Thursday, May 19, 2011

Final Leg of Spring Break - San Francisco and Easter

Better late than never!  It's been a month since spring break and I'm finally getting the last segment of the trip up on the blog.  I actually had this done a week ago but the photos kept going weird when I posted and I had plenty of other things to worry about so I just saved it as a draft until I could get a few minutes to finish.

Anyway, we love the Bay Area.  I've always been enamored with San Francisco and was about to move there before Jared and I decided to get married and that would mean another year in Boston.  So Jared treated me to a wonderful honeymoon in San Francisco before his final year at MIT.  Our job hunt during that last year took us all over the country but when an opportunity arose in the Bay Area we jumped at the chance to create a permanent honeymoon in such a great place.  We spent 6 years there.  We bought our first home there.  All our kids were born there.  We explored the redwoods and the coast and the city with lots of babies and toddlers in tow.  We try to head back every chance we get!

We loved the chance to enjoy time with Jared's sister Kathryn and her husband MJ plus with my sister Charity.  Nice to have two sisters in the area.  Kathryn and MJ let us all stay at their lovely home in Oakland/Piedmont (a home that felt like a second home to us the whole time we lived near them - we spent lots of time with them and their great kids who've all grown up and moved on now).  And we got to see Charity's really cool house that she shares with roommates and have her as our personal tour guide of the city.

My amazing sister Charity now lives in San Francisco and it was so fun to enjoy her favorite spots which turned out to also be some of my favorite places. This is at Coit Tower, a spot Jared and I grew to love on our honeymoon.

At the old Ferry Building, we enjoyed the fabulous Saturday market and all the great samples of both food and interesting people. We were all quite entertained by wonderful street performers and by a little group of naked people riding past us on their bikes!
We went to a pancake breakfast at the church by the temple for Kathryn and MJ's ward. MJ was the master of the fluffy pancakes using the recipe their son Will perfected as part of his science fair project that won him an award on the state level.
Charity showed us a glass elevator that offered wonderful views of the city out to the bay.
We rode up and down again and again. Great times!

We rode the old streetcars that go up and down the Embarcadero.  I love how they recycled old
streetcars from around the world  - there are cars from Italy, Chicago, St Louis, all over.
The kids think riding on public transportation is about the coolest thing ever.

Driving across the good old Golden Gate is always a thrill and sharing the joy of so many favorite places
with my dear sister who loves it all as much or more than me was so much fun.

So Oliver wasn't happy and my hair looks weird.
But we we did get a family photo at the Golden Gate! 

We had a great time dying eggs with Jared's sister Kathryn and her husband MJ (the Pritchetts).
They were the perfect hosts, as always - amazing food, lovely accommodations in their beautiful
old house, excellent conversation, such kindness to the kids.  We miss living near them and it was
so great to be with them for Easter again after we were together for Easter each year while we lived
in the Bay Area.

Easter Morning egg hunt in the lovely Pritchett garden
Love those calla lillies - miss them.  We had so many of them in our yard in San Jose.
Love how everything grows like crazy everywhere in California.
A rose in the Prichett garden - I miss all the rose bushes we had at our house in CA.
Nothing like a perfect rose.
So Isaac doesn't look his best but this is the only photo I got of the Santa Clara ward building.  It was great to go to our old ward in Santa Clara for Easter Sunday. So fun to see so many familiar faces even though it's been 6 years! Such fond memories of this ward where I got to give service like crazy as Relief Society president and got to receive service like crazy when our twins were born and we had 5 needy preschoolers including two newborns. So many kind and wonderful people. That building feels like home big time.

This was our little house in San Jose. Jared and I bought it for what seemed like an astronomical price at the time ($349,000) when we were pregnant with Ashton. We sold it almost six years later for $725,000. As well as proving to be a great investment, it was a dear little home (and it's a lot cuter on the inside). We brought each of our kids home to this house after they were born at the hospital right down the street. We loved its big windows and hardwood floors and fruit trees and nice big fenced backyard, and perfect floor plan for a young family. We put in a new kitchen ourselves - tiling like crazy at midnight with sweat dripping (no air conditioning) as we raced against time to get it done a few days before Isaac was born. The bushes we put in, the trees we trimmed, the flowers we planted, the play structure we built in the backyard - it's all still there - they haven't changed a thing - but everything's sort of overgrown. We ran into some old neighbors and it was great to get caught up on the neighborhood.
This is at the cemetery down the street from our old house where all the kids learned to ride their bikes and where we'd go for walks all the time - such a lovely, peaceful place and no traffic to worry about.  Driving through there, I could almost see myself pregnant with the twins, pushing the double stroller with Isaac and Eliza while Ashton rode along on his bike. Behind the kids is what they always called "the tree tunnel."
After our jaunt to our old stomping grounds in San Jose, we headed back to Kathryn and MJ's
 for another Easter Egg hunt with the local missionaries and MJ's niece and two nephews.
Gotta love an egg hunt - especially when these eggs had been blown out and filled with
 fruity pebbles cereal - fun surprise, Aunt Kathryn!
We enjoyed a truly delicious and beautiful Easter dinner with the Pritchetts, the missionaries
and some of MJ's family.  Great people.  Great times.  Thank you Pritchetts!
So it was a wonderfully action-packed spring break and I'm so glad I finally found a few minutes to capture at least a bit of our good times in the Bay Area.


shawni said...

Looks like such a great trip! I'm so glad you got to go.

mom said...

Everybody looks so happy. Fun to be back to your old stomping grounds and with the great Kathryn and MJ family!

Kim M said...

saren, i'm just stumbling across The Power of Moms...and now that I'm a Mom too I'm glad I found it. Your photos made me miss the Bay Area too! We moved to Texas 6 months ago and I can't wait to go back and visit =).


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