Two Grandmas in San Francisco


Two Grandma’s walk Lois to the park for a little sliding and climbing.

Hi all– This week the Grandma Team (that’s my Mom and me) trekked up to San Francisco to see the SF crop of grand-kids.  Mom met the “O” cousins for the first time– that’s little Otto and littler Oscar– her newest great grand-guys!!  It was the best!

It made me think of my dear pie making Grandma Rose, born in 1903. I’m her grand-girl, now grandma to 8 small people who will likely live until 2103– and will be probably be grandparents themselves.  It’s a chain of Grandmas over the centuries…


Crafty Kid Fun Halloween morning at the local community center.

And it made me think about grand-mothering.  It’s such a sweet vocation. I’ve heard a grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher and a little bit best friend.  I really want to be that for those 8 kids who call me Grandma.

So I’m collecting ideas:
#1.  Create an Art Cupboard in a spare closet– so grand-kids can paint & glitter to their hearts content
#2.  Send secret code messages
#3.  Build a marble maze together
#4.  Make an erupting volcano with clay, vinegar & baking soda!!
#5.  Let everyone make their own small pizza for dinner
#6.  Teach your grands how to play rummy fo high stakes M&Ms
#7.  Have a two person book club– get into what they are reading!!
#8.  A Treasure Hunt with clues that send them around the house collecting ingredients for a banana split.
#9.  Make & paint popsicle stick picture frames & insert their photo
#10. Have a Scavenger Hunt at the library (a book with a mouse on the cover, a Dr. Seuss book…)
#11. Make Orange Soda floats on a hot day
#12. Keep an “Art Gallery” of grand-kid artwork
#13. Write letters to family members, stamp & mail them
#14. Create a Fairy Garden
#15. Take an umbrella walk when it rains
#16. Toast marshmallows in the fireplace
#17. Interview each other & video it on your phone
#18. Draw & discuss your family tree
#19. Write a short play & act it out for the parents
#20. Show them photos of when you (or their parent) were children
#21. Make crazy paper hats (with feathers? pom poms? fake flowers??…)
#22. Build a bird feeder
#23. Wrap each other in toilet paper to play mummies
#24. Draw a giant maze with sidewalk chalk
#25. Plant a vegetable garden
#26. Go to an art museum and sit and copy a painting
#27. Learn to play the recorder together
#28. Have a Brownie Bake-off!
#29. See who can build the tallest Lego tower
#30. My grand-girls favorite– take an evening flashlight hike around the block


Surprise attack hug from loveable Lois

“Grandmothers are moms with lots of frosting.”  –author unknown

“Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete.” –Marcy DeMaree

“Grandmas don’t just say “that’s nice” — they reel back and roll their eyes and throw up their hands and smile. You get your money’s worth out of grandmas.” –author unknown

So here’s a few more pics of our week of grand-mothering.  Can’t wait to do it all over again…

      

      

    

“We should all have one person who knows how to bless us despite the evidence, Grandmother was that person to me.” –Phyllis Theroux

“Grandmother — a wonderful mother with lots of practice.” –author unknown

“If nothing is going well, call your grandmother.” ~Italian Proverb


Lois helping out with the morning Cranberry Bread

Cranberry Bread– Make it over and over in the fall– Great toasted for breakfast!!
Here’s the recipe:


The Best Orange Cranberry Bread

‘If I had known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I’d have had them first.” ~Lois Wyse

Thanks Bunches Ani and Brian for taking us in and taking care of us so well.  And thanks Mom for being an intrepid travel buddy!!  It was the best having you there– rocking sweet Oscar and chatting away with Little Lois.  You truly are an amazing Mom and Grandma.

San Francisco Days and Roasted Tomatoes


One of my favorite houses in the neighborhood.


Out on a trek through the woods of Golden Gate Park with this mini hiker!  

Hey there friends– Back from 3 weeks in San Francisco with new baby Oscar and his dear family. Missing them all from here.

We made this new favorite roast tomato pasta for dinner one evening there, and liked it so much we did it again a couple days later when friends dropped to meet that Oscar!

It’s super simple and the tomatoes and garlic smell incredible roasting in the oven!

ROASTED TOMATO PASTA
8 oz. mini ravioli (or your favorite pasta)*
2 cups small cherry tomatoes (red or yellow)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
a few grinds of fresh pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

garnish: parmesan romano cheese, grated & sprig of marjoram or basil

In a large bowl, stir together the cherry tomatoes, red onion, chopped bell pepper, garlic, basil, salt, pepper and olive oil.  Then turn it all out onto a baking sheet that has been lined with foil.  Scrape all the extra oil out of the mixing bowl on to the tomatoes.

Pop the tomatoes into a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are just starting to brown a bit.

While they are cooking, cook up your favorite pasta according to the directions on the package.

Drain the pasta and spread it on a pretty platter.  Spoon the tomatoes and all the juices on the baking sheet over the pasta.  Serve it hot with a sprinkle of parmesan.  So so good!

*I used mini ravioli from Trader Joe’s here, but fresh ravioli is the best!

Hi again–

Just wanted to drop in a few more photos of our SF days (bits I want to remember)– Baby snuggling, good talks, quiet meals together, plenty of playground time with an almost 2 year old.  So glad we could be there.

     
Brand new little Oscar, at the hospital and on his way home for the first time.

     
Lois lined up with kids waiting to get in the library for story time.  With Mom on the playground.  Lois & Grandma Duplo tower!

     
And one Sunday morning Larry and I went out on the town– Breakfast at my favorite ever bakery– B Patisserie.  A wonderful worshipful morning of church at Reality SF.  And then off to a cool new cafe for lunch– Theorita, specializing in pies like the baker’s grandma used to make (we split a piece of chocolate, pecan bourbon pie for dessert!)

So glad to have those days to watch our Oscar come into the big wide world– and see him blossom and grow in his new family.  Thanks Ani & Brian for everything!

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P.S. Here’s a few other favorite simple pasta recipes:
Broccoli, Chicken & Bacon Pasta
Pasta e Fagioli Soup
Saucy Tomato Chicken & Pasta
Creamy Lemon Chicken & Pasta

Good Times in San Francisco


Hi there friends– Happily home from a week in San Francisco.  Our Laurel was out in SF from Wisconsin so I headed up for a sweet time with my 2 girls together in the same city!  — and stayed the week to watch Little Lois.  Here’s the best parts:

Spent a morning wandering through Golden Gate Park and ended up at the Beach Chalet outdoor tables for a picnic-ish lunch.

     

And we had a day out at the Presidio, a former military installation, first established by the Spanish in 1776– strolled through the Officers Club, now with a Presidio Museum– And ended up at Native Burger for lunch (notice the small hand reaching for my burger–I didn’t notice it when I took the photo!)

     

     

But the real highlight of the week was watching Little Lois while her Mom was away.  We hit a couple library story times and a few playgrounds, baked biscuits and read so many stories.
     

     
So grateful to spend a “Girls Weekend” with Ani, Laurel and Lois (and of course, you too Brian!!)  Can’t wait to see you all again!

Stop along the Way in San Francisco


View from the back of the ship up to Coit Tower in San Francisco.

Hi all– Here’s another post from our cruise from L.A. to Vancouver.  We spent a soggy day in San Francisco– seeing kids there (a highlight!) and wandering through a couple favorite museums.  Here’s the fun day out in SF…

We sailed in under the Golden Gate Bridge about 5:00 A.M.– Larry was the only one of our crew adventurous enough to get up and take photos of the arrival! (That’s the Bay Bridge in the distance.)

We met up with Ani, Brian and Little Lois for coffee, some museum wandering and a trendy Mexican lunch at Nopalito.

     

Our museum passes were good for the DeYoung Museum and the Legion of Honor Museum not too far away.  So we stayed dry, poking through museums for most of the day (with a Green Apple Book Shop stop in between!) — starting the the tower views in Golden Gate Park.

     

     

The afternoon ended in North Beach at a tiny Italian bakery/gelato shop.  And the then stroll over hill (literally) and dale back to our ship for the night.
     

It was a fine full day seeing SF from beneath our umbrellas!  Thanks for being the best ravel buddies Paul & Sue!!

Home with Kids In SF

Hello there– Just home from a kid-filled week in San Francisco– Lots of quiet days breaking out the crayons and building blocks and library books.  I’m grateful to have sweet days with the 4 grand-kids up there.

My big occupation was keeping company with Little Lois while her Mom went to work– Here we are around the house.

     

One day Uncle Aaron picked us up for a morning with the cousins– Mae, Eero & baby Otto.
      

There was a park day out with friends.
     

And a morning inspection of the house remodel -almost done!!

     

It was a fine full week– love seeing how those grand-kids are growing and changing!  Thanks thanks Ani & Brian– and Aaron too.  It’s always the best to be together.

A Fine Week in San Francisco

Hello all– Home from a fine full week with kids in San Francisco.  The main event was sitting with Baby Lois for 3 days while her Mom worked, but there were long conversations over good meals with her parents, mornings with grand-kids Mae, Eero and baby Otto  and a park birthday party for 8 one year olds!

Little Lois and I spent our days sharing books –at home and the SF central library.

     

We spent a couple mornings hanging out with cousins Mae, Eero and baby Otto.
     

I especially loved snooping around the construction sight on Ani & Brian’s remodel.  It won’t be too much longer for them to move back in!

     

And the highlight of the week– a birthday party for 8 baby friends, all born in October 2016!  There were costumes and cake and lots of fun photos of all those cute kids!

     

So thanks Ani & Brian for taking me in, for beautiful meals at your table and pastry afternoons, for sharing the celebrations for little Lois.  It was the best.

Sweet Times in San Francisco


Bayside in Marin

Hello all– Back from 10 days in San Francisco with our kids– lot of kid cuddling, book reading, house visiting and a lively 4th of July!  Hope you will be so kind as to indulge my little scrapbooking post with some favorite moments…

Celebrated Aaron’s birthday with some cake help from Mae & Eero …
     


Aaron talking through the photos with M & E from his new birthday book.

And then we headed north for a day away from the city–lunch on the deck, making s’mores, looking for ladybugs and Eero on the “porch swing!”

   

Back home Jessica & Mae started by making berry muffins and ended with morning kitchen hugs.
     

Then I moved over to stay with Ani & Brian. First stop– over to see the remodel progress on their house!  Peeking out the back window– and Brian at the future front door!

   

On the 4th of July we crossed the bridge to Sausalito to watch Brian play with the Cal Alumni Band in the 4th of July parade–and Little Lois was a the flag waver with her Grandma Jackie!

     

And we had some great days out & about in the city– having fun in the local library, special lunch at Hook Fish Co., Super Duper Burger picnic in the park, “field trip” to Fort Point.

     

And a highlight was hanging out with Little Lois while her mom went to work for 3 days of our week.  (She’s learning to creep & crawl!!)

Truly so thankful for sweet times with AA & Jessica, Mae & Eero, with Ani & Brian & Lois.  Loved every moment!!

 

San Francisco Family Days

 


Hello all– Just a few (or maybe more than a few!) photos of last week in San Francisco.  Maybe if you’re not into doting grandma posts, you might scroll on by this one!  But I’m wanting to remember days of giggling, kite flying, book reading and daily ice cream. So here goes…

Around the house with little Lois (her dear parents Ani & Bria), plenty of play time…

    

And she got us out and about too– Story time at Charlie’s Corner Book Shop, taking in the sun at Golden Gate Park,  tea time at Vive La Tart, and my favorite — visiting Mom at work…
     

     

     

Then we moved over for a few days with Mae & Eero and fine their parents.  Here’s Mae & Eero in their “jungle,” stories in the hallway, the best toy– a cardboard box! and more stories for morning wake up.

     

Out & About with these kids means parks, ice cream and some splashy rock throwing!
     

     

     
The best of the week were quiet talks at dinner with Ani & Brian, out for morning coffee to catch up with Jessica, Aaron making morning pancakes and reading with kids…   You all are the most amazing parents.  It’s a joy to spend time with you and those bright kids!!  thanks thanks.

 

Rain and Shine in San Francisco

 

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Hi friends– Back from a week of pounding rain followed by glorious sunshine in San Francisco.  Went up to watch little grand-girl Lois, while her mom trolleyed off to work, and to help pack a few boxes to empty the house for a remodel.  Funny — I have dozens of pictures of that Lois and not one to show you of boxes!

Loveable Lois and I read books, sang songs, danced around the living room and had long talks about all she has ahead…
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photos: Off to visit the pediatrician check-up, tummy-time!  & on the changing table.

And we spent a day with Mae & Eero (more grand-kids in SF).  That is always loads of lively fun fun!
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photos:  Mae absorbed in her new book, stop at the bookshop, Eero checking on his new cousin.

And in SF we usually find our way to good places to eat.
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photos: family fills the window seat at Smitten ice cream shop, a festive birthday dinner for Ani at Outerlands, Mediterranean roasted chicken wrap on the back patio at Souvla,  afternoon tea and desert at Tartine Manufactory.

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Thank you AA & Jessica, Ani & Brian for a best time talking and eating and walking with you and those sweet grand-kids.  Loved it.

Road Trip to San Francisco with those Grand-girls

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Morning fog across the hills at the old Fort Baker on the Bay (now a hotel, restaurant)

Hello friends–Just back from a trip up the coast with 3 girls in the backseat to San Francisco to hang out with their aunts, uncles and cousins.  We had a lot of crazy kid centric fun–  And stuck to our two rules– #1. No Grumping  #2. One Ice Cream Every Day!!   Here’s my favorite bits of the trip:

First stop, across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Discovery Museum, a wonderland for kids.
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Ani & Brian treated three girls all dressed in their best to a fancy Tea Party!
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We strolled down to Ocean Beach to take in a Corgi Fest!!  Over 600 Corgis on the run across the sand and in the water!!
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And there were plenty of picnics and playgrounds to round out the week!  (This day we were at the west end of Golden Gate Park!)
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And the sweetest for me is seeing those cousins–jump and laugh and color and play together.  Big Hugs for Maryann, Charlotte, Jobay and Little Mae (and Eero back by the window!!).
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Thanks once again Ani & Brian, AA & Jessica for the good times together.  There’s nothing I love more than days with you all. It’s the best.

Eating Across San Francisco

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Hi there fellow eaters (that should be about everyone)–  We spent Easter week hanging out with our San Francisco kids.  That always involves some memorable meals.  And it began and ended with pizza.  And that’s just fine with me.  Here’s the spots we enjoyed:

 

Brian and Ani picked me up at the airport and we made a supper stop at Blue Line Pizza on our way up to home. Rich savory deep dish pizza in a smallish modern space (and leftovers for lunch the next day– I’m all for leftovers!)
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We wandered into Plow just as they were about to end their serving day at 2:00– with a menu chock full of the best kind of breakfast/brunch foods.  Housemade granola, pancakes, omelettes and their much noted biscuits.  Perfect.
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One day for lunch Aaron drove us down to Cotogna.  I dove into a board of rich salumeria.  And after lunch we walked down the block to an architectural bookstore that AA likes to frequent.  My favorite combination– food & books!
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On our way for a big morning out across the bridge, to the Bay Area Discovery Museum, stopped at the Murray Circle for breakfast.  Built in the barracks of old Fort Baker, you can sit on the porch with views of the Golden Gate and the city or, as we did this time, sit in the old style dining room with a molded ceiling and fire in the fireplace.  My breakfast– waffles with caramelized bananas and creme fraiche.  Great way to start the day…
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Our last night in SF, we went to a favorite, Defina Pizzeria, which happily sits right next door to Smitten Ice cream.  We had the usual 30 minute wait for table, so we strolled around the corner to Browser books and walked out with a few volumes.  Then dug into a margarita, a broccoli, and a speck pizza, while I read new books to little Mae.  And then we ducked into Smitten, where they freeze the ice cream mixture on the spot when you order, for the creamiest ice cream ever.
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Hugs and thanks to Aaron and Jessica, Ani & Brian– for all the good talk and good meals. xo

Spring Break in San Francisco

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Hello friends– Sending off a little scrapbook of our Easter week in San Francisco.  We stayed with all of our kids up there and spent out days talking, eating and playing with grand-kids.  What could be better than that?

Good times catching up with Ani & Brian– including a yumcious fajita lunch around their table.
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And loved the morning walk in the woods with Aaron, Jessica and baby Eero on board.
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Mae told us her favorite museum in SF was the Discovery Museum across the bridge, so we spend an active morning there watching her and little Eero having a ball.
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Larry and I took a restful woodsy trek downward through the Presidio and then found ourselves trudging up a set of city steps to make our way home.
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And there were plenty of memorable meals out on the town (including Delfina Pizzeria).  thanks Aaron, Jessica, Ani and Brian for a fine full week with you.  It was the best!
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Quick San Francisco Weekend

IMG_3707Hi all– It was a grand grandkid time.  If you some grandkids yourself, you know what I mean.  We made a dash up to SF last weekend to talk and play and read books and eat with our kids. There were some sweet moments.  Here’s my favorites…

Saturday morning we trekked north across the bridge to the old Fort Baker, historic military quarters, that have now been transformed into a lodge.  We ate at the the Murray Circle restaurant there, overlooking the Bay and the Golden Gate.  (pictures: Mae & her mom waiting for brunch, view from our table on the porch, chicken hash & eggs)
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We took a blustery afternoon stroll down to Ocean Beach through the Sunset– blue skies and some good sand digging with our Mae.  (pictures: Aaron & Grandpa with Mae, some good sandy digging, walk up from the beach).
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And it was good to just kick back around the house and have some grand-kid time.  (pictures: Grandpa and Eero having a “conversation,”  opening some belated Christmas gifts together)
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Sunday we ended up at Ani & Brian’s for for luscious lunch.  It was the last day of their “vegetarian January” so we got in on butternut squash soup and a bright citrus salad!  Love hanging out with them and, of course, that dog Harry.  (pictures: warming soup!  Bri & Ani, and out walking with that Harry.)
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Thankful for a weekend with you all– thanks for the office tour AA, thanks for the time to talk at coffee Jessica–you know I love that, thanks for the hugs & books & smiles Eero and Mae, thanks for the beach walk & the beautiful lunch Ani & Bri.  It was the best!

Thanksgiving Together

IMG_2107Hello friends– I have to say I’m happily thankful for the wild and wacky week with our kids for Thanksgiving.  It’s not always easy getting 15 people organized for meals and outings  (thanks Ani!!), but we had some sweet times, good conversations, and grand food.

Thanks Aaron and Jessica for a Thanksgiving Day that was simply beautiful:

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And the rest of the week?  We just hung out, took some walks, found some playgrounds and fun things to eat:

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Photos around town: 5 wacky girls hanging out, Stop at Andytown for a cuppa,  View across the Sunset neighborhood with Harry the dog down to Ocean Beach,  Laurel gives a group tour at Photojojo,  Hugs all around at the Delores Park playground,  3 girls on the playground bench, Stroll through the Athenian school grounds with Ian and Alexa, Ani at the counter at “Vive la Tart” (scrumptious!), Girls brunch out with our Jodi,  Morning walk across Golden Gate Park.

Thanks kids– for coming from far and wide to share Thanksgiving in SF.  Love you all!!

 

San Francisco Weekend

DSC01435Hi there– It was a dark and stormy night– and it was, driving home from San Francisco late on Sunday.  A bit harrowing, but I got home safe and sound despite a lightning crash that nearly sent me reeling off the interstate 5!

But the days in the city with the kids were sunny and bright– so much lovely eating, scenic hiking and cozy sits on the sofa together.  It was a fine time.  Here’s a few pics:

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We set off on a late afternoon hike along the Land’s End trail– hilly forrested pathways overlooking the cliffs below the Gold Gate Bridge.  Fun to hang out with Ian & Alexa!

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And there was some lovely eating– a table full of tapas, our favorite Spanish lunch, at Esperpento.  And dinner at a new Brew Pub just opened in Ani & Brian’s neighborhood–Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company for mussels, pork & spaetzle, hearts of palm salad…

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DSC01523      IMG_7376    We took a stroll and stopped for a sandwich at Fort Mason, spent a pleasant hour picking out books at a super used books store in a barracks building and snooped through plots of a community garden. And of course, no weekend would be complete without a stop for ice cream (or blended yogurt this time!!)

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Thanks Ani, Brian and Laurel for all the fun out and about on our weekend together.  xox

 

Moments with Mae

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Hi there friends–  Well, last weekend was a whirl of sweet fun.  Aaron and Jessica were on a trip so they brought me up to San Francisco and flew Laurel out from Chicago and Ani trekked a couple miles across town for a “Girls Weekend” to babysit our Mae!!     Here’s the highlights:

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There was squishy Playdough and lots of story reading.

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We set out along the park and down to Mae’s favorite breakfast spot for oatmeal topped with yogurt, nuts and fruit.  Here’s she’s looking over all the toppings with Aunt Ani.

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10317781_10103864566669223_8585837015772320323_o   10830491_10103864566664233_8849017285676404723_oAnd Uncle Brian ferried us all down to Chrissy Field for a Taco picnic, some bouncy ball playing and a walk along the bay toward the Golden Gate.

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And at the end of the day, there was always bath time– It was three days with little Mae and my two girls– “the aunties”. What could be better than that?

 

San Francisco Thanksgiving

LYCfGTOTWWB7-3oMm_qV9D62pCUlgSsIzE-v7eLkr6UHi friends– Just home from a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with all of our kids– the first time we’ve all been together like this since 2009!  You know that warms an old mother’s heart!!  Here’s the “great eight” of our rollicking sweet time together:

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IMG_3051     Kt0k5JOUeYnAA6pTthAiqSt4MKLPGUrwZaUqMwahauc     #1. Our Thanksgiving Dinner– Jessica set the prettiest table and piled our plates with all those Thanksgiving dishes that make it feel like a day to give thanks.

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ogiMK2J8RGR8LV36Wqb8QMrHASFttPXdMaQQeSDrRLo     BHgox5b68o9G0q3uqBywAHZgEJMprzAK6P63NGgypH8#2.  Thanksgiving morning most of the family hiked off to Land’s end in view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the ocean beyond.

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IMG_3090     IMG_3088     #3.  Ani & Brian invited us all in for a post Thanksgiving Brunch– serving up Chinese “jook” laced with turkey—supplied by Brian’s mom, along with her amazing pecan pie!!

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#4.  Our most elegant meal was hosted by Aaron & Jessica at Spruce– all dressed up in our best, sitting by the fireplace, a beautifully served meal   –even the grand-girls were impressed!  And I loved the time at the end of the meal to share around the table why we were thankful.

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IMG_3095     IMG_3164#5.  And you know we loved, loved having those grand-girls at arms length!

IMG_3213     IMG_3220#6.  Saturday morning Jessica brought us all to her favorite florist for a wreath making class– clipping and wiring and arranging. Oh, and snacking on tea goodies and mimosas.   It couldn’t have been more fun!!

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IMG_3243     IMG_3246#7.  And I learned how to make the Best Pizza from Jessica and her pizza steel!  It was grand — from rounding up pizza supplies at Bi Rite to the chopping, sprinkling and pulling those piping hot pizzas from the oven.

aHqxUJxo_ceSM0AIZZBrSPNQTqdqPDaks_0Txpdd36E#8.  And of course, the very best, was all just being together.  So thankful for the time with those kids.

Quick Trip to San Francisco

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Larry browsing in the Booksmith Shop on Haight–my favorite SF book store.

Hi all– This past weekend found Larry and I zipping up and down the interstate 5 for a quick trip to see kids in San Francisco–  It involved scrumptious eating, a favorite book shop, sweet girl hugs and a lot of cheering at a football game.  Here’s some of
the fun:

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Watching my favorite part of the football game– the half time show!  And 3 fervent football fans– Go Bears!!  (I won’t mention who won– Cal v. UCLA).

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Jessica served us flavorful, fortifying bowls of lentil soup at their new place.  Loved sitting around the table with them.  And we dipped in to a family style supper with Ani & Brian at the very Italian Trattoria da Vittorio.

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And here’s our huggable Mae– in her small rocker and walking home from the playground with Dad and her Grandpa Larry.  We can’t get enough of that girl…

Eating with the Grand-girls in San Francisco

10414539_10103171440295033_8777143104621033161_nBreakfast at Andytown– fresh baked soda bread and homemade scones, muffins…

Hi friends— Like most trips, going up to see the family in SF involves some delightful eating!  This time the trip was all about entertaining those 2 grand-girls in tow.  So here are a few highlights,  eating, small girl style in San Francisco…

IMG_0113     IMG_0571   Andytown, is the new coffee grinder/baker in the Sunset.  It’s owned by an Irish couple who bring the best soda bread out of their oven (his grandmother’s recipe).  It’s smart, stylishly modern, but the scrumptious baked goods are definitely old fashioned and homemade.  Weekend breakfast at Andytown in a regular habit for Ani & Brian.

img_7351     IMG_0637For cousin lunch with Baby Mae, we stopped by the Wooly Pig Cafe and picked up an assortment of their amazing sandwiches– for a little sandwich buffet lunch followed by the requisite trip to year another new playground.

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A short trek from our day at the zoo, brought us to the House of Pancakes, that’s Chinese pancakes!  It’s a small friendly place and if you peek through the doorway into the kitchen you can see noodles being pulled by hand, the old fashioned way.  Our girls were happy to eat here– especially the dumplings.   Chinese food is comfort food for them!

Bi-Rite5     IMG_0535We set off on our travels with a list of “5 TRIP RULES,”  the first being, “#1. Eat at least 5 ice cream cones.”  We did our best to follow this essential rule!  And there’s no where better to pick up a marvelous cone of ice cream than at Bi-Rite Creamery, a convenient walk from the fancy new Delores Park playground.  With flavors like honey lavender and coffee toffee (with Ritual coffee), it’s the best!

IMG_0249    IMG_0252    After a full day of beach hikes, we landed at the Pacific Catch, Fresh Fish Grill.  Loved the spiced maui sandwich with avocado, red onion, tomato and citrus aioli.  And since it’s just across the street from Golden Gate Park, we ambled over to another super playground.

IMG_0726And one last ice cream (well, yogurt!) on the drive back home!!  Thanks Charlotte and Maryann for all the super duper girlie fun!!!  xoxo Gr Rhonda.

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thanks for the photo I borrowed– Ani and burritos&mosquitos.com

San Francisco with the Grand-girls (or Fun in SF with kids)

IMG_0671 Two girls by the fanciful fence of the Mission Playground, SF

Hi there–  Just back from a rollicking trip to SF with the grand-girls!  It was a whole lot of swinging, sliding, singing, dancing, jumping, story reading, ice cream licking fun…

Before we started off we wrote up our TRIP RULES:
#1. Play on at (at least) 3 playgrounds
#2. Take Harry the Dog for a walk daily
#3. Eat 5 ice cream cones
#4. Give 10 hugs every day
#5. No grouching allowed

Here’s the highlights:

IMG_0130     IMG_0144 IMG_0200     IMG_0179On a cloudy day we hiked down the trail to Funston Beach– a off leash dog beach, where you’ll meet every size and shape of dog you could imagine!  Dog watching, hill climbing paradise!

IMG_0303     IMG_0319 10527271_10103303559986113_5510079715396104629_n-1     IMG_0342There was the big day out at the San Francisco Zoo! Love zoos and this is a perfect one– not too big, not too small, lushly landscaped and easy access to all those animals–  Oh the giant giraffes, the tumbling otters, the stately gorillas…  Throw in a playground set in three world biomes and a carrousel and it was a super day out!

IMG_0408      IMG_0411Harry the Dog and the grand-dgirls had a running good time one evening at Crissy Field, in the shadow of the gold Gate Bridge.  (In the first picture they are pretending to be exhausted after running non stop all evening)

IMG_0437     IMG_0463 IMG_0466     IMG_0449We launched out on a foggy morning hike along the Land’s End Trail– catching glimpses of the Golden Gate through the shifting fog.  Loved all the ocean views, forested pathways and wild flowers.  (The dramatic pose on the bottom left are hikers being frightened in the scary forest–???)

IMG_0539    IMG_0640 IMG_0537     IMG_0532 My personal fave was taking the 2 grand-girls to meet their cousin Mae–time for playgrounds, ice cream (one of sweet Mae’s first words!) and reading books…

IMG_0618     IMG_0615 IMG_0627     IMG_0630We happened into a sunny day for our wave jumping at Ocean Beach.  What started as just getting ankles wet quickly degenerated into full scale bathing in the sea.  Great soggy fun!

IMG_0690     IMG_0688 IMG_0698     IMG_0701One sunny afternoon in SF found us back in Golden Gate Park for a stroll around the lush flower gardens.  The girls picked out favorite Dahlias and named them after people in the family.

IMG_0718     IMG_0719Our last morning, we took the muni into town and explored Chinatown, while we shopped our way along the streets, picking up treats to take home to the family.

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Thanks Aaron & Jessica for the great “hang-out” time.  And thanks Ani & Brian for planning so many great outings and cosseting us at the Casa Heung.  And thanks Charlotte & Maryann for being cheerful, excited, curious, enthusiastic travel buddies.  Loved it!