Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Monday, September 14, 2009

San Francisco Vacation - Part 4

This was our final day in the Bay area. This was the Saturday of our trip, and we were headed out of the city, headed north to tour Miur Woods an tour wine country. Before we left the city, we drove down this one block on Lombard Street, which is a popular tourist spot. The block has 8 switchback turns, which was built to keep the horses and buggies back in the day from falling and injuring themselves.

So we made it to Muir Woods, which is home to native Redwoods, and they were beautiful. The trip up the mountain getting to the park was a little rough on the stomach, but we made it in one piece.

This is a slice of one of the trees, and it is labeled with historic moments in time. I believe the tree this was from was roughly 300 years old, if not more.
Check out this cute couple!
If only I was wearing a blue shirt, and white shorts, I would look like a smurf!
This was the view right when we left the park, headed back down the mountain. Absolutely breathtaking, yet frightening since there are no guard rails along the road!

These next 2 have a small story. One of my stipulations of our anniversary trip was that it was not allowed to incorporate a NASCAR event. Chris had just gotten back from the Bristol race the weekend before, and while I don't mind his interest in NASCAR, I have no desire to partake. Anyway, as we were on our way to the Sonoma Valley, our GPS route he had mapped out just so happened to take us right by the entrance of Infineon Raceway. Me being the lovely wife I am agreed to enter and see the track for a few minutes.

This track is one of the few that requires both right and left turns! It is a road course, but Chris enjoyed seeing another track.

Beautiful entrance to the Sterling Vineyard. This Vineyard had a gondola ride to the winery at the top of the mountain, which overlooked their fields.

Sterling vineyards.

Here we are after our tour and final tasting at Sterling.

This is one of the Berringer buildings on their property. We skipped the tour and tasting here, but their facilities were beautiful.

Our final tour we did was at Robert Mondavi Winery, and we learned a lot, and had a small tasting. I think we both enjoyed going out into the fields and seeing the grapes, which were 2 weeks away from harvest.

Overall we had a wonderful trip. Riley enjoyed her week with both sets of grandparents. I promise my next post will have pictures of her!

Friday, September 11, 2009

San Francisco Vacation - Part 3

Yes, we took lots of pictures on our trip, hence the multiple postings. I promise, there is only one more post after this one, and it should be shorter than the rest.

Anyway, after spending 3 days in the city, we picked up a rental car that morning, a sporty PT Cruiser I might add, and headed south. Our travel plans included us driving Highway 1, to Monterey, stopping at the Aquarium, and completing our travels on the 17 mile drive which is around the Pebble Beach area.

We loved the drive along Highway 1. I must admit, the "beaches" aren't all that pretty, meaning they don't have the white sand we have on the gulf coast, but if you look past the sand, the water, rocks, and cliffs are beautiful.

We found this lighthouse stop along out way. It was right along the highway, and also served as a hostel to other travellers, mostly people on mountain bikes travelling the area. You have to be a pretty serious and dedicated bike rider to endure some of the steep hills/mountains! We stuck to our automobile!

About 2 - 3 hours south, and we made multiple stops along the way, was the city of Monterey. It was a relatively small town, but had a very cute downtown area. We made a visit to the Aquarium, and followed up with another great meal on the water. One thing I've failed to mention is that we ate some delicious food on our trip. We really enjoyed the fresh seafood and delicious restaurants we visited throughout our entire trip.

These were some massive jelly fish species, and Chris took some great pictures.
This is the downtown shopping area of Monterey. Such a cute area.
Here is Chris at one of the many stops along the 17 mile drive. It is a loop through the area which surrounds many golf courses, particularly Pebble Beach. I was informed along the way, that Chris was very familiar with these courses, as he played them as a kid on his PlayStation, or some other gaming station. I must admit, driving along this section of the trip was a big highlight, but the best is yet to come...

One of the greens at the course.

This picture is for my dad. We managed to find wildlife on our trip.
This is the Lone Cypress, which is a trademark to the Pebble Beach Golf Course. This cypress tree is growing out on this cliff, but I'm assuming the golf course, or some other group built the stone wall you see. The tree is also wrapped in a cable or two, to help keep it's shape. Please don't quote me on the reasons. These are my best guesses, but feel free to do a little research if you choose!
This is The Lodge at Pebble Beach. It is open to the public, so we helped ourselves to a view!

The beautiful 18th green at Pebble Beach. Yes, that is the Pacific ocean that it boarders.
Here is the back of The Lodge. We did enjoy a little time up on the balcony, watching the tournament that was going on.

So this picture captures my favorite story of the trip. We finished our touring for the day, and were headed back on the main highway, rather than the coast line. We missed one of our exits, which wasn't the first time that day I had navigated us in the wrong place, but non the less, we were still headed north, back to SF. Here is my version of the conversation that followed:

Me: We are coming upon Cupertino, and we can get back on our route there.
Chris: You know what's in Cupertino, right?
Me: Yep, it's the headquarters of Apple.
Chris: Try plugging in "1 Infinite Loop", and see if the GPS finds it.
Me: (after typing it in my trusty iPhone, and it dropping a pin) You've got to be kidding me, you know the address of Apple Headquarters off the top of your head?

Yes, my husband knew off hand the address of his favorite manufacturer. He is a faithful shopper of Apple products, and we proudly support them with multiple products in our home. So, I couldn't take his dream away from him, so we made our way through Silicon Valley, which was surprisingly small, but since we are both in IT, it was pretty cool to see many of the companies we are familiar with. We drove through the Apple campus, and Chris has marked this landmark off his list of places to see!

We loved our drive south, but the next post will be our trek north. Stay tuned...

San Francisco Vacation - Part 2

Our third day, that Thursday, we toured the city one final time, and did some shopping in the Union Square area, where our hotel was.

Here I am sitting on the main square in the middle of Union Square, with the big Tiffany Company building behind me. Yes, Chris even let me do some shopping, and maybe I'll have a little blue box under the Christmas tree! haha :)
This is the San Francisco City Hall, complete with actual gold trim on the dome. It was beautiful.
Another picture of Coit Tower.
Here is a picture taken from inside the top of Coit Tower of the city skyline, including the Transamerica Pyramid.
Another view from Coit Tower of the city.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

San Francisco Vacation - Part 1

Since mid spring, Chris has been planning our trip to San Francisco. It was initially a surprise trip for months, but he caved and told me during the summer. I left all the planning, organizing, reservations up to him, and he did a WONDERFUL job with it. We departed on Tuesday, Sept. 1, and returned Sunday, Sept. 6. We also celebrated our third year anniversary, which was the purpose of the trip, that Wednesday.

We have LOTS of pictures, so I'll be doing multiple postings, although not tonight, of our trip. Below are our first 2 days touring the city.

This picture was taken from the front of the cable car. I was unaware as to how hilly the city was, but it provided many opportunities for a great view. The tower in the back of the city is Coit Tower, and yes we went up in it, and we were both light headed during our short tour of the tower.

Chris took this great picture of the Golden Gate bridge. We took a bus tour through the city on day 2 and 3, and got to see lots of interesting places.

We are standing outside the Palace of Fine Arts which was built for the World's Fair, which contained the Liberty Bell, when it made it's last trip to be on display.

Another picture of the architecture of the Palace.

Of course we visited Pier 39. It is knows for being a big tourist attraction, and the shops, restaurants, and pier are much nicer than the other piers, but our favorite spot was sitting and watching the hundreds of seals battle for a spot on the floating docks. They would push each other off, and just roll on top of the others as they moved about, not to mention all the barking noise they made. It was like being front row to the Discovery Channel.

We visited Ghirardelli Square, which was a great spot.

This was our dessert at Ghirardelli's after our dinner the first night. YUMMO! **And yes, we ate the whole thing!

This picture is for my mom, and all the other people who read Danielle Steel romance novels. Here is her house! It's is blocked from street view by about 10 feet worth of hedges, but that is the upper level peaking from the top.

We loved the Victorian houses throughout the city.

This is Sausalito, which is the city across the Golden Gate Bridge. It is a beautiful little city, of course built into a mountain, and it has a beautiful harbor looking onto the bay.
Here is Chris, at the harbor in Sausalito, with the skyline of SF in the background.
Alcatraz. We visited on Wednesday, our anniversary! Weird, but it was a neat tour. We had actually just watched 2 documentaries the weeks prior to our trip on the closed prison, so we already had a good idea of what we were visiting. Also while we were there, a former prisoner who was featured on both documentaries was in the gift shop promoting his book about his time spent in prison. I find it odd that a former prisoner returns daily to a place such as Alcatraz.
We enjoyed our tour of the city, but we were ready for a little time away from the city. Next post will be our first road trip. Stay tuned...