I look forward to carving pumpkins every year. My sister's family joined us Monday night and we ended up with these beauties!
Dave carved the awesome witch on the left for Hayley, Emily carved the pirate skull for Max and Adam, Sean and I collaborated on the "R" in the middle, I carved the Mickey Mouse for Jdawg, and Sean carved the spooky guy on the right. And yes, we all used patterns!
And just for kicks I had to take a picture of our pumpkins on the doorstep.
Since we've been married we've been able to travel all over the United States together, but it's usually been for work or other reasons. It was due time for a family vacation! We've been wanting to visit Yosemite National Park for a long time and thought Sean's fall break was the perfect opportunity. We decided to spend a few days in the park and end our trip in San Francisco.
I was a bit nervous when our trip started out with Sean losing his wallet in Winnemucca, NV. I was also a little worried about the drive, but we invested in a dvd player and it seemed to do the trick.
We made it!
Yosemite was GORGEOUS and did not disappoint. It was amazing scenery everywhere.
Bridal Veil Falls (No, not the ones in Provo Canyon):
Falls are behind us towards the left:
Swimming at our hotel (Sean and Jackson are in the middle):
Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia trees:
Sean and Jackson are standing at the base of the tree on the left:
Standing inside the tree:
The Grizzly Giant:
Jackson ate it on the trail back to the car and skinned his knee. I didn't realize until we got back to the car that he bled all over my white shirt when I carried him. Needless to say, I was grateful there was a gift shop in the parking lot with a cute Yosemite shirt for sale. I was worried I would have to spend the rest of the day walking around in a shirt with a wolf howling at the moon!
They are sort of hard to see, but there are two waterfalls in this picture. One on the right in the center of the photo and one in the center on the bottom.
Glacier Point (Half Dome on the left):
This last picture was pre-Jackson's meltdown. I may or may not have finally caved and given him Sean's Dr. Pepper (much to the dismay of another tourist) :) Really though, I cannot complain. He was so well behaved the majority of the time and I was really glad he was with us.
Also, it was really nice going in the off season. I hear it's crazy in the summer. Traffic for us was minimal and we never felt crowded. It was a great beginning to our trip and we're glad we finally went!
After spending a few days in Yosemite it was on to San Francisco!
The drive was fairly uneventful, though we enjoyed driving by all of the nut orchards. It was harvest time for pistachios and almonds. We ended up stopping at a farm and buying a bag of each. Yum!
Sean scored us a deal on a sweet hotel in downtown San Francisco and it was close to everything. The trolly stopped one block away and there was an enormous mall right across the street (with the biggest Nordstrom I've ever seen) :)
Waiting for the Trolly:
Oh crab... how I wish I could eat you!
Of course we had to go here:
Where we stopped here:
So we could eat this! mmmmm...
Jackson was pretty fascinated by how the chocolate was made.
He was also fascinated with chasing the pigeons.
Somehow we lucked out with amazing weather. When I think of San Francisco I usually think of it being cold and windy. Temperatures were in the 80's the entire time we were there!
We took a ferry trip around Acatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. We had headphones and listened to little tidbits about the history of San Francisco. We all loved it.
View of the city:
This is the only picture we got of the whole family in front of the bridge-- Jackson was more interested in running around the boat than posing with his parents.
Checking out the seals at Pier 39:
Merry-go-Round at Pier 39:
Where we ate dinner at Fisherman's Wharf:
The food was awesome. We looked at reviews before heading down there and we were not disappointed. We had to laugh because usually people eat clam chowder when they visit San Francisco. We are a bit of an oddity though since I couldn't eat it because I am allergic to shellfish and Sean couldn't eat it because there was flour in the soup. He ended up getting shrimp (which I can't eat) and I ended up getting pasta (which he can't eat) It was a good compromise I think! ;) Not to be forgotten, Jackson must have been starving that night because he ate every single bit of his macaroni and cheese (and it was not small) and then started digging into my dinner! I think I could live off of the sourdough bread alone.
View from our hotel window:
Watching cartoons after waking up:
After we got going we walked a few blocks over to a place called Sear's Fine Foods. I guess they are sort of known for their breakfast. The atmosphere was cool and we all loved our food.
Of course we had to take a trip down Lombard street:
Jackson was asleep when we took this one:
We also went through Golden Gate Park and drove over to Sausalito for lunch. We finished our day with dinner at an awesome pizza place called Amici's. They had gf crust for Sean, which he said was really good. They bake their pizza in stone hearths and it was some of the best pizza I've had. Sorry for the play-by-play of everywhere we ate, but I want to remember them for when we go back!
The next morning we stopped at the ferry building marketplace before heading for home. I bought a sourdough round (which I consumed nearly entirely on my own for the next week) and Sean bought some yummy gf cinnamon rolls and focaccia bread from a bakery there. We made a quick stop at my uncle's in Sacramento and then bid adieu to the sunshine state.
I'm so glad we had the chance to take a family vacation. We had such a great time exploring and spending time together.
And guess what was waiting for us in the mail when we got home-- Sean's wallet! Some nice guy found it and mailed it to us :)
APX threw a big employee party a few weekends ago and we were lucky enough to go. Nitro Circus was the entertainment and all I can say is those guys are crazy!
Travis Pastrana was really fun to watch and they all did some insane stuff (including their grand entrance where they sky dived into the arena.) APX transformed their front lawn into an arena by hauling in truckloads of dirt-- so cool. My favorite part was when the guys were pulled on bmx bikes behind a dirt bike up a jump. At the top they jumped off of the bike and tried to launch into a huge plastic ball with a tiny opening. I couldn't believe it when one guy actually made it! We went with some friends and once we finally found seats, enjoyed the free J-dawgs. We only had our cell phones on us, but we did catch a few videos-- sorry, the video from my phone (last video) is not very good quality!
A really fun night and not something we'd ever get to see on our own. Thank you APX for an awesome party!
Our pumpkins are what I am most excited about out of everything from the garden this year. It has been so fun watching them grow and turn orange.
When we went to harvest them on Sunday we were sad to see someone decided to hack into one of them with a garden hoe (the pumpkin on the left). Probably some teenager who had too much time on his/her hands. I'm displaying the good side until it rots! :)
These two are still perfect though!
I figure now we have a good excuse to still visit a pumpkin patch to pick out another one :)