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).