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Archive for June, 2013

Like a good procrastinator, instead of packing for our flight roughly 36 hours away, I convinced the Dude that it was a great time to participate in a Euchre tournament.  We hung out with great friends, and met some very nice people.

#91:

Euuuchre!

Euuuchre!

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So many choices, so little time to decide…

#90:

To waterproof, or not to waterproof

To waterproof, or not to waterproof

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I’m still not sure if we had just lucked out with the weather, or if it doesn’t really rain on the coast, but even for our 5 days in San Francisco, the weather was phenomenal.

San Francisco:

We arrived in SF on June 1st, after a 2 connection flight, which is not the greatest way to put yourself in a vacation mood.  Nonetheless, we arrived safe and sound with all of our belongings, and immediately took the BART downtown, to find our accommodations.  SF was the only place on this trip that I booked through AirBNB.  It was our first time using it, so I didn’t want to run into any extra unforeseen trouble.  I had found us a place in Russian Hill, and it was really close to transit, which was amazing.

Day 1: We arrived to beautiful weather in SF, and after dropping off our things, we roamed the neighbourhood, searching for a place to eat.  We settled on Nick’s Crispy Tacos on Broadway, and got to watch some hockey and basketball simultaneously while downing some awesome fish tacos.

Day 2: One of my favourite things to do is ride the cable cars.  I know, it’s cliche and touristy, but it’s always a good time, especially if you get to sit/stand on the outside.  We walked down to the California line, which is the cable car that runs east-west.  The ride was great that morning.  It was still relatively early, and a Sunday, so there were barely any people and cars out, so the cable car ride was even better.  We went to the Ferry market to grab some breakfast and coffee, and checked out the wonderful views.  I’ve heard that there is usually a farmer’s market there, but it only runs on Saturday’s.  Boo.  We’ll get it next time.

Ferry Market

Ferry Market

We actually lucked out this time as well because the SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) was closing it’s doors for 2.5 years for renovations and new wings, and that Sunday happened to be the last day.  They had been running events since the previous Thursday, and on Friday before we left, I had found out that the museum was going to be free for the last 4 days.  So score for us!

Inside SFMOMA

Inside SFMOMA

It’s a nice gallery.  I had been here the last time I visited SF, so I had been there before.  It was just nice to see it now one more time in it’s ‘before’ state.

Afterwards, we wandered over to Union Square for some coffee and to sit in the sun, and then did a bit of shopping before heading back to chill out.

Chillin'

Chillin’

Day 3:  We started the day with pastries and a walking tour of Russian.  Man, those hills are STEEEEEEP!  But the views are fantastic.  After going through Russian Hill and Cow Hollow, we headed up to Fisherman’s Wharf to see the sea lions and for some New England clam chowder in a sourdough bowl at Boudin’s.  Yum. Then, we caught a bus to Coit Tower, which  has great views of the city.  Although I do feel bad for the guy that works in the elevator.  I can’t imagine what it’s like to just go up and down that elevator all day.  After that, we hopped on another bus and went through Chinatown.  It is supposedly the biggest Chinatown in North America, and really, it is pretty big.  We did a little more shopping around Union Square, and headed back to relax and watch some TV.

Arf, Arf

Arf, Arf

Day 4:  I had gotten us a coupon from Travelzoo for ‘Blazin’ Saddles’, which is a bike rental shop.  I had always wanted to ride across the Golden Gate bridge, so this was the perfect opportunity.  (Fun tip: The first year that the Dude and I met, he had actually taken part in the SF 1/2 marathon, which included a run back and forth on the bridge as part of its course.)  So we ate a light breakfast, and picked up some bikes and maps.  We  rode along the water, and then up across the bridge, and then down into Sausalito.  The ride is pretty good, mostly flat, some downhill, and barely any uphill.

GG Bridge

GG Bridge

After some sandwiches and ice cream in Sausalito, we decided to be somewhat ambitious and ride out to the entrance way to the Redwoods.  We sort of made it there, as we got a bit lost, but at one point, got back on the right path.  On the way though, we came across this community that was basically built into part of the woods.  It was the most amazing thing.  To see houses and garages built around the trees.  Fantastic.

After marveling at the sights, we rode back to Sausalito and decided to take the ferry back to Fisherman’s Wharf.  I did the calculation, and we had ridden 35km in about 4-5 hours.  And after the hills walking the day before, we were done.

By the water

By the water

That night, we treated ourselves to some West Coast fare.

In-N-Out

In-N-Out

Cable Car!

Cable Car!

 

Day 5:  This was our last morning in SF.  We met up with our contact to hand back the keys, and stopped for donuts before picking up our rental car.  I know that some of you will be wondering why we didn’t hit up Golden Gate park, or some more museums, but as this was a second trip for both of us, we had already seen some of these things previously, and I wanted us to take a more relaxed approached, as opposed to rushing around trying to hit up all the landmarks.

Instead of just heading straight to Monterey, we detoured through Palo Alto for lunch.  This is a nice city.  If I ever make lots and lots of money, that’s where I want us to retire to.  I really do like university towns/cities.  After I scarfed down my veggie burger, the Dude drove and I snoozed all the way to Monterey.  He tells me that the drive is nice =))

Mmm...burger...

Mmm…burger…

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The Dude’s family have a tradition of making something called ‘Biscuit Cake’ every time someone in the family has a birthday.  I must say, it’s a good alternative to traditional cake.

#89:

Cake

Cake

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Lily watching TV with us beside her favourite toy.

#88:

Happy and relaxed

Happy and relaxed

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Another bout of checking in on McLovin.  He really is the suckiest lap cat I have ever met.

#87:

Lap Cat

Lap Cat

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A sweet treat after our penultimate day working in the garage.

#86:

Dessert

Dessert

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Sports Overload

One of my favourite things when travelling is the cable.  I know, I know, we should be out exploring, and we do, but when we get back to our hotel room after a long day of wandering, riding, running after buses, TV time is good time.

This year, we travelled in June, which is a rarity.  I tend to like to go away in the fall, when things start to cool down and it’s not uncomfortable to walk around.  We made an exception this year, because it had been about 12 months since we took any sort of time off work (because we used our 2012 vacation time for the wedding and honeymoon), and it was starting to show.  But I digress.

Like I said, because we don’t have cable at home, getting cable when we travel is AH-mazing!  The Discovery channel, the History channel, the Food Network….eeeeeee!  For sports fans though, June is a huge month.  Which is why for the 2 weeks we were away, pretty much the only thing we watched was ESPN, Diner’s, Drive-in’s, and Dive’s, and Man vs. Food.

Tennis:

Roland Garros

Roland Garros

The French Open for tennis was epic, historically.  Nadal won his 8th title there, and became the first person to do so.  It’s interesting to note that the year that he missed, ( I think it was 2009) was due to surgery, so he didn’t participate.  Consequently, it was the first and only time Federer was able to win, and complete his Career Slam.  It would be interesting to know that if they were in a Sliding Doors situation, and Nadal had been healthy, if that would still have been the case.

Basketball:

NBA

NBA

Normally, I don’t care about basketball.  Can’t give a hoot.  But for some reason, this time, I’ve been so enthralled with the NBA finals.  Is it going to be the Spurs? or the Heat?  LeBron, or Parker?!  I’m actually so surprised that I feel so invested.  I was so nervous, I couldn’t even ask the Dude to go to the pub to watch Game 6 when we got back.  Tonight’s going to be a nail-biter!  Full disclosure:  randomly, I’m rooting for the Spurs.

Hockey:

NHL

NHL

Of course Game 1 had to go into triple overtime!  We watched pretty much all of it, marvelling at the play.  Even though I’m a hockey fan, or maybe because I’m a hockey fan, I feel no anxiety for the NHL Finals.  That’s probably because none of the teams that I root for made it to the finals.  I’m a Red Wings fan, but I also like the Leafs because I’m from Toronto.  But really, this year, I wanted Pittsburgh to win, because I believe that Jarome Iginla deserves a Cup.  I really, really hope they get to Game 7 and the game sets a new record for longest game going into 4OT!  Is that crazy?

Golf:

US Open

US Open

The U.S. Open started the day before we left, and normally, I don’t really pay attention until the last day, but since we had cable at our hotel, I thought, why not?!  The weather really was what made it so interesting for me.  I think that playing golf is difficult enough in the best of weather, I can’t even imagine what it’s like to play in the pouring rain, with stoppages, and soaking thickets of grass.  Ugh.  I suppose I shouldn’t have too much sympathy though, because can you imagine getting paid to play golf?  Not bad if you can consistently rank…

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So you can probably tell from my catchup posts the last few days, that we are back from vacation from the West Coast.  Post and pics to come! 

All I can say is, if I ever make a crazy amount of money, I’m retiring in Palo Alto.

=)

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Finally changed it up.  Wing remnants.

#85:

Wings

Wings

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A kid sized robot.  Pretty cool looking, actually.

#84:

iRobot

iRobot

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Part of our spring reno project.  Grouting in our newly tiled garage floor.

#83:

Grouting

Grouting

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Mmmm…burgers…or is that cake?!

#82:

Faux burgers

Faux burgers

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I realize that times are tough, but since when did ‘Home Depot’ become a fertility clinic?

#80:

Whaaa...?

Whaaa…?

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A late-night jaunt to Lakeview for some pie milkshakes.  This was a great recommendation, as it is also open 24-hours.  And for those of you who watch the Food Network, Guy Fieri featured it on ‘Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives’.

A note to all you milkshake enthusiasts.  The shakes are good, but not a thick as a conventional milkshake.  You’ve been warned.

#79:

Lakeview menu

Lakeview menu

 

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If this blog has taught me anything, it is that I eat a lot of nachos.

#78:

Mmm...

Mmm…

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Lily the Cat doing her best ‘Thundercats’ impression.

#77:

Kitty roar!

Kitty roar!

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Lily has decided that Game of Thrones is still her favourite show.

#76:

Watching intently

Watching intently

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After almost a decade away from the playoffs, the Toronto Maple Leafs fought back from being 3-1 down in the series in a best of 7 to tie it 3-3.  They looked poised to upset the Boston Bruins with a 4-1 lead through most of the game, then lost it in OT.  :sigh:

#75:

Game 7 results

Game 7 results

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I can’t say that I’m a huge mega-fan of musical theatre, but I totally jumped at the chance to see ‘Book of Mormon’ when the Dude suggested it.  It was hilarious!

#73:

Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon

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