Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bro & family visit

The few days surrounding July 4th, my brother Greg was in town with wife Vicki and kids. Fun having them around, I haven't seen the kids since Thxgiving 05! Their trip was off to a rocky start - they were scheduled to come in Friday, but their flight was delayed due to weather, and they were worried about their connecting, so they re-sched'd til Sunday (and stay an extra day at the end). So, ffwd to Sunday : they arrived in the afternoon, we met them at the hotel down the street, in Emeryville, and jumped right into things. First thing, we went up to the Lawrence Hall of Science - great museum for kids, the special exhibit was 'Science of the Circus', which the kids loved to varying degrees (Elise liked the magical & musical, Sterling liked the bungee bounce). Plus, we got to give them a splendid view of the Bay, from the Berkeley hills, and a tour of UC campus. Then a BBQ at the house, with some picture slideshows and TV watching.

Monday - They were off to Muir Woods in the morning - it was a bit rough, lemme just say the 'Ocean View' trail ain't easy to get to. TIP : If you want to go off on a hike, be prepared to HIKE. Back to the hotel, to meet up w/ Rebecca who had to fight her own traffic comin from OAK. Went swimmin at the hotel, then when Bonnie got home - off to dinner at _____. After dinner, took my bro shopping at Amoeba.

Tues, 3rd - This was a full day, to get as much San Francisco touristing as we could. Drove over to financial district, took the 'F line' up to Fisherman's Wharf, where we started with an hour-long Bay cruise. After redocking, we played in the 'Musee Mechanique', then walked along Pier 39 for shopping, Sea lions (there were only about 6 of them on the rafts!), lunch, a magic show & Aquarium of the Bay. Then some discussion about taking iconic cable car back downtown - we had a moderate long trek ahead, down to Ghiradeli Square area, then a wait for the cable car. In all, we all got thru it & had a nice ride back to the end of the line at Market. Then killing some time - Bonnie & I took the kids to the SF Carousel to give the parents a minor break (an hour-ish). Then over to dinner at Buca di Beppo's, where Nicole joined us! Good dinner, a festive atmosphere there (my nephew was giggling about all the paintings of butts on the walls), then the 4-block walk back to the cars & home.

Wednesday - The family wanted some downtime, so Bonnie & I left them to stay at the hotel & pool, and shopping center; and we scooted to the Piedmont 4th of July parade. Big crowds lining the streets in an affluent neighborhood - we soon learned why it was so under-promoted, we knew about it through Nicole's work with Sandre Swanson who was in the parade. Then a mini-BBQ again at the house (this time with S'mores!) and a drive over to the Berkeley Marina for the festivities. We were worried about having to occupy the kids for 4 hours til the fireworks started. They loved the Berkeley Kids' Adventure Playground (all things DIY for kids to climb on - rope net, zip line, tire stack. Dangerous, but just keep an eye on them, y'know??) Then finding our camp-spot (Rebecca was tired out, and held down the fort), so we went over to the inflatable slides and such, and games. Then waiting in line for an hour for funnel cakes ate up the rest of the time! Fireworks - boom bam oooh aaaaaah (we also got to see the SF Pier, the Sausalito, and the Giants displays). After 1/2 hour waiting in the parking lot, they opened it up, and we were on the way back.

Thurs 5th - I was back to work today (most people still seemed out for the holiday). They all came down for lunch at work (Becca had a flight to catch at 4). After work, I stopped over to the hotel, Vicki was feeling ill so Greg & I went with the kids across the street to CPK. Bonnie had the TV show, so afterward she stopped off to meet up with Vicki briefly at the hotel bar, and the rest of us stopped at the house for some digital pics and movies exchange. Bonnie got to say g'bye to Greg and the kids when I dropped them off, then they were off!

Great having them out for the week-ish!

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Looking back on this, June was super busy! As I write this, we've just wrapped a visit from family (basically all the peeps who w brother Greg & family, which I'll make a separate post about. After getting back from our midwest trip, we hit The Police reunion show at Oakland Coliseum. Very good show, kind of odd because they are so iconic, and I knew every single song they played. Sting can still belt it out, they had spectacular video displays, and I thought it was amazing it was only those 3 guys on stage (no extra singers/keys/percussion/etc). That weekend, I got naked on Lake Shore drive, for the Tree Spirit project. (A PG pic of me made the online Chron). Sunday was a friend's B-Day party and jam, which was fun and fruitful. The following week, I started a screenwriting course provided thru work (maybe send some of my efforts to those interested), and my band got a rehearsal space just a couple miles from the office! We're excited by that, just in time to prepare for the "talent show" at work Thursday, where we played 2 songs at high volume, and pretty much came in last by the judges. Badge of honor!
The following weekend was SF Pride - super huge crowds, surprising (to me), even for San Francisco. We watched most of the parade, a couple hours worth w/ 200+ dykes on bikes; all sorts of dancers; local politicians; quite a few animals rights organizations; Sulu on the Google float!; an annoying mom from Redding with 3 teenish daughters; the S&M contigent bringing up the rear, so to speak. Then met up with Tom Proctor & Gen for their going-away at Zeitgeist, we'll miss ya!!
Then I had a few more chill days, until Greg came into town. I stayed up all night on Thursday-into Friday, and got a call from him at 5 AM - they were delayed due to weather and pushed their flight until Sunday! Disappointing, but sht happens, and they were on track to arrive Sunday early, and stay an extra day at the end.
So, next entry - family visit, July 1-6. Stay tuned...