Tuesday, June 27, 2017

At the ballpark

The night before we flew home to Raleigh, Sun-Ling's brother and I attended at Giants game at AT&T Park. Beautiful evening for a game even though the Giants lost to the visiting Royals.

AT&T Park - San Francisco, California

AT&T Park - San Francisco, California

AT&T Park - San Francisco, California

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Muir Woods

We visited Muir Woods way back in the 90's but were eagerly looking forward to a Monday trip there with Sun-Ling's brother's family. It did not disappoint. On the way home we stopped for lunch in Sausalito and for a view above the Golden Gate Bridge.

Headed through The City on our way to Muir Woods.
Muir Woods National Monument - Marin County California

We were warned that parking was tight at Muir Woods and it was, even on a Monday. The main trail was kinda busy with visitors, but when we headed up on the 4.2 mile Bootjack Loop Trail we were alone.
Muir Woods National Monument - Marin County California

Muir Woods National Monument - Marin County California

Muir Woods National Monument - Marin County, Caliornia

Our group on the trail.
Muir Woods National Monument - Marin County California

Muir Woods National Monument - Marin County California

The view from Sausalito to San Francisco. Plenty of tourists in Sausalito.
Sausalito, California

Magic Bus.
Magic Bus - Sausalito, California

Lunch = Veggie Tacos.
Veggie Tacos - Sausalito, California

And finally some shots of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin County side.
Golden Gate Bridge - As seen from Marin County, California

Golden Gate Bridge - As seen from Marin County, California

Saturday, June 24, 2017

27 hours in Davis

Once again it seemed as if our European travels were continuing as we hopped on the train in San Jose and rode it north along the eastern edge of the waters of the greater San Francisco Bay, through Oakland, Richmond, Martinez on our way to Davis where we hung out for 27 hours with old friends from Chapel Hill, NC.

We pulled out of San Jose Station on time even though there was a false fire alarm.
San Jose Station - On our way from San Jose to Davis, California

Passing Levi's Stadium in Sant Clara, the site of Superbowl 50.
Levi's Stadium - On the train from San Jose to Davis, California

South Bay Salt Works.
Salt Works - On the train from San Jose to Davis, California

Oakland Coliseum.
Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum - On the train from San Jose to Davis, California

The wind is blowing and the sailboats are out on San Pablo Bay.
On our way from San Jose to Davis, California

About 15 trains per day run the Capital Corridor from Sacramento to Oakland.
On our way from San Jose to Davis, California

The Benicia–Martinez Bridge: the railroad drawbridge is sandwiched between 2 vehicle bridges.
On our way from San Jose to Davis, California

San Francisco Bay estuary north of Martinez, CA.
On the train from San Jose to Davis, California

It's pouring in Davis, but we are inside at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art.
Davis, California

And the rain had stopped when we left the museum.
Davis, California

Davis, California

A visit to the UCDavis Law School.
UCDavis School of Law

And it rained on drive back to Saratoga.
On our way from Davis to San Jose, California

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Santa Cruz

We drove an hour west to Santa Cruz with Sun-Ling's sister and nephew for some coastal hiking; plus a visit to the famous Santa Crux Wharf. After all the winter and spring rains, the wild flowers along the Wilder Ranch trail were amazing. Not to mention the rugged coastline which reminded us of Spain and Portugal. And just one mile north of the Santa Cruz Wharf, we came across the 2nd surfing museum of this trip. Wow! The first was in Nazare, Portugal. Wow! How many surfing museums can there be in the entire world? .....Twenty, according to this article at SURFERTODAY.com/

Wilder Ranch State Park
Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz, California

And farther south along the coast.
Santa Cruz, California

The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum.
Santa Cruz, California

Surfing Museum (right) and surfers in the water (center).
Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz Wharf.
Santa Cruz, California

On the way home we stopped for a stroll on the boardwalks at Neary Lagoon Park.
Santa Cruz, California

And last, Sun-Ling's mother made some very tasty dumplings for dinner.
Santa Cruz, California

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Graduation!

The main impetus for this California visit was my oldest niece Nicole's high school graduation. The day Nicole started kindergarten my brother was taking John and me to the airport after the drop-off.  The image of Nicole with tear streaks running down her little face is still vivid in my mind. I wasn't sure leaving her behind was harder for me or for my brother....Here she is, graduating from high school, starting in Material Science at Cornell in the fall.

The graduation ceremony itself turned out to be a fascinating experience, many firsts for John and me.

1. We had cloudy weather for the 5pm ceremony instead of blazing California sun. It even sprinkled enough for some people to break out their umbrellas, in June!
2. For a California public school, the 300+ grads were 45% east Asians, 40% south Asians, 15% white.
3. To curb the competitiveness, academic achievements were solely in print in the ceremony program, and nothing more.
  • There were no speeches by the valedictorian and such. Instead, speakers were selected based on speeches they had submitted.  
  • Diplomas were given out first to class officer and speakers, then strictly alphabetically to the rest of the grads.
  • No honor cords or stoles were allowed. Caps were not supposed to be decorated, though everyone ignored this one rule. 
4. The names of the students were read by class officers.

Nicole was a little bummed that she did not get into MIT. After Saratoga High, Cornell may be a blessing in disguise.

It starts to sprinkle.
Graduation 2017 - Saratoga, California

Sun-Ling and sister-in-law watch the festivities.
Graduation 2017 - Saratoga, California

The new grad with cousins and grandparents.
Graduation 2017 - Saratoga, California

Grad, sister, and parents.
Graduation 2017 - Saratoga, California

Grad, cake, and parents.
Graduation 2017 - Saratoga, California