Casey scored three goals at her last soccer game! Not bad for a defender?!
Friday, October 05, 2007
We had a great time with Sue. She and Casey painted clay pots for a good part of the day. That's her thing ... painting clay pots. These little pieces of art spot not only her yard and her home, but her friend's yards and her friend's homes as well. They're a lot of fun to look at, and sometimes disturbing (the homage to her dead cat comes to mind) ... anyway, they had a lot of fun doing that while I forced myself to work a while ...
Then we had lunch at Oakland's new Whole Foods (yum-o!) and headed to the dog park for a day o' fun. The backstory is that Sue got her first dog, a greyhound puppy named Stella (STE-LLAAAAAA), and she takes her to the dog park daily. We searched for a dog park like this for-EVER when we were in Florida last year - it was right on the beach ... had a great sunset view ... people everywhere, and of course, dogs!
We hung out there for a couple of hours and watched a beautiful sunset (note Stella in the bottom left corner :)
Once the sun goes down in northern California it gets COLD! So what did we do? We went for ice cream! I forget the name of this place, but man did they have good sundaes. Sue and I lost a bet on whether or not this woman would finish her colossal bowl of ice cream (she did, for the record), and we went home fat and happy (well, I was fat and happy anyway).
That pretty much wraps up our trip to San Francisco! We're already keeping an eye out for cheap airfares so that we can go back.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Casey wanted absolutely nothing to do with Alcatraz. She'd heard stories of ghosts and sharks circling the island ... finally she decided that she'd give it a shot and we're both SO very glad we did.
Alcatraz was really amazing. It was sobering, and interesting, and a little bit spooky all rolled into one. We did a group tour and an individual audio tour, which consisted of a prerecorded guide with background noise that was reminiscant of the "good old days" when Alcatraz was open. You could hear the inmates whistling at you as you walked down the hallways, the doors slamming in the distance, forks clanging in the dining hall, everything. All while being guided around the entire prison and informed about what everything was.
We took a ton of pictures, of course, so be sure to check them out on our Flickr account!
The last time I was in northern California was 1995 when I met Geardaddy there (swoon) for some kind of symposium he was participating in. I loved it then and I love it now. I'm definitely going visit before another twelve years pass this time.
We flew into Oakland Wednesday night and met Sue at The Rose Suite, her little one bedroom apartment set aside for out of town guests. This was the cutest little place. It was perfect for Casey and me! There was a small bedroom, bath, and kitchen area that opened to an urban courtyard and our very own lemon tree.
Thursday morning we woke up, and I tried using this coffee maker contraption with disastrous results. So we threw on our clothes and off to Starbucks we went for a hot chocolate and venti latte. I think I'm going to have to donate a small coffee maker for future occupants of the Rose Suite.
After I had my caffeine fix, we cleaned up and headed off to Fisherman's Wharf to meet Kathleen for lunch.
I didn't visit this place when I was here the first time, but I so wish I had. Unfortunately we only had a couple of hours before we needed to check in for our Alcatraz tour, but Kathleen helped us to make the most of it.
First she took us to see the Sea Lions. There were dozens upon dozens of them, barking and knocking each other off their platforms. It really was something to see:
So we hung out there and took a few pictures (you can check them out on our Flickr Account), then we headed to Neptune's for lunch. It was a great restaurant with an amazing view of the Bay and Alcatraz. They even had clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, which of course I devoured. Diets are out the window when you're on vacation :)
We decided to walk off lunch on the pier and hit a few stores to pick up souvenirs and what have you. There was a great hat store with the craziest stuff. Casey picked up the perfect accessory for crazy hat day, which is an annual event at her school :)
We also got to see the Blue Angels! It just so happens to be Fleet Week there now, so we got so see them practicing for the big show. Unfortunately we'll be gone for the actual event, but just watching them fly around us for a couple of hours was amazing (and loud loud loud!)