Thursday, August 25, 2005

Vacation 2005 – Saturday, August 20

I just couldn’t not watch the new Battlestar Galactica Friday night at 10PM, so it was about 11:30 PM before I got to bed Friday night. Since we were flying out of JFK at 0705 Saturday morning, that meant we had to get up at 0330 in order to get showered, finalize things around the apartment, and get into a taxi and out to JFK. We made it to JFK without incident (and even a little early!) but were selected for secondary screening once we got there. HLS has got to get a better system. I am a defense contractor with a security clearance and my wife is 6-months pregnant. I don’t think we are a threat.

JetBlue is quite nice, by the way. And despite not having a meal, they did provide lots of snacks and plenty of drinks for the 5 and a half hour trip. We did discover, however, that when you have DirectTV to watch on a Saturday, that there are really not that many shows you want to watch in the middle of the day on a Saturday. And we were just too tired to read. We did manage to each sleep 30-45 minutes, but we were pretty tired. On the plane we overheard the first of several good quotes we decided to track. A young, college-aged male in the row behind us came up with this gem:

“They are going to have flights out of Newark? Is it just going to be outgoing flights or are they going to have incoming flights too?”

Cheryl wanted to tell him, “Just outgoing flights. They have to tow the planes over to New Jersey from JFK for them.” But we just laughed at his statement and cried for the future of this country.

Now let me talk about how awful the Oakland airport is with respect to getting rental cars. They have one bus for everyone, and it doesn’t have any type of ramp, so you have to pick up your luggage to get it onto the bus. And the luggage storage is in the middle of the bus, and the doors are, you guessed it, at the ends of the bus. And the bus was packed full of people. And it is not a short ride to the rental cars. From the time we landed it took 60 minutes to get luggage, get the rental bus, and get to the car. 60 minutes before we were driving out of the lot. Unacceptable.

We hit a little traffic on 17 on the way to Cheryl’s aunt Janice’s beach house in Santa Cruz. Feels weird to call her Cheryl’s aunt as she is only a few years older than Cheryl. Janice has a sailboat in Santa Cruz and was kind enough to take us out. Our friends Jeff and John met us in Santa Cruz and the 5 of us went out on the boat. Usually, we have Janice’s boyfriend Steve with us on a sail, but he was in Japan for business. So we were a little sluggish in doing things like moving the jib from one side to the other. But I think we did alright. I’ve been sailing about 4 times, and it turns out that Jeff had been sailing before, so we did alright. We wouldn’t have won any races, but we got to where we wanted to go. And it was really cool.

This is also when we discovered that our new camera rocks. We got the Cannon Powershot S2 IS. It has a 10x optical zoom, and image stabilization. We took some shots from the bouncing sailboat with full zoom and they came out perfectly focused! I’ve included a couple of shots here. Completely fell in love with the camera.

After the sail we went back to the beach house and just sat around and chatted for a while. Then John and Jeff went back to San Francisco and we went to a local brew-pub for dinner. I had the Salmon fish and chips, and of course a local beer. Very good. Finally, at dinner Cheryl and I started to really fade (had been up essentially since midnight local time), so once we got back to the house we went pretty much straight to bed. It was about 9PM.

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