Home > Pre-Japan > Cuz I love that dirty water…

Cuz I love that dirty water…

Back home after two and a half weeks in sunny California! It is fairly clear Massachusetts missed me, as it rained continuously while I was gone. (We won’t mention the fact that it has rained every day since I have been back as well.) There are now 24 days left until I board the plane to Japan, via Chicago. I sent in my passport and visa application while I was in LaJolla visiting my grandparents, so that has been taken care of. What’s left to do?

  • Packing
  • Shopping

Doesn’t look like a lot, but I think those are the two most stressful parts, to be honest. I’ve got some great ideas for Omiyage, so I’m not too worried about that. Packing up your life in two suitcases is a bit freaky though. Anyway, enough of that, I want to talk about my visit to Benecia, CA and the surrounding areas!

From San Diego and San Fransisco

Look at that! It’s Stu and Becca! and Dash!

Day One:

I arrived in Oakland from San Diego airport at around 10 pm on Thursday July 2, met Becca there, (we coordinated our flights so that we’d get there at approximately the same time) and was trucked off to Benecia in one of Stu’s many ancient and barely legal cars. I believe they are all chevys, and I believe they are all older than any of us. I don’t think any of them have airbags, and thanks to the trampoline-like seat cushions of his green 1970s pickup truck, we were all constantly in danger of being vaulted (yes, vaulted) out of the window, or through the roof, which feels about as sturdy as a sardine can. I’m sure Stu has gotten tired of the complaining, because I do it every time he drives us around in it. Too bad Stu, get a new car! 😉

The first day’s activities (The first actual day we spent in Benecia anyway, so Friday) was spent mini golfing. Beginning the trend for the weekend, I won. Both rounds. I also won at poker later on winning my first ever dollar playing poker (thanks Brandon!) Mexican train, (is that what that game was called? with the dominoes) and at not spraining ankles. All in all it was a very successful weekend for yours truly. After mini golf we ate at Carl Jr., or as we in the East call it, Hardees.

Carl Hardees Jr.

Carl "Hardees" Jr.

I had earlier on requested an “In and Out” burger experience, but we were not so lucky as to find one in our vicinity at lunch time. At this fine establishment I was not only asked if I wanted to buy a “Six Dollar Burger” for $7.29, but also whether I wanted small, medium, or large. Having already decided on the cheapest version of the hamburger I could, I was a bit miffed as to what exactly I could get “small, medium, or large.” So, in true Dash fashion, I said: “Umm…what?” Apparently my drink and fries were also customizable. Silly me. We then made our way to the Benecia July fourth parade on July 3 (not quite as strange as our own local Groton July fourth fireworks on July 6th…) Regrettably, I forgot to bring my camera that day, so have no pictures to share.

Day Two:

Day two (Saturday July 4th) starts off with a visit to the local Benecia park faire. There was a rock climbing wall, (an interesting premonition as to what was to come, indeed), a giant inflatable shark slide, and face painting. We participated in none of those things, but did buy a burrito at about 12:15 PM. This was Becca’s last meal the whole weekend. (Becca and Stu may notice that each time I tell this story, the hyberbole gets more and more hyper. It’s my style.) I must say, it was quite a filling burrito. Later on that night we attended a July fourth party at Stu’s friend Brandon’s house, which was quite enjoyable. (I ate most of Becca’s burger, she wasn’t hungry. This is 7 hours post burrito.) Following the party, we ventured out to a hill to watch the fireworks. From this hill, we were able to see not only Benecia’s fireworks, but also Marine world’s fireworks bonanza, as well as some of the neighboring towns and even as far away as San Fransisco (we think.) Despite the wind, it was really nice.

The Hill 1

The Hill 1

The Hill 2

The Hill 2

The HIll 3

The HIll 3

Day Three:

Sunday was the last day of my little trip. Much like it was the last time I visited Stu and Becca in northern California, Sunday was devoted to us meeting another friend in the area. My first trip it was my turn, and we went to visit Jason at Berkeley. This time, it was Becca’s turn. We went to lovely little Danville to meet up with Katie, a friend whom she had met in Spain when she studied abroad there. After a pizza lunch we traveled up to Mt. Diablo, an ominously named mountain residing a few minutes’ drive away from Danville. At Mt. Diablo, unbeknownst to us, there are these rocks. These rocks have, over time, been carved out by the wind to make little caves and indents and the like. They were also ideal for climbing. Not being much of an action freak, I was at first quite skittish. The rocks were kind of high. After getting my feet wet though, it was a real blast, climbing on all these rocks, risking my life for a good photo opportunity. Katie was also good company, so we all had a lot of fun. I think Stu had the most fun, as you will see from the photos later on. He was sprinting up these rocks like the little monkey that he is, slapping fear in the face every time it reared it’s ugly head. “What do you mean there is a chance of death involved?” Stu would say. “I’ll slap death so hard it’ll feel it in China! And that’s far!” And up the steep slope he ran, and to that free standing rock 10 feet above the ground he jumped, and on that one rock he hung, his feet dangling a number of feet above the ground as the three more skittish companions uttered such phrases as: “Jesus Stu,” or “Stu, you’re makin’ me nervous.” (That one was me.)

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Monkey See, Monkey Do

This was only the beginning

This was only the beginning

Nice View

Nice View

Katie, Becca, and Stu on top of a very tall rock. What the WHAT?!

Katie, Becca, and Stu on top of a very tall rock. What the WHAT?!

Umm...yeah. That's Stu. definitely not me

Umm...yeah. That's Stu. definitely not me

All in all it was a wonderful weekend, filled with fun and jubilation. Bear with me with the photo formatting, my current blog appearance is very thin, so I can only put the pictures in a row like this, which doesn’t look super great. I’ll continue to work on it. There are many more pictures of course, but I don’t want to overload the system by sharing them all on here.I’m in the middle of setting up a picasa thingy, so when that is finished I’ll edit this post with a link to that so you can see a few of the other pictures I took.

-edit- you can now view the album here or you can simply click on the first photo of the three of us, which will also lead you to the album.

Until next time!


Categories: Pre-Japan
  1. Elise
    July 8, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    I also went mini-golfing on my vaca and won too. I got 3 Hole-in-Ones which is really atypical for me as I’m typically in last place. Yay us!

  2. Winnie
    July 9, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Love the pics >_< i see the attemp to reproduce the "giant picture" fish eye makes it more fun 🙂 Landscape AMAZING 😀

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