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What a busy week! The original plan was for Treeses to take Tuesday off work so we could have Sunday through Tuesday to go visit my parents, check out Alcatraz, and perhaps find other things to do in San Francisco. Unfortunately, the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) threw a wrench into those plans, but we were still able to make our little trip before taking off to E3.

We left for Vallejo Sunday morning, around 11-ish. Treeses drove while I pulled out my old Japanese text book and started re-learning my hiragana and katakana. And to think, I used to have them all memorized! Anyway, as usual, the trip was fairly uneventful. Neither one of us had eaten anything before we left, but that was okay with me since I'd then be plenty hungry for the Mother's Day pizza party. After we arrived, we still had about an hour before it was time to eat, so we just talked and got caught up. My parents gave us the Alcatraz and ferry tickets that they bought for my birthday, so that was cool. We were expecting that we'd have to drive down to San Francisco, so it was nice to discover that we could just hop on the ferry in Vallejo and let it do all the work.

Eventually it was time to chow down, so we headed over to the pizza place where we met up with Julia, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Terri, and Uncle Dean. They had a coupon for something like five pizzas with one topping each, so needless to say we had leftovers. About 3-4 boxes worth if I remember correctly. Afterwards, we all went to my grandparents house where we got to see how they were completely redoing their backyard. The deck was completely gone, and the grass area was now all bark with a nice round brick floor-area in the center. Then we watched a promo video for a cruise that my grandparents took, but I must have fallen asleep shortly afterwards because I don't remember too much after I laid down on the floor. Treeses said she also fell asleep on the couch. Guess we were both pretty tired.

After we awoke, Treeses hitched a ride to my parents house with Julia while I was helped out Grandpa with his computer. When my parents and I got back to the house, Treeses was sleeping, so I took a look at some issues they were having with their computer. The only problem I wasn't able to solve was getting their DSL to stop disconnecting after a print job. And it's frustrating, because attempting to reconnect is pointless, as the system has to be completely rebooted before it will start working again. I searched and searched, but wasn't able to find any solution. And the weird thing is that it doesn't disconnect when printing something really short, like just a couple of lines.

Our Trip to Alcatraz (Day 2)

The next morning we drove down to the Vallejo marina and hopped aboard the ferry. The ride to San Francisco was nice and relaxing, and pretty much put Treeses to sleep. Once we disembarked, we headed over and got our tickets for Alcatraz. There were no problems with that, but there was still like an hour before the boat would be leaving, so we walked around a bit, looked in the shops, and watched the sea lions play. When it was about 20 minutes to boarding time, we decided to get in the long line (long as in a 5-10 minute wait, not Disneyland long). And when we finally made it to the front, we found that the line was for the noon departure, not the 12:15, so we had to do it all over again.

The ride over to Alcatraz was short, but the walk up to the prison area where the audio tour takes place was not. They had vehicles that would drive disabled persons up there, but they only take disabled persons, meaning they would take Treeses but I'd still have to huff it. I was fine with that, but Treeses decided against it. The audio tour was included in our ticket, so of course we did that. It was a pretty nice tour, although once we missed which direction the recorded voice said to turn, and that got us off track. We were eventually able to get synchronized again, and finish it off without incident. Treeses had been to Alcatraz a few times before, but this was the first time that they had the old recreation yard open, so after the tour we went down and saw that. There are plenty of places online that tell all about Alcatraz, so I won't go into any of that.

My Sunburn (a couple days later) It was then about time to head back, since we wanted to be able to catch the ferry back to Vallejo at the same place it dropped us off, and not over at the fairy building which was quite a walk. We made it in time with about 10 minutes to spare, so it worked out. When we got back to my parents house, my mom noticed right away that I had gotten a sunburn all over my face. It was extremely noticeable when I took of my bandanna and you could compare the burn to the pale white skin near my hairline. Oh wonderful. Soon after we headed for dinner at a place called Todai, which is a Japanese restaurant that has a large buffet of seafood. Although the prices may seem expensive compared to the restaurant chains we're used to eating at, they really are quite reasonable considering the food that's available. The good thing is that I got a free meal because it was my birthday! They even gave me a little piece of cake with a candle in it, and offered to sing Happy Birthday. I accepted the cake, but declined the song. Treeses really enjoyed it the meal, and I liked it too, although I'm not really a seafood fanatic like she is.

After dinner, we returned to the abode of my parental units. It wasn't too long after that before we took off for home, this time with yours truly behind the wheel. We had filled up on gas before leaving for dinner (can you believe the gas prices?!), so I didn't have to worry about that. Treeses fell asleep almost as soon as we got hit the freeway. I left the music off so I could concentrate on driving and reviewing the hiragana and katakana that I had memorized the previous day. We rested a bit when we got home, but soon after I had to get all packed up for my trip to E3, which began the very next morning.

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