My parents drove from Texas and arrived last Monday to spend the week with us. We had plans to go to Yosemite for a few days, but several fronts were expected that were bringing rain and snow (FINALLY), so we had to cancel since we cannot drive in snow at all. Since it was going to be raining everywhere in California for the latter half of the week, Sari had the idea to go to San Francisco for the day on Wednesday. I was worried about the traffic being a nightmare due to the rain and holiday travel, but we had no issues which was a massive relief. We decided to start our day at the Exploratorium which is a museum of “science, art, and human exploration.” It was SO COOL. The entire museum is hundreds of interactive stations and we were like kids in a candy store.

After much exploring, I am now not sure that I understand how electricity works. Or anything really… Sari and my dad figured things out in about six seconds while I never did for the most part.

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Also, where else can you drink from a toilet!

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This huge thing below was built out of toothpicks and the guy has been working on it for 40 years! WHY.

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We also went into a thermal imaging room that was pretty funny. You can tell my dad and Sari are cold natured because they have cold little noses and ears, while my mom and I are running about 400 degrees constantly.

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It was the coolest place. We spent about four hours there, but could have easily stayed for days.

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We had a great time and left to head back to Sacramento mid-afternoon because we were worried about traffic. My mom wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge (we are forever tourists), so we took that route back home. Even though it was raining and cloudy, it was still gorgeous! I need to spend more time exploring the Bay Area. I just have no idea where to begin.

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We spent Thanksgiving morning cooking lunch, then just relaxed the remainder of the day away. My parents brought a brisket from Texas, so that was a billion times better than turkey. We also FINALLY finished Bloodline and ugh what a crap ending. Those last two episodes sucked. Regardless, we had a great week together, and they headed back to Texas on Friday. On Saturday, I went to my friend Jennifer’s house to decorate gingerbread houses with our other friend Enid. It was a fabulous start to the holiday season even if thought I am super sloppy with icing.There’s were much cuter:

Jennifer told us a great story about one of her fellow professors who recently moved from Iran and is part of the Bahá’í faith. Having zero experience with Christmas, she thought gingerbread people were “nice little brown snowmen” and that is one of the cutest things I have ever heard.

The smoke moved out with the fronts last week, and University opened back up yesterday, so things are up and running again around here. It’s been a weird couple of weeks and a general sense of sadness will continue for a long time, but I am glad that with the fire is out and that the people of Butte County can start to move forward with getting their lives back together. Today is Giving Tuesday and if you are so inclined, you can donate to the Butte County Office of Education Schools Fire Relief Fund as they work to get kids and teachers back in the classroom. An estimated 4,200 schoolchildren lost their homes in the Camp Fire, and scores of teachers and school employees were also left homeless.

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