Saturday, October 31, 2009

Can't believe it was a month ago!

What you ask? My Girls' Weekend. I got so tired from posting about our S.F. trip I decided to take a rest before I posted about my Girls' Weekend in Santa Barbara. Anyway, here goes ... and for those of you wondering about tattoos this year? Nope, not a one!

Day 1 (Thursday) - no pictures of the airport pickup - it's really not that exciting.

Gayle arrives first, around 2:30pm, sadly without her iPhone which was taken from her in Dallas :-( So, the next hour or two is spent finding her a cheap and no frills replacement. It doesn't really matter that we had to do that, I was just so excited to have the first of 4 arrive! Next arrival was Heidi at about 5pm. So, where to from there as we wait for arrival #3, Molly, and arrival #4 Jen? Why, Chevy's of course! We had a nice leisurely meal, and after looking at Ikea, a huuuuge Ikea, across the street we decided that would our after dinner destination. Gayle had been there, but Heidi nor I had, so it was quite a treat! Wow, there sure is a TON of stuff at Ikea, and it's so cool because you can sit and relax everywhere! Okay, so after we were done, and boy were we done, we went back to the airport to get Molly and Jen. First, we got Molly - yay! But, sadly, Jen's flight was delayed ... and delayed ... and delayed. She finally arrived at about 10:15 (we had gone to hang out in Starbucks). So, at that point, off we went to Santa Barbara - an almost 2 hour drive! We arrived sometime after midnight, got ourselves settled in, and off to bed we went.

Day 2 (Friday)

Today was the day we saw a real live Super Model! But, first we went and ate lunch at Pascucci's - generally this is a restaurant we love, but today, eh, not so great. We hung out at the house for quite a long time - drinking coffee, chatting, etc. We finally got ourselves out of the house, and were quite hungry. We ended up at Pascucci's, but it was kind of a 'linner' - too late for lunch, too early for dinner. We think that's where things went wrong. Anyway, not a great meal, but as always with these wonderful friends, great company!

Now for some pictures!

First for some eyebrow tweezing by Heidi ...

Next, a few pics at Pascucci's ...

Sunglasses? Not sure why, it's just something we did ...

And, check out Molly ... always too cute!

And, what a great shot of Gayle and Heidi!

Ah, and after lunch we headed up State Street to wander through shops. We were doing fine until we had our very first Super Model sighting! Yup, it's true ... we were on one side of State Street, and one of us who shall remain nameless, said something like "Look, that's Cindy Crawford (and her husband and 2 children)!". So, what did we do? We tailed her for several blocks, until we figured out that she was probably on to us, and was getting fairly annoyed.

So, after we stalked her and her family down State Street, we decided to try for some pictures (taken by

Here, Heidi and I in focus (nope, that's not what we were trying for)

A cute one of the '3 Super Models'!

Ah, now she's in focus ...

Just a little past this point, we figured we were getting fairly annoying, so we backed off. Besides, we had gotten our pictures!

Tomorrow ... more about our trip ...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Alcatraz, finally!

One of the main things Matthew wanted to do on our trip up north was to visit Alcatraz, and finally on Day #6 we're going to make it! We got up, got ourselves packed, and off we went. Thankfully, we left a little earlier than we originally planned because we caught some pretty good traffic. Luckily, we made it in time anyway. We took the 10am trip, and it took us a full 3 hours to see Alcatraz, and there were some places we didn't get to! Much of the time was spent in the Cell Block with the Audio tour - that was pretty darn cool.

And, thank goodness, those wonderful Alcatraz folks sent a follow up survey where I kind of griped about not getting a refund for the first day (the horrible rainy, windy day when we decided not to go). They were very understanding and to refund my money. I highly recommend purchasing your Alcatraz tickets through them

Once we finished with our Alcatraz tour, we did a little more in San Francisco - the main thing being buying more of that awesome Boudin bread (and of course one of the loaves HAD to be a bear!).

Then, we were off to Clovis, via San Jose and picking up Laura :-) Once we got here, we were well on our way. We arrived in Clovis around 6:30ish, and how wonderful it was to see that beautiful baby Elliana (oh, and of course Rich and Katie too!).

Sadly, I was having such a good time hanging out with Ellie, I didn't take many pictures of her (and none of Rich or Katie). Ugh - sometimes it would be nice to have a personal photographer with me!

We spent Thursday night and Friday night in Clovis (we won't talk about the football game), and left early early on Saturday morning so we could return in time to get our doggies (otherwise, we'd have to board them 2 more nights, and no, no, no, that just wasn't going to happen!).

That's it - a week in the life of the Bardsdale Hammond Family on vacation in San Francisco. We had a good time, but we sure are happy to be home!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A day in Sonoma and Napa ...

I guess this would technically be our 5th day of vacation. We decided to pack as much into one day as possible so that's why we went to ...

Downtown Sonoma where we had Boudin bread and Sonoma cheese (yup, we got just one more teddy bear loaf of bread). Yum, yum - that bread and cheese (and salami) were scrumptious! We even sat in a park to partake in our yummy lunch.

Check out the beautiful fall leaves ...

and our yummy cheese, salami and bread ...

We also checked out the Mission and a few other spots ...

And, off to the Jack London Museum we went ... here is a drawing of what it was going to be - sadly, it burned down just before Jack London and his wife were to move in.

This is a picture of the remnants of it - it is deteriorating quite badly, but we could still tell it was a magnificent house!

On our 1/2 mile hike to the house, Matthew even saw a deer!

From here we set off to see the Petrified Forest ...

Here is Bob, looking petrified!

And, Matthew too!

And, I had to take a picture of the 'no running' sign because I kept telling Matthew not to run, but he said he was only jogging!

Next stop, a castle! Actually, it's a winery, but it's also a castle (part of 'Bedtime Stories' was filmed there)

And, while Dad tasted some wine, Matthew and I checked out the chickens!

We made one more stop at an overpriced wine store looking for gifts, but Bob said he decided against buying anything there because nowhere in the store were any prices listed - he knew then and there that the wine was too expensive for us!

Next stop ... Alcatraz, but not today! Tomorrow, Day #6 of our vacation ...

Monday, October 19, 2009

More vacation ...

Sure didn't seem like we did THAT much during our vacation, but I guess we did. So, we've gotten from Fillmore to Hollister to San Francisco. Now, we're still in San Francisco, we've had a day of walking all over Fisherman's Wharf, and now we're back at Uncle Murray & Aunt Muriel's to have a pizza dinner with T'sa and my brother Chris.

The next day we were to head to Alcatraz, but the weatherman didn't cooperate. It POURED rain that day - 4 inches I understand. We actually did go down and give it a try, but the rain and the winds made us go back and forth with our decision with a final decision being 'heck no'! We did end up over at the Vista Point by the Golden Gate Bridge - being outside in the rain and wind really made us feel as if we had made a good decision.

Yup, it was mighty wet out there. So, we're flexible people - we changed our plans and decided to head up to Napa, and return to see Alcatraz in a couple of days. But first, before heading to Napa, we had to get a 'bread bear', right?!

That bear didn't stand a chance with Matthew!

So, we went back to Murray and Muriel's, said our goodbyes, and off we went to Napa to spend some time with Bob's friends, Mike & Gail. We arrived mid afternoon, and since we didn't have lunch went straight out for some Mexican food at the Red Hen with Mike (Gail was still working) - well, Mexican food and maragitas - pomegranate margaritas to be exact (at least for me - Bob had his usual Negro Modelo, and Matthew had his Sprite). After that rainy day beginning, that food and those margaritas hit the spot!

The evening brought some hanging out at Mike & Gail's - great food, wine and conversation. Sadly, I took NO pictures of Mike & Gail's house, nor of Mike & Gail! Sometimes it's just more fun to 'live' the moment than to document it!

Next stop ... downtown Sonoma and the Sonoma Mission, a yummy cheese and bread lunch, the Jack London Museum, the Petrified Forest, and Castello di Amorosa.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

So much to blog about!

I couldn't decide WHAT to blog about today ... Girls' Weekend or San Francisco trip. Well, I tossed a coin and S.F. it is ... the Girls' Weekend will have to be documented another day.

So, after a week away, we have landed - it's not something we do often, but I thought that for Matthew's Fall Break we should actually GO somewhere, and not just to Trader Joe's, or Ventura, or out in the orchard, but SOMEWHERE.

So, we did.

We went to Northern CA - yes, I do realize we lived up there for quite a while - Bob for 20+ years, me for 13 years, and Matthew for 8 years, but we had never taken Matthew to San Francisco to see the sights.

So, that's what we did this vacation.

We combined it with a family/friend visit which was really nice. We saw some things I had never even heard about ...
* the Jack London Museum
* the Petrified Forest
* a 'Castle' winery
* and believe it or not, even though I had heard about it, I had never been to Fisherman's Wharf.

I had visited San Francisco, but I have no memory of anything particularly "flat" there - always a memory of hills and Ghirardelli Square, taking the train by myself to visit my step brother, flying kites with my step brother, macaroni and cheese with sunflower seeds made by my step brother.

This vacation was entirely different.

First, we dropped our doggies off at their temporary home for a week - C.A.R.L.'s Pet Care Center. They do well there, so I really didn't worry. Next stop was Salinas to see Beth's new home, and for a yummy Thai Bistro dinner. We then headed into Hollister so that Bob could do church - we stayed at Aunt Annie's which is always nice. From there we were off to Uncle Murray and Aunt Muriel's. Okay, this is where I fell down on the job ... no pictures of us with Uncle Murray, Aunt Muriel or T'sa, Chris, Allyson or my brother Chris?! Hmmm, well we had a nice dinner anyway.

The next morning we decided we would head out to see the sights of S.F. We hadn't realized it when we planned our trip but Fleet Week was upon us, so we were heading out to go on one of the ships after a yummy lunch at Fisherman's Grotto (forgot to mention that we first met up with Mike & Kim). There were a few problems with this plan ...

1) we didn't know exactly where the ships were located - as it turned out they were about 6 miles away from where we started
2) I didn't read carefully enough that backpacks were not allowed
3) And Bob had a pocket knife with him that was not allowed on board

Forgot to mention we checked out the inside of a submarine - that was pretty cool. We also wandered through an 'old game' museum - very cool as well.

So, the long and the short of it ... we walked a long way, took a trolley (that was kind of cool - Matthew had never been on one), and walked some more, but didn't get to see the ship.

We then headed back to Ghirardelli Square, but also didn't know it was as far as it was from Pier 39, so that was more walking. Anyway, it was a long walking day, and wasn't quite what I had thought it would be, but it was still fun.

Look for more about our vacation tomorrow ...