If you’re going to San Francisco…

This week, I am coming off a fantastic long weekend in San Francisco with my best friend. Re-entry into real life has been rather rude (especially after that flight delay that got me home at 2:30 a.m.), but I have memories of our resort stay, city excursions and Napa Valley tour to sustain me. I won’t bore you with all our travel details but will share a few pictures and just say that I’m pretty lucky to have spent several fabulous days with a lovely friend who goes all the way back to high school, knows all my secrets and loves me anyway. I miss you already, Lila!

(All pictures taken with an iPhone – no digital SLR on this trip!)

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Our historic cottage at Cavallo Point, at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, directly across the bay from San Francisco

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A few of the famed “painted ladies” seen on our Victorian homes walking tour

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Stained glass skylight inside a restored Victorian home, now a hotel

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From the Golden Gate Park rose garden

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Japanese gardens

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From our walk back across the Golden Gate Bridge

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Seen from across the bay, in Sausalito

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Fabulous weekly farmer’s market at the ferry building in San Fran

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Inside the ferry building

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Chinatown, obviously

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Ferry that took us from the city across the bay to Sausalito, where our resort was located

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Alcatraz as seen from the ferry

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Sausalito

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Napa Valley train ride

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Castello di Amorosa winery tour

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Views from the castle

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Roses and grape vines at another winery along the way

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Our resort (partial view on far left, red roofs), the marina and bay as seen from our hike Monday morning

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Friends in (latitudinally) low places

And now for a post that’s truly overdue…

At the end of January, I took a trip with the kids to Florida to see a very dear friend and her family. We discovered that two adults to five children is not really any easier than one adult to two or three, but we tackled outings with gusto and balanced it out with some quiet time at home. I was a tad apprehensive about flying alone with two kids for the first time, but thankfully, both my kids travel well. We did not make enemies of our fellow passengers. The kids and I got sick half-way through our visit, which added an extra level of challenge. Baby Girl did not appreciate being in an unfamiliar environment while feeling markedly subpar. I know this, because she would not let me set her down for a moment without subjecting the neighborhood to ear-splitting wails. Thus, my pictures of the trip are a little sparse. (If you’ve ever tried shooting photos while holding an unhappy baby, you know what I mean.)

Whatever the challenges, it is always worth it to reconnect with friends. Our kids are growing up fast, and Corin and Eleanor – just a few weeks apart in age – played together beautifully. Corin happily would have stayed behind at Aunt Lila’s house. These times make me wish I could collect in one place all my friends and family spread out across the globe, so we could be a part of each other’s lives in ways so hard to accomplish long-distance. Here’s to loved ones in far-away places; we miss you all.

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Why, yes, that is a backyard zip line. Thanks to Frank and Susan for an awesome afternoon!

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A lollipop, a tire horse swing, some sidewalk chalk on the pant legs: more elements of a very good day.

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“I’m King Herod’s solider!” (That Christmas story really stuck this year.)

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I call this series, “A Study in Contrasts: Happy Baby, Sad Baby.”

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Lina was sleeping. Also, I am clearly not a professional photographer. Getting four kids to all look at the camera and smile at the same time is an accomplishment well beyond my skills. Actually, it’s just my kid who won’t look at the camera and smile. 

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18 years of friendship and counting