SF/Oakland Day #4

Day #4 started with breakfast in El Granada with the family.  Uncle Thomas cooked up some french toast, bacon, and coffee!  It tasted yummy and my belly needed it.  I forgot to have dinner the night before.  I blame it on the time warp.

Uncle Thomas, Trevor, Colin, friend Teo(sp?), and I jumped in the van and headed into SF for a visit to the SFMOMA.  We met Mom, Juls, and John there and enjoyed an afternoon of art viewing.  The random rain showers brought a lot of people into the museum so it wasn’t as enjoyable.  The Photography exhibit was so crowded!  Luckily my favorite pieces had few viewers and I was able to stand in front of Lichtenstein’s Cathedral pieces and stare.

We enjoyed a late lunch in the Museum's cafe

We ended the day with a walk through Chinatown.  I always love walking up the hill and then down into depths of Chinatown.  We marveled at the $1.99 t-shirts, the 70% of entire store discounts.  Uncle Thomas was his true silly self and was shouting out, “70% off, everything must go!”  I bought a few little gifts for my lovely ladies back home and bought myself a few cute things too!

We parted ways at Union square hungry and tired.  The square was bustling with people ice skating and enjoying the holiday lights.  I had such a great two days!  It was so fun to hang out with my cousins.  I wish I could see them more often.

And of course a trip to California wouldn't be complete without sushi for dinner! Yummy


SF/Oakland Day #3 and #4

This is gonna be a long one folks……but what a great two days I had!

Heading into SF on the Bay Bridge

Friday afternoon took us into the city for a little bit to drop off a phone and head down to Half Moon Bay.  We enjoyed the Pacific views that are so very different from the ocean views we get back on the East coast.  I just can’t get over the wide expanse of water and unobstructed shore lines.  The Maine coast of course is a rocky shoreline dotted with islands.   This view of the sore is something I could never get tired of seeing.  Maybe I should move here.

After a drive down to the Half Moon Bay area, we stopped at Sam’s Chowder House.  Yes, I know, we stopped at a place that specializes in New England Fare.  But it was good food and offered beautiful views.  I enjoyed a gigantic lobster roll, raw oysters, and fried calamari.  YUM!

View from Sam's

Now onto one of the best parts of my trip so far….my California family living in El Granada.  My Uncle Thomas and his wife Anne have a cute home on the hillside looking out at the ocean.   Yes, I am in love with the view.  I am love with all of it out here!

My cousins were there too!  I hadn’t seen my cuz, Colin, in quite a long time.  I missed his cute face.  It was great to see all three of them and hang out for a bit.  We all sat around the kitchen table and enjoyed each others company and some wine. I ended up staying overnight while Mom, John, and Juls headed back to Oakland.

Trevor took me out for some fun with a few of his friends home for the Turkey Break.  It was a great time of playing beer pong and flip cup.  I wasn’t great at first but after a round I was brought back my skills from the college days.  It was a lot of fun.

And I think I am going to call it a night.  I am so tired!  I only got a few hours of sleep last night and we had a full day today.  I will share day #4 tomorrow!

SF/Oakland Day #2

Happy Thanksgiving!  It was a great day.  I was able to get plenty of rest last night.  I couldn’t keep my eyes open past 9pm pacific time and didn’t wake up until 6:30am.  Of course, even with the time difference, I refused to get up that early.






We all were up around the same time and started preparing appetizers and desserts for the Thanksgiving Feast at Ted and Rod’s.  I assisted in preparing the Pumpkin Pie and Apple/Cranberry Tart.   It was a fun time and I took more pictures then was necessary.  I kept saying, “I have to blog about this” every time we finished a step in the process.




After the fun tasks of baking, I was able to squeeze in a half hour of running on the treadmill.  Believe it or not, I was even smiling as I jogged away in place.  I simply couldn’t help but enjoy my view of the bay on the treadmill and the simple pleasures of preparing dishes with people I love.





When we arrived at Ted and Rod’s, I was awed by the wonderful home and breath-taking views they have looking out from the living room and deck.

The table was set up lavishly with a beautiful centerpiece with fall flowers, gourds, pumpkins, and candles.  The glassware reflected the gorgeous light from the sun.



The meal was delicious with many side dishes and tasty turkey.  Rod did a spectacular job preparing the meal.  I don’t think I could pick one favorite dish but the sweet potato wedges with a chili sauce was a great combination of tastes and my taste palette also loved the soup we had as a first course.

And the last picture is a view of our backdrop as we enjoyed our meal.  Dinner was followed by time spent in front of the fireplace enjoying the comfy atmosphere and full bellies.  Dessert was delish, and I was successful at following Juls pie-making directions.

A great day, spent with great people.  I am truly thankful!

SF/Oakland Day #1

My view of the clouds above Nebraska

I think the sky gods were smiling down on me today.  Well, maybe not at first.  I woke up at 3:45am at Caitlin’s.  She was so kind to put me up for the night and helped me print out my boarding pass.  I didn’t end up getting to sleep until 12am.  Hmmm…no wonder I am so tired right now.  I quietly got dressed and attempted to do something with my hair.  I was not successful!  Jumped in the jeep and headed to the airport.

I arrived a little early because of the new Airport security hoopla that had been in the news.  Everyone said I should get there early.  Well, I walked right up to Continental Kiosk and there was no line.  Checked my bag and walked up to the security.  Yes, there was a long line.  I was scared.  I was afraid it was all true.  The line moved so fast! I breezed through the line, emptied my belongings into the bins and walked through.

Well, if my luck wasn’t good already.  I had the entire row of seats to myself!  I was in the last row and it took me forever to get there.  I stowed my bag up above and sat down thinking my neighbors would be along shortly.  NOPE!  HAHAHA!  My row and the row next to mine had one passenger each.  Sweet deal considering I have the worst luck flying  My karma has changed!

View of the bay bridge from Treasure Island

I arrived safely at San Francisco International Airport and had great luck getting my baggage.  I walked up to the claim and the bags were coming out and my bag was the first one!  Juls picked me up with John and Mom in stow and we headed into the city for what Juls calls the “nickel tour”.  It is John’s first time here, so we headed out to Treasure Island to give him some photo opps.  The day was beautiful, with blue skies, and who knows what the weather in the bay area will bring.

We helped with some grocery shopping for tomorrow’s big Thanksgiving feast.  I will post more pics tomorrow!

New drawings

I have been a busy bee drawing almost every day!  That is a huge accomplishment for me.  I often times get caught up only doing what I need to and forget to stop and spend time doing something I enjoy.  I was driving home from school one day and started paying attention to things that I usually just drive by.  It made me think about how much I miss day to day because I am used to it or just take it for granted.  Since that day, I have been making a point of paying attention to everything that happens.  It just amazes me how much we all miss when we just go through the motions of our daily lives.

I am also trying to fit “creative time” into my routine when I get home from work.  So far, so good.  Most of the time it is sitting on the couch with the tv on and my sketchbook and markers out on the coffee table.  I am pretty good at drawing and watching tv.  Not sure how I do it, but it works.

Drawing was always  more of a chore for me, mostly because I didn’t think I was ever really good at it.  This past year, I have discovered a style of drawing that works for me.  I always felt that drawing was suppose to be realistic and precise.  Well, after eight years teaching elementary art, I realized it is more fun and more challenging to draw with a more whimsical, child-like approach.

Hopefully I can get some more posts up with more snapshots of my work.  Enjoy!