Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy Holidays and Happy Travels

Some time has lapsed since I have last blogged, mostly due to the excitement of the holidays. We are now on the road through small towns in Georgia as we make our way to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to meet good friends for New Year's Eve cabin fun. We are currently in Helen which is a quaint little German inspired town at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. We have enjoyed relaxing and eating German cuisine. Yesterday, we visited Dahlonega which is the home of the Indigo Girls. The night before Cordele.

Lydia is growing just 4 inches short of being 3 feet tall. We noticed just this week that she two more teeth that have bopped through her gums in the further back. Her vocabulary is getting pretty big in both Spanish and English. She can say agua, baby, caca, hello, hi ya, mama, papa, daddy, happy, hat, apple, hot, and tata (which refers to my mom). She says no very well and will nod yes. She can also do almost 7 different animal sounds. She can point out her nose and mouth but is still a little stumped on which are the eyes. Not a day goes by that we are not amazed by her.

At the moment I just spent 20 minutes pacing the halls of our Bavarian styled Hampton Inn pushing her stroller hoping for her to drift into sleepland. She did in fact fall asleep but the moment we returned to the room she was awake again. Last night we just put her in her pack and play and she played until she fell asleep. Both Eliot and I fell asleep before her but the safety of her being less than an inch away in a safe space was enough to allow us to slumber. However when I woke in the middle of the night and check on her she was pantless. She took off her pajama pants and they weren't even pajama jeans. Thus the intention to have a different system this evening. Eh...maybe she was just hot.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 3: San Francisco

It was a rainy morning here in San Francisco so we made the most of it by taking the double decker bus tour. We got to see the entire city. It was perfect.

We made a stop of course at the Golden Gate which is neither golden or a gate discuss. But we drove over it which was amazing since it can swing 27 feet in either directions.

Lydia fell asleep in the bus so she missed this photo op from her ultra comfy stroller.

Afterwards we has a hotdog at Union Square and headed to Golden Gate Park which was built on sand dunes. The sun had come out by then so we made the most of it by admiring the interesting trees and architecture.

We visited the Japanese Tea Garden where not only did we see a ton of amazing gardeny thinhs like pagodas, giant Buddhas and bonsai but actually had Japanese Tea.

We finished our visit at the park by heading to first children's playground in the United States.

It was a great day and we were tired so we decided to head back before meeting Jessica and Heather for dinner. The park is big and the walk is long. We found ourselves in Haight-Ashbury with tired toes when a magic taxi appeared and took us back to the hotel. As I am resting I see that Jessica has posted a photo of a poster of our book that I must see! We get dressed and rush over to the convention center but the exhibit hall was closed. I tried all the doors and seconds before hanging my head the custodial crew came out of the hall. I begged for entry and was granted a moment. I zoomed through the giant room and found our publisher: Thomas Nelson and there it was.

What an amazing feeling! As I floated on air we grabbed a cab and had a terrific dinner catching up. A quick after dinner stroll to admire the Pier 39 Christmas tree before our trek home.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 2 San Francisco: Dinner

First of all Eliot and I are foodies. Second we really like Top Chef. Third the moment we decided to come to San Francisco we made reservations at Fleur de Lys Huber Keller's restaurant.

We began the meal with champagne and amuse-bouche of gazpacho and quinoa with chorizo.

As an appetizer I selected an Avocado salad and El a fois gras.

Next a seared scallop with fresh bacon. The fish course was so good we ate it before remembering to take the picture.

The meat course for me was a trio of lamb and for El the venison.

The cheese plate offered a well selected variety including a delicious goat cheese but a surprisingly addictive sharp cheddar.

Finally dessert with a chocolate soufflé and els a cheesecake, truffle and cupcake.

This last dish was compliments from the chef a last bit of goodies. My favorite was a mini lemon pie.

The food was wonderful. The best is eating and sharing with each the experience of trying completely new flavors. However fine dining with a toddler may not be the best idea but the staff was wonderful. The server happily brought Lydia milk. The bread boy was sure to give her her own plate. But Marcus, the wine guy, took her for a tour of the kitchen, filled up her milk and showed her pictures of his own girls. He was amazing.

Day 1: San Francisco

Our first day I was at a conference all day with high school religion teachers. So Lydia and Daddy spent the day together. The visited the Yerba Buena Garden park and the Creativity Children's Museum which happened to be across the street from where I was. They met me for lunch at a great tiny halal middle eastern place before returning for a well deserved nap.

In the evening we had dinner at Union Square at Burger Bar and then went to Chinatown.

The cool window display of vintage sowing machines was worthy of a picture by this craft lover.

Back at our room our queen does a little light reading.

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Day 2: San Francisco

We started the day walking back through Chinatown and we stopped at a neighborhood park. There were actually more adults there than kids. Folks playing chess and others actually doing exercises using the playground.

We then enjoyed the scenic walk and looking at all the great hills and neighborhoods.

We then spent the rest of the day at Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli Square. We saw Alcatraz from the pier.

We watched the Sea Lions.

And a cheesy pier show.

We explored the Hyde Historic Pier and Lydia napped.

While she slept we picked up some street art including we watched a little old Chinese woman crocheting her hat.

Golden Gate in the background.

Chocolate ice cream and super cute shops.

We finished the day at Fleur de Lys fine dining. Five courses of spectacular food which will need to be another entry.

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