Tuesday, June 26, 2012

It's all happening at the zoo...

Lilyana is fascinated by animals.  A few of her early words were "duck", "dog", and "bird".  When she sees dogs while we take our regular evening strolls, she practically jumps out of her stroller to get a better look, and if barks or howls, she barks or howls right back.  She gets tickled pink when she hears the birds singing in the morning and she watches with so much wonder and amazement as they fly over her.  

With so much interest in someone so small we decided that she needed a visit to the zoo.  We mapped out our route the night before, charged up both cameras and hit the sack early.  Up before the sun, we were showered, dressed, packed and in the car...each one of us looking forward to our big day.

Food always comes first, so Ben took us to a delightful little cafe in San Francisco.  Run by an elderly French gentleman, the little place smelled so scrumptious!  We ordered a pot of loose leaf tea and crêpes.  Absolutely fantastic!

Conversations with daddy are always enlightening.

 Tea!  Actually, she was leaning over the cup saying, "Hot...hot..."

 Lilyana had some food on the drive over, but that didn't stop her from being interested in the food before her!

"My turn!  A bite for daddy, a bigger bite for me!" 

After our delicious breakfast, we found the zoo.  
 Daddy was trying to show Lilyana the animals, but she was more interested in the weird plants next to her.

He finally got her to look at the giraffe.  She looked at him for a bit, then once he started moving and she realized he was real...

...her face lit up and she was ecstatic!

Love her expressions.  She did this every time she saw an animal she didn't recognize.  It never got old. 

 She didn't want to leave the giraffe, but there were other animals to meet!

Besides, he was wandering off, too. 

A map!
Lilyana was giving her input on where we should go next.


Oh, back to the giraffes!  

She loved them.

Deep thoughts. 

Funny flamingos.  

She wasn't sure what to make of them...she was going back and forth on their names...Duck?  Bird?  So confused!


We had to pass by the food area several times, which was making us all very hungry.  A great outdoor grill with brats, chicken and veggies cooking all day...

This squirrel knows where to find leftovers.  

We found the monkeys and Lilyana had fun copying their noises.  Except for the really, really loud ones...she didn't like being very close to those ones.

Then it was off to the "farm!"

She looked at the pigs for a second, and then looked up at Ben and said, "Wooh-wee..." which is what she says when she has a dirty diaper or smells something bad. 


She thought his tail was funny. 

 A little cowgirl in the wild west.

I've got to figure out what kind of succulents these are!  I have so many places where they could grow.....
At this point, our tired little baby fell asleep.  So, she missed....

...the rhinoceros... 

 ...the Tropical Birds...

 ...and the first trip by the penguins.  Not to mention the lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!)...hippos, and peacocks.  But that's okay, we have the annual pass, so we'll be back!

She woke up in time to watch the penguins get dinner...

...and then we left to get our own dinner!  A goooood meal with a nice view!  It was foggy that day, so you can't really see the bay out there. :(

Clam Chowder in a San Francisco Sourdough bread bowl!!!  YUM!  Great...now I want some more...

Before we started the long trek back home, we decided to get a nice hot drink to keep us warm.  Where do you go for that?

Ghirardelli, of course!!

 And then we got in line to drive on the curviest road in the world...

It's hard to see the angle that we were at, but it almost felt like we were laying down.

Yup!  A drive down Lombard Street!  The Google Car has been down this road...

And they mean it.

When we go back, I'll get a shot from the bottom so you can get a better idea of how curvy the road is...and we'll walk down! :)

I hope you enjoy these two videos of Lilyana at the zoo!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Down by the riverside...

This past weekend rolled around with a projected high of 111 degrees on Saturday...yes, you read that right...111.  With that kind of news, we decided it would be a good idea to get out of town!  Ben came home on Thursday with big plans for our three-day weekend.  When he came home he found us getting out of the pool and cooling off with some coconut milk and peach smoothies...

 Lilyana LOVES her smoothies and she loves her straws.  

Ben was so excited to see our first produce ready for eating!  A cucumber and, my favorite, a little Sungold Tomato!!  YUM!

My wonderful husband has been working on setting up an outdoor kitchen for me...which has always been a dream of mine.  He bought me a gas range and got it all set up while I was out of town last month.  When summer days are sunny and hot, we do most of our cooking outside now, which keeps the kitchen cleaner and the house much cooler!    

For dinner that evening, we had Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Lemon-Garlic Chicken breasts, a fresh garden Salad (with our two veggies!!!!) and I introduced Ben to a Southern favorite...Fried Green Tomatoes!  I was thrilled that he fell in love with them...a new summer staple! 

Since Ben had last Friday off, we decided to walk down to the Farmer's Market together.  We usually drive down so that he can go with me, but he always ends up leaving Lilyana and I there so he can go work hard again to pay for all of the fresh goodness we're buying for the week.  It's nice being so close to the market!

BUT, since he didn't have to work on Friday, we did some shopping at the market and then went down to our very favorite little coffee shop (a little old-world kind of place...makes us feel like we're back in Spain... *sigh*) for some iced coffee and relaxation.  Lilyana enjoyed Ben's iced black coffee.  Nope, no sugar...just caffeine, water and ice.  Ick.


We left Lilyana's new shades back at my parent's house, so she likes to play with mine.  Which was nice for Ben, because it meant that she wasn't trying to finish off his drink.

Back to the market for more goodies!  This little foodie baby takes her littler foodie baby (that blonde thing behind her) to Farmer's Markets.  Lilyana loves getting fruit samples from the vendors.

We spent the rest of that day at home, just having good old-fashioned family time.  We planned our trip for the next day, got all of our swim stuff packed up, food stuff picked out and ready for the cooler, and then went to bed looking forward to the adventures the next day was sure to bring...

 We were on the road bright and early, looking for that perfect riverside picnic spot!  We found what we thought was going to be a nice, quiet, secluded area for eating and swimming...we were right on the first part, but very wrong on the second!  But that was fine...we had a nice view, lots of shade (very necessary for hot days), and good food.

See...goooood food.  Asiago Sourdough break with a Garlic-Chive cheese spread and our favorite salami.  Oh, and fruit ,chilled water, and some desserty things.

 The Pluot eating pair.
Once we were completely stuffed, we packed up and headed further north to get further away from the heat and find a good swimming spot.

 We found it!  The very perfect spot!  Next time we go, we'll bring lunch up here!  
Lilyana is ready to hit the water!

Scorching hot day...nice cold river.  

She loved just sitting on the sand and playing in the water.

Only, the longer she sat there, the further she got in the water. 

Deeper and cooler...Daddy kept a good hold on her, though. 


Standing in the river isn't quite the same as standing in her pool, but she enjoyed it...

...a lot.

We ended up taking a swim down the river.  We brought her floaty ring and she had a blast...until she started getting cold.  We pulled out of the river, eventually dried off, packed everything back up and began the drive home.  We were very pleased to find that our new favorite hang-out is just over an hour from our house and 36 miles from Yosemite!  We'll definitely be back!  Soon!

Lilyana was tuckered out.  Lots of playing, boat-loads of excitement, sunshine, warmth and love...she got a good nap on the way home and woke up just in time for...

...dinner!  We stopped at our favorite Mexican restaurant in town and split a plate of enchiladas.  

The next day was also going to be horribly hot, so we mapped out our drive to San Francisco, got everything packed up again and crashed into bed so we'd be ready for an early morning...  But, you'll have to wait for the next post to see what we were up to!  Until then, enjoy this video of Lilyana in the river...