Bandit's Banter

My Trip to California

I arrived in San Francisco on the evening of  Friday, January 23rd, and was met by Katherine, where we embarrassed everyone around us with our joyous reunion celebration!  Kudos to Air Canada, for NOT losing my luggage this time (1 outta 3 times ain't bad, huh?).  We stayed with Tom and Kim Ricket (yes, Shirt-Guy Tom of Sluggy fame) for that weekend, and once again, their hospitality was the greatest!  Anyway, that night, the four of dined out at an Ethiopian restaurant, where we met Kath's friends, Rick and Di Thorne, and their two daughters.  Great people!  And folks, if you ever get a chance, get thee to an Ethiopian restaurant, as the cuisine is fabulous, if a bit on the spicy side!  Here's what an Ethiopian dish looks like:

On Saturday, Tom and Kim drove us to the Muir Woods, north of San Francisco, where we spent a good part of the day.  Would have been nicer if the day was warmer, but man, them's some big-assed trees up there!  I took a ton of pictures, mainly at Kath's urging.  Here's a pic of me with Kim and Tom in the woods:

Here's Kath and me inside a big ol' tree trunk:

 Fortunately, I had borrowed my nephew Matthew's digital camera for the occasion.  That night, we had supper at a Greek restaurant in the San Mateo area, and topped the evening off by watching some Mystery Science Theater 3000. Kath is a huge fan of the show, and has converted me as well!

On Sunday, Kim, Kath and I (Tom wasn't feeling well, unfortunately) spent the day in San Francisco, where we took a cable car to Chinatown.  Great place to visit, especially during Chinese New Years' festivities!  Here were some cool lion dancers we saw:


And folks, it's one thing to see the hills of San Francisco on TV and in pictures, but it's quite another to experience them firsthand!  We have hills here in St. John's just as steep, but nowhere near as long!

That evening, after saying our goodbyes to Tom and Kim, Kath and I went out to dinner with Kath's Aunt Joan and her friend George.  Here's a pic of Kath and her Aunt Joan:

Joan took us to a restaurant called Dominic's, and the food was wonderful!  If you notice that I keep talking about food in this report, it's because I pigged out the whole time I was in California.  Paid for it too, in the form of some wicked heartburn, which would wake me up almost every night I was there.  Worth it, though!

Joan asked us if we visited the Charles Schulz Museum, in Santa Rosa, north of San Francisco.  I'm still kicking myself for not having taken the opportunity to do so!  I didn't realize it was so close.  Oh well, next time, for sure!

Kath and I returned back to her place in Sacramento, where we spent a quiet, but pleasant week.  We didn't do a whole lot actually.  We were both on vacation, and wanted to relax.  We mostly hung out with Kath's cats, Mittens and Felix:

...and watched a lot of MST3K.  Kath did take me to some of the malls in the Sacramento area, since I had to look for some t-shirts for my niece.  I felt so out of place in such stores as Pacific Sunwear, Zumiez, and Hot Topic, and I'm sure the coolness quotient of such places went down by several degrees while an old fogy like me was in them, but the staffs of each place were quite helpful.

But some of the highlights while in Sacramento were finally getting to meet Katherine's 16 year old son Harun, whom we took to a Japanese sushi bar for supper that night (where I got to try jellyfish for the first time.  Mmmmmm!).  Afterwards, we went to see The Return of the King, which I had seen before, but since it was such a great movie, as happy to see a second time.  Anyhoo, here's a picture of Harun, Kath, and Mittens:

Prior to that, Kath and I had lunch at Addis Ababa, an Ethiopian restaurant in Sacramento, where we met the one and only Limax, Bruno fan, and message board denizen extraordinaire, who made the trip from Livermore to come see us!  Kath and I are among the blessed few who now know Limax's real name, but we ain't tellin'!  Here's a pic of Limax with Kath:

And Limax with me:

For the weekend, Kath and I visited Donald and Nicki Kerns (and their bundle-of-energy daughter Cece), who live in Boulder creek, north of Santa Cruz.  Once again, they were terrific hosts, and I can't thank them enough for letting us stay with them.  Alas, I didn't get any pictures of Nicki., but here's Donald, with their cat Sweetie:

And here's Cece:

Donald and Cece took Kath and me to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk on (Super Bowl) Sunday morning, which was pretty cool, though the rides were closed.  I was hoping to find some souvenirs to bring back home, but nothing struck my fancy.

Kath and I spent the Super Bowl driving back up to San Mateo, so we missed the whole Janet Jackson halftime-show "wardrobe malfunction" incident.  Poor us, huh?  We stayed with Tom and Kim Ricket again that night.  This time, Kim wasn't feeling well, but we took Tom to a Chinese restaurant for supper that night.  This time, I got to try duck for the first time, which brought the grand total of animals I've tasted in my lifetime to 22*, most being seafood.  If God's an Animal Rights Activist, I am in so much trouble!!  That night, we watched more MST3K, mostly in the form of several short "educational" films they lampoon.  "Date With The Family" damn near killed me!!  If you're a MST3K fan (or even if you're not) you've got to see this one some time!

And all too soon, Monday, the 2nd of February came, and my trip to California was over.  Best not say too much about my having to leave, as they had to peel me off poor Kathy, wrestle me on to the plane, and put me under heavy sedation!  Hey, I didn't wanna leave, I had such a wonderful time!  Instead, I'd like to thank Tom and Kim Ricket, the Thorne family, Donald, Nicki, and Cece Kerns, Kath's Aunt Joan, Limax for coming to visit, Harun, and most of all, my sweetheart Katherine for one of the best vacations I've ever had!  I still want to bring the entire state of California home wth me, and keep it in a corner of my room, so I can visit it any time I want to.  Well, maybe next time...

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Year 2000:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Year 2001:
January, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Year 2002:



1. beef  2. chicken  3. turkey.  4. pork  5. trout  6. salmon  7. caplin  8. shrimp  9. lobster  10. rabbit (sorry, Bun-Bun!) 11. mussels  12. swordfish  13. lamb  14. sole  15. cod  16. halibut  17.  scallops  18. tuna  19. escargot  20. squid  21. jellyfish  22. duck