Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

My last day in Alameda began with sleeping in as late as possible. But before too long we were off to the city to meet some friends of Brian’s parents. Our rendezvous point was in Nob Hill and we ended up parking in a garage across the street from Grace Cathedral.

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Korbel Winery, California

We started the next day with a hike through the Armstrong Redwoods just outside Guerneville. The park was great with well-maintained trails, though the one we took was quite steep. After we’d gotten our fill of hiking, we headed to our final destination of the trip, the Korbel winery.


The story of Korbel is one of the entrepreneurial spirit of two Czech brothers who started the Korbel company in the 1880’s. The saga goes all the way back to the time when they bought the densely-forested land where the winery now sits, cleared it all out the old-fashioned way (no electricity), and began their logging business. After the land was clear, they eventually figured out that grapes were the thing to grow, and thus Korbel was born.

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Pacific Coast Highway and Fort Ross

The weekend before last I was in California visiting with Brian and his parents. It was their 27th wedding anniversary, so to celebrate we decided to go in the direction of the Russian River valley. Our original plan had been to spend a night at Yosemite, but the government shutdown prevented that from happening. Instead, we ended up on a beautiful road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway with stops at the Fort Ross, a Redwood forest, and the Korbel Winery.

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This Post is Dedicated to My Sister

I’m a terrible sister.

You see, six months ago, my sister had a birthday. I only have one sister, so you’d think this would be obvious to me. But I was out of town gallivanting and totally forgot. To be fair, I went to Alcatraz that day. I was in prison. Literally.

Okay, I have no excuse. I just plain forgot that I should keep track of what day it is because some days are more special than other days. Lessons learned.

I realized later what I’d done. Two weeks later. IĀ suppose I stopped for a moment to consider that it had been a while since my sister had a birthday and maybe she was about due. I called her to beg forgiveness and she was very understanding.

But that doesn’t change the fact that I missed her birthday. So, I’d like to institute the celebration of a new holiday, folks, because today my sister turns 30-something-and-a-half. That’s right, today is my sister’s half birthday and in honor of that, let’s relive some memories, shall we?

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Ice cores and SoCal beaches

Last week I spent a few days in La Jolla, CA near San Diego. I had never been to San Diego before July and now I’ve been twice in only a few months!


I was there for another conference, but this time all about an ice core in West Antarctica that was completed last year. The meeting was the first to talk about science related to the ice core data they collected.

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