West Coast Trip - June 20-July 2, 2000
This page contains more information than you wanted to know about a
business trip turned vacation from June 20 through July 2, 2000.
Standard warnings: Most of the information is useless and many
pictures are redundant. You have been warned. Most people will
probably be bored pretty quickly. Also, many things don't look
impressive in a picture unless you've seen them in person.
Most pictures were taken with my Sony Mavica FD-7 digital camera. All
images are 24-bit JPEGs and should be viewed on a 24-bit display.
Quality is likely to be very poor when viewed on an 8-bit display.
Some pictures (in particular, the ones which have higher-resolution
versions in addition to the standard 640x480) were taken by Roddy
Collins with his a newer digital camera. Those are generally of
I have arranged the actual images on a number of smaller pages, linked
from the text below. Some links are to a single image, while others
link to a page containing a number of related pictures.
The plan for the trip came about after a meeting was scheduled in
Albuquerque at Sandia National Labs. I realized that the flights were
significantly cheaper if I extended the travel over a weekend, even if
it meant extra flights. I decided to visit friends in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, another group led by Rick Kline was planning a trip to
Seattle to take advantage of low airfares. Amitha Perera and Roddy
Collins were already signed on for the Seattle paer. I was set to
skip the Seattle trip and just do LA until I was convinced to check
the flights if I did both. Still the same price, so the trip was now
extended by a week. 8 hops on United Airlines.
Tuesday, June 20
Getting from Albany to Albuquerque is not easy. The last time I went,
this took 4 hops. This one was only three, but unfortunately, one was
O'Hare. The morning flight from Albany to Chicago was fine, but we
arrived just ahead of a line of storms [Picture], which delayed pretty much everything
out of O'Hare. The flight to Denver was delayed for about three
hours, during which time I was able to get lunch and get some work
done. Fortunately, the connection from Denver to Albuquerque was on
the same plane, so I was not in danger of being stranded there.
Arrival in Albuquerque was a few hours later than planned. I was to
meet Joe Flaherty for dinner, but his flight was even later, so I
checked into the Wyndham and watched some baseball over dinner. The
sunset over the desert as seen from the balcony at the hotel was very
nice [5 Pictures].
Wednesday, June 21
This was the main working day, spent in meetings at Sandia. Lunch was
out with a Sandia group at a local Mexican place called Christina's.
One of those places you'd never go unless someone who knows it takes
you, and it was excellent. At the end of the day, dinner was with
Karen Devine and her family at a local Italian chain restaurant.
Thursday, June 22
I got some daylight pictures from the hotel [2 Pictures], then it was off for a few more
meetings at Sandia in the morning. Karen and I went out for lunch at
a local "Green Chili Cheeseburger" place before she dropped me at the
airport [2 Pictures]. Of course, flights
were delayed. United Airlines is having a pilot work slowdown, and
there was not going to be a pilot available until 5 PM for my 2 PM
flight. I signed up for standby on a midafternoon flight to Denver in
hopes of catching my connection to Seattle, and sat down to work on
thesis edits. I made the earlier flight, but was then delayed in
Denver. I was already booked onto a later connection. DIA was a zoo,
with lots of flights being delayed or cancelled, but I was able to get
onto a plane to Seattle in time to arrive only a couple of hours
The approach into Seattle was well after sunset, but around the first
day of summer, some light remains very late into the evening. There
was still enough light to see Mount Rainier out the window of the
plane. The approach into Seattle took us north over Bellevue, giving
a great view of the city and Lake Washington from my side of the
plane, then right down over Seattle on approach into SeaTac. Andrew
Shapira and Rick (who arrived in the morning with Roddy and Amitha)
met me at the airport. I got my first ride in the rental car, a white
Mercury Grand Marquis better known as "the boat" or "S.S. Yusuf". We
went back to Andrew's place on Mercer Island. Roddy and Amitha were
already at Nathan Schimke's apartment.
We all met up late in the morning at Andrew's. We walked to lunch at
an unimpressive Mexican place on Mercer Island. After lunch, we
headed into the city [2 Pictures]. Our
first stop was Seattle Center, where we parked at the Science Center
then walked around. We first walked past the Science Center [2 Pictures], and over to the Space Needle
[20 Pictures]. After the Space Needle we
walked over by a fountain [7 Pictures]
where we mainly watched Amitha get wet. After a short trip to
Nathan's apartment to get Amitha some dry clothes, it was on to Safeco
Field for baseball from the excellent Cray seats [47 Pictures and More]. After fighting
some traffic and getting Andrew's car from Cray, we headed back to
Andrew's for some birthday parties and other stuff. I think it was
just about Nathan's birthday and it was Andrew's birthday not too long
before, so we had cake and ice cream. The main discussion was about
what to do for our weekend journey. Once it was all decided, we
worked on reserving an extra rental car, as Rick would not be joining
us for the whole weekend.
Saturday, June 24
This was day one of the two-day sightseeing loop. First, Rick and I
picked up Rental II, the Mercury Mistake, er, Mystique in Bellevue.
The plan included camping somwhere in southwestern Washington, and
Andrew needed a sleeping bag, so we first went to the big camping
store in Seattle called REI. We got on the road late in the morning
and headed down I-5 toward Mt. St. Helens [5
Pictures]. After both cars independently made a lunch stop at
Arby's in Centralia (I think), we headed to the visitor's center for
Mount St. Helens [5 Pictures].
After spending a little time at the visitor's center, we made the
scenic drive up to the Johnston Ridge Observatory, where we got our
closest views of the crater [34
Pictures]. The ride to Johnston Ridge is amazing, going from a
typical forest, to a thinned forest to the areas totally devastated by
the eruption. On the way in, we noticed large, out-of-place rocks
scattered around. We later learned that these are hummocks, large
chunks of the mountain that were thrown for miles by the 1980
eruption. Even now, 20 years later, the total destruction of the area
within a few miles is amazing.
After we drove back to civilization, the cars met up at the village at
the Junction with I-5. We stopped for pizza at a local place, then we
split up - Rick back to Seattle, everyone else into the boat. Next
step - find a place to camp for the night. We needed to find Amitha
some medication as well. Our original plan was Fort Canby, but we
decided that was not going to work, as it's just too popular and it
was late and it's a summer weekend. We wound up at River's End
Campground near Chinook, right on the Columbia. We set up camp in the
dark [2 Pictures] and got to sleep.
Sunday, June 25
We got a pretty early start at the campground, and took the
opportunity to look around some [8
Pictures]. We got back in the boat in search of breakfast. We
passed a neat-looking bridge on the way in which carries US 101 over
the Columbia, and decided to take it [3
Pictures] into Astoria, Oregon [Picture]
for breakfast. We found a place called the Pig'N Pancake, where we
had a big meal [2 Pictures]. After
breakfast, we headed back across into to Washington [4 Pictures]. Our first stop for the day was
at Fort Canby and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, where we
got to learn about Lewis and Clark, picked up some Sacajawea dollars,
and walked over to a lighthouse [19 Pictures].
We then headed up the coast on 101 [3
Pictures]. We had a nice late lunch at an Italian restaurant
called Casa Mia [Picture] in Hoquiam. Next,
we continued up US 101 toward the Olympic peninsula [5 Pictures].
There is plenty to see on the Olympic peninsula, but we didn't have
much time and we chose to visit Lake Quinault.
We parked and looked
around the lodge first [3 Pictures].
There are a number of trails near Lake Quinault, and we chose a fairly
short one to see at least a bit of this unique rain forest [20 Pictures]. Afterward, we walked down
to the lake itself to take some pictures and to skip some stones [4 Pictures].
We started back toward Seattle, again driving through some logging
country [5 Pictures]. As we approached
Olympia, it was getting dark, but the sun kept an orange glow on Mount
Rainier, giving it an unusual and ominous look [3 Pictures]. After dinner at the Burger
King in Olympia, we returned to Seattle, met back up with Rick, and
went to Andrew's for ice cream.
Monday, June 26
This was our last day in Seattle. In the morning, we met Roddy's
friend Andreia at a coffeehouse in Seattle, which Amitha remembers as
"Caffe A-something (e with an accute accent)." Then it was off to
lunch in the Fremont section of Seattle at Still Life in Fremont [Picture]. After lunch, we walked around and
visited the large statue of Lenin which is for sale, and the big troll
sculpture under an overpass. I didn't like Fremont much, so I didn't
take pictures on this part, but others have plenty.
After lunch, we went to Pike Place Market to walk around some.
Everyone wanted to see different shops, so we decided to split up and
meet back at the brass pig [Picture] in a little
while. I walked around some [Picture], took
some pictures at the north end of the market [4
Pictures] and stopped for a good hot fudge sundae [Picture].
We didn't have much time before I needed to be at the airport, and
after considering several options, we decided to sit on a pier and
rest a bit [4 Pictures]. I thought I had more
pictures from there, but apparently not.
We headed off to get me to the airport for my flight to LAX. I was
the last to arrive and the first to leave. The others were on a
redeye back east later on. Even the airport has a nice view of
Rainier [Picture]. Things went smoothly at
the airport and we were on our way during the evening. Our flight
path gave me excellent views of Rainier [4
Pictures] and Adams [2 Pictures] from
the plane. People on the other side got to see St. Helens and Hood.
My plane arrived in LA around 10 PM, and Mike and Jennifer were
waiting in the terminal and we headed off to their house in Burbank.
Tuesday, June 27
This was the first full LA day. First, I borrowed a Rizzo car to head
over to Pasadena and NASA's Jet Propolsion Laboratory in the morning
to see Charles Norton and Jeff Nesheiwat. We got to visit just a bit
then Jeff led me on a tour, including a little bit of insider stuff,
ending with lunch in the JPL cafeteria. I decided it was not a good
idea to walk around a NASA Lab with a camera, so there are no
I took a bit of a scenic route through Pasadena on my way back to
Burbank, but it wasn't a problem. In the afternoon, it was back to
the Rizzo house. I checked out the area a little bit [2 Pictures], then Mike and I took a ride to
Krispy Kreme to introduce me to the world's best donuts. I was able
to eat one hot, and I'm hooked.
In the evening, Mike and Jennifer and I met up with Jeff and his
friend Scott Jackson from Caltech for a walking tour of the Caltech
campus and dinner at Burger Continental, Jeff's favorite restaurant in
Wednesday, June 28
This was Disneyland day. Mike and Jennifer
took the day off, and by
around mid-morning we were on our way to Disneyland. We arrived late
in the morning [Picture] and went in
[4 Pictures]. Mike and Jennifer are
Disneyland experts, and they suggested we get a Fastpass on the
Indiana Jones ride, so we headed there first. On the way, we walked
up Main Street, USA [2 Pictures] into
Adventureland [Picture]. We got our
fastpasses and I suggested we start with my favorite Disney ride - Big
Thunder Mountain Railroad [5
Pictures]. Excellent ride, as always. Next, we wandered to the
Pirates of the Caribbean [2 Pictures].
Soon it was time to use our fastpass on the Indiana Jones Adventure [2 Pictures]. We were able to bypass a huge
line and nearly walked right on with our speedpass. This was my first
time on this one, and it's a very impressive ride. I'm sure I'm
forgetting what we did an when, but I know we did the Haunted Mansion
[Picture] but didn't do the Country
Bears [Picture]. After lunch at the
French Market Restaurant [Picture] in
New Orleans Square, we picked up a fastpass from Splash Mountain and
headed off to do other things. We decided to take the railroad, which
was amazingly crowded [5 Pictures]. I had
forgotten about the Dinosaurs and the Grand Canyon on the railroad
here. They're more than a little bit outdated... At some point, we
made it back to Main Street [2
Pictures] and got to see the Walt and Mickey statue [2 Pictures]. We passed the entrance to
Tomorrowland [Picture] and Sleeping
Beauty's Castle [Picture] on our way to
the Matterhorn Bobsleds [6 Pictures].
We headed to Tomorrowland (via Main Street, apparently [2 Pictures]) but I don't remember what
we went on there [4 Pictures]. We
took a monorail ride to the Disneyland Hotel and back, and got to see
a bit of the construction underway on the new California Adventure
park [3 Pictures]. It was a one-way
ride, so we had to get out at the hotel and wait for the next train
back into the park. When we got back, we noticed that there were some
people on Autopia, so we checked that out [3 Pictures] but it wasn't really open
yet. It was coming close to Splash Mountain time, so we headed back
that way for our turn [7 Pictures]. We
wandered our way back to the front of the park [10 Pictures] so we could go out for a bit
[Picture] to get dinner from the Chicken
Restaurant at Knott's Berry Farm. The chicken was good and I got to
do a little shopping at the Peanuts store at Knott's. I could spend a
lot of money there. We also met up with Mike and Jennifer's friend
Edisca. After dinner we headed back to Disneyland. We got to see
everything in the dark [2 Pictures]. We
checked out Autopia again and it had opened, so we got to go on it
before the official opening date and got to see the night's fireworks
display while waiting in line [3
Pictures]. We tried to get on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, but it broke
down [Picture]. We'd get on later. On
the way out, we stopped for some excellent ice cream. I got to drive
back and we arrived in Burbank very late.
Thursday, June 29
We spent the morning at the Rizzo house, with Mike hoping he'd be able
to slip out for a while to come with me to the Pacific. Once he
realized he had too much work to do to come along, I headed for
Manhattan Beach. It was very nice - not crowded and a beautiful day
[6 Pictures]. On the way back to
Burbank, I stopped for lunch at a little pizza place in El Segundo,
right near LAX. I hit some traffic heading back up, but it wasn't too
bad as I passed through downtown LA [Picture]. After a short stop in Burbank [Picture], it was off to Dodger Stadium to see a
game with Travis Kilburn of the OBFLB [32
Pictures]. The game was a lot of fun, as it's always great to
meet a fellow OBFLB owner in person. I thought the food was average
(although they did have a Krispy Kreme stand) and the hat was very
overpriced ($20 for an adjustable cap!?) but it was well worth going.
Friday, June 30
The only specific thing planned for this day was a baseball game in
Anaheim. So part of the day was spent catching up on some e-mail and
laundry. Late in the morning, Mike and I took a ride up the hill to
Griffith Observatory [5 Pictures] and
stopped for lunch at Mike's favorite burger chain, In and Out Burger.
Both were good. After Jennifer returned home from work, it was off to
Anaheim for the Angels game. We were running late, and after picking
up Edisca, Mike and I planned a route around the traffic hot spots and
made it from Burbank to Anaheim in record time. As we approached, we
got a glimpse of Arrowhead Pond [Picture], home
of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim of the NHL, and then arrived at Edison
International Field [2 Pictures], formerly knows
as Anaheim Stadium or the Big A. We went in and made it just after
the game started. We saw a good game [40 Pictures
and more on the game]. After locating our lost car, we made our
way back to Disneyland, mostly for a few extra rides on Big Thunder
Mountain Railroad and another ride on the Indiana Jones ride [8 Pictures]. On our way out, we once
again heard the story of why the new Disneyland trams are red [Answer and 4 Pictures] on the way back to
the parking lot.
Saturday, July 1
This is the last day already. The main event for this day was a party
at Ewa and Peter Deelman's in Studio City. I went to get Jeff from
Caltech and then we all headed to their place for an afternoon BBQ [9 Pictures]. It was back to the Rizzo house
to pack up and get ready to head back east, but we did take some
pictures first [17 Pictures]. We went out
to dinner at a nice place with, then Mike and Jennifer dropped me off
at the airport for my red eye into Dulles. There was lots of
unhappiness at LAX as the Red Eye to Chicago was cancelled due to
United's pilot strike, but I was lucky to have a flight that was right
Sunday, July 2
The overnight flight was uneventful but not especially restful. It
was interesting to see as we flew around a very active early-morning
thunderstorm in the midwest at daybreak. Once we got around that, it
was a smooth and scenic descent into Dulles. I found Dulles to be
ugly and it was hard to get between terminals. The flight into Albany
was also smooth and this very fun trip came to an end.
E-mail domain: teresco.org, username: terescoj+pics -
Wed Aug 2 23:02:52 EDT 2000
Copyright notice: All images are copyright © James D. Teresco unless otherwise specified. Unauthorized use is prohibited.