Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Surprise Trip to SF!

I have the greatest husband ever!  Last weekend, he surprised me with a weekend vacation in San Francisco for just the two of us!  It was the best!  As it worked out, he had to be in Oakland during the beginning of the week for work.  He was supposed to fly home on Wednesday night, tell me about the trip on Thursday morning, and fly back out to San Francisco with me Thursday evening.  That was the plan.  But you know, things rarely go as planned!  His flight home to Denver on Wednesday night was cancelled due to hail and tornados that were especially bad out by the airport.  So he called me Wednesday night and told me about the trip, and we decided he should just stay put and I would meet him there the next day.  
I was so surprised, though!  Adam had arranged everything--flights, hotel, rental car, dinner reservations, without me knowing a thing!  He planned to leave our kids with my Uncle Kirk and Aunt Kendra in Broomfield.  Only three times in (almost) nine years of marriage have we left the kids for an extended period.  So I was a little concerned about that, especially for Annie, my little shadow.  But I was beyond excited, too!
My flight ended up getting delayed by more than two hours.  I was SO nervous it would be cancelled like Adam's had been the night before!  But finally, at almost midnight, I was airborne!
Adam had scheduled an Alcatraz tour on Friday morning.  I woke up to a slew of wonderful happy birthday texts, reminding me that it was in fact my birthday, and I was 30 years old.  It was a wonderful way to turn 30!
Alcatraz was so interesting!  Neither Adam nor I had been there before.  We took a tour in which we learned about all the escape attempts that had happened on the island.  Then we took an audio tour of the actual prison.  I really felt like I learned so much!
On the ferry heading to Alcatraz
"The Rock"
The Common Showers
Alcatraz Jail Cell 
Inmate #578 :-)
In "The Hole" (Solitary Confinement)
On "The Rock," with San Francisco in the background
After we were done on Alcatraz and were back in San Francisco, we headed to pier 39.  We had a yummy lunch of clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls, and browsed around the pier for a while.  Then, since we had been up until 3AM traveling, we headed back to our hotel and took a nice, long nap.
We set our alarms so we wouldn't miss our dinner reservation--a birthday dinner to remember!  We went to Scoma's on Fisherman's Wharf, and it was some of the best sea food I have ever had in my life!  The restaurant was right on the water.  It was both beautiful and delicious!  This was seriously such a foodie trip--most of the highlights can be measured in food!
Scoma's Fish Receiving--just across a little alley from the restaurant.  Now that's fresh fish!
On the Wharf

We walked around Fisherman's Wharf and did a little more window shopping, and then we decided to catch a trolley to Union Square.  As we were waiting for the trolley, we caught the most glorious sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge.
While we were on the trolley, our driver had me come stand up in front and the whole carload of people sang "Happy Birthday" to me.  They were terrible.  And it was awesome.  
Once at Union Square, Adam indulged me by shopping with me at H&M, where I chose out a couple things.  Then we went to the Cheesecake Factory for some Oreo Overload cheesecake.  I'm telling you, this trip was all about the food!
Union Square
On the way back from Union Square, we stood on the outside of the trolley!  It was a bit nerve-wracking to be standing on a tiny platform with my heels hanging off while traffic drove by right next to me, but it was SO FUN!
Selfie on the Trolley!
We got off at Lombard Street, just so we could see it.  It was seriously one of my very best birthdays, ever!
Lombard Street

The next morning, we rented bikes and cycled across the Golden Gate Bridge.  As wonderful as all the food was, this was the real highlight of the trip for me.  Adam said it was like a "bucket list" item that he never even knew he had until after he had crossed it off the list!  That pretty much sums it up!  It was AMAZING!
I was really that excited!
It was amazing!
On the other side! 
So Iconic!
We biked into Sausalito--an adorable little town on the North side of the bridge.  We had lunch at a great restaurant right on the water--more way yummy food!
We walked around Sausalito, and then caught a ferry from there back into San Francisco.  I will note that I was ALL for cycling back over the bridge, but Adam vetoed that idea.

Once we had showered and relaxed at the hotel a bit, we walked back down to Fisherman's Wharf.  We ate more clam chowder in sourdough bowls at Boudins--oh so good.  We bought some souveniers to take home to the kids, and then walked around Ghirardelli Square.

No trip to SF would be complete without a stop at the Ghirardelli soda fountain!  Yep--more food!  Adam and I each ordered our own sundaes, but neither of us could even come close to finishing them.  But seriously, it was one of the best things that I have ever put into my mouth!

On Sunday morning we attended church in a little tiny ward that was right inside the city.  It was awesome, and also made us feel very blessed to be in the ward we are!  We flew home Sunday afternoon.
I probably gained 20 lbs. in three days, but I don't regret a single moment of that trip!  It was the perfect way to spend the weekend--with the person I like best, having fun and making memories together.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Family Room Update

My latest project was painting/updating the family room.  I feel like it was the biggest and most time intensive project that I have completed in this house to date.

I had a friend who told me that it's possible to actually spray-paint the gold trim on fireplaces to give it an updated look.  I used masking paper to tape everything off, and sprayed it with a heat-resistent spray paint.  It was SO easy.  Seriously.  Even with all the taping, it didn't take me more than half an hour to make this transformation.

I'm not a fan of oak.  And after I finished my living room mantle white, I knew the family room mantle and built-in shelving would soon follow.

When the previous owner painted, they left the overhang over the mantle white.  It looked really bad.  So when we painted the walls, that overhang got a fresh coat, too.  We actually unintentionally went a shade darker on our wall color, but ultimately I really like the contrast between the wall color and the white trim.

I'm not trying to be unkind, but whoever painted this house before us did an AWFUL job of it.  They didn't tape anything off, and there were (and still are in the places I haven't got to yet!) paint drips all over the basebards and door and window casings.  So before I could paint the walls, I had to sand and re-paint all the baseboards first.  Maybe it sounds silly, but that's actually my favorite part of the whole finished product--seeing the clean line between baseboard and wall!

It was WAY much work, but I am so glad I did it!