"Snoopy's dark and stormy night and a mysterious mansion are notable in a sister city."
This refers to San Jose, California. The "dark and stormy night" is often believed to have originated with Charles Schulz but it was actually a British writer in 1830, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who penned a dreadful long sentence to start his novel Paul Clifford and those were the first words. The University of San Jose now sponsors a fiction contest named for Bulwer-Lytton and entrants have to pen an awful opening line to an imaginary novel. There were 10,000 entries in 2013. Go on their website to see the winner. Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA, is the other part of the answer and Wells Gray Tours visits this extraordinary house on a few tours.
Winner was Agnes Stuerle.
We left the hotel at 7 am (many could have slept longer) but we had a boat schedule to meet. We drove an hour out of San Jose across the mountains to the Caribbean coastal plain, and had breakfast at an open air restaurant surrounded by orchids and palm trees. Then another hour's drive on a paved road, a gravel road, then a single lane road which ended on the banks of the Tortuguero River. There we boarded a private boat that just held all of us. Our luggage was loaded into another boat and off we went down the river. It's a narrow river, just enough room for upstream boats to pass us. We paused for the wildlife including a crocodile that was barely visible, and lots of herons and egrets. After 2 hours we arrived at Mawamba Lodge. We are staying here for 2 nights. It has a beautiful location with the Caribbean on one side and the river on the other. We went for a walk along the beach to the village of Tortuguero and our guide explained about the sea turtles which are actively nesting right now. The boat picked us up in the village and brought us back to the lodge along the river. There is no road access and it is strange to see no cars. At dusk, I hosted a welcome reception on a barge on the river.
Pool at Mawamba Lodge