Sunday, August 14, 2011

Road Trip ~ Day 1 thru Day 3

Three days have past and I am now just finding the time to blog about our road trip.  We left Everett on August 12th and got on I-5 at exactly 12:18 pm.  Exactly 12 hours later we were reserving a room in Redding, California.  I cannot believe we made it to California!  Unfortunately, our first night's lodging was not so good.  I decided we should stop at the Motel 6 in Redding, CA that advertised a rate of $59.95 per night was a DIVE.  I tried to make light of it by saying to Mike that it had be a long time since we had stayed in a place this bad to which he replied..."we have NEVER stayed in a place this bad".  We were only there for 8 hours before we were hitting the road again.  Upon talking about our stay at the "dive" we found out that all three of us thought that there were bugs crawling all over us...but I am sure there was not because before I got in that bed ~ I checked them both for bugs.  But your mind sure can play tricks on you!

Second day began at 8:00 am with the first stop being Starbucks.  After driving for a bit we saw that the "Olive Pit" was coming up.  The "Olive Pit" was a "must stop" for my grandparents when they made their yearly trek to southern California.  It then has become my parents "must stop".  My grandparents would always bring us back green olives and almonds.  My parents bring us back almonds and grapeseed oil.  It was fun going in there and trying the many samples of olives and oils that they had...and thinking of my grandparents.  We bought a bag of "Smokehouse" Almonds (which I am munching on right this minute)...then back on the road we went.

At about 1:30 pm on our second day...we drove up to the Radisson Hotel located near the airport in San Francisco.  They did not have any rooms available yet so we decided to go find somewhere to eat.  We ventured into Brisbane which is a cute little community.  We found a great place and had a wonderful greek salad and pizza slice.  We finally ended up gettiing into our room (it took two different tries plus they originally gave us the wrong room number/key and I walked in on another family...) and we then ventured to the heart of San Francisco!  We found a place to park for only $10.00 for the entire time we were there and started out at Pier 39 which was full of shops and crazy full of people.  We then walked down to find somewhere to eat...which we ended up at "Nicks Lighthouse" restaurant which was established on the Fisherman's Wharf in 1934.  We had an amazing dinner.  Cass and I had cod fish & chips and Mike had the most incredible seafood fettucini...the alfredo sauce was good enough to drink!  I am making it my misson to find that recipe!  After walking around for several hours, we decided to go back to our room to get some rest for another busy day in San Francisco.  BTW ~ our hotel room is fantastic and both our beds come with the sleep number beds.  I am unable to tell you how many times we have fillled and unfilled our is embarassing really!

Day 3 ~ San Francisco

We again found parking really close to the Fisherman's Wharf and only paid $36.00 for the entire 8+ hours we were there...much more reasonable than what we had thought it would cost.  We went to IHOP for breakfast.  In San Francisco all food menu's show the calories for each meal.  I actually think it is a good idea to do this because I totally got a healthier meal by seeing the calories that were in what I really wanted to eat.  Then we signed up to take a tour of San Francisco.  We took a double decker bus around many major sites around S.F. and were able to "hop off and hop on" and various stops.  We drove through the Barbary Coast, Union Square, the City Hall civic center and then we hopped off at Chinatown.  Mike and I really wanted to see this but ultimately it was a disappointment.  It was very geared towards the tourist trade and it was the same shops selling the same items up and down all the blocks.  However, we did find a bakery and I had an authentic chinese dessert.  Cassidy and I were also able to buy her a charm bracelet that we bagained down to $50.00...which whas $95.00 less than what they wanted (original cost was $145.00)  The $50.00 included the tax as well so I think we did okay on that.  Mike thinks it is fake silver...we will see.  We then hopped back on the bus and headed back down to Fishermans Wharf to get on a different bus that was going to take us over the Golden Gate Bridge.  Before heading out, we visited a few more shops...including a bakery that makes the famous sourdough breads.  One thing about S.F is that there are many people and the lines are LONG.  So, I didn't get to buy any sourdough bread...but I will come back one day and visit that store some more.  Finally, it was time to head over the bridge.  The best part of this was watching Cassidy's huge smile.  She just loved going under that bridge.  It was amazing being on such an iconic part of S.F.  Our bus then drove us to Sausalito which is the most quaint, darling little village.  I so badly wanted to get off and look around but there just wasn't the time.  I think that Mike and I will need to visit that place for several days in the future...just not on this trip.  When we got back to the waterfront there was one more stop to make...Ghiradelli Square.  As we walked into the main Ghiradelli store ~ they gave us a free square of chocolate, how nice is that!?  We strolled around the square for awhile and then decided it was time to head back to the hotel...we had been site seeing for 8+ hours!  Tomorrow we are heading out at 5:00 am to Aneheim.  On to a new adventure.

Funny Cassidy story, as we were heading out of S.F. a couple of girls were walking down the sidewalk with short shorts and furry boots on (I guess these are the same type of boots that "Snookie" wears).  Anyway, Mike said...what kinds of statement are those outfits making.  To which Cassidy replied...they look like a word that begins with "S" and ends with "lutty".  We laughed until we cried. 

San Francisco weather report ~ very blustery and not much higher then 70 degrees.  We had to make sure to bring a light jacket and were comfortable in jeans and tennis shoes.  Hair do's do not matter because everyone's hair is wind blown within minutes.  I only asked once how my hair looked!  Even with the blustery weather...we got sunburned!  Need to remember to wear the sunscreen.

On the double decker bus cruising around San Francisco

At the entrance to Chinatown

Alcatraz in the background

Underneath the Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge in the background

Fisherman's Wharf
On Pier 39 at the Fisherman's Wharf

At the Palace of Fine Arts

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Trying to Catch Up!

My favorite oldest daughter got married this past Friday.  It was a beautiful ceremony...but boy am I glad it is over.  Planning a wedding takes a lot of time.  I have neglected couponing and gardening for the past month.  I am almost thankful for the lousy weather we have had all of spring and most of the summer...because my plants are just now starting to produce.  However, in a few short, my hubby and my favorite youngest daughter are taking a road trip for 10 days which means my oldest daughter has to do some gardening for me even though she just told me "mom...I am not a gardener!"

My Target Savings...getting my game on again!

Jif To Go ~ Retail: $2.39...My price: FREE (I was sent a coupon for a free box)
Up Panty Liners ~ Retail: 89 cents...My price: 14 cents (used a Target Register Coupon)
Zantac ~ Retail: $7.84...My price: 84 cents (I "stacked" a manufacturer coupon and a Target coupon)
Bread & Eggs ~ Retail: $2.81...My price: $1.81
Bagel Bites ~ Retail: $8.67...My price: $3.78

Total Retail:  $22.60                My Price: $6.57             A 71% Savings!

I did some major cutting back of stems and leaves on this zucchini plant.
These are really late...because I planted them so late due to the wet, cold weather.
I have some pumkins...but just barely.  I chopped back some of these stems
as well in hopes of getting more energy to the pumpkin.
A sea of potatoes.  By the time I get home from our road trip,
I will be doing lots of digging in the dirt.
I have some tomatoes but they are few and far between.  Hopefully
we have a month more (at least) of hot weather and sunshine
(a mighty big dream!)
I harvested some lettuce.  It smells a bit bitter but with some well
seasoned taco meat, salsa and sour one will know!

Mr. and Mrs. Kory A...congatulations to the new married couple.
Love you both <3 <3