NAVIGATION ∧

the photo journal + misc. news of Emma Kisiel

Winchester Mystery House

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Pretty much right after I learned that the Winchester Mystery House supposedly served as the inspiration for the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland (and I learned that it is in San Jose, which I had somehow never known, and that airfare from Portland was about $60) I asked Nathaniel if that’s what he wanted to do for his 30th birthday, and he said yes. We were supposed to be treating our trip to St. Louis/Kansas next month (right between our two birthdays) as our 30th birthday ~thing~ but as his neared he decided he wanted to do something that day or weekend, and I agreed we should. We flew to San Jose the Friday after Nat’s birthday, after work. We checked in to our hotel and went to San Pedro Square Market for dinner from Pizza Bocca Lupo, and the next morning we went to the Winchester Mystery House!

We took a tour of just a portion of the house and it went way too fast. Nat and I were the last ones trailing behind in every room. Someone asked me afterward if we saw any ghosts and I realized I hadn’t even thought about the house being haunted, because I was so distracted by the crazy architecture and all the perfect details, like this embossed wall covering made from wood flour. And! Because Sarah Winchester was obsessed with the number 13, there are all these significant 13-related things: 13 bathrooms, 13-windowed rooms, 13-stepped staircases, 13 hooks in her seance room, 13 drain holes in the sink, 13 parts to her will, which she signed 13 times. Nat got a kick out of it (he, too, loves the number 13, and his birthday is the 13th).

Rice Museum of Rocks & Minerals

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Dan visited! I had such a nice time with him. It was a very short trip – he got here on a Saturday night and left the following Monday evening. We:
• Took a walk and tried to go to my neighborhood coffee shop but it was closed
• Went over to my neighbor Tim’s house to use his printer to print our free passes to the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals – and ended up getting him a ticket, too
• Had brunch at Bites in Forest Grove (we got tempura avocado *chef kiss Bitmoji*)
• Spent an hour checking out rocks
• Went to Paxton Gate and walked around Mississippi
• Checked out Schoolhouse Electric
• Had the neighbors over for nachos and games (Codenames – I loved it!)
• Tried to walk Cody around Rood Bridge Park, but it was super flooded!
• Got pizza and dollar store snacks and met my neighbor Casey at Next Level, a pinball museum with over 250 machines/arcade games. It was amazing! It isn’t regularly open to the public yet; we just found out about a day when it was open and we could check it out. Our little downtown area just got a pinball arcade and my neighbors have been spending a ton of time there, so this was a fun extension of that.
And then I had to take Dan to the airport, and proceed to miss him very, very badly.

The Zoo in Winter

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We love being outside, even and especially in the winter, since we feel like we spend so much time cooped up inside. (The last time we went to the zoo was wintertime in 2017.) So even though it was *very* cold out, we spent one Sunday at the zoo recently, just leisurely strolling around/trying to keep warm. We also ate some surprisingly great fries. A bunch of stuff was under construction – and we actually got to see snow! This was the weekend that all of Portland was freaking out preparing for a big storm, but we got absolutely no snow on the far west side.