Saturday, February 20, 2016

Our Trip to San Francisco

This was not our first trip to San Fran.  We last visited San Fran in 2008.  I can't believe we waited 8 years to go back! We had such a good time. Let me just tell you about it...
We had a super early flight on Friday so we went to Chicago on Thursday night and grabbed a hotel/park/fly deal.

 We heard Jim Norton (comedian) was going to be in Chicago that Thursday night so spent a boatload (total exaggeration) of money trying to get to The Vic during rush hour.  Even our taxi driver told us to take the train! We took a taxi, a train and an uber that night and made it just in enough time to walk in, buy a drink, and sit down for the opener.  It was awesome! He and his opener were very funny.  Good choice! Should have planned a little better for the trip though. :)

 We flew to San Fran nonstop on a Frontier flight.  If you like sitting with only a few inches in front of your knees on hard plastic seats with a tray that is 6 inches long, then Frontier is the airline for you.  But hey, everything else went really well on the flight so we suffered through it.  But wow, those seats.  The worst! Butt pains!

Andrew grabbed this shot as we passed the mountains on the way to California.

On our first night, we stayed with our friends in the suburbs so we took the Caltrain into the city to go to the dinner at a Peruvian place.  That food was amazing.  That, besides the Mediterranean food we had for lunch, was the first stop of our world tour of eating that Aditi was taking us on.  Some of us were NOT ready for this.  I totally was.  Yay spicy!
On the Cal train, I felt like Bruce Wayne when he was a child and his dad was talking about the public transportation in Gotham (in Batman Begins, scene here starting at 3:04).  Seriously, we had just been on the L in Chicago so that may have affected our opinion but the Caltrain is AWESOME.  Almost magical.  Way more comfy than our Frontier flight. I'm sure the Cal train was built by people as virtuous as the Wayne family. ;) 

We went to dinner at Limon.  I thought everyone was saying Le Moan, like a french groan or something.  Nope.  The food was seriously INCREDIBLE.  Our hosts ordered for us, thank goodness.  We had things like ceviche and paella (my personal favorites) and much much more.  This was by far my favorite food experience.  Soooo good!

The next morning, we took the Caltrain again to the city to meet our bus that was going to take us on a wine/craft beer tour.  This was our first attempt at a group selfie.  Thanks a lot, Trav. 

Ahh, that's better. 

I turned around and saw this at the train station.  They were so caught up in texting that they stopped side by side mesmerized by their phones.  Aditi caught me. :) 

We headed out on a bus for a two hour drive to Sonoma or Napa Valley, I don't know.  One of those sounds right. ;) We tried to take a selfie with the Golden Gate columns behind us but apparently the bus was really rolling. 

Kind of like the rolling hills of Napa Valley.  Nope, just looked it up.  It's Sonoma.  Whoops.  We went to Iron Horse Vineyards. It had great wine.  The weather was gorgeous. 

Bowman's picture turned out a little better. Those filters, I tell ya.

Oh look, Bowman loves it! Look at the trellises!

Group photo! We are ridcioulsly good looking!

Especially these two!

Our bus driver took this picture. 

Next we went to Cooperage Brewing Company. We were supposed to be sampling beers but we got really into this amazing Jenga game.  It was incredible how high we built our tower.  The key was a very sturdy table, I think.

We were concentrating so hard on this game that we didn't even realize that pretty much the whole bar was watching and cheering for us.  It was pretty incredible how long the game lasted. 

Look at the extreme intensity!

Look at Andrew's face! He's not sure he can handle his next turn!

After the game was over, it was selfie time again!

A mini group photo in front of Cooperage.  Yeah it was in a weird industrial area due to it being a brewery and all.  They need more industrial utilities to make craft beers so that's why that is.  (The more you know.)
Weirdos. :)

We had another long bus ride until our next stop.

Jake thought the ride was much longer than the rest of us. :-)

But we were enjoying ourselves rocking out to Toto. (Did you know they have a new album out?)

We went to Iron Springs Pub.  They gave us a tour of the whole brewing process which was pretty neat.

Then we sat down for some tastings and food.  We stayed until it was almost dark.  It was a long day!

Lisa, Jake and Aditi's au pair (aka their German nanny), made some sweet bread and lemon custard for us while we were gone.  It was delicious! Aditi also made "tacolicious" which was really spicy and also delicious.  Perfect ending to a super fun day!

The next day was Valentine's Day. We played at home with Aashni in the morning. 

The boys got ready for their bike ride across the Golden Gate bridge. 

The girls went shopping!

It was very nice to spend Valentine's Day with my Gal-entines. 

We ate at a Burmese restaurant.  We ordered Pad Thai.  It was also awesome.  Aashni was not impressed. 

The boys really enjoyed their experience. The pictures are so cool. 

Thumbs up for the Gate!

Look at that photo! Just awesome.

They need a beer after a ride like that.

So what did we shop for? Um, candy.  Duh.  I got chipotle chocolate with something like pop rocks in it.  The fireworks on the package were good advertising.  It was really fun to eat... and like everything else we ate on the trip.... spicy.

We celebrated Valentine's Day together that evening as a whole group. We had long conversations about Germany, America, patriotism, wars, education, movies, etc with Lisa, the au pair.  Very interesting discussions. 

We ordered Indian take out.  See that piece of food on my fork? It was a potato or rice ball (like a meatball) and I took a bite and it was spicy.  But then it went down the wrong pipe and so I had to run back into the kitchen and stick my head under the faucet. Whew.  It was hot.  But after I got over the initial shock, the food was yummy.

After dinner, we played Fishbowl. You have to put celebrity's names in a bowl and make your team guess them.  This is Aditi acting out Gollum to get us to guess Bilbo Baggins, I believe.  It was an amazing performance. 

Whoever lost the round had to play Beanboozled.  Yes, that is a jelly bean game we got from the candy store.  Yes, the girls team lost.  Yes, beanboozled is a mean, terrible, disgusting game.  I lost THREE TIMES. 
So basically Beanboozled is a box of jelly beans and everyone picks a bean and eats it.  However, half the box is going to be disgusting flavors and half will be regular so you don't know what flavor you are about to eat. 
Here are the flavors in the box:
  • Stinky Socks - Tutti-Fruitti
  • Lawn Clippings - Lime
  • Rotten Egg - Buttered Popcorn
  • Toothpaste - Berry Blue
  • Barf - Peach
  • Canned Dog Food - Chocolate Pudding
  • Booger - Juicy Pear
  • Moldy Cheese - Caramel Corn
  • Baby Wipes - Coconut
  • Skunk Spray - Licorice
I got skunk spray, barf, and booger the three times I lost.  DISGUSTING.  Travis said baby wipes were horrible (it tastes like I have a mouthful of lotion!!) but Jake didn't mind skunk as much as I did. Lawn clippings aren't that bad, neither is toothpaste.  Stinky socks are awful.  I would consider buttered popcorn just as bad as rotten egg, honestly.  Haha!  It was a really fun, vomit-inducing game. So go out and get ya a box, why don't ya?? I know ya want to now!

The next day we said goodbye to Aashni (and Jake and Aditi too, of course) and headed to the airport.  We were so sad to leave.  The weather, the people, the food, the fun times, it was all so great.  San Fran is such a fun city.  If I could afford to live there, I would think about it.  But for now, we just have to try to afford to visit. 
Thanks, Jake and Nikki Knockers ;-), for being wonderful hosts.  It was a great long weekend vacation.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Tommy's Field Trip

 Tommy has had a few field trips so far this year but on this field trip, Mama got to go!! Yay!
I showed up for lunch time and was put to work.  Tommy was hanging over the back of his seat waiting for me to sit and eat with him but one of the preschool teachers called in sick that day so I was needed to help open fruit cups, stick straws in juice boxes, open lunchables, pass out milk, etc.  Three kids forgot their lunches, half the chaperones were late, and one kid was LOSING HIS MIND because he kept saying his mom was supposed to be there with his lunch.  Poor kid.  She showed up but just an hour late.  Just an average day for a teacher, I'm sure.  Ugh, did Paul Harvey ever do a "So God Made a Teacher?"

 Anyhoo, after lunch we jumped on the rickety old school bus and headed out.  Bus Selfie! That's Tommy's friend Jayden.  Tommy tells us all the time how his name is spelled, J-A-Y, D-E-N.  I don't know why.

 So where did we go on our field trip??? We went to the Planetarium!  Jeff High School has a planetarium so we visited and learned about the planets and the stars.  Big high schools amaze me!

The teacher gave us a rundown on planets and then started talking about a lot of constellations.  Each constellation, like Cassiopeia for example, had a picture that he would put on the dome to represent the constellation.  For Cassiopeia, he put a picture of a queen that looked like the queen of hearts but for some reason it was sideways.  Well to 5 and 6 year olds, this started a giggle fest.  Those giggles were even cracking me up.  But with each picture, the giggles just got worse.  The teacher ended up getting REALLY mad and yelling at the kids and singling out a couple, including Tommy's buddy.  Yikes.  It even made me sink down in my chair like a child.  Awkward!
But the rest of the field trip went off without a hitch.  It was so fun to be able to join Tommy on his turf.  I hope to be able to do it again soon.  What a great day.
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