Monday, March 22, 2010


(I don't really call it NorCal)

So here's the part we missed...
My brother fresh off the plane from Mexico

With his companion

and with my family.

We got there a week later.
My dad and my brother Tanner picked us up at the airport.
I didn't know Tanner was going to be there and it was so fun to see him again.
Really it was more exciting than I thought it would be
(and I mean that in a good way Tanner).

He got to meet Avery, rosy cheeked and all smiles from all the attention she was getting.
There was a lot of us.
The whole family, in fact.
10 adults, and 6 kids ranging in age from 0-6yrs.
Crazy. Messy. Loud. Chaotic. Overwhelming.
My kids loved every minute of it.

Here's the other half. (cuz half the grandkids are ours right now).
Real sweethearts.
Ha! Really they are though.

The very next day was Paul's and Alex's birthday, and we started off the celebration by going to one of our favorite spots in the Bay Area, Fentons.
Crab Salad Sandwich
and the Black and Tan.
Best. Thing. Ever.

We sang to Alex (and we spared Paul)

and then they opened presents.
Alex always gives a great reaction.

And this year Paul did too!

After lunch we headed to San Francisco to check out the California Academy of Sciences.
We had to park a few miles away (for reals) and luckily it was a beautiful day in Golden Gate Park - because that turned out to be the highlight of the visit.

The place is awesome but we went on the wrong day. So crowded you couldn't hardly walk, see anything, or get into many of the exhibits.
Don't worry my mom handled that - she got rain check tickets for the place. And Paul scalped ours. (Turns out he's not a very good negotiator)

After a wild ride home from the city (for those of us in my dads truck anyways)
we had a bonfire in the backyard and roasted marshmallows.

Then it was time for cake and (more) ice cream.

This little 4-year old was in heaven.

The next day was my brothers homecoming talk in church.
SO glad we got to be there for that.
Even if Paul said Avery and I looked like we were going to a funeral.

After church we spent some time posing for family pics in my parents backyard.
Do you want to move to California yet?

Betcha do now.

Sunday night we headed to Carmel, an awesome little beach town where we stayed for a couple of days.
Monday we did some scenic driving along the coast and these were the kind of views we got.

Paul got directions to a place in Big Sur where we could take the kids hiking down to the beach.
On the way we encountered this "Hazardous River Crossing"

We scouted it out...

and gave Paul the go ahead to take my dads porsche right on through.

We all followed suit, with my brother Tanner hanging outside each and every vehicle that went through. (And it takes a lot of vehicles to transport all of us)
Same old Tanner : )

This was the "hike" to the beach.
Not much of a hike but we had lots of babies and toddlers in tow.
It was gorgeous.

And the beach was even better!

No one loves the beach more than this kid - he had the time of his life.

We all did really.
It was a perfect afternoon.
(except for the part where Tiff's bag almost got washed out to sea)

The Sisters

My "original" family
wow. we're all grown up.

Alex doing what she does best - hamming it up for the camera with her one-of-a-kind faces

All day Paul and I discussed possibly moving to California...
you would have too : )

Our last day in Carmel/Monterey Paul and I left early to stop and see our old college buddies in Palo Alto on the way home.
(Great to see you again Logan and Emily!)
The rest of the family headed to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Noah of course couldn't pass up an opportunity like that, so he joined them.
And served as their personal docent, identifying every kind of shark and fish accurately.

In fact, I didn't see much of Noah on this trip period. He loved being with his Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins.

As you can see.

Another highlight of the trip for me was getting together with my best friend and roommate from college, Sarah.
What are the chances that she would end up living in the same city as my parents???
I mean seriously, the girl is from Canada.
We met up for lunch one day with just our babies. It was perfect.
We got to do a lot more talking than we usually do when we get together with ALL our kids (there are 6 between the 2 of us now).
Thanks Sarah, love you and miss you so much already!

As you can imagine we ate spectacularly throughout the week.
But nothing topped our "adults only" dinner in San Francisco at The Waterbar.

The trip went by all too quickly
(although maybe not for my mom, who'd had way too many people in her house for some time now).

Thanks mom and dad, as usual, for making it all happen
and making it all wonderful.

(Cuz it's probably the last time it will ever happen, right John C?)

We love you!

Just look at what you've done...


Faye said...

Thanks for the great post - you are truly a great story-teller. It brought the whole trip back to me. I'm ready to do it all again :) I am so glad you made all the sacrifices you did to manage to be here for the full-on reunion - it was so much fun with everyone!

Michele said...

I'm glad you posted this late because I got to re live it again when it isn't so fresh to me anymore. we miss you guys! can't wait to see you in june. I'm working hard on the basement so you can come play here too!

John said...

Sum....excellent post, seems like it all took place way too long ago, please come back and see us soon. I miss my grandkids a ton. Hopefully a permanent move to Ca is in your future.
Love and miss you guys.

Carrie Anne said...

oh i LOVE LOVE LOVE carmel & pebble beach &'d be so awesome to live there!!! what a super awesome trip with your family! it's so neat that all of you got to be there together...i'm sure your parents loved every minute of it!

Lisa said...

What a fun trip! You made California look tempting, and that's a feat in my book :) You guys have such a beautiful family - can't wait to see you next week!

Lori said...

So fun! I bet it was so hard to leave and get back to life. Cute cute family!

Sarah said...

Wow! You sure got a lot in while you were here! It looks like such a fun trip. Your pictures of the beach are absolutely beautiful, you'll have to tell me where it is :)

I can't even tell you how much I loved getting together with you. Or how wonderful it would be if you did move here... a girl can dream, right? At least I know you'll come back here to visit. I love it!! Come back soon! I miss you already :)

Randy and Tiffany said...

loved this post sister. perfect. I just re-lived the whole thing in my mind while reading your post..and it was awesome...except when my bag almost got washed out to sea.
now hurry and call me about tonights episode of Lost. I'm dying!

Lexie said...

Wow, it looks absolutely amazing and I love seeing your cute family. You almost made me want to move to California - it looked and sounded incredible. Plus, to have your whole family together, that is the best! Happy you had a great time and that you made it back safely (those flights with 3 kids can be a killer!)

Melissa said...

Cute post! And yes I do want to move to CA now. Gorgeous pictures! What is it that Paul got for his birthday?

Anna said...

Wow, what an awesome trip! I am definitely jealous - and YES I do want to live in California again. It is so beautiful there - too bad it's crazy expensive and the politics are out of control. Glad you had so much fun. We miss you guys!