Monthly Archives: November 2013

Silicon Valley

We ended up having an extra half day, which we decided was due to the fact that we are very efficient travelers!

I had planned most every day, so I let Bob decide what we were going to do!  He quickly decided on going to Silicon Valley to see Google Headquarters and the Computer History Museum.

So we got up early, packed our suitcases, took a bus, then a train, then walked 2 miles(with our luggage) to the Google Headquarters.

Bob was in absolute HEAVEN and states this day was his favorite of the whole trip.  I put a smile on my face and enjoyed it because he did!

I was instructed that these are the versions of Android (Cupcake, KitKat which is the newest, FroYo, Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, HoneyComb)

Bob with Kit Kat the newest version

And the big Android

Then we walked back to the Computer History Museum

Which of course, Bob really enjoyed!

There were some things like this original NES and Game Boy that caught my eye

But I’m pretty sure Bob enjoyed it more than me!

From the museum we walked back to the train station, took the train, then the Bart, to the airport.  It was a busy day but I was happy Bob enjoyed himself so much!  We had such a great vacation, but as always were happy to sleep in our own bed once we got home!



San Francisco Part 4

The next morning we got up early to catch the ferry to Angel Island, which was the West Coast Immigration Station.

The bay (and you can see Coit Tower)

This was as close to Alcatraz as we got during the trip (and Bob was so bummed…)

Once our ferry docked at Angel Island, we walked towards the Immigration Station

The detention center, where immigrants were detained for weeks and weeks.

Fog bell on Angel Island

The detention center was newly restored….

The living quarters are depicted here with bunks stacked 3 high

There were so many characters engraved into the wall which was neat to see how they had survived so many years

We were on a tour that with a college class and our tour guide was fabulous….so knowledgeable!

One of the famous poems written in Chinese on the wall in the Detention Center

Bob got a kick out of this bird and kept trying to get closer.

We were a little discouraged with Angel Island since everything seemed to be closed once we got out there, you couldn’t rent a bike, eat lunch, or take the tram so we ended up just waiting for the ferry to take us back.  We did really enjoy the tour of the Immigration Station though.

After docking, we walked along the bay towards AT &T  Park and walked beneath the Bay Bridge

There was only one tour in the morning, but it was still neat to see the stadium from the outside!

We did pick up a pair of wristbands for my dad at the gift shop though

(and I did find a SF Giants squished penny at Fisherman’s Wharf so I was happy!)

Willie Mays

That night we ate at the Buena Vista in Fisherman’s Wharf

Bob LOVED this French Dip but I was disappointed in whatever I ordered (which I no longer remember)

San Francisco Part 3

Our next full day we devoted to the Golden Gate Bridge and Park (for all of you who have been to SF know that they are not actually connected, the Park came first and later the bridge was built)

So once again, we WALKED down to Presidio Park for some gorgeous views of the bridge.

And were greeted with these signs….of course!

(a note on this picture….everyone who knows me knows that I RARELY wear tennis shoes unless I am working out….but we calculated the previous days walking and it was nearly 10 miles! My feet were tired and needed a little more TLC than my Toms or Sperry’s could give!)

Battery East

And another quick video

It was so neat to walk on the bridge…but there were SO many people and so many bikers that were new to biking that it was kind of scary to me!

Fort Point from the bridge

The skyline

From there we took a bus to Golden Gate Park

Cute little turtles! The park was WAY bigger than I had thought….and we quickly got tired of walking

And it was frustrating because we didn’t have a good map of how the park was laid out

We then went to the Japanese Tea Gardens which were beautiful!

There were HUGE koi fish!

This scarf is the one I bought in China Town

The Tea Gardens were so beautiful!

Our next stop was to the Painted Ladies, as this row of Victorian Homes is known as….

I absolutely LOVED them!

And since we were only 10 or so blocks away (and it was on our way back to the hotel) we walked to the real ‘Full House’ house from the television show!

Unfortunately, the current owners are remodeling so this was what we got to see when we arrived…bummer!

Once again, we walked down to Fisherman’s Wharf for dinner and a beautiful sunset overlooking the bay!

We stumbled upon Boudin Bakery and walked through their neat museum. This was a favorite of ours and really had a TON of information on the history of San Francisco as well as the bakery.

And it overlooked part of the bakery which was really neat.

We had dinner at the bistro there and I got a clam chowder bread bowl which was fabulous!

San Francisco Part 2

From the Ferrari Park (not sure exactly which park it was), we walked to the Cable Car Museum.

I loved the architecture in San Francisco!  Each street was gorgeous!

The museum was free which was awesome and was way cooler than I had anticipated!

These are the actual cables that run beneath the streets and are in continual motion!  It was hard for me to wrap my head around this fact!

One of the original cable cars

We were both tuckered out by this point in the day, and sat and watched a video for about 15 minutes….it was a much needed break!

What else could we have done but ride a cable car after visiting the museum!

We were smooshed on the inside but did manage to get a few pictures after we reached the end point!

We had a quick lunch at Chipotle and then continued onto China Town

I bought a fun scarf (which you will see in upcoming pictures) while we were here!

Then we went to Bob’s Donuts and Pastries…because with a name like that how could we miss it! (Actually, we had found a Groupon for a t-shirt and donuts so that was the real drive)

The donuts really hit the spot!

We ate dinner at this awesome little burger place called Super Duper Burgers and it was probably my favorite place we ate!

They had these awesome garlic fries and amazing malts! YUM!

San Francisco Part 1

Our first full day in San Francisco was SO much fun…we started the day by walking down Lombard St to the famous crooked section

It was SO neat! Bob was bummed we still didn’t have our rental car since he wanted to drive on it!

And we were happy to exchange cameras with a sweet woman so we got a picture of the two of us!

From there we walked down to Fisherman’s Wharf and to Ghiardelli Square.

Where we had this delicious ice cream sundae! (It was an early lunch for us) 🙂

They had an area set up where you could see how they make their delicious treats

It was SO good…

I later snapped this photo (we spent nearly every evening at Fisherman’s Wharf)

The starting point of one of the San Francisco Trolley Car

And we walked onto Fisherman’s Wharf

We visited the Musee Mecanique which was an unexpected find for us!

They had hundreds of old arcade games from the early 1900s

We were just amazed at the number of displays (all are functional and use either 25 or 50 cents to operate)

Lauffing Sal is one of the showpieces and is beyond creepy! Hahaha…this clown is over 6 feet tall and just laughs when you put money in….

We walked down one of the piers to see an old Navy ship and submarine

Another shot of Alcatraz….Bob is still sad at this point that we didn’t get to go on our tour

Checking out the bay

Pier 39 is famous for the sea lions that inhabit the docks.

After an earthquake in 1989, the seals moved into the bay and slowly took over the docks and now are the sole inhabitants in this pier!

They are SO loud!

We then walked along the bay for a little ways

And enjoyed window shopping

I LOVED this crab at Pier 39 🙂

From there we headed to the Coit Tower

Which was built from the estate of Lillie Coit in 1933.  It is at the top of Telegraph Hill and is supposed to resemble a fire hose nozzle, as Lillie was known when she was a child as the Firemen’s mascot.  She used to run up Telegraph Hill with the firemen and encourage them.

We took the elevator up to the top

and the views were gorgeous!

From the Coit Tower, we headed back down the hill

The roads in San Francisco can be SOO steep and we easily broke a sweat every time we walked somewhere!

You know it is a steep road when the sidewalk turns into stairs!

From Coit Tower, Bob wanted to head to this park that he could see….

there was a Ferrari festival going on and were probably 30 Ferrari’s parked in the park!  I couldn’t believe that Bob could tell the cars were Ferrari’s from the top of the Coit Tower!

Bob was in HEAVEN!

This was just part of our day….more to come!

Back to San Francisco

The next day of our trip was spent traveling back to San Francisco where we stayed for the remainder of the week.

I realized on our way out of the Avenue of the Giants that I hadn’t taken a single video of the trees….so I quickly shot this as we were driving

Our first stop was at the One Log House

Which was built in 1946 and toured the US on a trailer as a camper (it has a kitchen, dining area, and bedroom)

You have to get a special code now to unlock the door…we were excited!


Sleeping area for two

Dining area

Our next stop was probably my favorite…the Chandelier Drive Through tree

It is SOOO cool! And definitely the best drive through tree!

And of course I had already scoped out that they had a penny machine 🙂

And we drove through a second time so I could video 🙂

We made it back to San Francisco, returned our rental car, and made it to our hotel which was near Fisherman’s Wharf.

We walked down to the bay where we watched the sunset. It was gorgeous!

Our first view of Alcatraz (which we were so disappointed by the fact that due to the government shut down we couldn’t go even though we had already pre-purchased tickets!)

Love this picture!

We had pizza at this cute pizzeria that night but didn’t take any pictures….

Avenue of the Giants

Due to the unfortunate timing of our trip, the government happened to be shut down, which normally would not have posed an issue….but we had plans to go the Redwood National Park. Fortunately Humboldt State Park is just south of where we were staying (in Eureka, CA) and proudly boasts some of the largest trees so we simply made a slight adjustment to our plans.

The Immortal Tree (along the Avenue of Giants) was our first stop, this tree is scarred from a massive flood, scorched from a fire, and shows notches where lumberjacks started to cut it down….and it is still living!

Looking up the Immortal tree (the axe is where the tree was cut, the fish shows how high the floodwaters were)

Bob and I in a cut and hollowed Redwood.

We stopped at the Eternal Tree House, which is a hollowed out Redwood that used to have a souvenir shop inside.

Now you can just walk in, but you can kind of get the feel of how enormous these trees are!

We enjoyed a home-style breakfast at the cafe there

I struggle to show these pictures because they really do not do the trees justice and it is impossible to see truly how BIG they are!

This is the Founders Tree

It is one of the larger trees in the State Park

There were a few massive trees that had fallen, and they literally just pull out of the ground!

This fallen tree is the Dyerville Giant (and what you can’t see in the picture is that Bob is standing at the other end!)

We went to two different Drive-Through trees…..this is the Shrine Drive Through

Our tiny rental Yaris barely fit through!

There were paint stripes on the inside of the tree from bigger cars that had tried to fit through…

They also had a drive-on tree

And some cute tree houses

After spending the day at Humboldt, we drove to Eureka for the evening.

Our first stop was the Carson Mansion which was built in 1884 by William Carson (who lead the lumber industry). Unfortunately it is now privately owned but is absolutely beautiful!

We ate at a neat restaurant right on the harbor and it was fun to see the boats coming in for the night.

After dinner we went to Fort Humboldt State Park

Here they had some old lumber relics like this steam donkey that was used to help get the trees out of the forest after they had been cut down

We went for a gorgeous walk on the beach that evening…

Happy 2nd Anniversary!

Two years ago today Bob and I got married, and it was the most perfect day either of us could have imagined (well maybe minus a few small things).

Love these pictures so much! Thanks to Robert Michael Photography for capturing our wedding perfectly 🙂

So like last year (click on link to see last years post), I will do a short recap of our 2nd year of marriage!

We took our anniversary trip to Aspen (last year) in December and had a great time skiing/snowboarding!

One of the most beautiful places I have ever seen was Hanging Lake in Colorado!

We celebrated our 2nd Christmas as a married couple!

And cheered on the Packers and Vikings A LOT! (our marriage suffers between 2-3 days a year due to these games!)

Bob tried ever-so-patiently to teach me how to kite board…but I just ended up being pulled along most of the time

Bob, on the other hand, is awesome! (maybe this year I will give it a go again)

We took LOTS of walks, and Stillwater is among our top places to go!

We cheered on the Twins!

And once again, celebrated a lot of weddings with our friends and family.

Then summer came, and we were in heaven!

Doing all things summer related, and celebrating our beloved 4th of July together with family!

We worked really hard on our slaloming….

And can’t wait to get back out next summer!

Of course we celebrated the end of summer with a trip to the MN State Fair and ate lots of yummy food….

And celebrated the marriage of Bob’s sister, Misti, to Ashton this fall….

We took an amazing vacation to California, and visited lots of places like Bodega Bay

The Giant Redwoods in Northern California….

The Golden Gate Bridge….

And the Japanese Tea Gardens….

As I look back on all of the wonderful times, it is impossible not to reflect on the most difficult time in my life that occurred this summer with my Dad being critically ill. Bob was my rock during this time, and spent so much time driving back and forth to Wisconsin, spent hours on the phone with me, and held my hands during countless prayers. I am so thankful for the amazing man the Lord put in my life, and praise Him each and every day for my wonderful marriage.  We look forward to many, many more years together!

Pacific Coast Highway

I know I am almost a month behind in posting…but things have been SO busy around here between work and vacation(s) I haven’t had a second to catch up!

Bob and I went to California in October and had such an awesome trip!  We flew into San Francisco, where we rented a car and headed up the Pacific Coast Highway toward the Redwood National Forest.

On our way out of San Francisco we stopped for a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge which was SO neat! (We just happened to be on vacation during the government shut down so the parking lots were closed surrounding the bridge which meant I had to run really quickly while Bob illegally waited for me in the car!)

Driving across the bridge was such a neat experience!

Our first stop was Bodega Bay where the Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ was filmed and we stopped at the Potter School House that was in the movie.

Oh my goodness was Bodega Bay stunning!

I really couldn’t get enough of the gorgeous cliffs and water!

We headed on our way north from Bodega Bay and stopped at various places along the way….

There were NUMEROUS times throughout the day that Bob would pull over onto one of the ‘scenic look’ pullouts so I could snap a picture….he was such a trooper to put up with me!

Our tiny Yaris was perfect for the winding roads…and Bob had so much fun driving along the coast.  He says it was one of the highlights of the trip!

The coast was so beautiful!

Point Arena Lighthouse

It was early on in our vacation so Bob actually would pose for me….

Point Cabrillo Light Station

The sun was just starting to set and was so beautiful!

The rest of the drive was very scary for me as it got dark quickly and the last hour and a half were spent driving through the forests and up to Eureka, CA.  We were so happy to get to the hotel and were excited for the next day’s adventure to see the Redwoods!