california recap: WITH WORDS!

As you can tell from the pictures, this was a full vacation. And honestly, I've just been regrouping since we got back. I was working on this post, and accidentally hit publish when the post was just pictures and after realizing I had done so, I thought, "I'm just going to go to bed and write my commentary later." And so here I am, two days later, doing just that.

The weekend was splendid. I had in my head that we would just go and hang out at John and Shannon's house, and lay on our bellies reading books and playing with cars with their 1 and 2 year old. But they had a fabulous itinerary for us, and every day was perfectly played out.

We arrived on my birthday around five, and drove to a fantastic neighborhood (San Francisco is basically all fantastic neighborhoods) for my birthday dinner. We went to a Roman restaurant that blew our minds. And puffed out our bellies. I actually had gotten ill on the plane ride, so I was more in to the bread basket and divine olive oil. But Rory had quail and I think John had rabbit and Shannon had something that was so good, her plate was empty before I could really get a good look. :)
After supper, we drove to a park area right under the Golden Gate bridge. Shannon had made individual molten chocolate cakes for us with a hot raspberry sauce (she microwaved it at a gas station in the hot-dog microwave, commenting that was the first time she had ever used one of those microwaves for personal use. ha.)

We went on lots of walks...this is the trail behind their is glorious and feels so secluded. Very Lord-of-the-ringsy.

On Friday we took a tour of a vineyard in Napa Valley. It was a stunning day and I learned so much about wine! Rory and I don't really drink so for us it was just a bit more informative as we practiced our wafting and finding the legs on our wine.
We brought our new SLR camera on this trip and tried all sorts of depth of field pictures. Actually, that was Rory. I was just trying to get used to not focusing with my little index finger and using the actual lens! Crazy how digital my world has become.

They brought out local cheeses to pair with the wine. Rory and I do eat cheese. Let that be known. We love our cheese.
John and Shannon are friends who have made serious intentional decisions about what they eat and have been telling us about a homemade chicken broth that they make a few times a month. So John gave us a demonstration and let me tell you, it was AMAZING. And not all that complicated. It's amazing to think our grandma's all did this all the time because this is how cooking used to operate. Later John made this broth and veggies and chicken into chicken pot pies. Salivating as a type. They were to die for.
On Saturday we were presented five choices for a Rory-Becca day. They all sounded fabulous (including a cheese factory tour!) But we chose Stinson Beach and the Redwood Forest. While on the beach we had fish tacos with a homemade salsa that we still haven't stopped talking about.
This was the meadow leading to the big redwoods. I love that guy walking that path. I'd follow him anywhere.
This is me, casually standing with my knee slightly bent. I'm getting loopy-punchy as I type this. Sorry.

On Sunday we celebrated baby Kate's first birthday! We were actually with John and Shannon one year earlier when Shannon went into labor right in front of our eyes. This is maybe my favorite story of all time to tell, but way better in person. Ask me sometime. We went to the park in Farifax where they live and this guy was making bubbles like this one. I thought many times that my mom should really get into this. It combines bubbles, spell-bound-joy-filled kiddos and the outdoors. She'd be a great Bubble lady.
Kate's party was fabulous...complete with lots of frosting and John Thomas (2 year old big brother) yelling, "look at Kate dive into that cupcake" bazillions of times. Kate's favorite gift? A card that played winnie the pooh when she opened it. Keep that in mind for your next 1 year old birthday. Simple, inexpensive and perfect for a proud kid.
So there you have it! Our vacation was wonderful and now I'm still just trying to get laundry, groceries and life back under control. It's amazing how that just takes a few days after a good vacation.


Sarah McQuade said...

Love this! And that last photo is SO awesome!!

annika said...

Looks like a lovely trip! So nice to spend time with good friends in a warmer climate! :)

sembatgirl said...

welcome home! awesome pics!

Marlene said...

You and Rory covered a lot of territory - and ate very well - on your Ca. trip with John and Shannon. Amazing how much you can do in a weekend!!
Glad you're now safely home.

brittanyw said...

hey! I was actually in Greece when you were here last but call us next time you're in SF! we would love to see you (and eat with you.. sounds yummy)!