The kids (oldest three) had been invited to a friend's Halloween party. Unfortunately, due to sickness, the party was cancelled. The kiddies were pretty upset about it, so Brandon and I planned a family night. We went to Skipolini's (fab, fab, fab!) for pizza and then came home to play games. What was amazing and wonderful was how the simplicity of those two activities turned into one of the best nights ever. Since Skipolini's is very popular, we had to wait a while for our pizza order to come. This gave us plenty of time to talk. We talked about our week, the week coming up, what the kids want to do for Halloween, etc. We also played a few games to pass the time (Pantomime Pizza was cool. We made, cooked, and ate our pizza charade-like. However, #2 was not impressed, since she wanted the REAL pizza.). On our arrival at home, the kids were convinced we should just watch a scary movie. Brandon had a better idea. He came up with some fun Halloween words and we played a very short and watered-down version of Pictionary. It was so fun! #1 and #2 did really well. We then let the kids stay up late and watch a movie of their choice on the small DVD player in their room. You'd think we had taken them to Disneyland! What a good night.
Romance Ain't Dead!
Original plans: Go to the San Diego vs. BYU football game in San Diego. Second plans: Not going to the game; watch it on TV. Third plans: Game is cancelled because of the fires. So, Brandon called me Thursday afternoon and said "Let's go somewhere!" So we did.
Luckily, my SIL was available to watch our kids at short notice. She came, along with my cute nephew, Saturday morning. Brandon and I said good-bye (after a frantic and crazy morning that consisted of cleaning, laundry, helping someone move, packing, shopping, and hoping everything was done) and began our fun get-a-way! (Remember that vacation I needed?! Yes! This was it!).
We headed south-west. South of Half-Moon Bay there is a Historic Lighthouse. We walked around the grounds and learned about the history of this particular lighthouse. It was huge! Unfortunately, the lighthouse was off-limits to the public because of wear and tear. But it was beautiful. We saw some seals popping up in the water nearby, so we bought some small stuffed seals for the kids at the gift shop near the lighthouse. One interesting note: There was a hostel next to the lighthouse and while it was kind of interesting, it made me slightly uncomfortable. :)
After the lighthouse, we drove even further south to a place called Ano Nuevo State Reserve. We hiked along a trail through brush and sand dunes to a beach where California Sea Lions come ashore to mate, sunbathe, give birth, and wean. We went during sunbathing season. :) Out across the beach, there is an island. There once was a small lighthouse on the island, but the houses there have since been abandoned (around 1943) and researchers sometimes stay out there to watch the California Seals. There were hundreds of seals on the beach over there! And they were LOUD. The barking could be heard all along the trail (almost 2 miles) and it was almost annoying when we reached the beach where the sea lions were sunbathing. By the way, sea lions are quiet. But it was still incredible to see so many seals and sea lions!
Hiking along the shore and through the sand-dunes.
We then went to check in at the place where we would be staying. I forgot to take pictures of it!! And it was really cool. We stayed in a tent-like cabin with nearby communal bathrooms, but there was a really nice restaurant, nice lodges, and a great spa on-sight. It was kind of a KOA (RV's and tents are allowed), but a Posh KOA. Go HERE to learn more about it.
We then set out on another hike --only a one mile this time. We went to see the tide pools at a beach near-by (just a one mile hike), and stayed for the sunset. It was beautiful. One funny anecdote --Brandon and I leaned against some rocks to enjoy the sunset, and it was obvious it wouldn't be fun since it seemed to be the best place for bugs. We noticed another couple that had climbed up on top of a rock near-by, and we thought that might be a good idea. So, we climbed up top of another large rock (huge, people, we're talking huge rocks, here), but we couldn't sit down because it was still wet from high tide. Then we glanced back and this couple had their wine glasses out and were drinking their wine, watching the sunset. We were just trying not to fall off the rock. It was just kind of funny; our romantic moment wasn't really planned, but you could tell theirs was very well-thought out. Just goes to show that romance happens in all different ways. :)
We headed back before it got too dark, and spent some time in our "bungalow". After having a great dinner at the restaurant, we called it a night. The only sad part was needing to use the bathroom at 2AM and having to put on shoes and make it to the communal facilities without wetting my pants! :) The bed was too stiff for my taste, and, of course, it was really cold, but some cuddling solved that problem. (heehee!)
The next morning, we left early. Brandon had a meeting and we had to get back to get the kids ready for church (hooray for afternoon church!). However, his meeting got cancelled, so we found more time on our hands. To be honest, though, we had so much time because we opted not to use the coupon to the restaurant we received at check-in. We had snacks from the day before, and as Brandon said "We'll probably be blessed for not spending the money on breakfast." And we were! We took our time going back up the coast to SF, and then we decided to go see the Golden Gate Bridge, since Brandon has never seen it (up close) or crossed it. We didn't get a chance to go walking on the North-west side of the bridge (with great views of the ocean), but we still got the gist of it. Brandon then took us down Lombardo Street. I didn't know what Lombardo Street even was until we started going down it. I'm sure everyone knows (after looking at the pictures) what street I'm talking about. It's famous!
Realizing the time, we headed home. After another whirlwind of stress and chaos, we made it to church with time to spare. Phew!
What a great weekend. Seriously, it was awesome. Brandon and I had so much uninterrupted time to talk (being outside certainly helped a lot) and the kids had a blast with their Aunt (Thank you, Aunt S! Thank you, thank you!). So, it was fun for all of us. I can't wait for the next get-a-way!
How about next week?