Monday, August 15, 2011

I {heart} San Francisco

We spent the last week of July in San Francisco for our 15th wedding anniversary celebration.  Everything about it was perfect!  SF is one of my favorite places in the world.  I love that no matter how many times I go there, each trip is different and unique.  My first time there was 4 years ago.  I was barely pregnant with Mia, it was the end of June and I packed for a summer vacation to California.  Fully expecting warm and sunny weather.  I quickly learned that San Francisco is usually colder than warmer, no matter what time of year it is.  I borrowed a few long sleeved shirts from Gavin and had an amazing weekend.  I left knowing it wouldn’t be my last time there.  I went back the next year with my sister and sister-in-law for a girl’s weekend trip.  We biked the bridge, shopped, laughed and laughed, went to a few movies, signed up for a crappy city bus tour, and made the best memories together.  I went back 6 months later for Gavin and his brother’s birthday celebration.  Two months later, we escaped for a quick 36 hour trip with the Wares to see Wicked.  Two years had passed and I was more than ready for a San Francisco adventure!

We spent some time at the Wharf with our friends, The Jensens, who happened to be traveling through San Francisco the same time we were there.  I got my "Mia fix" with their adorable 3 year old, Victoria.  She was my little buddy, busy holding my hand or getting piggy back rides around the wharf.

Look at all of those crazy tourists waiting hours to ride the cable car when they could walk up a few blocks and get right on one.

Maybe it’s empty and not moving but it was free, with no wait and we got a picture that makes it look like we rode on a cable car.  Good enough for me!

We stayed at The Fairmont on the top of Nob Hill.  It had amazing views of the city and harbor and lots of character.  We could easily walk down to the wharf or to Union Square but had quite a walk up the steep hills back to the hotel.  

We spent the second day on a personal city tour with our friend Jeff who now lives in the city.  He drove us all around and took us to the best spots for views of the city and bridge and told us what we would have seen if it hadn’t been all covered up by the fog.  Loved seeing all of the hidden gems of San Fran and new tourist spots that I hadn’t seen before.

We stopped by Rodeo Beach.  Loved this beach!  Instead of sand, the beach is covered in smooth, colorful pebbles.  Morgan would’ve been entertained for hours with a shovel and pail at this spot!

That night we had a yummy dinner at City Hall

and then walked across the street to Symphony Hall for a surprise concert

Carrie Underwood did NOT disappoint.  That girl has amazing talent and sounded incredible!

We spent the next day in Sonoma Valley at the wineries.  I thought it would be fun to see this area of California.  Thinking it would be similar to driving through northern Italy and all of the beautiful countryside full of lush vineyards.  It didn’t quite live up to my expectations.  It was more like rolling hills covered in dead, golden grasses with a small vineyard in the middle.  Probably not the best tour option for non wine drinkers.


I know this wasn’t Gavin’s first choice but he knew I really wanted to see Billy Elliot and he was a good sport.  He even pretended to be excited while everyone watched him try his best dance moves in front of the theater.  I really enjoyed it.  I don’t know that it’s the “best musical of the decade!” but it was definitely the best musical of the night.

The nights and mornings were beautiful.  Every night the fog rolled in and covered the city.  It changed the feel and look of the city and stayed around until late morning.  I really couldn’t get enough of it. 

Our hotel room had a huge picture window and I spent a lot of the night enjoying the beautiful, foggy view from my bed.  Gavin woke up early every morning and went for a morning jog around the city while I slept in waiting for the sun to break through the fog letting me know it was time to wake up.

We spent the next day shopping all of the end-of-summer sales in Union Square.  Gavin was a good sport while I spent hours in Zara.  He left and came back a few hours later and found me in the same section of the store and started laughing.  Hey, it isn’t easy shopping for six kids.  I have to look at everything and remember who needs what and the right sizes.  It’s a full time job!

Our last night was so much fun!  Gavin’s company closed down Ghirardelli Square and we got to go from restaurant to restaurant for dinner.  We had mini-donuts, lamb, seafood, Japanese cuisine, cupcakes,  Ghirardelli ice cream, crab, etc.  

But even after all of the food samplings, our favorite was still the first thing we tried.  Mini-donuts.  

We spent our last day shopping around Haight and Ashbury.  There were some great boutiques and consignment stores.  And lots of tattoo and piercing shops.  We managed to leave without any new piercings or tattoos.  But I did pick up a few new clothes items.

We had time for a quick lunch on the wharf with Dave and Heidi and one last stop at the donut shop before we headed to the airport.

It was a perfect anniversary celebration.  Happy 15 years to us!

Until next time San Francisco . . . 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Weekend Update

It’s been a busy weekend, but my favorite kind of busy.  Outings and activities with the entire family, all of us together.

We kicked off the weekend with a late morning breakfast with Morgan’s buddies -- Lance and Jackson.  They are within 6 months of each other and met as babies at Kindermusik at Jordan Valley.  Lance moved away 6 years ago and we were so excited to go see him again.  I couldn’t believe his height or his vocabulary and speech.  I always seem to have a better time at these get togethers than Morgan does even if it’s supposed to be all for her!

The afternoon was spent at cheerleading with Morgan.  They are working on their new routine for competitions this winter.  I honestly can’t stop smiling when I get to go into the room and watch her practice.  All of the girls work so hard and some of them have already perfected their cartwheels and somersaults.   It's been such a great experience for her!

The last time we went to a Drive In movie was when Jack and Ryan were toddlers.  Long enough that they had no memory of it.  They were so excited as we drove into the parking lot and they saw all of the screens all around them.  Ryan, out of his excitement, announced that he was definitely going to take his date to a  Drive In movie when he was old enough to date.  

Morgan, Griffin and Mia were excited to sit in the back of the truck to watch a movie in their pajamas.  Griffin asked me if you could wear anything you wanted to Drive In Movies, like pajamas, or snow pants and snow boots, etc.   I didn’t realize going out of the house in their pajamas was so risque.

It started out well but then just went downhill.  Our view of the screen wasn’t the best and then about half way through the movie our car battery died and we could no longer really hear the movie.  We stayed for The Smurfs but left after a few minutes into Zookeeper.  I’m not giving up hope, though.  I would like to try it again and get there early enough to get a good spot and take a portable radio that we can have right by us while we watch the movie.

The weekend was full of picnics beginning with a picnic lunch at Liberty Park on Saturday.  Then we climbed around the playground, waded our feet in the canyon’s water area, pet a few random dogs, cooled off with snowcones and then rolled down the hill.  Mia’s favorite part of this adventure were the paddle boats.  (The boats we didn’t do because the wait was way too long).  Next time we’ll have to make sure we do the paddle boats.  For Mia.

We made a stop at the local goodwill shop (the DI) on our way to a water park.  I was excited to find a big set of dishes and silver stuff.  I got all of these dishes for $75 and silver goblets for $25.  I know Gavin thinks I am crazy but Hadley loves it and gives me her full support!  She helped take off all of the price tags late last night and loaded up the dishwasher so we could use them today.  She arranged the dishes on the dining room table and even made place settings for everyone.  We didn’t end up eating at home today but will definitely use our new dishes sometime during the week.  I inherited some of my Grandma Norma’s glassware, silverware and gold cloudy mirrors that no one wanted.  I love it!  When I asked Gavin what he thought about all of it, he let me know that if my goal was to make our dining room look like a grandma’s house then, “Job well done!  You did it!”  I think he secretly loves it!

We ended the day at Raging Waters.  My favorite part was the lazy river with all of us together on the tubes.  I love when we find something that all ages can enjoy.  And it felt so nice to cool off after being outside all day in the hot summer sun.  Jack felt a little cooler too after his much needed haircut on our way to the water park.  He doesn’t like it but give it a few weeks and it will be long again.

We decided to escape the summer heat and drive up to Heber City for a picnic after church today.  Our plan of escaping the summer heat didn’t work but the kids were excited to be up in the mountains.  Griffin was nervous that he’d fall off the tall point of the mountain and was disappointed when the park at the top of the mountain looked a lot like the park at the end of our street.  He was hoping we’d be climbing up big hills to get to the top of the mountain.  I’m thinking a family friendly hike up the mountain is in our near future.

We quickly ran out of drinks but Mia and Morgan made sure the last water bottle was all theirs by drinking out of the same bottle and letting the water go into their mouth, back into the bottle, and back into their mouth.  No one else wanted to share their water with a little of their dinner mixed in it. 

Everything is better with friends and family and the Weichers basically fall into both of those categories.  

I love this cute face!  Morgan trying to take a nap at the park.

Heads up!

We drove over to Heber Valley Railroad to let the kids play on the deserted trains

I love busy weekends.  It makes me feel like we made the most out of the time we have with all of us together.  We made new memories and hopefully some new traditions along the way.  Only 2 more weeks until the kids go back to school.  Hoping to make the most of it and surviving.  It gets a little chaotic around here by the end of summer.  The kids have done a great job on their weekly job charts again this summer which makes such a difference!