Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Off to Canada We Go!

We're headed off to Canada for a few days.  I'll get back to posting when we're home again!

Bye bye!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

San Francisco's Chinatown

Last time our family was in the San Francisco area (see here) we visited Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, and the Golden Gate Bridge then called it a day.

This time I had a few more areas I wanted to see, one of them being Chinatown.  After Jim took care of some work this last weekend, we set out to see, "a city within a city."  I was not disappointed!

We parked our car close to the pier, and started walking in the general direction of Chinatown.  The walk was probably a good mile or so.  We weren't sure we were heading in the right direction, until we heard some zithers, lutes, and fiddles being played, along with noticing the signs in front of buildings changing from English to Chinese letters.

Our first stop in Chinatown was at a park.  There was a little playground that caught our childrens' eyes.  Since it was their vacation too, we decided to stop and let them play for a bit.  It was so fun to see our little blondies running around with Chinese children.  All my children saw were children.  Other children  = instant playmates.  So, around went our blondies with their new found friends.

I saw a fabulous looking group of older ladies sitting on a bench at the park.  I tried to be sneaky and snap their picture by pretending to take a picture of Tralee.  I'm sure each one of these ladies has a story to tell.  I wish I could hear them all!  Besides from resting on a park bench, there were people playing games, meditating, and listening to the live musicians playing their instruments at the heart of the park.  I LOVED the energy there!

I dared Jim to join in this group practicing Falun Dafa.  He declined.  If we had more time, and no children around pulling on my legs while asking for a drink, I would have liked to give it a try!

Street lamps in Chinatown

I could have spent ALL DAY LONG exploring each and every crevice of this part of San Francisco.  Jim did not share my enthusiasm.  We are polar opposites in so many ways!  How we ended up together, I'll never know (remember this post?)!  On the drive home from our trip, Jim saw a little stream and said, "I could spend all day just fishing and exploring in that stream."  I told him that's how I felt about Chinatown.  He looked at me like I was crazy!  I returned the look.  Then we both started singing Paula Abdul's, "Opposites Attract" making up our own lyrics that went something like, "I like big cities, while I catch stream-trout, but when we get together it just all works out!"

  We're both dorks.  

That's probably why we work out so well. . . that and the whole opposites attract thing.

Anyways, after exploring (a tiny bit of) Chinatown for a little while, and eating at a fun little restaurant, the children (and Jim) were ready to go.  Jim also had to get back to work, so I threw in the towel and promised to come back someday to explore a little more.  I'll have to bring someone who shares my enthusiasm for the city life, as my partner for eternity only tags along to amuse me, and because, you know, he loves me!  It's a lot like how I wait patiently for him to catch, "just one more fish" on our (mostly his) outdoor excursions, because I know it makes him happy -- even if the bugs are biting, the sun is sweltering, and I swear I just heard a bear galloping towards us.  I do this to amuse Jim, and because, you know, I love him!  

On the walk back to the car we saw people riding in a trolley.  That is one thing I still need to cross of my San Francisco to-do list.  Next time for sure!

We let the kids throw a penny in the fountain pictured below.  Then Hunty starting running all around it.  I snapped a picture.

We also let the kids chase pigeons around.

The building below is a YMCA.  Are ya freakin' kidding me?  Look at the architecture!  I love San Francesco for the architectural diversities alone - not to mention all the other cool stuff to see and do!  I mean, this is a YMCA!  Sigh.  They just don't make 'em like they used to, do they?

Before we had to drop Jim back off at work, I made Hunty and Jim pose for a picture in front of the Bay bridge.  We crossed this bridge almost everyday to drive into San Francisco, as our lodgings were in Oakland.  Why Oakland you ask?  Well, all the hotels were booked in San Francisco for that weekend due to the U.S. Open Golf Championship.  There were a few hotels available, but they came with a price tag that was a little too much for Jim's work to cover.  So, we earned some street cred by staying in Oakland.  What what!  Jim also took BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) into work a few days so the kids and I didn't have to drive him into San Fran during rush hour.  

Fun Fact:  Did you know BART goes UNDERWATER?!?!  It zooms right through a tube on the ocean bed!  Ka-RAZY!  It was stuck underwater during the 1989 earthquake.  I WOULD NOT like to be stuck underwater in a tube!  Therefore, I will probably never ride on BART.  Just sayin'.  Jim said he wasn't too worried about it.  So brave!    

Do you like Jim and Hunter's facial expressions below?  It was their rendition of "Blue Steel" from the movie Zoolander.  If you ask me, these two boys are really, really, ridiculously good looking.

That's about it from our get-away.  It was a short lil' trip, but a whole lot of fun!  I hope to do it again sometime soon!


On one of our nights in the Bay area we stumbled upon an Italian restaurant called Francesco's.  There was a big sign that adored the place which read something to the effect of, "In business for over 43 years!"  The decor looked like, it to, had been in business for just as long.  There were old family photos, grandma's parlor room-esque furniture, grapevine lights, and other fun decor for the eyes to behold.  I LOVED it!  I love kitchy, family-run, unique eateries. 

As soon as we arrived, Jim and I started talking to each in (probably horrible) Italian accents.  The kids joined in.  I was able to get Hunter saying, "I-a like-a Francesco's!" in his Italian accent.

We filled our bellies with yummy eats like a Fritto Trio appetizer (fried zucchini, eggplant, and artichoke hearts) served with Francesco's homemade tomato sauce, spaghetti with sauce, and minestrone soup.  All menu items were delicioso! 

We had a fun family date night!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Zoo Day

I took the kiddies to the Oakland zoo on Saturday while Jim was at work. I went back and forth with whether we should go to the San Francisco zoo or Oakland's zoo. In the end I went with Oakland. The reasons being, there were elephants (Tralee always wanted to see one), it seemed like the perfect size for me to manage alone, and I read the animals seemed to have better treatment there.

We weren't disappointed. Our zoo day was a lot of fun!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

We're in San Francisco!

The kids and I flew into San Francisco on Wednesday night to spend some time with Jim while he's working here.

The first part of the trip was a little rocky. Tralee woke up on Wednesday morning and wasn't acting like herself. She didn't eat much and just wanted to sleep. A little later she threw up. Yikes! Of course this would happen on the day we were supposed to fly. I immediately texted Jim and told him to pray for Tralee as I was not going to take a sick child on an airplane. I also called my mom and requested she do the same. Then I started her on an essential oil regiment and gave her some other medicine. By the time we were supposed to fly she seemed in fine spirits.

Once we were on the first flight Tralee began to look a little tired again. She tearfully asked to please sit by me, and the nice stewardess who seemed in tune with our needs asked the man next to me to please move so we could have the whole row to ourselves. Thank you! Tralee was able to sit by me, and soon fell asleep on my lap. About 20 minutes later she started to cough. The coughing lead to. . .puking! I had the barf bag and baby wipes on the ready, so all was contained, and I don't think anyone even noticed the ordeal. The same stewardess helped us, and was super nice about the whole thing. Tralee and Hunter both fell asleep the rest of our time in the sky and we made it to San Francisco in one piece!

The first day here Tralee had a fever and was nauseous. We stayed in our hotel room. Hunter got a little stir crazy, but was pretty good. Tralee slept most of this day, poor little dear. But, all the rest must have helped because by Friday morning there was no fever or pukage. Hooray!

I waited a bit to be sure, but after Tralee scarfed down a huge breakfast, then started dancing around the room I felt safe to leave our hotel.

On Friday afternoon we met up with my cousin Meagan and her three cute kids. We spent the day exploring Golden Gate Park. It was a lot of fun, and Tralee was awesome!

Friday night I found the Full House painted ladies by Alamo Square! I was super excited about this. I probably waisted several hours of my childhood watching the shenanigans that went on on that show. Although, was it really waisted time when I learned phrases like, have mercy, how rude, and Cut. It. Out. (accompanied by the appropriate hand gestures)? Good times.

Now that everyone seems to be back to normal, I think we're off to have more adventures!

Since I'm typing this on the ol' iPhone, I'm not sure where the photos will end up (top or bottom of the post, or in what order they'll be in). Oh well, I'm just gonna go with it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I started making a group of digital art prints for Jim and my anniversary.  The plan was I was going to hang them as a set of three somewhere in our house before our anniversary.  I never finished.  Part of the problem was life in general. . . I got busy.  The other problem was, I couldn't decide between two prints.  

I knew I wanted a (kind of) primary color theme.  I also knew I wanted a SLC temple print (where we were married), a favorite couples print, and lastly a tree printable.  Jim and I carved our names in a tree when we were first dating at one of our special spots in Logan Canyon, so I wanted something of that nature.  

The first tree-ish print I created had just our names with a tree trunk-ish background.  Then I saw some prints online that incorporated birds and trees into the name carving, and I liked that as well. . . so I made one like that also.  Now I can't decide which of the tree themed ones I like better.  I created two mock-ups of how they might hang together, and I ask you, dear reader, to please let me know which one you prefer.  Leave a comment, if you have a moment.  I just can't decide.

Here's possibility #1 with just the tree trunk:
 Here's possibility #2 with the trees, birds, and carving:
 Here are all the prints a little closer:
The print above incorporates some of Jim and my favorite couples. . . including us!  I can't take credit for this idea, I saw it on Pinterest or Etsy or something like that and I thought it was marvelous.

The print below is where we were married.  I took an actual wedding picture of us, and made the silhouette from it.

 And lastly, here are the two I can't decide between:

Which one?  Any opinions?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Payette River Day

On Friday we drove into nature, and spent the day with the other Jacobs family playing by the Payette river.

Here are a few pictures from our day:
Jim bought the kids each a treat when we stopped at a gas station on the way up.  Hunter was pretty excited about his sucker.
Tralee is our little daredevil.  She has no fear.  She kept going into the water, and this time of year the water was cold and high with a strong current.  We thought a life jacket would be best for this little munchkin.  
Jim caught a lizard.  It kept the wee ones entertained for a bit.
Jovie loves lizards, can you tell?

Building something in the sand
Cute baby Anson.

The water was frigid.  You can tell by Jared's face that it wasn't too pleasant to be in.  Lil' Oakley was a trooper to go in!  Tralee, Jovie, and Jim went in as well.   I had no no plans on swimming this day.  Hunter shared my thoughts on the matter. 

Chow time

Hunty was just fine and dandy with playing on the big rocks by the shore.

My cute baby boy!  I'm told he looks like me.  I would have to agree.
Jim and Jared are close friends and cousins.  Can you tell?  Should I be worried? :)

It was a beautiful day playing in nature!  The kids sure had fun!  The girls pretended to be mermaids.  Jovie was the mother mermaid.  Every time Tralee said, "Mother" I asked what she wanted only to be told she was talking to Jovie.

Cute sisters!  Joves and Oaks
Anson looks weirded out by Jim.  It doesn't take much for anyone to be weirded out by the man I've chosen to spend eternity with.  Jealous?

We had a lovely day playing with our friends.  On the windy drive home we stopped by a gas station that had a little fruit and veggie stand next to it.  Jim bought a huckleberry pie that was TO DIE FOR!  We also purchased some summer squash, garlic cloves, watermelon, cherries, and jalapeno jelly.  Everything was delish!

Our day was fantastic!