Tuesday, June 8, 2010

San Francisco

Over Memorial Day weekend, Jon and I got to spend a few days in San Francisco...without the girls. A HUGE thanks to the Luminatis for watching our little sweeties so we could have some fun in San Fran. What a blessing it was! We were amazed at how easily we reverted to life before kids. We stayed out late, took our time, walked a lot, sat and read, lingered over dinner, got sunburned, took a tour bus, endulged in happy hour, slept in late--the works!

We also had incredibly sunny and clear weather. What a change that was from our cloudy, overcast home! The first afternoon we arrived, we found our hotel, dropped our stuff, and went out to see the city. We boarded a tour bus and headed across the Golden Gate Bridge. Phenemonal! Considering it was completed in 1939, the thing looks fantastic.

Us and a million of our closest tourist friends, snapping photos at the overlook.

The next morning we got up and out to our tour of Alcatraz. It was simply amazing. The history that place has, as well as the views, were astounding. I didn't know it housed Civil War criminals in the 1860s, or that it served as a temporary home for American Indians who were trying to create a safe haven in the 1960s. (Some of you may remember that!) As the tour guide said, layers upon layers of history in one small place.

There's Jon, standing just below the open cell that housed Al Capone for most of his time there.

This is a little window inside the prison that the prisoners could see out of. Imagine being so close to civilization yet so far! Granted, Alcatraz closed in 1964 and the city looked a bit different back then, but you get the idea.

Standing in front of the cell block (we're facing it), looking back at the city and the Bay Bridge. See the seagull in flight? (Side note: Being the Raider-Hater that I am by nature of my hometown, I felt it my duty to stick my tongue out toward Oakland.) :)

This picture really disturbs Kate. It's hard to explain "prison" to a 2 1/2 yr old, then the next picture shows mommy in a prison cell. It's just a joke, Kate! (That didn't go over well.)

The infamous Lombard Street. The traffic was stop-and-go all the way up it. This is the less famous side, but it's the closest we got. Considering we were in a manual transmission, we opted for the road less traveled. That and the angle of the incline made our gas tank display 1/4 a tank lower than it actually was. Very scary!

The Painted Ladies on Steiner St. Remember these old Victorians from the tv show Full House? Jon was SO excited at the awesome parking spot we found that we were going to take our books and read on the grass. However, I took two steps toward the grass and found the freezing gale that almost took my breath away and realized I would never be warm enough. So here's Jon, taking a picture of his great parking spot that we held for approximately 2 min. (We did get better pictures of the Painted Ladies, but I like this one the best.)

An unexpected blessing of the trip was we got to see some Manet, Monet, Cezanne, Degas, and Millet that were on display in one of the art gallerys in Golden Gate Park. Definitely something we would NOT attempt with our little ones! And on the drive home down Rt. 1, we left in a fog bank. Here we are, south of Half Moon Bay, and we emerge from the fog. Gorgeous!

And that mountain waaaay in the distance (just above the horizon line) is Monterey! Home, sweet home, after a wonderful adventure.

What awaited us at home....:) (Not exactly at the moment of our arrival, but still.) Thanks again!


Anonymous said...

How fun to see your San Fran photos! We were delighted for you and thrilled for us to spend such fun time w/our girls. A blessing for all. Thanks to Kate + Ellie for being such sweet and fun girls...from beachcombing to trips to the park to lots of books and silliness, it was a joy! Pops even painted a pinecone w/ Kate. Nap time found us scrambling for the couches! Thanks Jon+Jen for the chance to be blessed! Love, G+P

Shari Baker said...

San Francisco is definitely on the top of my list for our next trip (in 2011, as we just took one). I am glad that you got to go alone! :)

Jon Luminati said...

How nice to see scenes of our great weekend while I'm plugging away on a final. I can see nice weather outside the windows of the library, but at least there are no bars on the windows ...

Nana said...

I love you pictures and info about the trip to San Francisco. It was very informative and such a fun time for the two of you. I remember when we went to Alcatraz I was so depressed. The realization that one would be in prison at that beautiful location where you could hear the sounds and smells of everyday life and the rolling waves and beautiful landscape and to be confined to that cold dank dark place, Oh, what punishment. How glorious that the sun was out and you got to see the city as carefree young folks. What fun! Aren't grandparents wonderful? They love the time with the grandchildren and you love the time away! Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us!

Cousin/Niece Riley said...

Aunty Jen,

I lost your adress and two stamps can you send me some more? Sorry!!! LOL

Riley Minnery said...

How was your weeknd. w/ Nana and Grandpa?Guess what Im going to be in soccer this Fall!!!!Yah Me!!!

Jen Luminati said...

Riley, that's wonderful about soccer this fall! Good for you. I will definitely send you another stamp and a letter soon. maybe you can send us a recent picture of you for our refrigerator? We'd love to see one of you in your soccer uniform. Please tell your family we said hi. We miss you!