Saturday, November 4, 2006

Fightin' Irish

Yay! Irish beat North Carolina. Impressive offense, and it will be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out, because the ND quarterback, Brady Quinn, is definitely in the running for the Heisman. Unfortunately, so is the Ohio State quarterback. Brady's lookin' good the past few games, though, and Ohio State didn't look all that great today against Illinois (Ken's alma mater). For that matter, my alma mater, Ball State, gave Michigan a run for their money. What a surprise, but fun to see!

"My" guy, Samardzija, got his 23rd touchdown reception, and is now the record-holder at Notre Dame for TD receptions by a wide receiver. Shweeet!

I'm getting in a traveling mood, so it's a good thing we have a vacation coming up. We'll spend a few days in beautiful Oregon visiting Ken's Mom and stepdad, then drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco, and spend a couple of days there. We've driven the PCH before, north from San Diego to San Francisco, and it's an unbelievably gorgeous road trip. I had always heard about Big Sur, but was not prepared for how breathtaking it was. Neither of us has done the PCH north of San Francisco, so we're both looking forward to that. Too bad we won't get to spend a little more time in SF, but even a couple of days will be great. One of my favorite cities I've been to! I even tried sushi for the first time there, and for a microbiologist, that's sayin' something. (It was delicious, by the way, and as far as I know, I did not start growing a tapeworm.)

A few years ago, we were out there for a little longer, and we got to visit Alcatraz. Ken lived out there for about 10 years, and can you believe he never visited Alcatraz?! I guess it's one of those tourist things that the locals often never see (like New Yorkers not visiting the Statue of Liberty, for example). The Alcatraz tour was one of the coolest and creepiest ever. It is such a bleak place, but it looks out on one of the most beautiful bays in the world. Standing in the prison and looking out the windows gave me such an eerie feeling. The audio tour said that prisoners would hear boats passing the island, often with parties going on. Can you imagine laying there in your crummy little cell, listening to the revelry passing right outside your window? What a horrible thing. (Not a lot of sympathy though, because some of the worst criminals were sent to Alcatraz.) We got this really spooky picture of the Alcatraz morgue:

Isn't that just creepy? God knows what kind of nasty things happened at The Rock.

It's a very peaceful place today, with lots of birds and flora. The day we were there was pretty neat, because there was an airshow going on in SF the next day, so the Blue Angels were practicing over the Bay. They were buzzing the island, right overhead, flipping over and flying upside-down, and basically just showing off for all us tourists looking up with our mouths hanging open. WAY cool! Hard to believe that just a few decades before, it was probably the worst and most notorious prison in the country. Now there are butterflies everywhere.

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