On Friday Boyfriend, Interrupted was whisked away on a work-related trip, leaving Daughter, Interrupted solely in charge of Parent, Interrupted care and feeding.
We spent another leisurely morning eating breakfast in our beautiful accommodations and sipping home-brewed coffee in our bathrobes with our feet up and our iPads in our laps. We ate delicious Dishdash leftovers for lunch and finally roused enough to meet DI at her place of work.
DI’s employer is a very large non-profit foundation that does very good work. The building she works in does very good work, too, in that it is certifiably ecologically conscious. Not only does this building generate more electricity than it uses, it is the largest building in the world to do so.
It’s gorgeous, full of natural materials and huge windows and soaring ceilings. And, like your mother, when it feels cold it tells you to put on a sweater.
DI gave us a comprehensive tour, and then treated us to an insider’s tour of the foundation family’s home, now turned into a meeting center. Gorgeous view of Silicon Valley spread below it? Check. Beautifully-preserved home with a Frank Lloyd Wright-ian flair? Check. Knowledgeable tour guide? Check and double check.
And then, because we had gone a few hours without eating fabulous food, we hit Santana Row in beautiful downtown San Jose to dine at Pizza Antica. Bottles of wine again, terrific service, ya gotta go there.
And then after that, the candlelight tour of the Winchester Mystery House. In the dark.
Now, I’ve toured the Winchester twice before. (Here’s a decent summary of what’s going on this place.) I find it endlessly fascinating. The place is filled with gorgeous workmanship, creepy occult touches, and weird architecture. Under the best of circumstances, the place is an OSHA nightmare of uneven footing and bad lighting. Given the reason that Sarah Winchester built the place and the fact that she spent thirty-eight years calling on the spirit world every night, I knew I would find a night time tour unsettling.
When they said ‘candlelight tour,’ I thought they’d give each of us a battery-operated candle. That turned out to be optimistic. The ‘caretaker’ (read macabre actress tour guide) was the only one with a light, and our group wandered through the dark warning each other of sudden steps and uneven floors.
It’s probably a good thing that they camped it up pretty hard and played it for laughs. Just letting the house do its magic in the pitch black night with unsettling sounds and mirrors and labyrinthine hallways, coupled with the knowledge that Sarah lived there alone, wandering around every night in the dark and calling the occult world from her seance room at 2 a.m. would have been terrifying, in my book.
So Dad, Interrupted is grateful they stuck to making it sound like an episode of the Munsters. Otherwise I would have had to cope the way I always do after being scared: when I get up in the middle of the night to go to the john I make him get up, too. After I saw The Sixth Sense I needed Midnight Bathroom Run Support every night for about six weeks. I’m not sure he could take another round.
Tour concluded, Daughter, Interrupted and I dissuaded Dad, Interrupted from touring the Winchester Rifle Museum. It was, after all, midnight, and we had to get up early the next day to enjoy Day 4.