It's an Exciting World

The life and times of David Geisert


Day Trips

Social Wednesday

I took Steph’s car to Shoreline lake, and got there a little after 10am.  I had a long meeting with, then Tina and Irene showed up and we chatted while hanging out in the shade.  Adam got there with his mother and we decided it was time for lunch.  We got in line at the cafe and Jeremy joined just in time to order with us.  We chatted for the better part of an hour before Adam had to leave, and then chatted for another hour before Jeremy and I decided to go kayaking in the lake.  We hopped in and did one and a half times around.  We got out and Tina joined us for some more chatting and helping to pack away my kayak.  The photo below is partly obscured by the rubber band holding the phone.


That evening Steph and I had a nice date dinner at Pazzo, and Italian place nearby.  We hadn’t been there before so I thought it would be nice to try it out.  The food was tasty, but I found it to be a bit loud.

Pinnacles Hike

Adam planned a hike for us to go to Pinnacles National Park, and it was an interesting time.  We headed to Tina’s in the morning to carpool the two hours there together.  We got in a little early and I grabbed a few apricots from the tree that overhangs Tina’s driveway.  They were delicious.  We drove to the park which had a surprising amount of traffic heading south on 101.  Once we got to the side roads there wasn’t any more traffic; although there was a little construction.

We got to the park and took a few minutes to get situated before starting on the hike.  The first part was steeply uphill, and directly into the pinnacles for which the park is named.  They were gorgeous formations with lots of bright red/orange and green/yellow lichens.  We got up to the high pass and I was already running through several liters of water, despite it only being about two miles of hiking.  We stopped by a reservoir on the way down so I could filter some just in case.  Then we got into the first cave system.  It was a short bit, but the caves were nice and cool compared to the 90’s and sun that we had up to that point in the hike.  We scrambled around the caves, eventually finding the exit and continuing down to the eastern parking lots for a lunch at the picnic tables there.

Adam pulled out a salami and ate it, while the rest of us had nuts and trail mix.  A few miles later Adam was regretting the salami, as it was strongly messing with his hydration and thus temperature regulation.  The hike was mostly flat on the second half of the day, with a longer caves section that was prettier in my opinion just south of the western parking lots.  We emerged a little worse for wear and tired.  Tina was amazing enough to drive the entire way back home, and we all crashed pretty hard that evening.

Weekday Hike

Tina organized a hike on Thursday to El Corte De Madera.  She was nice enough to drive, and it turned out to be a perfect day for the hike.  The others were a little cold, but I was pretty comfortable.  We were joined by Jeremy and Candice and two others I didn’t know well.  The hike was about 5 miles and afterwards we went to Alice’s Cafe for lunch.

Busy Saturday

Saturday I did the ocean dive portion of the drysuit class.  I must say I didn’t like it all that much.  The being dry and warm part was nice, but the added complexity of the suit took away some of the enjoyment of the dive for me.  I could see myself getting used to that over time, but I don’t think I’ll be diving enough around here to buy a drysuit.  Most of the nice parts of drysuit diving come when you have a really nicely fitted one.

I started the drive to Monterrey around 5am, and got back around 1:30pm.  There was a little break where Steph and I got to cuddle, then we headed out to Lost Colony and met up with people for grilling at Andrew’s.  The food was excellent as always.  We played a little Dead Mans Draw, and added a bit more complexity than what used to be there.  It was a good time.

Skyline to the Sea

Stephanie, Adam, Tina, and I did part of the Skyline to the Sea trail.  We didn’t do the part we meant to but we did about the same length we had planned.  When we reached the trail from Big Basin, and then made a mistake.  We saw a sign that said ‘Skyline to the Sea’ and just went off in that direction.  We didn’t notice the sign went both ways along the trail.  This meant instead of heading to the ocean, we were heading up the mountain.  We made it up to the intersection of 9 and 236, but were unable to get an Uber or Lyft to come get us.  We managed to get a ride into Saratoga, and hung out for a bit at Cinnabar, a wine bar.

Later that day we got dinner with George and Adam.  The place was Adega and the food was pretty good.  My favorite dish was the duck fried rice, and I think the sangria sampler was even better than that.  It was a good day.

Wine Train

Stephanie, Adam, and I went on the Napa wine train that goes from Napa City to St. Helena.  We got there a little early and decided to walk around the city for a bit after checking in for the train.  We found a coffee shop and a charcuterie, that we stopped by again later.

We then went to the train and got on.  The train was only half full at 15 of 30 spots taken.  We got a nice breakfast on the way to the first winery, Domaine Chandon.  They were a typical winery, and we got a nice tasting of some sparkling wine.  It was a place we could go hang out during a work remote day, as they had a massive patio.  On the way to the second winery we got a soup and salad.  The second winery, Hall, was our favorite of the three.  They were clearly about creating a good place to be, and it is a place we might go to hang out.  The only issue being that it requires a membership to be in their hanging out area.  They had art all around, with the most icon piece being a giant silver bunny in the front called ‘Bunny Fufu.’  Hall also had the best wine of the trip, by general unanimous agreement, 2015 hall terra secca cabernet sauvignon.  We had a nice dinner on the way to the third and final winery, Inglenook.  They had a lot of interesting old things: books, clothes, mechanical objects.   They had also built a cave into to house their wines as they aged.  We took the train back to Napa and had a nice desert.  The wine and food was generally great.  A few of the dishes and a few of the wines were fantastic.

We then went back to the charcuterie, and Adam got some food for Saturday.  We went to Grace’s Table for dinner as it was recommended by Michelin.  Adam drove us back and we went right to bed.

Hiking Almaden Mine

Tina organized a group of people to go to Almaden Mine trails and do some hiking.  We met up at a bagel shop and had breakfast before heading out.  It was blisteringly hot out, and bone dry.  I brought 3 liters and drank all of it before the hike was over.  We found some really nice wild blackberries.  Some of them were the sweetest berries I’ve ever had.  I got two handfuls and ate those along the trail.  We saw a number of deer while on the trail, a few of them mother-child pairs.  As we were about to start on the trial one deer came into the parking lot and drank from the horse trough, it was obviously nervous about us, but very thirsty.  Tina was funny with finding rocks that were unique so she could put them in her guest bath.  The rocks she found were pretty, admittedly.

After the hike we went to a pizza place and got some pizza, and a ton of cola to drink.  We were all pretty salty, and the next train for me was going to be an hour and a half so I went back to Tina and Amit’s place for a shower and some board games.  Tina and I did a 2 player Feast for Odin.  It was ok, I never really got my engine off the ground.  We then went to George’s for GoT.

Wednesday in Yosemite

Stephanie and I had a great mini-vacation.  We drove to Yosemite Tuesday evening and stayed in the Majestic/Ahwanee/Historic Hotel.  It is a gorgeous place.  As we arrived at the valley, the moon was out and full.  The valley shone with a gorgeous light, and I really wish we weren’t so tired, or we could have pulled off to the side and taken it in more.  I may have to go back on another full moon.  We met up with my uncle Fred and aunt Karin.  They were great fun to talk with in the morning.  We then went to the Vernal falls hike together.  Stephanie and I continued on past to the top of Nevada Falls, then back down the John Muir trail.

There was an amazing amount of water flowing, and the hike up to Vernal falls was soaked with the spray coming off the falls.  All that spray, mixed with a nice sunny day, made for some spectacular rainbows.

Close to Nevada falls was a small waterfall coming down directly on the path.  We walked along the railing for a few hundred feet, right next to a drop of a few hundred feet.  It was exciting, but not something that was terribly safe.

We met up with Fred and Karin to go to the lower Yosemite falls, then hiked back to the Majestic Hotel for drinks and dinner.  It was a delicious dinner and the conversation was excellent.  Stephanie and I wanted to stay until the moon came out, but that would have meant getting home around 4am.  Instead we started the drive back and got home at around 11:30.

It was a good trip and I’ll post pictures when I get them.

Uncle Fred’s and Karin’s Visit

I had a great time with Fred and Karin.  We got to eat at all the places I loved, and they enjoyed them as well.  They lamented that there was no Burmese place in Birmingham, because they liked Rangoon Ruby so much.  I have to admit that Rangoon Ruby is my favorite restaurant, so I can understand their lamentations.

We went on a great hike in Rancho San Antonio, and got a great view of the bay.

We also went to Oakland and got a good look at the bonsai garden there with Karin giving us a guided tour of what all the techniques were that were being used and a good bit about the history of the garden.

Blog at

Up ↑