California In Bloom

The Computer History Museum took a good part of our second day. In the afternoon, we went for a tour of Lady Winchester Mansion. I saw it previously, and I wanted Boris to see it. I think the tour last time was better, more detailed, more history.

This time, they had smaller groups of visitors (still COVID restrictions) but they were letting the groups in every five minutes, and the tour guides were a little bit in a rush 🙂

I didn’t take any pictures this time, because I photographed almost everything in this house on the previous tour.

I still had some time before dinner and departure, and I decided to take a quick walk around the neighborhood. As quick as it was, I really enjoyed the beautiful nature and all its “unlikeness” to what I can in Illinois.

Overall, I think I feel California better now than after my previous multiple trips, so I guess it’s good to visit while you are not attending a conference 🙂


While I have some breathing room, here are more California pictures. When we finally arrived in Monterey, it was an afternoon already, and not even an early afternoon :). Did I say it already, how I completely forgot about traveling by car and traffic jams? Saying it again!

We had a late lunch/early dinner, and then we took a long walk along the ocean coast. The ocean is beautiful! So beautiful, it does not seem real! Not like I would trade living by lake Michigan for living by the Pacific :).

Can you see the seals?
Continue reading “Monterey”

California Trip

We are visiting my friend in Campbell CA – I decided that I do not need to have an excuse of a conference to visit her, so I exchanged the tickets for San Francisco one more time and added Boris to that trip.

Yesterday we were on the go for the whole day: we visited the Rose Garden, the St. Juan Bautista mission, and Monterey, and I have a million pictures 🙂

As usual, not sure whether I will have time to write in detail about all of it, but here are some:

More to come!

Partial Moon Eclipse

Tonight was the longest partial moon eclipse in over 500 years; at least, that’s what I read the day before. Chicago Tribune was saying that it would be very easy to observe, and since it was three-and-a-half hours long, I had chances to see some of it.

The eclipse was supposed to end at 4-45 AM, so I made a point to get up at 3-45, and at 4 AM, I was out on the street. First, I thought I would see it from my balcony, but this didn’t work. However, when I came down to the street, I saw it right away!

It was enchanting, and although I could not capture the actual thing on my camera, I am very glad that I woke up an hour earlier than usual. The sight was worth it!

In Milwaukee With Anna & Family

I spent most of the last weekend with Anna & family in Milwaukee. There was no special occasion, not big plans – we just wanted to get together. 

Also, after a long wait and anticipation, I was finally able to take Amtrak to Milwaukee. It’s tons better than it used to be taking the Van Galder bus to Madison! The ride is about 1.5 hours and very comfortable, with WiFi and electric plugs by every seat 🙂

The thing I enjoyed most was the water quality monitoring. Anna is involved with the Milwaukee Riverkeeper project, and she asked me whether I would like to go with her and Nadia to do the measurements. 

It was so interesting! She has a whole case of scientific instruments and chemical reagents and the instruction book from the program. The monitoring includes measuring the water temperature, transparency, oxygen level, and more. 

I enjoyed this experience on many levels: 1) it is super cool that volunteers can participate in a real scientific project, 2) it is so important for the environment 3) I enjoyed doing something important together with Anna and Nadia 4) I was in a forest preserve, which I really miss!

I need to figure out how to get out to nature even when I am in the city!

Biking To The Shakespeare Garden

I tried it once, and got lost :), so I was looking for an opportunity to bike early in the morning so that there will be no traffic, and on a day when I won’t have to go somewhere. Last Sunday, I decided that it’s now or never. The potential forty-minute round trip took over an hour, but at least I found the Garden!

The catch is that you can’t “bike to” that garden, you need to walk your bike on the last stretch. And Google was bringing me to the parking lot “under” the garden from where there was no way to get to the garden itself.

Some pictures from my bike ride to the North:

Continue reading “Biking To The Shakespeare Garden”

Deer Grove – For The Last Time

I still hope to make one last work day with Friends of Deer Grove, but one thing for sure – today was the last time I scouted my spring area as a Weed Scout.

I took mom with me, so that she could also see the part of the forest preserve she usually does not see. I l spotted beautiful spring flowers.

And I performed my last act of service to the Forest Preseervee – pulled out a dozen of garlic mustard plants!

Also, I educated several passerbys about invasives and why we are fighting Garlic mustard, which I guess was also an act of service.

I will miss Deer Drove, and all the people with whom I volunteered there for seven years…