Saturday, January 4, 2014

Nan's Trip to California

Mom made her first ever trip to California October 23rd-27th. We were ever so thankful to have her come and visit us. We had considered going to KY in October. Jeremy and I LOVE Fall in KY and of course we were missing family, but ultimately we decided it was going to be too much to try to fly to KY in October AND December. Nan's visit was a big encouragement and lots of fun; however, it was entirely too short.

Thursday the 24th was Nan's first full day with us. We decided to let this be a "normal" day and show Nan Emily's preschool, the church we were visiting, and other local places of interest in Alameda. The weather was chillier than normal and my plans for the picnic lunch at Crab Cove didn't go as well as I had hoped, but we still had a great day. I loved showing Mom around our cute city and giving her a "day in the life" view of things at our house.

On Friday, we took Mom to San Francisco! We took her to Fisherman's Wharf where we had a picnic lunch with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. We picked up yummy cupcakes at a shop in Ghiradelli Square, and we had a nice walk with the kids by the bay. We drove over to Chrissy Field to get a closer view of the bridge and photos. We also rode a cable car from Fisherman's Wharf all the way downtown and then took a quick taxi cab ride back to avoid waiting in line again at the end of the line. (Cable cars are only one way rides and you have to get off the car at the end of the line.) I had hoped to drive north over the Golden Gate into the Marin Headlands area this day, but we had already done quite enough with the two kids with us, so we saved that trip for the next day.

Nan and Emily hanging out at Fisherman's Wharf--Alcatraz in the background.

Walking by the bay with the kids and Nan.

So sweet!

This is the best pic we could get with squirming little baby boy!

Mom let Emily pick out this gift at the warming hut near the bridge.

On Saturday, we spent all afternoon in the Marin Headlands. I had been itching to go here ever since we moved, but we just hadn't done it yet. The Headlands are part of Golden Gate Recreation Area. It is filled with beautiful vistas of the city and the Pacific coast. There are lots of hiking trails and scenic drives to be had in this area! We drove down Conzelman Rd. and could have stopped every few feet for another panoramic view of the city. It was awesome! The weather was beautiful and warm, too. At the end of Conzelman Rd, there was a place to stop and hike a short trail to the Point Bonita Lighthouse which is perched precariously on the edge of a cliff with dramatic drop-offs into the Pacific. A white suspension bridge made to look like the Golden Gate connects to the cliff where the lighthouse sits. It was only about a half mile trail and I was TOTALLY game, but Jeremy had his doubts about whether the kids would be up for it. Four year old Emily was being a little whiny. It was Caleb's naptime and he was squirming and fussing as I tried to put him in the Ergo baby carrier. Jeremy just looked at me and said, "Do you really want to do this?" With more confidence than I really felt, I said, "Yes. Let's do it. We can always turn back if we have to." I had already researched that the lighthouse was only open for a few hours about three days a week and I didn't know when we would ever get back to do this trail if we didn't do it today. Also, we had Mom's extra helping hands so I felt that it would work out fine.

Thankfully, I was right! Emily did great on the little trail. Caleb calmed down and snuggled in the Ergo with me once we got walking. The hike wasn't too strenuous and it was totally worth it for the gorgeous views of SF, Golden Gate and the wild rocky Pacific coast. Sometimes it can be so difficult to do all the things on my "west coast wish list"  because our kids are so young. That day was a small victory that we can have a successful adventure with our little ones. That evening Jeremy and I had our first official CA date night. We ate at arguably the best restaurant in Alameda, followed by pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks and a movie at the Alameda Theater. I would relive Saturday October 26th over and over and over again if I could. It was just about perfect. A date night in Alameda was so easy. We drove about a mile from our house to our downtown restaurant then walked to Starbucks and the theater. All of it was within a few city blocks and we never had to get back in the car until we were ready to go home. I can't think of too many places in KY where you can do that because everything is so spread out.

View from the Headlands

Hiking to Point Bonita

We need a new camera lens. The view was ridiculous and our camera does NOT do it justice!

Hold on to her tight, Nan! The cold Pacific is right below!

Point Bonita Lighthouse

One of my fave pics of Caleb. Those eyes! So soulful!

On Sunday morning, se said good-bye to Nan and dropped her off at SFO on our way to church. The visit was way too short. We spent most of our time having fun and exploring so I didn't get to have mom help me tackle a few house decorating/cleaning/organizing projects, but they can wait. It's not every day we have our first visitor.

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