Small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


Mom's Visit

Life's been so busy lately, I haven't had much of chance to write. I'm way behind and I know I won't be able to catch up on everything, but I had to share my Mom's visit before anymore time had passed. She arrived on the first of April for for a last minute trip. Although it was unexpected, she was able to stay for 12 days and we packed the days full of so much fun stuff. 

As soon as she arrived, I picked her from the airport then took her to my favorite nearby lunch spot and introduced her to Japanese Charcoal grill. She approved! When we were done with lunch we headed to Pacifica and walked the Devil's Slide. It was such a beautiful day, I just had to take her to the ocean. After we finished we picked up Landon from school and spent the evening at home hanging out.

Saturday, Landon and I took her to one of my favorite places; the Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building. We walked around sampling all kinds of amazing food and then headed to Fisherman's wharf for lunch. At the wharf, Landon and her rode the carousel (because Grandparents can never say no) and they played on the musical stairs together for a bit. 

Later, we walked to Union Square to see the Tony Bennett heart and walked around Macy's marveling at their flower show inside.


Sunday, we took a drive down the coast. It was the most perfect day for a road trip. First, we hit up Pigeon Point lighthouse.

Adam actually got to fly the drone at Pigeon Point. Most established parks, won't allow it. Here's a shot of the lighthouse from above. I just love the perspective you get from the sky.

As we drove by the Elkhorn Slough, we pulled off to see if we could spot any sea otters. We had kayaked the slough last year (HERE) and knew how many populated the area. Sure enough, right next to the road was a mother otter and her baby. It wasn't a tiny baby and she was showing it how to dive for clams. Every time she would dive the baby would cry and then she'd pop back up and share her treat. It was so cute!

Next, we stopped in Carmel-by-the-sea for lunch. Despite having been to Carmel the month before with my Dad and Step-mom, it was so nice to go back. We even made our way back to the same Mediterranean restaurant, because the food was amazing and I had to share it with my Mom!! Fresh bread, perfectly seasoned kabobs, and free baklava for dessert. So good! After we stuffed ourselves, we had a lot fun window shopping and enjoying the town. 

After some browsing, we headed to Point Lobos State Park. It's one of our favorite places along the coast and I had always wanted to take my Mom there. With a bright, sunny day there is no prettier place along Hwy 1. Seriously!

We walked some of the coastal trails and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.  The colors in the water here are just phenomenal. It was the perfect day!

As the work week started, Landon and Mom got to spend some quality time together. They rode BART to some local playgrounds and had a blast hanging out at the house together. In the middle of the week, we had warm spell come through so I snuck a day off work and sent Landon back to school so we could have a girls day. With weather in the rare 80's, there was only one thing to do, get out on the water. 

First, we made our way downtown and walked to Ghirardelli Square. Since it was a long walk, we figured we should reward ourselves.

I used to not be a fan of Ghirardelli. I don't particularly love their chocolate, but after taking some friends on a cold day and trying a hot chocolate, I realized the error of my ways. I still hadn't tried any of the their items on their menu, so this time I was determined to put it to the test. I knew plain old ice cream wasn't going to do it. Instead, I ordered the Treasure Island a warm brownie sundae with plenty of hot fudge. Mom got the Sea Salt Caramel Quake Shake. They were both absolutely amazing!

Then we headed for the main event, a catamaran ride on the bay. We've been lucky enough to be out on the bay a few times already and I had taken my Dad out with this same company when he came last year. Despite having already been, this was the best weather I have ever had on a boat in the bay and sharing it with my Mom was wonderful. 

My Mom loves San Francisco and she loves catamarans and I'm so happy she finally got the chance to enjoy the bay. She even wore her hair curly and her flower child shirt. Doesn't she look like she belongs here?

When it was over, we hopped onto a cable car for a little ride up to Chinatown. Cable cars were invented in San Francisco and very popular with tourists. The views as you climb up the hills are just stunning. They are expensive and crowded, but totally worthwhile. Not to mention, it's just a lot of fun. 

We walked to North Beach and our favorite restaurant, Calzones, and then we browsed a few local stores before hopping back onto BART to spend the evening with everyone. It was a grand day!

My Mom then had a few days to herself to explore the city. Upon our suggestion, she took the Emperor Norton's Time Machine Tour and had a private tour with just her and the emperor. 

Before long, it was the weekend again. Mom loved the farmer's market so much she suggested we go back Saturday morning. It was raining a bit, but we still enjoyed it. If anything, having less people around made it even nicer. We shared a piece of strawberry rhubarb pie, sampled all the fruits, veggies, and other random foods people were handing out and got a bunch of goodies for later. We walked out with some jams, lemon curd (AMAZING!), bread, brandied plums and goat cheese all fresh and ready to enjoy for lunch.

We must have eaten a little too much, because after we got home and made our yummy lunch, we were all a little too tired to do much of anything. We planned to take it easy for a bit then head to the beach for a community beach party, but the rain got worse as the day went on so we chilled together at home instead.

Sunday,  we thought we'd be meeting my brother but his plans changed last minute so we hopped in the car and decided to drive to Sausalito for an impromptu day. The great thing about living in a large city is that something is always going on. I saw that a replica 1700's merchant ship was visiting for the weekend and I thought Landon would enjoy it, so we headed over the Golden Gate Bridge to take a tour.  It was pretty neat and maybe next time we will book a trip out on the water with it. Those are real guys hanging around the top of the mast by the way.

Next, I decided to take Mom to see Point Bonita lighthouse one of my favorite places in Marin. We drove the 10 minutes back to the coast and headed up into the Marin Headlands. Although she had visited this area on her first trip to see us, she hadn't been to the lighthouse. And no matter how many times you go, the Marin Headlands are always a treat.

After a little walk around the lighthouse, we made our way back towards the bridges. Although it was overcast and a little windy, it was still a clear day and with all the recent rain everything was so green. We pulled over a few times at the stops along the way to enjoy the views and snap some pictures. 

Although, I normally don't do it anymore, I decided to wait for a coveted spot at the first pull-off to show her the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Traffic can be horrible and people can be rude, but it wasn't long before someone pulled out and we pulled in. We took the short walk to edge of the headland to see the bridge up close. She just loved it.

By then, we were hungry so we made our way to Sausalito to check out what the town offered. Adam and I hadn't been to Sausalito so I had no idea where to go, but as we walked through town we saw a restaurant on the water and knew it was our place.

We had an amazing lunch in the fancy little place on a pier with views of the water, city, and the town of Sausalito. I just imagine myself living here in one of the houses on the hill. Come to find out Scoma's is a well know Sausalito staple. I only wished we had known about it sooner. 

We walked around town before bit then got some homemade ice cream before heading back home. Landon's sherbet might have been the best.  

Then it was Monday again and almost time for Mom to go home. We went to work and Landon stayed with her to have one more fun day with Grandma. That night, we celebrated the trip with a final dinner at Calzones, all four of us.

Last minute, we decided to take her to one last place she hadn't been to before and we made it to Treasure Island right at sunset.

I couldn't have asked for a better 12 days with Mom. We had so much fun exploring new places, enjoying some of our established favorites, hanging out around the house, indulging in all kinds of treats, and making lots of new memories together. That sunset over San Francisco was a wonderful way to end a wonderful visit.