San Francisco Photos and Travelogue

I saw a Splinter Cell - Pandora Tomorrow ad on my BellaOnline gaming site and, having written a walkthrough for this very fun XBox game, I thought I'd click on it to see what it was all about. It was a sweepstakes to win a free trip to San Francisco to play 3 other teams, and compete for $2500 in prizes. Sure, I entered. The hero of the game, Sam Fisher, is the dude to the left of this page.

To my great surprise, I got a phone call one morning while Bob and I were lounging on the futon, playing computer games. They wanted to fly us out to San Franscisco, with free hotel and food, to play in a tournament for the new PS2 version! They wanted us to leave the following Tuesday, so pretty much NO notice was involved here. Since I work at home and Bob has like 8 years of vacation stored up, this wasn't much of a problem.

While we'd played a lot of single player to write the walkthrough, we'd not done multiplayer so this was both a great fun idea and a bit scary. We figured that all 3 other teams would be 18 year olds that were speed demons, and we'd be trounced.

We spent the next week madly practicing all the multiplayer maps, and I drew up detailed floorplans of the levels. We got UbiSoft to fly us out 2 days early so we could enjoy the city and visit Alembic, a REALLY great custom guitar shop that makes layered wood guitars of immense beauty. What a treat! Plus, being a wine writer, how could I resist a few days in Sonoma County winery land ...



Tue Jul 13 - Flying In to San Francisco
Wed Jul 14 - Visiting Alembic, Sonoma Wineries and my Cousin
Thu Jul 15 - Training for the Pandora Tomorrow Tournament
Fri Jul 16 - The Tournament Itself!
Sat Jul 17 - Rae and More Sonoma Wineries


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