Saturday, August 18, 2012

from San Francisco to Silicon Valley

We left the cold city this morning but before we did so we stopped at the Cliff House for breakfast. It was the best breakfast we had here so far: Dungeness crab with poached eggs on sourdough slice. We truly enjoyed the food and beautiful views of endless Pacific Ocean.

plenty of food on the table

dungeness crab with poached eggs

the Cliff House in 1936

Pacific Ocean

in front of the Cliff House

Our next stop was Stanford University but before we got there we made a pit-stop to check out a historical marker:

Stanford University is pretty amazing and definitely worth visiting while on the way. It has a sort of magic atmosphere and beautiful landscaping all through. It feels like historical buildings spread around a most amazing park. It almost feels like you wanna go back to your student days.

Dr. Z would like to lecture there ... me too

Our destination for the day was Santa Clara, CA where we met with Marcin, Aga and their cute little daughter Hania. We had a nice barbecue with their friends at the pool side. Hania draw a beautiful welcome gift for us that I will post here tomorrow when I take a picture of it. We had a great evening and it was so much warmer than last evening.

Tomorrow looks like it's gonna be another great fully unplanned day...

Friday, August 17, 2012

freezing cold San Francisco

We stopped at Tom's shop this morning just to take this picture:

This tail has been sitting in the shop for years, covered with dust and finally found it's new destiny. We think it looks great and Tom's shop is now unmissable. We found him at the airport where we stopped to say good-bye. He was working on the flying AD called Stemme S-10.

The drive to San Francisco was uneventful if you don't count the stunning views while crossing the Sierra Mountains.

one of the bridges

One thing we were not expecting at all - it is cold in the bay area. And I really mean cold. 59F (15°C) and 80% humidity means the town basically disappears in clouds as soon as the sun sets. In addition to that it's very windy which makes the cold air even colder.
We checked in a downtown hotel and got a really funky room. I am always impressed seeing colors and patterns that basically don't match but somehow create a great final effect. I love this room:

We took the standard tourist course: cable car ride down to the Fishermans Wharf. Each one of us had been there before but never together.

waiting in line

simple safety rules

riding the cable car

China town in the middle of San Francisco

It was so cold that we had to stop in one of the typical tourist stores and get a sweater for me. I didn't pack anything for this kind of weather. We found a really cool one that saved me from freezing to death:

this heart is for you Ziggy

We walked as long as we could closely inspecting all possible stores just to get off the cold wind for a while.

Ziggy the King


We finally found a typical american place for dinner. The biggest plus of this place was that it was nice and warm inside and they had decent beer glasses size. I took a risk and tried a real Bison Burger. It was different than the beef one but still very nice and, as they claim, leaner than a turkey.


note the date on this newspaper

Tomorrow is one more day in the Bay Area but we will move a little bit more south to San Jose.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

last day in Minden

Our short visit to Minden is coming to an end and we'll be moving to the Bay Area tomorrow. Weather here is very moist and unstable and we had showers starting around noon every single day. We managed to have a quick lunch in the park today before the rain started.

Mr. Duck

they are not shy at all

We spent the rest of the day chilling at the airport. Just like last year Ziggy decided to cook the Aussie Barbie to say good-bye to friends.

Mike showing his best flights on SeeYou

Discus and the Swiss pilot after landing

real tow planes

wind sock from the other perspective

is this a sign of bad economical situation?

The Z-Man (name invented by Tom) with the Sierras in the background

The first barbecue we decided to use didn't wanna heat up properly so the boys organized another one, which turned out to be the exact opposite. The grease tray hasn't been emptied for a while and caught fire. The flames were all over the barbecue and Ziggy burned his right hand closing the bottle valve to prevent it from exploding.

let's wait for the temperature to rise

half an hour later - barbie change

the disaster starts

We had to extinguish the flames and Ziggy could continue cooking. Both the steaks and sausages turned out very nice and everyone emptied their plates.

typical Devin

... and Liz

we will not die of starvation (note the amount of glider trailers in the background)

happy faces

great salad made by Liz

sunset at KMEV

We took it easy over the few days and got some well deserved rest. We are now ready to hit the road again and explore few more places. Tomorrow's destination is San Francisco. We will spend 3 nights in the Bay Area and then go to Yosemite National Park. We already clocked 3500 miles on the rental car's tacho and there are some more to come ...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


We had a great day with all the friends today. It is unreal how many people we got to know here over the years. We spent the morning at the airport, drove up to the lake and then went for dinner with a bunch of mates.

"should I stay or should I go..."

Ziggy was after radial engines at the airport and what he got to see exceeded all his expectations. It is worth mentioning that all of the below belongs to one guy and it's not nearly a half of all the airplanes he owns.

jaw drop in the first huge hangar

further jaw drop in the second hangar

yeah, why not have two of them

now we're talking!

looks like he knows his place - right seat

Serger just having a short look in the cockpit

way to travel back home

What can be nicer than a dinner at Sierra Nevada foothills in Genoa? A nice dinner with a great crowd at Sierra Nevada foothills in Genoa!

The following one just couldn't be more accurate: