Fall Vacation

Discussion in 'Non-Disney Theme Parks and Destinations' started by hbquikcomjamesl, Dec 13, 2021.

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  1. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Well-Known Member

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    While the Board was gone (and/or after I'd about given up on it ever coming back), I had time to plan and take my first vacation in two years: a week in Northern California.

    Saturday, November 13th, I caught the Northbound Coast Starlight to San Francisco. The California Academy of Sciences, the DeYoung, the Exploratorium, the Cable Car Barn, the Pampanito, the O'Brien, and part of the Maritime Museum was open. The House of Prime Rib was open, but The Stinking Rose and Pompei's Grotto were still closed. 42nd Street Moon had a production of Sondheim's "A Little Night Music," and the SF Symphony had concerts. And best of all, the Columbus Motor Inn was open. There was a lot of turnover in staff, but the new people are just as nice as the old people.

    Those of us in Southern California owe Frank Gehry a debt of gratitude for giving Disney Hall a downright cavernous outer lobby, making vax-card screening very convenient. Not so at Davies Hall: with its tiny outer lobby, the poor San Francisco concertgoers have to be screened on the sidewalk. In a climate with somewhat less mild winters.

    Friday the 19th was time to move on: I caught a morning Capitol to Sacramento. The Vagabond was closed to the general public, hosting "city guests" (not sure whether they were VIPs, homeless, COVID patients, or convicts, but it wasn't fortified. I was stuck with the Holiday Inn (more money for less service and less space).

    Sacramento has a new science museum, in the old power company building along the river. Unfortunately, while I was there, it also had a construction site blocking the direct pedestrian routes from Old Sac. It took forever (and a lot of dumb luck) to get a cab there; fortunately, they accepted my admission an hour after my scheduled time, and even helped me get back to my hotel, after closing time.

    The California State Railroad Museum's new NMRA-sponsored gallery, "The Magic of Scale Model Railroading," opened a few months ago, and it's beautiful. It also contains more relics of John Allen and his renowned Gorre & Daphetid (which caught fire only days after he died) than I knew still existed.

    I knew that my favorite Sacramento restaurant wouldn't be there any more, as it closed shortly after my last visit to Sacramento, but walking by the former location of Fat City was still a little heartbreaking.
    Monday, the 22nd, I caught the Southboudn Coast Starlight home. By which time, the bridge of my nose was chafed raw by the nose-gaskets of one N95 after another.
     
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  2. PNWTigger

    PNWTigger Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like a perfect week getaway! We did a weekend up in Seattle a couple of months ago, and I was surprised with the changes up there too. Many places were requiring proof of vaccination or negative Covid test in order to enter which was fine by us. Vancouver/Portland area isn't really doing that level of diligence, but people are still masking up.

    What exactly is the mask mandate for California? I'm just curious.
     
  3. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    I just read this morning that Newsom is reinstating the indoor mask mandate due to rising numbers.
     
  4. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Well-Known Member

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    I'm masked if I'm not either at home (as in within the property line), or alone in my office, or actively eating or drinking, or (while holding my breath) unmasking for identity verification at the credit union. And on Saturdays, docenting at the Museum, and als if I'm at an outdoor concert, I wear at least a KN-95. And if it's a special event at the Museum, or an indoor concert, or I'm vacationing out of the area, I go whole-hog and burn an N-95.

    We don't need boosters nearly as much as we need third-world vaccine penetration. Not only are the people in poorer countries just as entitled to a decent life expectancy as any American; it's in areas with poor vaccine penetration that the dangerous variants are breeding. Delta emerged on the Indian subcontinent, where the vaccine penetration is rather low and the conditions are rather crowded. And Omicron emerged in sub-saharan Africa. Where is the next variant likely to show up? Guatemala?

    I probably got vax-carded more times during my five and a half days in San Francisco than in the previous five months.
     
  5. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    We mask up pretty much if we get out of our car. Even in Death Valley we carried our masks on the trails in case we ran into other hikers. It is interesting what we have noted with all of our travels. In certain stores (Walmart) there will
    be a mix but others (say, Trader Joe's) compliance is around 90%. In our county people have been amazingly compliant.
    But what we have really noticed is that no one seems to want to buck the system in National Parks. We were in one Visitor's Center in Death Valley and one joker came in with his mask under his nose and was immediately told that masks must cover both mouth and nose. I turned to the young employee and said a resounding, "Thank You!"

    We have never been asked to show our Vax cards out in the general public. But when my husband had to go to the hospital because of his mother; he rushed off without his. I had to text it to him before he could go in.

    I am not surprised about San Francisco. My daughter and granddaughter and I had to spend a night there last year and everyplace was very strict. We dined outdoors and in Golden Gate Park the runners and parents with strollers were all masked up including babies. At that time their per capita rate was well below San Joaquin County.
     
  6. PNWTigger

    PNWTigger Well-Known Member

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    In Washington we don't have to mask up outdoors anymore, but I work in Oregon where things are a bit more stringent. People seem to be compliant with masking at the stores, and we have not been asked for our vaccination cards locally. I don't mind showing proof of vaccination, but being vaccinated doesn't mean that you can't contract Covid either. It's a calculated risk no matter what.
     
  7. crazycroc

    crazycroc Active Member

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    Glad you had a nice vacation.
     
  8. Dabob2

    Dabob2 Well-Known Member

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    Hey everyone. Happy New Year!

    Just as a point of comparison, in NYC you have to show a vax card to eat at an indoor restaurant, but not to go into any type of store. You're supposed to wear a mask in stores, but it's up to the stores to enforce it. Most people just wear the masks as a matter of course, though there was some slippage there in the Fall, per-omicron. Now, with omicron, most people are just taking the "oh hell, here we go again" attitude, but they're wearing masks.

    Me, I just wear standard surgical mask (1 or 2) in a store, but do have N95's for the subway, as my office in currently "in 3 days a week, work from home 2 days a week." The subway isn't nearly as packed as it was pre-pandemic, but still, you're in there with quite a few other people, and you never know if, at a particular stop, a surge of people is going to get on and make a fairly sparse subway car a packed subway car. This can happen especially if, say, a train ahead of you had to discharge its passengers for some reason, and they all got on the train behind them (i.e. your train). So all of a sudden you can go from uncrowded to a bunch of people pretty close to literally "in your face," which is why I always wear the N95's on the subway.

    I found a fairly inexpensive alternative, easily available on Amazon, made in USA by Kimberly-Clark, about 80 cents each if you buy a pack of 50. They are legit N95's, NIOSH-rated. They're pretty comfy; only problem is they look ridiculous. They're the "duck-bill" style. Seriously, it looks like a duck bill. But if I'm riding the subway, I'm wearing one. ;)

    I took my first trip to Nashville since 2019 in August of 2021, and boy do they NOT enforce any kind of mask mandate there. At most, the grocery store will have a sign saying "You must wear a mask if you're not vaccinated," but essentially NO ONE in either grocery store I went into had a mask, at a time when Tennessee was only about 30% vaccinated. So a bit of a disconnect there.

    Hope everyone is well. I'm dearly hoping to get out to CA again at long last and get to DL again!
     
  9. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Well-Known Member

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    You're right. They do look like Donald Duck.

    I've been using "Makrite Sekura" valveless N-95s, 8 to the box, purchased at my local Home Depot. Amazon has them in 40-packs. The only difficulties I've had with them are (1) the elastic will occasionally pull loose (but can be tied), and (2) the nose gasket will occasionally roll over, exposing the adhesive directly to the bridge of your nose (which will chafe the Hell out of it).

    I think my diaphragm has gotten a bit stronger after nearly two years masked-up. Another two years, and I'd be able to "suck the tennis racket out of an opponent's hand" (it's an old joke that originally referred to the filters in the "One Step at a Time" smoking cessation kit). If I played tennis.
     
  10. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    This is not an N-95 but I am surprised someone has not jumped on that bandwagon. I think they would be a hit.


    [​IMG]
     

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