Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas is almost here!

We've been so busy getting ready for the holidays. Tonight we are hosting the Christmas party for Mike's band, this coming weekend my cousin and her boyfriend (who I am so excited to meet!) are staying with us for Christmas and my grandparents from Minnesota are coming right after that. So excited about all the visitors coming in and the celebrations we are about to have with family. And since the events that happened in CT last week, we have realized that spending time with our family is what is most important. We will be holding our nieces and nephews a bit tighter this holiday season and appreciate the time we get with all of our family, but especially our family members who have devoted their lives to teaching (both our moms, our sister-in-law, aunts, my grandfather, cousins). I may not have cookies baked or been able to come up with as thoughtful of gifts as I would have liked or decorated the house too much, but we will be with our family and that's all we could ask for.

Last week Mike's mom gave us his baby book to look at and I came across this picture of Mike's first visit with Santa. Isn't he just so cute? I'm so hoping our future kids have a full head of curly hair like that rather than the total lack of hair I had (I was basically bald until 5!).

Thursday, December 13, 2012

San Francisco Trip

A few weeks ago, we took a little trip to San Francisco. We haven't taken a vacation in a long time (and a vacation with just the two of us in a VERY long time), so it was really nice to get away and relax for a bit.
Mike and I have both been to San Francisco, but I was about 12 years old and he went with a local, so he didn't explore much outside of that area (he can't even remember what area it was). So of course we had to do a few tourist things like Fisherman's Warf, Ghirardelli Square, Boudin Bakery, etc. We spent our first morning exploring around that area. It was so fun to be right by the water!

We made our way over to Russian Hill (didn't realize it was Russian Hill until AFTER we hiked up it!). Silly Arizonans, we thought we could walk up the hill and be fine. Should have taken the $6 trolley ride up! Once we got to the top, we walked down Lombard street and admired the flowers and greenery...although we pretty much did that everywhere, it was so lush and green!

After eating lunch at the Boudin Bakery and from the crab stands, we headed on our tour of Alcatraz. The boat ride was so fun and gave us some awesome views of the city!

I had taken this tour before, but everything is different when you are 12 years old, right? The island is beautiful, so lush and green.

I hadn't remembered much of the tour on my first trip there, but I remembered it being awesome, and it was! Mike enjoyed it quite a bit...maybe too much? He loved checking out those jail cells. And me? Not so much.

For our second full day, we took things a bit easier. We went to the ferry market building in the morning and ate breakfast and lunch there. I really loved all the local shops inside the ferry building, I wish we had a market like that in Gilbert. I would be there all the time! So many good restaurant options too. We sat outside with our breakfast and looked out over the water, such a beautiful view!

After lunch we headed to Union Square and got more of the city feel. I went ice skating at the outdoor rink and LOVED it! I've always wanted to ice skate in Rockefeller center next to the big tree, so this was pretty close to that experience.

And of course I can't forget all the amazing food we had! I did quite a bit of research before our trip to make sure we hit some of the best spots in town that also accommodated to gluten free. I was shocked at how many places knew exactly what I could and couldn't have, they were so knowledgable! It's hard to decide which was my favorite meal, but I did enjoy the gluten free bakery at the ferry market building...oh and also the pizza and breadsticks at Tony's...but then the Vietnamese restataurant Slanted Door was incredible too (with beautiful views).

Overall it was an amazing trip. It reminded us that we definitely needs to make time and budget for trips like this more often. We're already talking about where we'd like to go next, Seattle maybe?