Monday, November 13, 2006

Saturday - free day

Saturday, our very last full day, we really didn't have anything planned. We had a "free" harbor tour from our Wine Country tour that we hadn't used yet so used that at 10 am and then walked up and down the piers and just relaxed and wandered. Friday night we had seen this man on the sidewalk painting pictures to sell. He was using normal everyday spray cans, a spackle knife and paper - amazing. Saturday after dark, we saw him again and purchased a picture for only $5. They were so cheap and so neat. Ours has a sunset with the Golden Gate bridge and shooting stars. Watching him was absolutely the best.

We were in bed fairly early since we had to get up at 4:45 to catch our shuttle for the morning flight back to chilly Minnesota where they had received SNOW while we were gone. We arrived safely home just after 4:00 pm, just in time to dump our stuff, grab a bite to eat and head off to the rink to watch youngest son get a shutout in his hockey game.

What a fun and full week!

Welcome to the clan Niece #5

On Friday evening, my newest niece arrived! Grandma will be there soon to deliver our hugs and kisses to you!

Friday - Wine Country Tour

We were picked up at our hotel in a double decker bus and transported to the office of the tour company to join our fellow tour goers on our treck to Napa Valley. Our first stop was a visitor center where we sampled 5 different types of wine. We were then on to Kirkland Ranch Winery where we sampled another 4 wines. This is the place where Jim discovered he really does like some wines! We left there with 6 bottles of wines packed for the airplane and membership in their Wine Club which will see 2 more bottles of wine arrive at our door every 2 months. The next 2 winery stops were interesting, but we liked Kirkland best and were very pleased that we hadn't waited to purchase until the last stop of the day.

Thursday - Alcatraz

The ride out to Alcatraz was very chilly - that breeze is very cool! Once we arrived at the island, we began our walk up, up, up. Once at the top, we listed to our MP3 players and followed along on the tour they were narrating. I cannot begin to imagine being held there.

At the bookstore there, they had a former inmate in attendance selling and signing his books. It made me very uncomfortable to see the elderly gentleman sitting there being asked to be photographed with the children of people. They weren't interested in his book or his story - only to get a picture of their young children with an "inmate". I hope he wasn't as uncomfortable as we were.

Thursday - Sausalito

After the Muir Woods, we stopped for an hour or so at Sausalito. We walked down the pier by the bay and looked at the boats and houseboats. Then we shared a meatball sandwich at a sidewalk cafe and soaked up some sunshine. Some of the boats are small, some huge and some just took our breath away with their gorgeous woodwork!

Thursday - Muir Woods trip

I'm going to try to recap our San Franciso vacation one segment at a time. This is the first leg of our trip - a stop at the Muir Woods. We took a bus from San Francisco over the Golden Gate bridge and up and down windy roads and arrived at this beautiful spot. It makes you feel very short.

Friday, November 10, 2006

My feet hurt!

Yesterday we walked, walked, walked, walked... Today, we walked some more. Phew!

Yesterday we went to the Muir Woods and saw the VERY tall redwoods. There's a shot of me with a tree, and one looking up at the trees.

Then we stopped at Sausalito... walked the piers, then we hopped back on the bus and headed back to San Francisco.

We then went on the ship out to Alcatraz... There's a picture of a cell. Alcatraz was very interesting - lots of hills to climb and lots to see. We received MP3 players at the top and proceeded to take our Audio tour - moving and walking as directed. It was actually pretty neat to hear the sounds and voices as you went through.

Today - we went on a bus to the Napa Valley. We made 4 stops with a wine tasting at each. At the second stop we bought 6 bottles and signed up for the Wine Club. We will receive 2 bottles every other month. Jim actually found a few wine types that he likes - amazing. Tonight at supper, we ordered a bottle of Riesling instead of Hubby getting a beer... very different! :)

Tomorrow we have a short cruise in the harbor and the rest of the day will be bumming around. Sunday morning at 8:30 we fly back to MNk, just in time for a hockey game.

I'll post pictures as soon as we get home and I have a moment to breath. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

San Francisco, here I am!

I made it to San Francisco on Sunday night around 10pm local time. After landing at the airport - finding an airport shuttle to the hotel - and then checking in.... all I could do was crash. It was very odd to suddenly have 2 more hours to my day but didn't have the energy to enjoy it properly.

The conference took up our entire days on Monday and Tuesday - we would leave for the conference center at 7am and return around 11 at night. Today the conference was over at 3:45 so I grabbed a taxi and headed to my new hotel down by the wharf.

After checking in, I headed out to finally find a view of the water! I walked just a few blocks from the hotel and found Pier 39 - I heard the sea lions so decided to walk down the pier. The sun disappeared quickly, but I still managed to see the sea lions, hear them "talking" to everyone and then ate fish and chips on the walk back to the hotel. Now, I'm relaxing in the room and waiting for hubby to arrive on his flight from Minnesota. He is at the airport now...

Tomorrow we are going on a bus tour of the Muir woods and Sausalito....then take a boat out to Alcatraz. Friday is a Wine Country bus tour of several vineyards. :) Saturday a yaht cruise and then relaxation by the water. Sunday - we fly home and will make it back just in time for youngest son's hockey game. We are packing a lot into our short time here, we want to see as much as we can in case this is our only chance to see the city.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Baby gifts in process

I've completed one baby gift set of hat and booties and am starting on a second. Two of hubby's former students had baby boys. It would have been nice to know that one of the babies was almost 1 before I finished the 2nd set of newborn size booties. Oh well - there are more babies on the way! ;-)

The brown tones set is completed and ready to be wrapped... the yellow, blue, green set needs the 2nd bootie sewn up, the 12" ties done and laced through the ankle and then a hat made. I'm hoping to get this set made so hubby can send them out next week but I leave for San Francisco on Sunday and there's way too much to do to get ready for a week away.