So Jer went off to the conference and I went off to site see. First stop was the Winchester Mystery House. Wow! It was a very fun old house. The lady just kept adding and adding on to the house wherever it would fit. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it did not. There are over 10,000 windows and almost every single one of them was connected to some kind of balcony. I loved all the balconies, loved seeing the basement and how they kept the house warm, loved the aviary and green houses. There were neat little details, like windows in the floor and cupboards that didn't have anything but wall behind the door. There was a door that dropped out of the 3rd floor and a staircase that didn't go anywhere. The house used to be 7 floors tall, but in the 1906 earthquake, 3 of them were damaged and dismantled. There was a $3000 door put in the house that only was used once... but the prettiest thing that I saw was that the windows were amazing. There were stained glass from Tiffany's and even had stained glass in the wood workers shop. She not only had inherited $20 million from her mom and husband, but she owned 161 acres of orchard that she dried and shipped fruit across the country and to Europe as well. She offered free room and board to all those that worked for her in her 160 room mansion and in a time that $1.50/day was a typical wage she would pay $6-$9/day. On her death, she left the proceeds from the sale of the house to the people that worked for her. She also hosted orphanages in her garden for ice cream socials, gave anonymous donations to many different charities (they figured it out when they stopped on her death), and waved to everyone as she drove to church on Sundays. Spoke 4 languages, played 3 instruments and stood a whole 4'9". She would have been fun to meet.
After that, I went to the Santa Clara University to go to the art museum and see this mission that had been established in 1776 by Saint Claire. Unfortunately the museum was closed, but the church was neat. It had small paintings over each of the lights down the wall each depicting a scene of Christ's final week before the Crucifixion. They were beautiful. The Ascension painting in one of the alcoves was amazing as well. And the organ! You could see the pipes above the main entrance and see the space behind them where the consul would be.
After all of this, Jer and I spent the evening with my cousin Eowyn and her husband Ryan who had just moved into town for some post-doc work. It was so fun to get to know them better. They made us dinner and we played several games together. Eowyn is a beautiful artist and I hope that she feels like it. I've loved every piece of hers that I've seen, but I especially loved the one that she was doing in her family room turned painting studio.