Thursday, December 31, 2015

San Francisco Trip - December 27-30, 2015

Wade and I loooove to travel together!  We always have...  But, it got a lot harder to get away together once Clayton was in school and we had Baby Owen.  So, we went 5 whole years without being able to take a trip just the two of us. 

Recently, we started talking about how nice it would be to take a little trip.  I told Wade that I would really enjoy some time with just him.  That guy is just the best...  I briefly mention that I would like to get away, and he zooms into planning mode.  Before I knew it, he had called Marsha & Terry to ask if they would keep the boys, booked flights to San Francisco and hotels, and figured out a game plan for things to do.  Seriously.  He's the best!

We were planning to leave on the evening of December 26th.  We had packed our bags (2 carry ons - we could travel light when it was just the two of us!), kissed our babies, and whisked off to the airport.  Unfortunately, there were terrible storms that night.  There were tornadoes and several people lost their lives.  It was just awful!  It seemed silly to be sad about cancelled flights when compared to the devastation that others were facing.  So, we just got a hotel room and decided to try again the next morning.

We got up bright and early on the 27th to catch a morning flight.  Once we got on that plane, it started to really feel like vacation!

Wade had used hotel credits to book 3 nights at the Fairmont Hotel.  Y'all.  It was so fancy!  It was still decorated for Christmas, and it felt like a movie set.  So very pretty!
 This is how fancy it was...  They had a room service menu for dogs!  What in the world?!?!
 Our room was on the 22nd floor and had amazing views
 We had a small problem with the room that Wade had to call about.  The staff was so kind and offered to pick up the tab for a room service meal.  Um, okay!  We had a super fancy breakfast and felt so posh. I got a Croque Monsieur just because it sounded fun.  ;)
 This was the 2 story gingerbread house in the lobby - real legit gingerbread!  It made the little kit that I got for the boys seem pretty lame.  Ha!  We'll go bigger next year. 

 They even had a small gingerbread house for the kids.  Cute, cute!
After our yummy breakfast, we were all fueled up to Bike the Bridge!  We rented a tandem bike and set out on a 22 mile course that took us across the Golden Gate Bridge, through the town of Sausalito, and then up into the California Redwood Forest.  I wanted to do things on this trip that we couldn't do with kids, and this definitely fell in that category.  :)
That is Alcatraz over my head
We're coming for you GG!
There were so many picturesque spots to stop and take a picture of the bridge.  It looked like a postcard everywhere that you went.  Apparently, San Francisco is known for its foggy weather.  I would have never guessed that because we lucked out with two really sunny days.  Thank you, Jesus!
 We made it to the bridge - yes!
 We stopped at the Warming Hut to take another picture after accomplishing our task.
 By the time that we got to Sausalito, it was 2ish.  We ate lunch and then discussed our strategy.  It was starting to get really cold and neither of us were dressed super warm.  We knew that the sun would probably set around 5:00 and the last ferry back was at 4:00.  So, we made the decision to bail on the second half of our ride.  I think we only made it through about 8-9 miles of our original course.  We had the best time, though!  I would totally do that again!  Only next time, we would leave earlier so that we could see those redwoods.

We got a good view of Alcatraz on the ferry ride back.
 Biking the Bridge on a tandem bike was such a fun adventure!  We had never ridden a tandem bike, but it was so fun!  I teased that it was a lot like our marriage....  Wade had to lead, and sometimes I was scared because I couldn't see what was ahead.  But, if I just let him lead, the ride was much more enjoyable.  We had to communicate.  If he changed gears without telling me, I would flip out a little.  When we rented the bike, I told the gentleman that I was nervous.  He said, "He's strong!  You'll be alright!"  That's so true!  Wade is strong, so we will be alright.  :)

After we got cleaned up, we walked to Chinatown to eat Chinese food.  It was a super hilly walk with some steep inclines.
 After dinner we went to a speakeasy.  It was a neat little place set up like Prohibition times.  You had to make reservations and say the password when after the hostess came to the door.  Very fun!
 The next day, we rented a Go Car.  I had read about them and told Wade that I thought that it sounded fun, so he reserved us a car for the day.  San Francisco is super expensive as far as parking, so we hadn't rented a car.  We just Uber'ed everywhere - which was wonderful!  Having a Go Car for the day was the perfect way to see the city!  The car is equipped with a GPS and speakers to tell you where to go and fill you in on the landmarks that you see.  It was awesome!  We got to see all of San Fran in that little car and learn along the way.  Did you know that Alcatraz is the most visited landmark in all of the US - above the Statue of Liberty, Smithsonian, etc.???  I was shocked by that!
 Isn't it cute?!?

 The tour took us to Baker's Beach, which was so pretty!
 We saw a dog that looked JUST like Brody, except he was bigger.  It made us miss our little pooch!
 We got to drive on Crookedest Street, which is part of the famous Lombard Street.  Whoa, Nelly - it was curvy, indeed!

 We got to see a pretty view of Alcatraz from Coit Tower
 We had the car for the day, so we did the red tour and the blue tour.  We got to see it all!

 We had lunch at Boudin's Bakery in Fisherman's Wharf.  We had the clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl.  Oh my, that was delicious!  They had a wreath with a special loaf of bread for every month of the year.  I took a picture to show the boys.
 We face timed the boys to show them our ride, and then we returned it.  I hope they start offering Go Cars in more cities.  It was such a fun way to see the sights!
I sure loved some time away with my man!  It was perfect timing, too.  We got to rest and recharge after a busy Christmas season and were ready to ring in 2016!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Nick the Elf

 This year our elf, Nick, was up to his usual elfie antics.  ;)  He brought the boys a Lego Advent calendar that was sitting on the counter when we got home from Thanksgiving at Holly Lake.

 He dyed our milk green...
He toilet papered our living room...

 He hid in Clayton's Indian in the Cupboard project...
 He "helped" to pack school lunches...
 He disguised himself as the Lucky Charms leprechaun....
 He tried to hitch a ride to school...
 He zip-lined from the kitchen to the living room...
 He made a flour angel...
 He hid in the printer/copier and left a clue in the kitchen...
 He prepared for the Star Wars movie to come out...
 He skateboarded on the kitchen island...
 He covered our tree in underwear...
 He, well....  used the restroom....
 He left minifigs...
 He crepe papered the boys into their rooms...
 The little boys crawled under the crepe paper.  ;)
He left a farewell message and some chocolate "coal" as one last joke.  :)
See ya next year, Nick!