Last minute trip...SanFrancisco 10.2011

10.15 & 16  Saturday & Sunday

well, to say the least, 1 1/2 hours is the quickest I’ve ever packed for a trip  

I usually thrive on all the pre-planning festivities of a trip...always pretty prepared...having researched all the fun, exciting & beautiful possibilities.  Don’t get me wrong....I love spontaneity & am not stuck on one travel agenda, I just don’t ever want to miss ANYTHING when I travel...but not this time  

I had a long layover in Denver, but made it into San Francisco about 11:45pm.  It was a warm night when I left the airport where Luke picked me up & we drove to a hotel in Walnut Creek (Pete & Shannon were staying with a friend who lives there), visited for about an hour, then quickly fell asleep in our hotel room.  Luke’s doing great & looks soooo good

The next morning, we met up with Pete & Shannon & just walked around & did a little shopping in the Walnut Creek neighborhood.  There was ONE store, I was really hoping to visit while in SF.  I “drool” through their catalog all the time, & have a gazillion dollars with of super cool clothes, jackets, boots, & other girl stuff in my fake internet shopping cart

And, as fate would have it....there was one of their stores right across from where we parked the car to meet Pete & Shannon!  

After just a little shopping (I actually tried on a ton of stuff, but was a “pretty-good” girl & just bought a super-cool but out of the ball park expensive pair of black pants), we took off towards downtown San Francisco

Luke is a really good driver with millions of cars flying by, zipping in & out of skinny little lanes, driving a stick on hills that go straight up (scaring away the guy that inched up too close behind him on that huge hill)  & avoiding wrong ways on one-way street (although I think there was a little chatter from the backseat on one particular street (eek!)   We picked up Sara, & headed for the Fisherman’s Wharf area...because Peter had a plan

Evidently, Pete watches the food network & has seen a certain food truck showcased.  So, after wishing he could try the food for the past 1 1/2 years, the food truck was serving up their chow at the downtown Farmers Market.  They all tried the food truck fare (a meat dish with potatoes & something about the meat juice all over the potatoes...I passed on all of it!)  I had a really good vegetable tamale & we all shared some fresh raspberries

There were all kinds of tomatoes, veggies & amazing flowers....& then there was this guy with orchids...really beautiful!

We didn’t really have a plan, but just walked along the bay towards the bridge.  The weather was perfect...warm, sunny, clear...unusual for SF weather, but we were all enjoying it

here’s my ONE picture of all of us...and I love it!  

The kids have grown up knowing I’m an out-of-control-photographer (I think that’s what they’d say), but I’ve tried to show a ton of restraint the past few years...anyway...this one is for Danny...I promised I’d take one just for him (we were all missing him, wishing he was there with us!)

Danny learned to Skype about 27 seconds before I left for the airport & in spite of the wind (too much noise) & the sun (not great for viewing computer monitors) & a poor internet connection (pixelating faces & voices breaking up)...we all Skyped.  And, even though the everyone was cracking up & thought it slightly crazy we were doing this in the park, I know Danny loved it & they did too...as close to all of us being together as possible

here are some random pics from the rest of the afternoon

We shopped a little at a giant-warehouse that sold athletic-everything, took another zooming ride through the city, parked & went to eat dinner 

We went to a place that served mostly Rogue beer, ordered dinner & sat around & visited & laughed...my favorite part of the day.  I am such a lucky girl...I felt so thankful that I had arrived in California at warp speed to end up around the dinner table with Sara, Shannon, Pete & Luke.  I snapped a quick pic & emailed it to Danny...we all missed him  

And, most wonderful (which I really already KNEW, it was just perfect to see it in person) is that everyone is doing great, loving life, & enjoying what they’re doing.  And, I know they were happy to see each other too

I’d been unable to make a final decision all day long about what my plans were for the next two days..mainly because the price of a rental car had doubled in 36 hours

Sara helped me out & found me a cheap car & offered to take the subway with me back to the airport so I could pick it up ..this saved the boys & Shannon an additional hours worth of driving when they still had about a 5 hour drive north  

So, not ever having been on a subway, I took Sara up on her offer.  It was that dreaded time of saying good bye to Luke, Shannon & Pete...so while the San Francisco traffic flew by us, we unloaded the car, everyone hugged each other more than once...& Luke’s little car zoomed off

After our subway ride, a short train ride from one terminal to the rental center & then a 5 mile shuttle ride to where the car actually was, I dropped Sara back off at the subway station, saving me the hour drive back north to downtown.  She’s an expert at public transportation & was going to meet up with some friends once she got back downtown 

So, another dreaded good-bye filled with hugs (but I’m getting better at not having eye-leakage while in their presence) & she was off like a rocket on the subway

I so appreciate Sara skipping some of her conference & activities to spend time with us, & the boys & Shannon driving all that way to San Francisco for an afternoon together....AND for Peter’s suggestion so I could be apart of all of it...and for Danny not minding that I’m a travel-junkie (plus he knows I’ll stop moping  around the house, at least for awhile, because I’ve been missing all the kids so much!)

And on that note, you really don’t want to know where I spent the night...it seems to freak out some of you...so lets just say it had been a near-perfect day & start the next page with tomorrow


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