Tag Archives: San Francisco

Behind the Beginning Scenes

So, if you have been reading, you all probably know that I have discovered that I am carrying around a little lemon, which has now turned into an apple.

{Source}

Binks and I are super excited about new development.  I have been really excited because I finally got to share it with you.  You have no idea how much I wanted to tell you as soon as I found out – at 6 weeks.  However, I really did want to wait until the time was just right and I felt a bit secure in the pregnancy to reveal this wonderful news.

What did we do when we first found out?  We went to grab breakfast.  What did I get?  Lunch.

Then, as it turns out, you’re not supposed to have cold lunch meat.  Crap.

We told our parents at 10 weeks – on Mother’s Day weekend – right before San Francisco.  We did it for two reasons – one obvious, one delirious.

Obvious:  Mother’s Day turns out to be Binks’ dad’s birthday so it was perfect.  We got Happy Birthday Grandpa (we got one for my dad too as we didn’t want him to be card-less) and Happy Mother’s Day, Grandma for both moms.  Needless to say everyone took the cards and just put it on the table.  This is what happens when you give things to people in the middle of eating.  Second, my mom thought I was joking like usual and calling her old.  Third, it took my dad to thoroughly read his card and my sister to squeal reading over my MIL’s card.  Finally!  And, then I started crying – like a damn fool.  🙂

Delirious:  This would be the first grandchild on both sides.  Aka – the parents go nuts.  I can’t handle that.  Hence, two days after we told them, we hitched a ride to California and didn’t have to face the news until we came back!   By then, the family has already self-implode with the excitement.  🙂  I came back to calmness and logical questions.

Can I tell you?  No morning sickness.  You heard right.  Just a bout of nausea at first, which was what prompted me to initially take the pregnancy test.

It seems like I was meant to have this baby.  I mean, I don’t have these wide birthing hips for nothing.

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Filed under Health, Life, Pregnancy

My First 100th Bay 2 Breakers!

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that Binks signed us up for the annual Bay 2 Breakers 12K.  This year was especially special because it was the 100-year anniversary.  Pretty crazy huh?

The only other race I’ve participated in was a 5K.  I walked/ran it.  We had every intention of walking this as we had not properly trained to walk/run or run it.  We also had every intention of sticking together, because with a sold-out 50K participant race, you will quite easily lose one another in this massive event.

Now, the 12K amounts to about 7.5 miles.  I wasn’t worried about that.  Binks and I walk about 8 miles per day on a vacation just touring a city.  We’re insane like that.  But, San Fran is not just any other city.  If you have climbed any of its streets, you know what I mean.  I was winded after one.

So, when I heard/read that the B2B has a 11.5 grade incline known as the dreaded Hayes Hill, I was worried.  Real worried.  I can walk but after my experience with San Fran hills, I was shaking.

Despite my worrying, we started.

It was a beautiful day too.  I enjoyed the weather.  I enjoyed the scenery.

I enjoyed the costumes.

I enjoyed the lack of costumes.

Mind you, I was warned/aware of the nudity.  But, I never got used to it.  All I could think about was chaffing, sweating and odor.  No one said my thoughts had to make sense.  It kept me entertained.

Which is exactly what I needed to conquer the Hayes Hill Beast.

This picture does not do it justice.  After you walk for 2.5 miles, there are 5 blocks of hills.  One right after the other.  So, me, being me, climbed one hill right after another.  And, before I knew it, it was done!  I can tell you that it was a proud moment for me.  🙂

Finally – the finish line.  And quite well for my standards.  I don’t run and have never walked a 12K.  I didn’t practice all that much for this 12K (meaning the days before, I walked about 2-3 miles a day with my dog).  I maintained a 3 mph pace and was done in less than 3 hours.  I was quite pleased.

Although this finish line is a bit of a farce for me as a walker because you do have to walk about another 2 miles to get to the vendors and collect the medal.  So….I paced and timed and measured myself.  All in all – that day, I walked 9.9 miles.

It was a glorious day.

Afterwards, I went back to my hotel, showered, packed up and headed out for the road trip.

But, not without food.  We stopped for sandwiches just after getting out of San Francisco.  We found a local place in Pacifica called Colombo’s Delicatessen.

Binks had the Sicilian, which consisted of italian sausage and ricotta cheese.

The peppers made this sandwich.  Yes, that is my bite of HIS sandwich.  I believe in sharing.

I had the chicken Parmesan sandwich.  I usually don’t order this but it was their special for the day and I had to try.

Can I say saucy-licious?!

The best part was the bread.  This family owned and operated shop bakes their own delicious soft bread.  It made all the difference.

Although, I didn’t know it was going to be so huge so we saved the other half for later.

And, then we were off down the coast with nothing but blue skies.

What’s the craziest/longest/most challenging race you have completed?  Why was it so crazy/challenging for you?  How did you feel after?  How did you prep (physically and mentally for the race)?

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Filed under Bread, Lunch, Vacation

Wrapping Up San Fran

I’m 90% sure I could spend a whole month in San Francisco and still have more to see.  So, I think the best thing to do is just to move here.  Ah…I’m in love.

The weather is magnificent.  At first, my Dallas-acclimated-body was not ready for the cold (and neither was my coat-less packed luggage). But, after some time, I really got used to it and realized it’s more of a breeze and less of a harsh cold like I have encountered in Dallas, Chicago or Boston.

All in all, I visited one of the most beautiful places ever – both inside…

…and outside (the city).

Ate delicious food.

{A carne asada super burrito from Mission’s Taqueria El Farolito}

All wrapped up by a walk through Chinatown.

Next up is the road trip from San Fran to San Diego.  Remember the to-do list?  Let’s see how much Binks and Olie gets done.

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Filed under Vacation

San Fran: Day 2 – How I Budget My Vacation

This trip to San Francisco has been a dream trip of mine.  I have been planning this trip since Binks first went to San Francisco and said he wanted to move there eventually.  That was 3 years ago.

Just like my wedding, all dreams come with a price, and this girl has to budget her dreams.  I’ll be gone from May 12th – May 18th and that means a lot of hotels, a lot of eating out, a lot of gas, a lot of excursions and a lot of miscellaneous.

Tip 1: Save on hotels.

During this trip, I’ll stay at 4 hotels.  In total, I have paid $120.  How?  Well, when I had my dream wedding (at a Marriott), I accumulated a lot of rewards points that I used up for this vacation.  Every hotel night has been ‘paid for’ by my Marriott points.  The only hotel I have paid for is my hotel at Monterey.

And, I used Priceline for that.  Priceline is my best friend when I don’t have points saved up.

Tip 2:  Book hotels that offer free breakfasts. 

Especially when breakfasts include delicious oatmeal with toppings for a waffle bar.  I loved this bowl with some chocolate chips, strawberry sauce, walnuts and a banana.  Delicious!!

Tip 3:  Balance overspending with left over breakfast.

That title makes no sense.  I know.  On day 1, we ate out for breakfast (at the airport), lunch (Boudin), and dinner (Firenze at Night).  We spent more than we expected to spend.

So, in an attempt to balance out that damage to the wallet, I made some lunch with breakfast items.  Meet my lunch for Day 2.

My favorite sandwich – the pb&j, with half a muffin that I shared with Binks.

Tip 4:  Pack snacks.

Tip 5:  Take advantage of natural (free) sights to see.

Meet my close encounter with death – the Twin Peaks.

I climbed up one and thought, I’m going to die – either of loss of breath or the wind blowing me onto the road below.  But, just looking at the second Twin made me think, I had to conquer that beast.  Once, I did, the view was worth a million bucks.

Mind you, we splurge on things here and there, but it’s all about the balance to ensure that we aren’t left with nothing when we get back to reality.

What do you do to save money on trips?  What do you splurge on?

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Filed under Breakfast, Cookies, Vacation

I Woke Up At 3:00 a.m. So United Could Sleep In

Remember when I said my flight to San Fran was at 6:30 a.m.?  In order to get to the airport on time without panic, I had to get up at 3 a.m.  So, I got up at 3:00 a.m.  Then, I get to the airport and find that my 6:30 a.m. departure was delayed to 8:42 a.m.  Reason:  The pilots need to sleep before the flight.  I understand the legal ramifications of pilots and sleep, but how this could not have been anticipated is beyond me.  Needless to say, there was a lot of uncomfortable airport sleeping.

But, I got my second run once we landed in San Francisco.

Because we landed prior to check-in, we went straight to Fisherman’s Wharf.

As Binks and I were quite famished by the time we landed, we stopped off Boudin for a quick lunch.  While waiting for lunch, we were happy to see what was next door.

I ordered the California Veggie sandwich for lunch.

The sandwich was exactly what I needed after the flight.  Yummy bites of cucumber, tomatoes, roasted red bell pepper, pepper jack cheese, sun-dried tomato spread, onions and balsamic vinegar really made this sandwich the deliciousness that it was.

Binks got the half special: (1. half sandwich and 2. half soup).  Of course we had to try the famous clam chowder.

This sandwich totally reminded me of this.  Boudin, you really did not hold back at all on portions, did you?  Binks and I should have just split a meal.

After our large lunch, we walked.

And met a new friend.

We took a boat cruise tour, and enjoyed sites that we could not fit into our trip to San Fran this time around.  Like Alcatraz.

We walked to the Ferry Building but only to realize that the Farmers’ Market had closed. I have had my heart set on a bit of a Frog Hollow Farm pear.

After wandering, we checked into our hotel and rested.  An hour later (fighting any and all temptations to just fall asleep for the night), we left the hotel room to tour around more…and eat dinner.

After some considerable Yelp-ing, we found Firenze by Night.  This was one of the best Italian meals I have ever had.

I ordered the eggplant dish (the name of which I cannot remember).  Basically, it’s breaded eggplant, layered with caramelized onions, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.  It’s heaven on a plate.  Although my picture doesn’t do it any justice at all.

And in the north-eastern portion of my plate, Binks shared his ravioli with meat sauce with me.  This meal was magical.  So magical that it stopped Binks in his tracks from just hoovering his food in 5 minutes.

After this hectic day, it’s time to unwind with some mindless TV and much-needed sleep.  Good night everyone!  🙂

Are you a clam chowder fan?  Have you tried Boudin?  Any suggestions in the Bay Area? 

A big thank you to Rice Kernel’s mom for the Bay area suggestions!  🙂

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Filed under Bread, Italian, Vacation

Where’s Olie?

Other than being bombarded with work, I have been busy planning my trip to San Francisco to San Diego.

Here’s what I got so far.

It’s a work in process, of course.  Binks looked at the list with wide eyes and asked, “You did leave room to deviate here and there, right?”  I laughed at him.  I plan on making this into a more detailed Excel sheet.

And, since our flight is so very early in the morning, which requires me waking up at times I usually fall asleep, we will be using our dear friend Parking Spot, which Binks and I used religiously when we were long-distance.

Thank goodness for coupons.  (Tiffany would be proud.)

Thank goodness for guides.

Budget travel tip:  Check out your library for travel guides instead of buying them.  As the library usually allows you a month to check out books, you have enough time to keep the book for pre-travel research and use during the trip.  Just make sure not to damage or lose it.  🙂

Planning a road trip is definitely harder that I envisioned but I’m very excited to see what adventures we run into.  And, I’m excited to share everything with you, as well!

So tell me, what’s your travel tip?  Have you taken a road trip?  Advice?

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Filed under Life