Winchester Mystery House

Winchester Mystery House

Podcast: 99% Invisible, episode 162 “Mystery House”

Extra Adventures: Mystery Spot, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Boardwalk


Are you ready to get mysterious? Then come along as we head out to try solve some mysteries…and maybe rewrite history! Our first stop on this magical mystery tour is the Winchester Mystery House, as featured on an episode of 99% Invisible. The estate in San Jose, CA was built by Sarah Winchester, heir to the Winchester rifle fortune. Legend has it she was haunted by the ghosts of everyone killed by a Winchester gun and spirits compelled her to keep building on the house.  image


The house is full of bizarre features like stairways that end at the ceiling, a window in the floor, and the famous “Door to Nowhere” which opens to a two-story drop. IMG_2943There’s even a seance room where Sarah Winchester would try to contact the spirits. We opted to take the extended tour which included the basement and a few rooms that were just opened for the first time in over thirty years. The tour was super informative and we learned a lot. Parts of the house certainly are creepy but is it haunted? Listen to our fave Roman Mars tell the story and decide for yourself. Cursed or not, the Winchester House is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the San Jose area.





Mystery Spot


Ready for another venture into the unexplained? While we were in Santa Cruz we visited the famed Santa Cruz Mystery Spot (and completed a lifelong goal for Terry). imageThe Mystery Spot is a gravitational anomaly nestled in the Santa Cruz forest. The drive to the Mystery Spot is gorgeous. You turn off the highway and you’re surrounded by giant trees. We loved it. The Mystery Spot itself was an absolute blast!







A tour guide leads you up to a shack which sits at the center of the anomaly zone. They showed us several experiments to demonstrate the weird powers of the spot and we even got to try a few of them our for ourselves (Kris was excited to be taller than Terry for a minute).image We won’t ruin the surprises for you because it’s one of those places you have to experience for yourself but we came out of it true believers in the Mystery Spot.













A trip to Santa Cruz wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the boardwalk. We spent a few hours walking around and enjoying the atmosphere. Entrance to the boardwalk is free and you pay per ride.



We opted to ride the skyway which gave us gorgeous views of the beach, and the Giant Dipper, a wooden roller coaster that was built in 1924. We also tried a good old fashioned boardwalk treat, a deep-fried PB&J.









Also on our journeys around Santa Cruz, we made a quick stop at UC Santa Cruz to fulfill imageanother lifelong goal, this time Kris’s to own a banana slug sticker. We stopped at the student store and got our stickers and then spent some time IMG_2885wandering around. The UC Santa Cruz campus is absolutely gorgeous! We were amazed as we walked down a few trails and marveled at the trees. It felt more like National Park then a college campus.

This wraps up our road trip up the California coast but we’ve got lots more podcasts adventures in store so stay tuned!

Oakland Buddha Statue

Oakland Buddha Statue

Podcast: Criminal, Episode 15 “He’s Neutral”

Extra Adventures: Point Reyes, solar eclipse

This is us. We’re Terry and Kris, best friends and podcast fans who love to travel.

Recently we decided to combine our love of adventures with our love of podcasts and visit places we heard mentioned on our favorite podcasts and the share our stories here.

We thought we’d start with the Oakland Buddha statue because it was featured on our all-time favorite podcast, Criminal, and we’d talked about doing it for a long time. It was part of a bigger trip that took us up the California coast from Orange County to Point Reyes. We hit a few podcast locations along they way but we were most excited to see finally see the Buddha statue.

The Buddha statue sits in a downtown Oakland neighborhood and was placed there when one of the residents got fed up with people dumping trash on an empty corner. Phoebe Judge tells the story much better than we could so check out episode 15 of Criminal.

The Buddha was pretty easy to find following directions we found on Atlas Obscura. Since the Buddha statue was placed on the corner, the local Buddhist community has embraced it, adding a shelter, decorations, and other statues. It was pretty cool to see it in person after hearing the story on the podcast.



Here we are standing in the middle of the road in front of the statue, proudly rocking our Criminal shirts. Shortly after we took this picture people showed up to pray at the statue. It was good to see how well taken care of it is.


The day we visited the Buddha was the same day as the solar eclipse. On our drive to Oakland from where we had been staying in Fulton we stopped along the road just outside of Los Gatos to see the apex of the eclipse. Lots of other cars were doing the same thing as us and we had an awesome view.

Also on our way to Oakland we stopped up at Point Reyes to see the tree tunnel. We actually got lost for awhile which turned out to be a bit of an adventure. We were looking for a cheese place (that turned out to be a lie) and lost cell reception for awhile. We eventually came across an oyster bar along the bay and asked some people for direction. They were super friendly with an equally friendly dog they told us they rescued while on vacation (let’s be real, we were mostly excited about the dog. Any day we get to pet a dog is a good day). After getting directions we were off again, laughing about how people can still get lost in 2017. We found our way to the Point Reyes National Seashore (yeah, we didn’t know that was a thing either) and the tree tunnel. The tree tunnel is on a road that leads down to an old abandoned administration building which was super interesting.

Overall, it was pretty good day. We saw some trees, got lost in the hills, and were beyond excited to finally see the Buddha statue in person. Next time: Colma, CA!