The tales of Danielle (my girlfriend) and Kris (myself) as we enjoy ourselves in sunny San Francisco.

So after Universal Studios we spent the day cruising around Los Angeles with Brad as our tour guide.

Los Angeles is kind of weird, because typically in places like San Francisco, Seattle and New York, you’d head downtown to see all the busy fancy stuff. With LA its supposed to have a downtown, but because the city is so spread out it just wasn’t worth going there.

Our first stop of the day was the Getty Museum, here’s a good picture to give you an idea of the scope of this amazing place.

At the bottom left you see a ramp with some black lines going down, thats because there is a Tram that takes you from the parking garage at the bottom of the hill on up. From there you walk around the 4 wings and see insane amounts of art, sculptures, drawings and scenery.

This was us in the Gardens, they were really pretty as you’ll see.

Home of the little crick.

The ending of the crick, out too…

This very nice water garden.

We walked around a bit, tried to see some of the interesting things. Since this museum is so big, we probably could have spent all day here, you certainly can’t read all the information about everything, we would have had to come back Sunday as well and we couldn’t afford that. The nice thing is that you only have to pay for parking as the museum itself is free.

Danielle and Brads back.

The amazing view.

The Getty was the first museum Danielle and I had been to together. We’ve kind of always talked about going, but just never have. I think I know why now though, and thats because we both think they are kind of boring. Interesting to be sure, lots to see, cool things to learn, but, I’d rather see a kung-fu movie then some old chairs from the 13th century.

So we posed for this picture and took off.

To Santa Monica! Though I have no pictures of it. It had a nice promenade, lots of businesses, people performing, lots to see.

I did get these pictures though.

We did end up going out on the pier there, and here’s proof.

:)

After that we went home, relaxed for a little while, then went out for dinner. Brad had been to this place that he loved, but barely remembered where it was.  So after driving up and down this street over and over looking for it we found it! It looked really deceptive because it seemed like a weird cafe, not really like a fine dining restaurant.

The food was amazing, we all got the lasagna, and it was so good. The sauce was sweet which was interesting but really tasty. Dessert was the best though, they had these really thick pies and so we got 2 slices of the peacan and chowed down.

Here’s some proof to show you what the pies were like.

I didn’t see that thing till I was heading out the door. Otherwise I would have demanded a slice of the apple pie.

That was the end of Saturday. Brad was a very good tour guide and we had a great time.

Sunday, we were on our own so we went out to Hollywood. Hollywood is exactly what I’ve heard about it, dumpy. There are some interesting things there, mainly the stars on the ground and their big theaters.

The Chinese Theater, at the base is where all the handprints are.

The two of us checking out the hand prints.

You can see people dressed up in costumes saying hi to the tourists. (Thats a dude in an Alice costume)

Us taking a break.

The Hollywood sign from where we were.

And were off again to a new location.

Next location, Rodeo Drive.

There was this cute little walk through some buildings, it was unfortunately way to short. It was surprising that even though most of the businesses were open, the area was dead. Very few people walking the streets (picture is kind of an aberration) and very few in the businesses.

There was this other little mall area, it was a nice place to rest and hang out.

We hung out in Rodeo a little bit more, went into some of the shops, but overall it was kind of commercial and we didn’t have lots to spend so we saw what we felt was enough and moved on.

From here, we went to Anaheim, which is where we spent the next 3 nights. We did have dinner there, and I got some pictures of that, but I think it can wait till the next thread.

Finally, LA. Its our first full day in LA and since Brad is at work our plan is to immediately hit up Universal Studios. We were also hoping that since it was a Friday it would be less populated, and it would break up the two theme parks since we were planning to do Disneyland on Monday. Our plan worked perfectly, parking was super easy, the crowd was small, and there were no wait times over 15 minutes, and most of the rides and shows were at 5 minutes or no wait.

Welcome to Universal Studios City Walk. This is where they have their restaurants, stores, and general entertainment. (Movie theater).

You can see how big the city walk is here, they have a lot of awesome stuff and its really just as fun as being inside, its a different kind of fun, but still really cool to look around.

They have almost every big chain you can think of, Tony Romas, Bubba Gump, Buca Di Beppo, and even Cinnabon which you can see in the left of the picture above.

Us enjoying the City Walk, about to head in.

The sign you’ve arrived.

Woody the Woodpecker, the first characters I saw so I took a shot of them. I never realized how silly that name is till just now when I had to type it.

So we walk in, were chatting and looking at the various sights, guess what the first big attraction is? Thats right, the House of Horror. You can see there is absolutely no line, there is nobody even close.  So Danielle has to go into this thing, she loves the haunted houses, they are her favorite thing.

We don’t have any pictures of the inside, but it was spooky. There were dead bodies hanging from the ceiling (hopefully fake), there was a Chucky doll that would rush at you as you walked by it, and even people in costumes walking around scaring the poo out of you.

After that, we decided we had to do the Universal Studio tour, its like the main event there, so off we went.

Here’s one I took while in my little tour bus.

This was the view from the start of the tour, you can see all over the different studio’s from here. Warner Brothers is that big complex off to the right, and paramount is supposed to be dead center, somewhere out there.

The studio tour is cool because they actually film movies right on location there. Here’s some pictures from the tour, I bet you can make out movies from some of them.

The Who Village.

Here you can see the Who Village right next to an old west house and buggy.

This is supposed to be the Bates Motel from Psycho. They are doing some work on it because they are having a Haunted Halloween event at Universal Studios and its a place for one of the parties. That would be scary to be at a party in the bates motel where they programmed things to jump out at you at random. Ugh, my heart couldn’t take it.

This of course is War of the Worlds.

Not sure what movies were filmed here, but those dudes standing around were stunt men. They did some shooting and explosives, with the guy up top in the middle falling down on to that black thing below him.

I took this picture cause we had to wait here while a film shoot up ahead was finishing. You can see a house up in the distance on the right that is just half a house, it kinda weird but indicative of studio towns I guess.

After that we tried to give you guys a call, but the phone booth didn’t work.

So we did some of the other rides, T-2 3D, Jurassic Park which totally splashed us with water, and Backdraft.

This is us right after the Jurassic Park ride, we were totally wet, so we went to the Backdraft show, which was all this fire and stuff, so we hoped to warm up and dry off.

Another of us while we were waiting.

After the Backdraft show, we got a Churro Sunday (yum) and sat in the sun. We also looked at this kind of Museum they had.

Here’s a zombie from the museum that was trying to attack Danielle. Whats funny is that later we saw a Zombie guy that would act really weird for people to get a picture, and then he would roar and chase the girls and they would get super scared. It would have been really good if this was him and he roared at Danielle, she would have screamed.

We needed a rest, so we had some Pizza, talked, and then finished off with the last showing of Waterworld.

This was a great show, lots of lame action, and bad dialog, but the guy there on the bottom who is in the show was funny. He had a can of water and would squirt people as they walked by, lots of fun. There were green seats, and silver seats, with the green seats being places where they would basically try to get you wet.  We ended up sitting 2-3 rows back from the green seats and still got drenched. Oh well.

Here’s a shot I took of the rides and their wait times. Sucks the wait times didn’t come out, but you can still see all the cool rides they had.

At the end of our day they had this little European square where we sat to rest.

Hello! That’s me on my iPhone, which I did some internet surfing on while Danielle talked to her mom. And that was the end of Universal Studios. We did see one more cool thing along the way, which was this guy.

This was one of those fake flying tubes that you can do aerial acrobatics and get what its like to do skydiving. He was awesome, it looked like normal people were doing it, but he was the only one that got to really go high up as the others seemed like they were told to only go within his reach.

Well, that was an awesome day, and it was only our first full day in LA. We had the whole weekend to chill out, see the sights, and Disneyland on the horizon.

We got word from Judy (Danielle’s mom) that Hearst Castle was really cool and worth seeing. This was part of the motivation to take the Coastal Highway down to LA as the Castle was right off the highway.

What is Hearst Castle?

Well this dude Mr Hearst was the early 1900’s version of an eccentric billionaire and so he got a butt load of land out in the middle of nowhere (back then anyway) and built a huge house that he expanded on each and every year.

This was a major event house back in the olden days, with people like Charlie Chaplain, Bob Hope, and a bunch of other stars attending the events Mr Hearst would host.

To take the tour, you buy one of 5 different tour packages, and then get bused 5 miles up the mountain to the actual castle from the visitors center. Once there, they have a guide and a tag along who talk and make sure that you don’t touch anything, steal anything, or walk off their special matts (wouldn’t want the floor wearing down).

Us at the bottom of the hill, waiting for our Tour to start. We were actually 20 minutes late for our reservation, but they were super nice and just put us on the next bus. Unfortunately after we were done, several people came into the center and the tours had stopped for the day. Poor people missed the tour. =(

The start of our tour. The lady facing us was our tour guide, very nice lady.

Another picture of the start.

He had stuff like this scattered everywhere.

This was one of the 4 or 5 houses in the castle, I forget its purpose, but yea it was cool.

And then what would a large castle on top of a mountain in California be without a huge outdoor swimming pool made to look like it was plopped down in a Roman Colosseum?

It was a nice pool.

Proof we were there! :)

This portion of the trip was about an Hour and a Half. Nice to get out and stretch after the drive, but we still had a lot of road ahead of us, so it was nice to be on our way.

At this point we were actually starving, we were in a rush to get the Castle so we didn’t really eat before, breakfast was the cheap continental kind at the hotel, and so we drove about 10 minutes and found a nice grill. Of course they specialized in BBQ so I had a GREAT pulled pork sandwich. It was really good.

I’m a big BBQ fan, love the sauce, could drink it, so it was surprising to see the contrast between San Francisco (1 BBQ place I know of) and the LA/Southern Cal area, that had BBQ everywhere. It was heaven, even though I stayed away from it most of the time. Little known fact about myself, I had BBQ ribs 3 nights straight on my last trip to Hawaii. (They didn’t have anything else on the menu I liked, I swear!)

Okay, so on the road again…

Time for a hotel! Well, just a stop off at the Madonna Inn, it has some weird features which include super stylized hotel rooms, and fancy bathrooms. (My feet got wet)

Well, here check out the dinning room for yourself.

Yea, strange.

Moooooving on.

We get to LA around 9:00, and looked set to arrive at Brad’s place right when we thought we would, when it turns out the directions we got were a bit incomplete and we drove 15 minutes past our stop. Woops, 35 minutes later and we are greeting Brad hello. Here’s a picture of him from our time at the Getty.

Cool dude, he escorted us all around town, showed us a great time. Though its peculiar that he has the largest remote control of all time.

The thing was huge, trust me. :)

Well, that’s a lot for one night, so Universal Studios will have to wait.

Next up: Universal Studios! Woooo

Hello everyone!

We just spent the last 7 days on vacation, with out final destination being Los Angeles. It was an amazing trip, and we got the pictures to show you all.

Here first is a map of our trip down, the trip back was a boring cruise along I-5, but the trip down was a scenic wonder.

Now on with the trip.

Here’s us on the road on our way to Monterey, our first stop.  Yea I’m still driving here, the cool thing is that I’m actually looking at where I’m driving, but since the glasses cover my eye’s, you can’t tell.

We decided to drive down to LA along the coast via highway 1 and 101. This way it was a very scenic drive with lots more to see then on I-5. The downside of course is that the drive is to 9 hours, instead of the 6 hours.  So we decided to drive part way afterwork on wednesday, and it turns out Monterey is 3 hours out of San Francisco twoards LA.

Here’s a picture of Downtown Monterey. Its the Cannery Row part of downtown that contains its world famous Aquarium, that we were unable to go to because of our time constraints.

If we turn to our right, this is the picture of the ocean you get. Though this really doesn’t do it justice, you can see kelp beds out there, and if you walk up there, its got this cool shore. Very nice. Infact, here’s a picture of us infront of that beach.

This was actually the day after we arrived in Monterey, which was Thursday. Since we arrived late on wednesday, we went out to dinner. After looking through the tourism book I talked Danielle into a Southern Grill, which was mostly BBQ.

Anyway! Here’s us on our way out of town, headed down the coast to LA.

There were all these really cool coves on the way out of Monterey. We stopped at one of them and that is where the above picture was taken. Here’s a picture of the actual bay, with one of the houses for the lucky people that get to wake up every day to that view.

As we had a 1pm appointment at the Hearst Castle we had to quickly make our way out of Monterey and down Big Sur. This was an amazing drive as we suspected, and the coast looked like this pretty much the whole time.

We had 2 hours to cover about 90 miles to Hearst Castle, which shouldn’t be hard at all, except when the highway was an average of 40 miles an hour, sometimes dropping to 20, and with slow traffic, averaging out probably 35ish. I like to drive kind of like I’m in NASCAR, so we were rushing to make our appointment at Hearst castle which caused us to kind of zip by this great scenery.

Next up, arriving in LA…

So after the success of my last running event, I decided I needed another event to push me in my training. So I went and found the next big run coming up in San Francisco.

Its longer then I wanted, much longer. I’ve never run farther then 5 miles, and yet I just signed up for a Half Marathon. (13.1 miles!) This will be a challenge, but I’m still really looking forward to it. Its November 2nd, which is the Sunday after Halloween (that friday) so I might not be in my best nutrition mode, but I plan to just run easy and see if my body lasts.

Now its not easy to find races in San Francisco, most you have to drive a ways for, like Santa Barbara, Sacramento, even as close as Napa. Thats not a big issue, except they start at like 8am, and I’m not looking to go driving to far really early in the morning, by myself (Danielle doesn’t want to wake up that early just to watch me start and finish), to run a short race.

I mention this, because well, thats why I ended up doing a race much longer then I originally intended to do, and plus I found another that was really close and was the distance I wanted to run! Its in December, so I’ll have time to rest up and recover before doing this shorter race.

This is the North Face Endurance Challenge, its a 10k trail run, so I’ll be running in the hills, and its got some mean elevation changes.

This is the race I’m really looking forward to, it should be a lot of fun as its out doors in the hills. I love running in the hills.

I’ve got some Soccer happenings, but I’ll post about them later.

Great news for all of you, I got an iPhone 3G last weekend.

Here’s a picture of me sitting at a cafe while I should be at work opening my iPhone.

You can see my old stupid phone on the table too. If your curious, my drink is a Soy Chai Latte, yummy.

Since the iPhone has a camera built in, it means I’ll always have a camera whereever I go. So like last weekend while I was walking around and saw a concert going on with all kinds of action happening, I was able to snap a shot.

This was at the Yerba Buena Gardens, which is 2 blocks from us. Its actually in the lawn infront of the Metreon which is an all purpose kind of mall that has a movie theater, an arcade, a Sony store, a PS3 store,  and a food court.

Here’s some other stuff I took.

Us! :)

Gracie watching TV with us.

One random weekday (I think it was a Monday) I was looking for things to do and noticed that Eddie Izzard was coming to town. If you don’t know who he is, he’s a British actor that I saw on an HBO special that was absolutely hilarious.

Turns out he was playing that Friday, so I went along and tried to find some good seats. Of course it took me 10 minutes to realize they were all sold out, had been for months. He’s so popular I wouldn’t be suprised if they were sold out within a day.

Demoralized, I didn’t give up and was able to eventually score some tickets of craigslist. (THANK YOU GOD!) The seats even ended up being pretty good, about 10 rows back, though on the side, but not so far it was annoying.

This was my first comedy show so I wasn’t sure what to expect, and when he came busting out on the stage and just started right into it, I thought it was really cool. About 5 minutes in, my brain already was straining from the intense focus required. He’s quite cerebrial, if you don’t pay attention to what he’s saying all the time, your basically going to miss the joke. He’ll make fun of the Roman empire one second, then slip in jabs about Bush, and have a grammerical joke about appendixes being removed and migrating to the back of books. (Took me 15 minutes to understand that one).

Looking back, this was an event that I could have had on my list of 20 things to do before I die list (if I had one) and I’m so happy I got to go. It was really fun. Special thanks goes to Danielle who went even though it was on a Friday, she’s never heard of the guy and she was pretty tired before it even started.

Been a while I can see. Lets do a breakdown of what each of us are up to.

Kris

I’ve been working out a lot. I did a 5k run in the San Francisco Marathon on Sunday, you can see a picture of me and my results online. A few hours after the run, we went to the San Jose Earthquakes vs LA Galaxy soccer game. This was an event Danielle organized with her work to have a bunch of us all go watch the game together.

Wednesdays I’ve been practicing soccer with a really good mens team, I make about 5-10 pretty egregious errors but they forgive me and we play on.

Other then that, I’ve been getting up at 7am on most days during the week to either do a 4.5 mile run, or a 10 mile bike ride (on the stationary bike). Its really helping keep me in shape, and that means sometimes I get two workouts in which does wonders on my figure.

At work I’m doing a project for Method.com again, it was my first big project and I’m now going through and re-doing a bunch of the work which is really bad. (Not that bad, I’m really hard on myself). I’m also working on some process things but thats not that exciting for you.

I did just finish reading a book that was really good, it was Endymion by Dan Simmons. Really hard Sci-Fi they call it, really its the direction Sci-Fi should go, to many of them talk about 400-500 years in the future, but how about 2000-3000 years into the future, thats some interesting stuff.

Danielle

She’s trying to do some therapy on the muscles in her back as they aren’t quite in order. As a result, she’s being getting a massage each week, which would normally feel great unless the massuse is just pressing really hard on things that hurt a lot.

She was also sick recently, really unpleasant stuff, and for 3-4 days she was just bedridden, but it turned out to just be a temporary bug and was back on her feet shortly thereafter.

The last 3 days of this week she’s working a shift that starts at 5:45 in the morning, its just hellacious and doesn’t do a lot for our social life, so its been kind of quiet at night.

Gracie

Here’s a picture of Gracie if your unfamiliar with who she is.

She did have a small habit of jumping on the bed in the middle of the night and waking us up, but recently that hasn’t been an issue. I happened to have bought Danielle a heating pad to use on her back, and Gracie fell in love with it. Turns out if you turn the heat on and let it go all night, she’ll just stay on it, she loves the thing.

Silly Cats.

I cant figure out why the hotel would do this, but I like it.

They are there every time I walk by this Hotel, its kinda strange.

Have I posted pictures of what our place looks like all cleaned up? Well, if I did then you have to suffer a few more.

Hopefully you all can see it in person one day.

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