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 Trip to San Jose & San Francisco (w/pics)-Part 1

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  • Total Posts: 2363
  • Joined: 1/23/2005
  • Location: New York City, NY
Trip to San Jose & San Francisco (w/pics)-Part 1 Tue, 10/2/07 12:00 PM (permalink)
I recently took a trip with my buddy, Doug, to San Jose and San Francisco to visit some friends. We had a blast and I think we now need a vacation from our vacation! We ate a lot of really good food (most of which I forgot to take photos of!). Miriam picked me up from the airport and we had lunch at an El Salvadorian place called Chalateco. I ordered a papusa and some maduros. The papusa was two tortillas filled with spicy ground pork (my choice). The maduros were sweet plantains filled with sweet custard. Both were very tasty and filling. On the table was some homemade spicy and sour cabbage in a jar. Very much like the Korean kim chee. I got a horchata to go. It's rice milk spiced with cinnamon over ice. It is as though someone made a drinkable rice pudding and now I'm hooked on it. Miraim and her husband Ismael took me to the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. It's at As the story goes, Sarah Winchester was married to the owner of Winchester Arms in New Haven, CT. They had a baby who died suddenly and her husband died suddenly some years later. She sought out a medium to find out why this was happening and was told that the spirits of all the people killed by Winchester arms would eventually kill her too unless she continuously built a house (either for them or to keep them out). She moved to San Jose and had builders working 24/7 for 38 continuous years until her death. And she spent about 5.5. million of her fortune doing it. Pretty impressive place. It took about 1.5 hours to go through most of it. Thanks Mirm and Ismael!! Here are some pics:

This is the front door of the house. Rumor has it that Teddy Roosevelt stopped by unannounced to meet the woman who designed this interesting house and was told by the staff at the front door (who didn't know who he was) that he would have to use the rear entrance. Teddy was so incensed that he left and never returned. Virtually all of the stained glass in the house is from Tiffany's.

You'll notice a total of 13 boxes in this ceiling pattern of the grand ballroom. Ms. Winchester was obsessed with the number 13 and incorporated it into the design all over the house.

A chandelier in the grand ballroom that held 12 candles (she added a 13th candle)

The garden room with removable floorboards and a drainage system so as to conserve water. She designed this system throughout the house to save water. This was around the late 19th early 20th century.

The 2nd or 3rd floor "door to nowhere". If you walk out that door, you'll fall to the ground.

A really expensive Tiffany glass window meant to be hit by sunlight, but unfortunately, placed in a bad spot where light never hits it.

Wide, flat steps custom made as Ms. Winchester had severe arthritis and couldn't lift her feet up on to normal sized steps.

Stairs to nowhere. This shot is of the steps leading up into the ceiling.

Shots taken in the Winchester Museum of the various models in production over the years.

The plaque in front of the house.

I promise, there are SOME food photos coming up!
<message edited by billyboy on Fri, 06/18/10 2:55 PM>

    RE: Trip to San Jose & San Francisco (w/pics)-Part 1 Tue, 10/2/07 5:36 PM (permalink)
    Thanks for the photos of the Winchester House. I have always been curious about the place and really want to go there.
      ann peeples

      • Total Posts: 8317
      • Joined: 5/21/2006
      • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
      RE: Trip to San Jose & San Francisco (w/pics)-Part 1 Tue, 10/2/07 7:30 PM (permalink)
      I have seen this house on a special on the Discovery Channel-your photos are better and your descriptions wonderful.Thanks!!

        • Total Posts: 2363
        • Joined: 1/23/2005
        • Location: New York City, NY
        RE: Trip to San Jose & San Francisco (w/pics)-Part 1 Tue, 10/2/07 11:45 PM (permalink)
        Check out Part 2 for some exterior shots of the Mystery House
        <message edited by billyboy on Fri, 06/18/10 2:52 PM>
          mr chips

          • Total Posts: 4715
          • Joined: 2/19/2003
          • Location: portland, OR
          RE: Trip to San Jose & San Francisco (w/pics)-Part 1 Fri, 10/5/07 3:11 AM (permalink)
          I have visited the house twice and love the place for its eccentricities.

            • Total Posts: 1026
            • Joined: 6/16/2006
            • Location: Cincinnati, OH
            RE: Trip to San Jose & San Francisco (w/pics)-Part 1 Fri, 10/5/07 12:49 PM (permalink)
            It is so weird that you posted this. On Monday, my BF, who used to live in Berkley/Oakland, told me about the Mystery House, and then I saw your post on Tuesday. I think the Discovery CHannel show brought up the topic.

            Cool Pics.

              • Total Posts: 23
              • Joined: 5/2/2006
              • Location: forest park, IL
              RE: Trip to San Jose & San Francisco (w/pics)-Part 1 Fri, 10/5/07 1:04 PM (permalink)
              The steps that go nowhere....I stayed in an old home and it also had steps that went nowhere (or so it seemed), except they really did. The ceiling over them lifted up (like a huge door) right to left and low and behold there was another level to the home and extra bedrooms.
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