt odd to "go sightseeing" there, even if it was just fromt he parking lot. A prison and one where they use capital punishment as well. That sorta thing shouldn't be paraded as something to be proud of! Shame on you!

The next day we went to Sacramento, the state capital of California (I had no idea about that, I always assumed it was L.A.). We went there by ways of some very small roads and crossed the San Joaquin (atleast I think it was) river by a tiny little ferry. On the way there we were listening to the announcement of the verdict in the trail against Michael Jackson. That was kinda odd. And I didn't really care about the outcome. And I don't think the result was that much of a surprise, really. Oh well.

In Sacramento it was really hot, it felt like it was almost 40°C! We parked right by the Capitol and there were all these vans from tv networks there and then the father-in-law remembered that the governator was to make an announcement of some kind that day. So there were also some protestors around. We went inside to get a tour of the building, which was interesting, but not overly exciting. We tried to get to see the governor's office, but that wasn't possible, as he was there that day.

We went back outside and on the steps of the building there was a small group of people with "Go for it Arnold" t-shirts on. So my sister and her mother-in-law go to ask them if Arnold will be making an appearance by any chance, and before we knew what had happened, we were all wearing those t-shirts and had signs in our hands! See, these people were protesting for the thing that he was going to announce.

So, there I was, protesting FOR a republican. Me, the anti-republican, anti-american socialist flower!! WTF??! Well, I did turn my sign upside-down, as a silent protest. That'll learn 'em!! ANd I didn' join in the stupid yelling either. I did, however, video other people who did. Only with my small digital camera, so the quality isn't the best, I'm afraid, but you can get the feeling of it: Go for it Arnold!

Later on we went to Old Sacramento where we went into a shop where you could sample all the candy you wanted (shame it wasn't icecream on a hot day like that!) and we went into a souvenir shop where I got lost because they had so much SW stuff!! But I was good and only bought some PEZ dispensers. ;-)

Tuesday we went back to San Francisco and looked around Chinatown for a longer bit and got some souvenirs. And I got some really funky pink slippers. So soft and nice to wear. :-) We also went to Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill where you can get a really good view of the city and the bay, including Alcatraz and the bridge. I didn't go to the top of the tower, though. Instead I watching this funny lady who was walking around asking everyone if they needed their picture taken. She was a riot, she was from Alabama or something.

After seeing Chinatown, we went down to Fisherman's Wharf, but we just drove through it.. what a tourist trap! And then we got a tour of San Francisco. Don't remember all the names, but we went to Nob Hill and..some other places..yeah.

Tuesday we did nothing but go to a few shops and then it was off to the airport to go back home. And now we're home. So this is end of the California tale (for now).

Pictures to follow on Flickr soon...

Friday, June 17, 2005 posted by Wardi @ 7:43 PM