Journey Home
I said I'd post my CA vacation, so here it is. (Even if it is a little late.)
Pictures will be up by the 23rd I think. (Ran out of free time to work on this after I got back.)


The Days Before
I keep telling people to check my page while I am off on vacation so they can track my progress (I assume that everyone else wants to know what I am doing...). Me and my big mouth. Now I have to go and actually write down all this stuff. Oh, the pain. You people had better appreciate this. If you care, this is being written on my Mobilon. Kinda cool doing web development from anywhere. I happen to be sitting in a restaurant right now , this must be that future thing people keep talking about... This page will probably be fairly simple, as my Mobilon doesn't have Dreamweaver and my knowledge of html is mostly limited to reading it.


The Days Before
As with any vacation, we had to find, buy, and pack everything we needed. Apparently we never need the same things twice, we have done this before but still need more stuff. I won't go into the details, but for the most part we just need clothes and stuff to do on the plane (and plenty of tech gadgets for me...). I hope they don't make me turn on every electrical device in my posession at the airport metal detectors. It could hold people up for hours. I think I am going to try and track the flights progress with my Garmin GPS III+. If the GPS signals can get through the skin of the fuselage, I will be able to see altitude, speed and what we are over. If nothing else, it wil be something to do. The best part will be using waypoints to see how long it should be until arrival. Hopefully the cruising altitude puts us close enough to the satallites that the signal is strong enough to penetrate the aluminum skin well.

The Layover
Okay, we are here at the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport waiting for the connecting flight. I have never had the displeasure of a 2.5 hour layover before. After 2.5 hours of flight, you just want to get off, stretch and get back on to finish the trip. So we ate veeerrry slowly at a Chili's (man these people have a weird accent, no offense). So,. here I am typing this and waiting out the last hour till the flight. One good thing, I found an open power port so I am recharging my laptop while I wait. The long layover isn't a complete waste. Durng the first leg of the flight I passed the time watching my GPS reciever (we traveled at 550mph and at 33,000 feet) and playing Axis and Allies with my brother. The game was actually kind of fun for a board game conversion. We played as the USSR (me) and the USA (him). At tis point I have take most of Europe and my brother has only taken the Solomon Islands (but he lost Hawaii and Alaska). The game kinda changed the war, Germany was easily defeated by the USSR and Japan is going nuts with blitzkrieg style attacks. Anyway, now that I have thrilled you with the flight, I shall stop for a bit.

Arrival
At around 1:30pm PST we deplaned at John Wayne Airport, Orange County, CA. We then saw that our luggage hopped a plane before us and had been sitting at the claim booth for two hours. So, we headed to the car rental counter and ended up standing in line for 20 minutes. After the wait we ended up in an Oldsmobile Intrigue. As we drove out of the airport, we were immediately thrust into the CA aggressive style driving. For three years we have grown used to the idiots driving in OH and the CA way was rather, um, refreshing. They drive smarter, but also more "passionately." Oh, yeah, don't let me forget the traffic. If even 5 lane freeways get backed up like this, OH's 2 'laners are doomed in a few years. Sigh, I guess I only remember the good things (there are a majority of them).

Days Pass
I will spare you the details of not doing much other than visiting for a few days. I did find a CA flag that's gonna hang over the computers in the basement and give it that "CA look."

The Coin Store
After a few days I managed to make it into the Superior Coin & Stamp store in Beverly Hills. I go with my Grandfather every time I come out this way. The store is, as I have already stated, in Beverly Hills so I made sure my hair was combed and my jeans didn't have holes in them. (Of course my Grandfather insists on wearing dark sunglasses and a hat low on his face. Seems like the security guard pays him extra attention, I don't know why... The security guard seemed to keep warding off the staff of the store with a quick, but loud, "HE'S JUST BROWSING!!!" I didn't mind at first, but it became a little annoying after I found what I was looking for. I eventually flagged down one of the sales staff and picked out two rather expensive ancient coins. One is from around 650AD, the other is from around 150AD. The newer one is from the Byzantine area and the older is from the Roman Empire and has Marcus Aurelius on the obverse (see coin section for definitions). If you saw Gladiator his name ought to sound quite familiar. the Roman coin is in near mint condition and the Byzantine coin is very fine plus (but looks pretty cool since it is the color of gold/brass). Now I must guard them with my life.

Knott's Berry Farm
Those of you not in southern CA or close to it have probably never heard of this place. It was started as a an actual berry farm and chicken dinner restaurant (in the 40's). Over the years it has evolved into a full fledged theme park. It has a ghost town that is still much like it was when it first opened in the 50's (I think). The rides are mostly slow moving, but there are a few large coasters. The newest one is called Ghost Rider, and is extremely well built. It is a wooden coaster that has a very good mix of hills and high G turns. We spent most of the day on that one. After 5 rides on it I was still frothing for more. The ride length is about two and a half minutes, all yanking and banking. We would have ridden it more often, except the line grew about ten minutes longer every time we rode. Stupid other people are always thinking the same things I am... At night the thing seems to move even faster and harder. Very cool ride. Um, the other stuff was cool too.

Time Passes
The night after Knott's I was dreaming about riding the coaster over and over and over and then it flew off the tracks and we took a tour of the state...

Today is a mother enforced "taking it easy" day. So I thought I should finally upload this text. 'Course, I probly shoulda done that 4 days ago...