Friday, November 5, 2010

John & Sarah's Wedding Weekend-The Rest of the Story

It was 2 weeks ago today that John & Sarah got married. In case you missed it, I did post about the wedding & reception last week.

Since we were up in the San Jose area for the weekend, I will now give you the rest of the story.

Last time we spoke about the wedding weekend, it was Saturday morning & I had just returned from picking up Mike's inhaler from Kaiser pharmacy and getting him some Gateraide from 7/11.

Our original plans for Saturday was to visit the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. Mike had always wanted to go there & now was our chance. However, Mike was still not feeling good Saturday morning. But he didn't want to miss going. Plus he thought he might feel better if he got out of the hotel room & did something.

So we met up with Eric & Jeannette downstairs in the hotel lobby. We purchased our tickets from the front desk for $20.00 a ticket instead of the usual $28.00 a ticket if you purchase them at the Winchester Mystery House. They did tell us that we could upgrade them once we got to the house for $5.00 more to include the behind the scenes tour. So once we got to the house, that is exactly what we did.

Our tour of the house was to begin at 11:15am.

They don't let you take photos inside the house. Only outside.

While we waited the 15 or so minutes until our tour was to begin, Mike & I looked around this museum area inside the gift shop.

Mike showed me this old waffle griddle. I have one very similar that we just picked up from a local thrift store at home for about $4.00. Except for mine is Hotpoint (I think) and this is a Winchester.

Finally it was time to begin the tour. We were to meet out in the courtyard area. Then we went inside the house where the tour was to begin. The tour guide started telling us the story of Sarah Winchester and how the house came to be built. The house was built over 38 years, 24 hours a day. If you want to learn more about Sarah Winchester & this bizarre house, you can visit their website here.

During this time I'm looking over at Mike & I can see that he is not feeling good. Then he tells me that he thinks he might pass out. The tour guide has just told us that we will walk a mile throughout the house & climb numerous stairs. It is then I tell Mike, I don't think him going on the tour is such a good idea. All he keeps saying is, "I think I'm going to pass out". I tell him if he is feeling like passing out, he better bail now. Won't be a good thing to pass out half way through the tour.

So I did what any good wife would do, I told him to bail and to go outside and sit at a table & rest while I continued on the tour.

What? Isn't that would you would do? We were already forfeiting $20.00 for 1 ticket, I wasn't about to forfeit on another one. And no, the tour guide did not offer to refund our money or give back the ticket so that we could ask the ticket office for a refund. But he did let Mike out the door back into the courtyard.

The house was beautiful and bizarre. It was definitely worth seeing. I just wish they would have let us take photos inside. It seems some movie company is going to be making a movie & they have the copyrights to all photos inside the house.

Most of the rooms don't have furniture in them. And the ones that do, the furniture didn't belong to Sarah Winchester, but are from the same time period to give you a feel on how the house looked during the late 1800's/early 1900's.

There are I think 160 rooms in the house with 10,000 windows. A lot of the windows are Tiffany leaded glass. Yes, that Tiffany. Sarah loved the number 13 & it is apparent everywhere.

The inside house tour took about an hour and a half. Once we got back outside we found that Mike was feeling better and he was able to go on the behind the scenes tour. But he was so mad that he wasn't able to go on the house tour.

On the behind the scenes tour, they take you around the grounds, into some of the out buildings and down in the basement. Here is one of the bizarre things in the house. The door to nowhere.

We had to wear hard hats on the behind the scene tour. Mostly while we where down in the basement.

I love how they have trimmed this bush to be the number 13.

And all the parts of the house that are painted black, they are the parts of the house that were unfinished when Sarah died. They have been boarded up & painted black. It seems that when Sarah died, all the carpenters quit working, some quit right in the middle of hammering in a nail. And why? Would you continue working if you thought you weren't going to get paid?


Here is Mike, Jeannette & Eric inside one of the out buildings. I think this was a machine shop of some sort.

Jeannette & Eric resting inside the greenhouse.

I loved these spiderweb Tiffany windows. And so did Sarah Winchester. She loved spiderwebs as well as the number 13.

Eric & Jeannette outside the house.

The house wasn't always so Victorian looking. It used to have a 3 story tower & looked more like the Munster house. But during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake the 3 story tower fell. They never did rebuild the tower but they changed up the exterior to make it look like it is now.

I love the look of it now. I just don't think I would want to live in it. Too big. And I really don't like ghosts.

Mike & me.

Did I mention ghosts? That is the whole reason that Sarah was building the house. To appease the spirits or ghosts of the people the Winchester guns has killed over the years. She held seances every night in the house to ask the spirits what she should build next.

Did we see any ghosts? Well I did think I saw a flash of something leave the room to go back down a hall. I thought it was someone from our group. But I looked down the hall & didn't see anyone. So who knows???????

The whole front of the house got the most damage in the 1906 earthquake. In fact, Sarah shut off the entire front 30 rooms after the earthquake & never went back into them. When you tour these rooms inside, you can still see all the damage the earthquake caused. Only the outside was fixed up after the earthquake.

The grounds of the estate are fabulous to walk around. I would love to have a yard like this.


This is the water tower on the property. It used to have a huge water tank on top. But there was a fire years ago & the only thing that burnt was the tank full of water. Go figure.

Another out building with lots of tools. Carpenters needed lots of tools to be continuously building.

The house cost Sarah Winchester over $5,000,000 to build. After she died, the house & all the property was sold at auction for about $150,000. Someone got a screaming deal.

After the behind the scene tours we went into the rifle museum. You know boys, they love to see guns and rifles.

Mike was in heaven.

There were some pretty cool guns/rifles.

We were at the Winchester Mystery House for about a total of 3 hours. It is definitely worth going to see if you are ever in the San Jose area.

Afterwards we went to Mimi's for lunch. We needed some place where Mike could get some soup to eat. I had never been to Mimi's before. It was soooo yummy. I had turkey dinner to get me in the mood for Thanksgiving.

After lunch we went back to the hotel & our plans were to just hang up & relax at the hotel.

The Bunkers had all gone to Sarah's (as in John's Sarah, not Sarah Winchester) parents house for a BBQ. But since it decided to rain, I think they had pasta instead. We were invited to go but decided to go to the Winchester house instead.

In the early evening Eric called me to say that John had called him to invite us to meet them at some sushi place. Aunt Joni was going and some of Marti & Becky's kids. Mike wasn't feeling well enough to go so I did what any good wife would do. I left him at the hotel & went to party with my cousins & aunt.

We all met up at some place called Cherry. There was about 20 of us if you include some of John's friends who also came.


I've only had sushi once & I didn't really like it. But Aunt Joni & I decided to be brave & order some. This is what we got. It was called The Green Dragon. It had shrimp inside & was wrapped in avocado. It was pretty good. But I highly doubt I would go to another sushi place or order sushi again. Unless I was partying with my cousins.

Marti's son Ian had this sushi. The presentation of all the sushi was fabulous. But I didn't want to eat any (except for what Aunt Joni & I had ordered).

Aunt Joni talking to John. The people in the background are John's friends.

Here is Marti's daughter Katie, her husband Seth and their daughter Anna.

Marti's daughter Lauren, Kira, Kira's daughter Kylee and Becky's daughter Jessica on the right. Marti & Becky had already gone back home so that is why they weren't there on Saturday night. And Emily & Tyler's families went to San Francisco. Not sure if Rick's family went home or went to San Francisco.

Aunt Joni & I shared a 2 item combo plate as well. We had tempura veggies/shrimp and some chicken dish with noodles. Both were very tasty. I would order these items again.

From right to left we have Ian (Marti's son), Tina (Becky's daughter) and Sarah (John's new wife). The girl on the far left is one of John's friends, so I don't know her.

Jeannette holding Kira's new baby boy Tyson.

The happy couple, John & Sarah.

I was so glad that we had this little spur of the moment get together. It gave us a chance to get to know Sarah. John made a fabulous choice in a wife. We all loved her. They are so cute together.

Not only did we get to visit more with John & Sarah. We also got to visit more with Marti & Becky's kids. I loved spending time with all of them.

Got back to the hotel around 10pm. Found Mike eating left over Chinese food from Friday's lunch (hurray for mini fridge & microwave in hotel room). I asked how he ate it without a fork. He said he used the coffee stirrers as mini chopsticks. Whatever works. At least he was feeling better. So I didn't feel too bad when I left him again to go down to Aunt Joni's room.

I had so much fun talking with Aunt Joni, Tina & Jessica. Stayed in their room until midnight.

On Sunday morning we ate breakfast down in the dining area of the hotel. Cost was $12.95 a person which was a bit steep. But for $12.95 you could eat from the buffet, order off the breakfast menu, or both. I opted for both.

Ordered an omelet from the menu, then had a pancake, bacon and hashbrowns from the buffet. The food was good. Mike didn't eat breakfast as he wasn't feeling good. Besides Eric, Jeannette & I, Aunt Joni came down to eat breakfast with us and to do some more visiting. She then called Tina & Jessica to come down as well.

I just love visiting with family. I could have visited all day. But alas, we had to go home sometime.

We left the hotel about 10:30am for the 7 hour drive home.

But before we left, Jessica, Tina & Aunt Joni did a little dance for us.



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