Vacation - Monday

Monday we decided on a one day road-trip down to San Francisco. Neither one of us has ever been there. The drive took an hour and a half, but it was really pretty. The rolling hills and green trees were beautiful. We drove over the Bay bridges and finally got there. It looks just like what you see in pictures and TV, but seems so much bigger in person.

Driving around town trying to find parking was crazy. The streets are so steep, and half of them are one-way only. Plus you end up driving on the trolley tracks sometimes. We finally parked at the Pier 39 parking garage (only $7/hr!). We walked around that pier for a while and saw the sealions. Then we headed down towards Fisherman's Wharf.

We went our on the pier with all the old restored ships and looked at those for a while. That pier is right next to the Aquatic Park. There were a few sailboats out there, but mostly there was people swimming out to the breakwater and back. Crazy! It's the end of November! Everyone was walking around in jackets and people are still swimming in the ocean. I saw a few sealions swimming with them as well.

After that we stopped for a snack of Ben & Jerry's. Then we decided to go shopping. They have an H&M which I have always wanted to go to. We walked all the way there (way too far uphill - never doing that again!) through Chinatown. It was very interesting to see all the little shops with ducks hanging in the window. For a while, we were the only white people on the street.

We finally got to the market disctrict. We went to H&M and spent at least two hours there. I spent pretty much all my Christmas money on clothes, but it was wonderful! Even Pat got a couple of shirts. We really need to get one in Salt Lake.

After we were then we walked past the designer stores. We stopped and went inside Tiffany's and looked at the sparklies that cost more than we'll make in our lifetimes. We didn't touch anything. We also stopped and looked at Williams Sonoma, where I drooled over kitchen items that I also can't afford. The store was four stories high and filled with all kinds of good stuff. There was a whole wall of La Creuset cookware that I really want, but a frying pan was over $200.

At that point we were pretty shopped out, and our feet were killing us. We hopped on a trolley and rode back to Fisherman's wharf. We went back to the car to drop off all our purchases, then went back to Pier 39 for dinner. We ate at the Fog Harbor Fish House. It was nice and we sat at a table with a view over the water. Pat got to eat his fresh crab, and I had a hamburger because I still can't bring myself to eat seafood.

After dinner we got back in the car and headed home, with a few detours on the way. We drove down the twisty part of Lomard Street, then we went over the Golden Gate bridge. It probably took us a little longer to get back, but it was worth it. Plus we didn't have to pay another toll at the Bay bridge.

All in all, it was a really nice day. We'll have to go back again to see everything we missed. I'm sure there was a lot.

Vacation - Sunday

Sunday we drove the rest of the way to Sacramento. We got to my grandma's house and unloaded the car. Then we went to visit some friends in Folsom. One goes to school in San Jose, and had to leave the next morning. Otherwise, we would have waited a day or so before we saw them.

We talked for a while, then decided to get out of the house. We went and walked around Trader Joe's because I had heard a lot about that store, but we don't have any in Utah. I don't really feel like I'm missing anything now. We walked around a couple other stores, and found a present for my sister-in-law's birthday that is coming up.

Then we went out to dinner at BJ's, a local brewery. They had really good food, and Pat said his beer was so good that it tasted like a milkshake.

Vacation - Saturday

Sorry I don't have any pictures today - I'll post them when I get home. We are in Sacramento visiting family for Thanksgiving.

Saturday we drove to Reno and spent the night at a friend's house. We were really glad that we didn't have to drive the whole way to Sacramento in one day. Reno was far enough.

The cops in Nevada have come up with a plan to make more money. There were probably a dozen spots on I-80 saying that they were contruction zones and that fines were doubled, but no actual construction taking place. Sometimes there were a few token orange barrels, but usually it just looked like any other stretch of freeway. There were people pulled over in at least half of those spots, and I'm sure they were paying double fees for being in a "construction" zone.

Our friend had a crazy cat that would come rub on your leg then bite you if you tried to pet it. I told Pat that he has it pretty good with our cats.

We went out to dinner at the Atlantis Casino. They had an italian restaurant there that was pretty good, but they were SO SLOW! It took two hours to get our food & eat. The waitor was awful. He refilled half empty water glasses with Sprite and brought me coffee gelato (yuck!) instead of caramel.

I received my aprons yesterday!

I received my apron swap package in the mail yesterday. Thank you Grace! I must be a pretty lucky girl. I requested a fun apron that would work for all year because I only have one other apron. Grace must have decided that I still needed a holiday apron because she made me TWO! Here's a picture of everything I borrowed from her website. My camera battery was dead last night.

Grace has 4 cats so she's a kitty-mama too! She also has a way cool collection of old mixers. Check out her blog!


I am so excited today! I just found out that I won a contest in our apron swap, and I get a free custom apron from Knitty Bitties!! They are so dang cute and I get to pick my own fabrics! Here's an example:
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Finished Apron for Swap

I got busy this weekend and made my whole apron. I really like how it turned out!

My mom and sister helped me pick out fabric and trim, and then my mom helped me figure out how to put it all together. I freehanded the beaded designs, but I think they turned out really nice.

I got the pattern out of this book:

It has a bunch more really cute designs!

Annual Halloween Party 2008

Saturday was a pretty busy day for us because we had the Halloween party that day as well as the pumpkin shoot. Almost everyone came in costume. They were all cute! Here's me being the Mad Scientist for the evening:

In between the pumpkin shoot and the party I was busy whipping up some culinary magic.

I made:

Pumpkin Cupcakes - I actually made these on Thursday. I made one batch as the recipe states, then added mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to the next batch. They plain ones were good, but the chocolate made them fantastic! I also used this Cream Cheese Frosting.

Caramel Popcorn - This turned out a little crunchy. I will probably cook it less next time, but it was still yummy.

Maple Cinnamon Fritters - These tasted good, but were a pain to make. Also, the powdered sugar topping got everywhere. Probably will not make again.

Cheddar Beer Fondue - I followed the first receipe on the page, but use a bottle of hefewizen instead of alpine lager, and medium cheddar instead of the old Canadian cheddar. It turned out really tasty and it was the only thing that was completely gone at the end of the night. We cut up some rolls I got at the store and some granny smith apples for dipping. It was a hit!

Annual Pumpkin Shoot 2008

Saturday we went up the mountain in Avon for the annual pumpkin shoot. We always have it the weekend after Halloween so we can get rid of those leftover pumpkins in a safe and humane way. It's always lots of fun, and it was a wonderful warm(ish) day for it this year.

Click on the photo above to go to an album with all the photos I took.

We didn't actually have any pumpkins this year, so at 11:00 Friday night we were at Dan's Market and bought their last 9 very sad looking pumpkins for $10. The night manager looked happy to be rid of them, and we got a pretty good deal.