Tuesday, June 29, 2010

summer nights


Lawn chairs…check.


Bug spray…check.






Movie projector…check.


Funny, family friendly movie…check.

We had such a great time last year watching our first annual backyard movie, that a tradition was born. So on the first possible night, when the humidity didn’t make it feel like it was 150 degrees, we decided to invite over our friends and give it a go.





 IMG_5592 Success!

And we got to check something off our list!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

san francisco slide show

In case you are really bored and want to waste a few minutes of your life looking at someone else's vacation pictures, here you go.

I really did this as much for me just to have all the pictures in one place. Maybe someday I'll save enough $$ to print all these suckers. But until then, this will have to do!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

what's all the buzz about?

In South Africa. World Cup Soccer to be exact. I should know. It's on at my house. Constantly.
Have you heard the buzz?
It's not a pleasant sound. At. All.

Soccer is a BIG deal at our house. Especially The World Cup. Someone (whose name I don't even have to mention) has been known to set the alarm for the wee hours of the morning just to watch a game. How crazy is that?

And now once again, I'm hearing the buzz. The obnoxious, grates on the nerves, oh so annoying buzz. At least the World Cup only comes around every four years.

Any chance that by 2014, they will have invented a new way to cheer on your favorite soccer team? I hope so. Perhaps the sound of sleeping children could be duplicated. Yeah, I vote for that!

Friday, June 25, 2010

move over picasso

‘Cause there’s a new artist in town!!



IMG_5535 Today we tried to beat the heat, as best we can, with a little outdoor painting project. And fortunately our patio provides us with enough shade to make the heat bearable.


I made sidewalk paint with equal parts cornstarch and water. Then added food coloring.



It was just enough fun that a teenage sister came out of hiding, voluntarily, to join in.




It should all wash away when it rains. If it ever rains.

I’m linking up to Kelly’s Korner this week. You can check out other fun activities for kids here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

day 4…chinatown

I think day 4 was my favorite day. But let me start out by telling you about our experience with public transportation…

We (meaning Jeremy) asked the hotel concierge about using the public transportation. We found out it was cheapest most cost-effective to ride the bus ($2 vs. $5 for a cable car). So we found out which bus we needed to take to get us to Chinatown and where the nearest bus stop was located.

So we tootled along, pretending to be native San Franciscans. Pretending we knew exactly what we were doing. However I’m thinking the camera around my neck and San Francisco guide book may have given us away. People boarded the bus at each stop. Very obviously going to Chinatown. So far, so good!

We started to notice the signs on storefronts were no longer in English. However, we (again, Jeremy) neglected to find out when to get off the bus. And before we knew it, we were back in “America” where they spoke English. Oops. So we decided we better get off the bus as soon as possible and figure out where we were and where we needed to go. But apparently we also didn’t know how to get off the bus. Literally. We stood up at the next stop, but the doors didn’t open. So we continued riding until we finally realized you have to push a bar on the door to get it to open. So now we know (for the future). And I’m sure no one noticed our ineptness. Yeah, right!

So there we were in the middle of Union Square. Fortunately I had my trusty SF guide book and we studied the maps to figure out how to get back to where we should’ve gotten off the bus. Apparently, the bus went into a tunnel and ended up on lower streets. We needed to be on the upper streets. This time we used a form of transportation we are familiar with. We walked. And lo and behold, we actually found our way to Chinatown!




I hope they are enjoying their $5 ride!!!





This is the Golden Gate Cookie Factory where they make fortune cookies. You could access it through an alley. They gave out free samples and let you take a picture for 50 cents! (Very little is free in this city!!) This lady sitting in the front would pull the flat, warm cookies off the conveyor belt, insert a fortune, fold the cookie and set them in the tray to harden.


There were little outdoor markets all over the place. Selling fruits and vegetables and dried roots. And smelly fish!


We ate lunch in Chinatown. How very brave of us!! It was actually very similar to what we would eat at our local Chinese restaurant. I had shrimp with string beans and Jeremy had chicken with mushrooms. And we shared a pot of tea.

Once we had walked up and down every street in Chinatown and shopped in every shop, we decided to head back. And since we (you know who I mean) didn’t find out which bus to take back, and given our recent history, we decided it would be easiest to just walk. We need the exercise anyway, right?


These bathrooms are located all over San Francisco. I had seen a show about them on The Travel Channel awhile back. They are self-cleaning with a 20 minute time limit for use. Of course, we had to try it out. This was the first time I actually had to push a button to give me instructions on how to use a bathroom!

IMG_5422 On our way back to the Wharf, we decided to walk to Coit Tower, located on Telegraph Hill. Lots of steep hills to climb to get there.





Inside the tower, on the first level, are these murals. They were painted during the Depression to give work to artists. We didn’t go to the top for two reasons. First, because it cost money to ride the elevator (of course). And also because I’m terrified of heights and I was afraid I would freak out at the top or even possibly on the ride up. I know. I’m lame.


So that’s it. Four fabulous days, with the 5th day left for traveling home. Good bye, San Francisco. Until we see you again!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

day 3…alcatraz, fisherman’s wharf and ghirardelli square


IMG_5291The sea lions come to Pier 39 every January and stay through the summer. There were hundreds of them “barking” and sunning and a few were even swimming.

IMG_5300We took a ferry to Alcatraz Island.



IMG_5330 I love these signs! I think I may print and frame them. And hang them strategically around the house!



IMG_5348 We did an audio tour narrated by a former guard at Alcatraz. Very interesting and informative! The bottom cells in front of Jeremy are “the hole”.




IMG_5382 The grounds surrounding the prison are filled with beautiful gardens. Most of it was blocked off to protect nesting birds though.




We spent about 3 and a half hours at Alcatraz. Then we walked down to the wharf. I had delicious clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl from Boudin’s bakery. See the baskets of bread being sent throughout the building? How clever!


IMG_5392 And we topped off the evening with yummy cupcakes from Kara’s Cupcakes at Ghirardelli Square (along with our free samples of Ghirardelli chocolate, of course!) These cupcakes were so delicious. We went back the next day for another. I got strawberry cream the second day, which was even better than the first!

My mouth is watering just thinking about it!