Thursday, January 3, 2013

Holiday Trip

the famous Golden Gate Bridge

This year my family did something we never do...take a vacation over the Christmas break. The four of us flew from Michigan to San Francisco, California. It was the first time in California for my kids and about 15 years since I was last there. One of my co-workers, who owns a business there, warned me to expect rainy weather and boy, was he right. Despite the rainy weather, we had a great time.

Sausalito, CA houseboats
We stayed three nights in Sausalito, where my husband is enamored of the houseboat communities there. That would be a dream come true for him to be able to live in one of these.

Then we head about 40 miles south for a couple of nights, including Christmas, in Palo Alto. My son, who is in the middle of his high school swim team training, arranged to attend a practice at Stanford. While he swam 9500 meters in very chilly weather, at an outdoor 50 meter pool in the pouring rain, my daughter and I headed to the Stanford Shopping Center.  We dodged raindrops as we darted into the stores...more upscale than are typically found in our neck of the woods. My daughter bought a Kate Spade purse, at a significant, after-Christmas discount and she was thrilled.

We then trekked south to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a lovely drive, where we passed fields of brussels sprouts and artichokes. I was transfixed by the jellyfish exhibit at the aquarium.

Despite spending the day at the aquarium, my kids were in a serious mood for a sushi dinner back in Palo Alto.

Port Reyes National Seashore
Our final stop was back north to Bodega Bay. I loved the Port Reyes National Seashore. It was one of only two sunny days we had and the scenery was stunning. I wish we had taken the time to hike the Earthquake Trail, which follows along a portion of the San Andreas fault...but I only read about afterward. We did see some beautiful sights, though.

Sea lions plopped on the beach

On our last day, we headed to Healdsburg in Sonoma county, a pretty town chock-full of art galleries and restaurants. And there was a yarn shop, called Purls of Joy, which I think is a cute name. In this picture, you can see a sign advertising a 25% off sale. In the window, the igloo is made of plastic milk cartons, covered in cotton. I was relatively modest in my purchases...only two skeins of Noro Taiyo sock yarn.
yarn bombing in Healdsburg, CA

Rodney Strong winery, Sonoma Valley
 We visited a couple of wineries on our way back to our Bodega Bay inn. The grape vines look rather forlorn in the winter.

Kendall-Jackson winery

I appreciated this single blossom of color, although there is much more greenery in California at this time of year than in Michigan. We returned home to a coating of snow on the ground, a modest 4 inches or so...hardly anything compared to my friends in Vermont and New York who had to cope with 14 inches of the white stuff. My kids still have the rest of the week off from school, so vacation hasn't ended for them quite yet.

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