Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Brothers Birthday Bash

We definitely know what makes a great birthday celebration! We went to San Francisco for a weekend birthday trip for Gavin's 38th birthday and his brother's, Jeff's, big four-oh! I laughed more than I have in years and had the best time! I think it was my best birthday ever and it wasn't even my birthday.

Our first day in the city was all about was his 40th birthday after all!

We found our hotel --The Palace Hotel. It was a great hotel with a lot of character. I love adventures and the unknown. That's probably the reason I was able to convince Rae into using to book our hotel with only knowing it would be a 4 star hotel in Union Square for $100/night.

We walked around the city through Union Square, Chinatown and eventually made it to North Beach for lunch at The Stinking Rose. I am confident that I have NEVER eaten so much garlic in one sitting! My stomach was burning for the rest of the day! It was really yummy, though, at first...then after the garlic bomb and about 5 rolls, I realized I had eaten way too much garlic!
We took a taxi with a really strange taxi driver -- never turned on the meter, one glove on, talked about his hangover from the night before, kept trying to unroll the windows even thought it was cold outside. Did he not like our garlic stench? Still not sure if it was really a taxi or some guy posing as a taxi driver. We went to the theater district in hopes of getting some tickets to Wicked. No luck! We were sad for a minute but then realized it gave us a good excuse to go to NYC in the next few months. And we were sure we could find a good movie at the local theater! :) And of course we did the mandatory shopping spree at Zara because it was all about Jeff!

We spent the next day at Alcatraz Island and Fisherman's Wharf. The island was so beautiful with so many great photo shots in front of all the old brick buildings and walls. It was my first time to tour Alcatraz--it was cool to take the audio tour through the prison, too.

The ferry ride to Alcatraz

Picture spot on Alcatraz Island

Jeff and Gavin enjoying the audio tour

We spent the rest of the day at the wharf--getting lunch, eating chocolate samples at Ghirardelli square, buying expensive cupcakes, shopping, visiting the art galleries, and riding the bus with Ellen as our bus driver. I think we ate dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Not sure but feel safe with that assumption since I think we ate there 3 times during our short stay.

Lunch at Fisherman's Wharf

Crab legs!

We spent the last day riding bikes over Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. This was my favorite day! I had so much fun riding bikes with Gavin! And it helped that we had perfect weather and didn't get lost like we did on our girl's trip last year. I only had to walk my bike up one hill this time compared to all the walking I did on my last attempt. Not because I am in better shape...nothing has changed there, but Gavin showed me how to use my gears!
The bridge is somewhere in all the fog!

Rae, Jeff, Gavin and me

The birthday boys!

This is after walking up a huge hill! I couldn't move and was taking a much needed break!

Making our way across the bridge

Hanging out in Sausalito--waiting for the ferry to take us back to the Ferry Building

Ferry ride back to San Fran

We spent some time in Chinatown again on our last day looking for Totoro. Apparently there isn't a big demand for Japanese cartoon figures in CHINAtown. Go figure!

We may not have found Totoro . . . but we did find this guy!

Chinatown entrance

Happy 38th Birthday Gavin!!
I love you!


Tausha said...

Happy Birthday to both. It looks like you had so much fun, I bet it was a great break. My big 40 is next year, so not looking forward to it. Many years ago I did the Alcatraz NIGHT tour, it was so cool but sooo freaky!!! Glad you were able to get some time away. Maybe I can put a little bug in my husbands ear to take me on a vaca for my 40th. :-)

Grandma Bethany said...

It looks so fun. You and Gavin sure know to make the most of all of your vacations and accomplish so much.
Maybe being 30 years younger helps!

Heidi Rushing said...

Looks like fun - made me miss San Fran. Let's plan another trip next year that is all about the girls again!

Cheri said...

fun trip. I love San Francisco, it's so romantic. Your pictures make me want to go back right now..

Tiff said...

Looks like so much fun! I think the Golden Gate Bridge has been somewhere in the fog everytime we have been to San Francisco! :)

Lisa said...

Oh, I just love SF!! Great pics :) Heather, you are one hot mama!

Scarehaircare said...

Fun! SF is my fave place.

Kiki said...

You always go on such fun vacations! looks like lots of fun!