Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Of hellos, having fun and sad goodbyes...

Last month we were so excited and very blessed to have Jessica come out for a 3 week visit!  We tried not to cram everything into her short visit, but there was so much to do, and for all of our adventuring, the weather was most agreeable.  She was so helpful while staying here...changing diapers, entertaining Lilyana so I could get things done, girl shopping with me, doing dishes after every meal (such a nice break!), laundry and just chatting and filling my day with endless fun.  Sisters are great...and I very much miss mine.  Hopefully we can squeeze another visit in soon, especially as the arrival of our baby gets closer!

Yes, this is a post LOADED with pictures, so enjoy!

We picked Jess up at the SFO airport around lunch time.  We picnicked for lunch which meant deli sandwiches on criossants with chips-n-salsa, fruit and cookie bars.  We ate at Union Square and soaked up the gorgeous weather...it was actually warm that day!  
In order to miss out on the oh-so-fun traffic jam, we decided to hang out in San Francisco all day.  After shopping and just relaxing, we took Jess down to Fisherman's Wharf for dinner. 

Oh yeah...Clam Chowder in a San Francisco Sourdough Bread Bowl!  Doesn't get much better than that!

Hoping to kill some more time, and because it was cold outside and I was craving it, we grabbed some of the best hot chocolate...from Ghirardelli Square!  YUM!

A few days later, I had a hair appointment in my favorite little town in the foothills.  We left before lunch, and being pregnant, by the time we got there I was STARVING!  So we went to a local place and introduced Jess to Sweet Potato Fries...these are the best I've ever had!

Awwww....aren't they cute?!?!?

A trip to the river is always fun....especially when you find a great spot under a tree right next to the beach part...shade, sun, cold water, yummy food and great people...a perfect day!

Lilyana enjoys her munchies. 

Pops drove us up the river a bit and we put our inter-tubes in the water and braved the rapids down to where we had set up camp.  It was SO MUCH FUN!!!!! We had to do it twice.  Definitely going back next summer!

Jess and Ben are either relaxing or splashing each other...both are very good possibilities. 

After playing on the river, we were rather hungry...have I mentioned that we like food?  
Since we were so close to Sacramento, we went out for Ethiopian food.  Love that stuff.

This wasn't the ice cream picture I planned on posting, but Lilyana was so funny I had to post it as well...

Local ice cream shops are the best!

Lilyana really liked the chocolate. 

Back at home she enjoys being "mommy" to her babies.  She rocked and sang to her baby for about 20 minutes.  I think she's going to be a great big sister!

Up at Union Valley, some of the campers took the little boats out to explore the other side of the lake.  
Ben was working and I was quite content just sitting on an inter-tube enjoying the water.

The sailboat sat waiting for good winds before it ventured out.  
I actually didn't get very many pictures on the trip...visiting with friends and family was more fun. 

Lilyana got a pair of sunglasses for her birthday and she LOVES them...especially when other people are wearing theirs.  And I am totally framing this picture!  

Oh, and this one.  She is such a daddy's girl...and he absolutely adores his girl.

Game Night at Lumenaris!  Abstractables is one of our favorite games, so a game night where the game is actually made sounded like lots of fun...and it was!  As usual, the girls beat the boys.

After church the next morning, we headed off to the coast.  Food first, though...


Crazy kids...

A walk along the cliff. 

Every time we go to the beach, Ben and Lilyana stand on the sand watching the waves and exploring while I sit on our blanket soaking up the sun.  Occasionally I venture out to feel the freezing cold water, but I mostly relax while other people have fun going numb in the water. 

Jess didn't get much deeper than that, and I don't blame her!

Besides, when one sits further up on the beach one gets a better view of the crashing waves.

Dance, dance, yeah.
We had a great time on the beach...so quiet and secluded.  When it started cooling off, we went back to town for some more clam chowder and then began the long drive home.  Ben had work the next day, and Lilyana needed to be back on her regular nap schedule. 

"Don't you ever interrupt me when I'm readin' a book."

Ben made his famous Pasole for dinner one night, and it was actually cool enough outside to eat out!  I fried up some tortilla chips, Jess helped chop the toppings, Lilyana didn't do much besides be cute, Sangria was made to compliment the meal and we feasted like royalty.  

Yeah...good stuff. 

On the road again....we made our way back to San Francisco for one of the highlights of Jessica's trip.  Ben's parents came out as well to babysit that evening, so we rented a lovely house near downtown that had plenty of room for all of us...and a kitchen!  After dinner, we freshened up...

...donned our formal attire and were soon swept up in the beautiful and emotional story of Les Miserable.  Such a wonderful story of redemption.  We cried like babies. 

Back at the house, Lilyana was enjoying time with Grandad and Grandmum. 
Thanks for babysitting!!!

Jessica was highly disturbed by the many signs advertising the creativity of the person behind her...  

The three of us grabbing some much needed caffeine.  We found the cutest little old world coffee shop.  Jessica had the guy laughing so hard when she told him that she wanted hot chocolate with a shot of espresso...he laughed and then looked at her and said, "You mean a mocha?"
It was very amusing. 

They are being careful as they are about to enjoy their drinks which are extremely hot.

Hitting the Farmer's Market in San Fran!  SO much goodness!  Jess got her late season cherries...it wasn't the best cherry year, but she was excited.

Something must be awfully funny.

Me and my love. 

No, I never hand over my bread and coffee.

Pops, practicing skills for retirement. (No, despite the curly red hair, that is not Mumsie sitting next to him....)
CUPCAKES!!!!  I love cupcakes!  And Kara makes good cupcakes.  She even has gluten free ones...not that I had one, but Mumsie appreciated it!

We didn't get enough pictures this trip...that means you need to come back, Jess!

Ben showing off his American's Cup cupcake. 

Grandad, like me, goes crazy over chocolate. 

At the Golden Gate!  It only took me 2 1/2 years to see this bridge.

It's got to be love, 
Cause everything is upside down and 
 My knees are weak, my heart skipped a beat  
All because it's gotta be love...
Can you believe that we were crazy enough to walk part of that?  In that fog?  In the cold?!?  But hey...we got a great view of America's Cup!

Grabbing ice cream at Fenton's!

On one of our girly outings, we stopped for some Root Beer Floats!  YUM!  I am so craving those right now...next to sauerkraut, that is.

My cute little smiley one. 

 Afternoon tea at the local bakery.

The day that we had to take Jess back to the airport was a very sad one.  Even the weather was sad...the sun refused to shine. :(  We got up earlier than we really had to, but we wanted to take Jess to a small little cafe run by an older French gentleman who makes incredible crepes!  We had omelettes, crepes, coffee and tea for breakfast.  

Coming to the Bay Area when the forecast says 64 and cloudy means one should dress for such an occasion, right?   Now, who do you think has the best footwear?

 HA!  I just love the second rule...  Does this mean that adults who are not accompanied by a child will be sent home with an espresso and a puppy?!?

Lilyana loves her Aunt Gaga.  She has missed her so much since Saturday.  She keeps looking all over the house for her and when she can't find her, she hold up her hands and raising her eyebrows asks, "Gaga?  Gaga?"  It's so sad.  

 Today she tried to call her...for some reason, the call wouldn't go through...

And now, we hope, life will slow down for a bit.  I am very ready for Autumn and Pumpkin Muffins and soups and gumbo and stew and hot tea and hot chocolate and Hermit Cookies and Thanksgiving and I SO want to decorate for Christmas already...oh, and the arrival of our baby, of course!  For those who don't know yet...


Anonymous said...

How fun that you're having a little boy! Are you due mid-December then (rough deductions from the info on the ultrasound video)? We just found out we're expecting #3 in May...so excited! :)

Lauren said...

A couple of thoughts...
1. It was actually warm there, I believe you said. Ahem, I believe that's a quote only I can say about WA. You Californians have nothing to complain about!
2. Cute haircut!
3. I think a friend from WA was at one of those same performances of Les Miserables!!!
4. Pictures of Lilyana are, as usual adorable! Thanks for sharing!

Kathryn Grace said...

My goodness, Lilyana looks so much older in this post! And wow, Jessica looks tall in the formal shot! What kind of lens did you use?? LOL! :-)

Jessica McDonald said...

I miss y'all so much! These pictures make me smile at all the wonderful memories. :-)LOVE Y'ALL!!

Mrs.Rabe said...

What great memories and fun!

Such excitement about your baby! A Christmas gift, indeed!

Lilyana is adorable and looking so big - her hair is growing!

Delightful post, as always!


Yvonne said...

What a fun photo filled post! Sorry we didn't get a chance to see Jessica while she was here. Maybe next time... :)

Erin Rothie said...

Congratulations on your little BOY! So exciting!!! Thanks for letting us peak into your fun lives. We wish you great joy and we too canNOT wait to decorate for Christmas and am already breaking out Christmas music. :)

Chelsea said...

Just found your blog, but I'm in love! Congrats on your new little one and I hope to keep up with your delightful little family in the future. :)

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