Saturday, July 30, 2016

California Summer - Part 2

Day 6-10

On day six, we went to the coast and enjoyed the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Mark and I saw the fish feeding at the kelp forest exhibit, which was pretty neat. I hadn't seen it before. There was a diver in the tank throwing out fish/squid/whatever else to the fish and sharks. He has been doing this voluntarily for 30 years. I don't have any pictures from our visit.  Not one single picture.

After the aquarium, we went to lunch a tepanyaki restaurant.

Then we went out to take a picture by the wharf. We're missing my sister and her family.

After lunch, we headed to the beach. It was was cold but these guys didn't mind.

The next day, we took the kiddos to Gilroy Gardens. There was a special Chinese lantern exhibit and it was so pretty.

One of the displays was the zodiac signs. My rabbit with the rabbit.

My rooster.
And my goat.
 The beautiful arches.

We spent most of our time at the splash pad because that's what the kiddos wanted to do.

Then Ben met us there and we went on a few more rides before heading home.

On Saturday, we visited the Farmers Market. I love all the fresh fruits an veggies. The boys loved tasting all the yummy samples.

Michael looking over the fresh veggies.

Look how pretty these were.

There was a little craft area there and Mark wanted to participate.

The rest of our trip consisted of having lots of donut and hanging out with my people at my mom and dad's house.

Mark loves to climb the trees in the backyard.

On Sunday night, we celebrated Benjamin's birthday a day early. All 5 cousins - Makena is not digging that she's the only girl!

They all helped Ben blow out his candles.

Then, before we could cut the cake, they dug in.

The aftermath.  They thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

These two do love each other sometimes.

On Monday, it was time to fly back home. It was one of the bumpier plane rides. When we were about to land, we were told that the weather was preventing us from doing so so we had to circle around. After 30 minutes of circling, we were told that we needed to be diverted to Midland because the plane was running out of fuel. Joy.  Luckily my kiddos were great fliers and took it in stride.

In a week, we will be on our way to Cancun for our last trip of the summer!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

California Summer- Part 1

Day 1-5
Making our way towards our gate. I have to say that my boys are great travelers. They've had lots of practice so I don't stress out as much as I use to when we travel without M.

The plane was a little late getting in so we had to wait a little longer than planned.  Poor Matthew was about to fall asleep on the floor because his Dramamine kicked in before we boarded.

I got to sit next to this sassy girl on our way to my parents' house.

The boys loved playing with the monkey, especially Michael.

The next day, we drove to the airport to pick up M. We stopped for lunch at a hole in the wall Mongolian Barbecue place that M and I went to a lot when we were dating. Still so good almost 20 years later.

M and the kids wanted ice cream after lunch so we drove to this cute ice cream parlor that just happened to be right next to the complex that I lived in my senior year in college.

The house to the right was the house that I lived in and the house straight ahead was the house my other DZ sisters lived in.  So many good memories! This was the house M picked me up at on our first date.  Another fun fact? The house number is the same as our current house number. Full circle...

Love this picture.

These two were very tired and fell asleep on our way home.

We went to dinner at my brother's house and here are all the kiddos with their Gs.

A pair of cuties.

On Sunday, my family let us leave all 3 kids with them so we can have an overnight date. We drove to Napa Valley and had the best time!

Our first stop was this little sandwich shop in West Portal (San Francisco). M LOVES, LOVES this place. He came here all the time when he went to school in San Francisco and insists we stop by every opportunity we get.

On our way to Napa, we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge.  I haven't been across the bridge in at least 20 years. So beautiful with the famous fog.

After we settled into out hotel room, we made the drive to Calistoga and stopped by the Frank Family Winery.

Then headed over to Faila Winery. This was one of my favorite wine tastings. They had our table set up in the courtyard.

Our tasting menu.

These were are tasting partners from Atlanta and Rochester. We had such a good time tasting great wines with great people.

After the wine tastings, we drove back to the hotel to freshen up and went to dinner in downtown Napa. And I didn't take any pictures.

The next morning we walked from our hotel to grab breakfast at the Oxbow Market (an indoor farmers' market). I was cold. I had forgotten how cold it is in the mornings.

It was a nice walk with beautiful views.

Yum! Coffee and scone.

After breakfast, we hung out at the hotel for a little bit so that we wouldn't hit morning traffic on our way home. It was a nice little getaway during our vacation. I just love Napa Valley!

On Tuesday, we all went to Watsonville to pick some strawberries. It was late in the season so the strawberries were smaller and more sparse, but they were still sweet and delicious!

 These boys enjoying the fruits of their labor, literally.