Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Welcome back to a post wherein Christine talks about the weather.   I can't help it. You guys, we are smack in the middle of an entire week of rain. At first, I was all, ok ok I can handle some rain, the plants need it, thunderstorms are cool, but I'm a wuss and by day two I was over it. In conjunction with how brain-sucking work has been, all this grey and wet is making me feel a little melted in my soul. I was spoiled by California sunshine and I want these days back at work to be bookended by some sweltering Virginia rays. Hey! Like this past Sunday; it was beautiful and sunny- we spent time outside, my armpits got sweaty- I was into it.  And that was only a couple of days ago - see how quickly I slip into the depths of despair without the sun? Robert Frost gets me. His 'Two Tramps in Mud Time' says it with less whine and  more class:

The sun was warm but the wind was chill. /You know how it is with an April day/When the sun is out and the the wind is still, /You're one month on in the middle of May. / But if you so much as dare to speak, / A cloud comes over the sunlit arch, / A wind comes off a frozen peak, / And you're two months back in the middle of March. 

When it's good, it's really good.  Part of the reason I'm so affected by the weather is because the sun does things to my soul. The other part of it is because the cold and the rain  cramp my style, and by style I mean that it makes it more difficult to run errands and it slows me down. I'm really bad about being made to slow down. Which is why I often have to consciously institute quiet time or slow down time. Believe it or not, I'm also not great about taking a break or giving myself a break.  If left up to my own devices I will potentially be in work and to-do list mode until my last breath. Really wonderful and healthy distractions from these things come in the form of my toddler who wants to play, working out at the crossfit gym or with my husband in our garage gym, time with friends, skyping with family, and rare occasions like this vacation that we took last week.  When we were over there, I made sure to not check any emails or do anything slightly work related and the forced distance really helped with the mental break. I'm already looking forward to the next one. 
So here's part 3 of the San Francisco photos. These are from the day and a half we had after our little getaway to Santa Cruz and before we left the city. We spent our last couple of days paying homage to the great bridge, getting pampered at Dry Bar, walking around Hayes Valley and doing some more shopping in the Union Square area.

this bridge is stunning in real life

amazingly creamy ice cream

...made via liquid nitrogen!

these palm trees swaying in the wind and sunlight of the place we were staying at, really set the mood

hayes valley was one of my favorite neighborhoods that we saw 

this store, fiddlesticks, had so many adorable things for kids

finally, miette!

Alamo park

Thanks for having us, San Francisco! 

Saturday, April 26, 2014


On the morning of Easter, I rolled over on the bed to my side to see my sleeping babe next to me. Her hair was rumpled, her eyelashes were like curtains underneath her eyelids and she smelled like warmth and sweet baby. As I watched her, she slowly opened her eyes and when she saw me, she smiled. ‘Mommy,’ she said. And reached up with her hands to pat my face and hold my hair.  We snuggled in bed together and I was awash with feelings of happiness and relief. It was the fourth night of our trip to California and it was the first night that she had slept through the entire night. After the first couple of nights of waking up at 2 and 3 AM and long days with short naps, we could see the time difference wearing on her. She got easily flustered, and we were all feeling the brunt of her frustration. Strategic planning is called for in such instances and after various interventions, we got her a full night’s of sleep and she seemed rehabilitated. There is nothing like a good night’s sleep and a thorough cuddle to soothe and revitalize the spirit, and I was entirely grateful for such a sweet moment in the midst of our trip. 

The day before Easter, we spent Saturday morning at the wonderful farmer’s market in the Ferry Building. You guys, if it weren't for time and toddler constrictions, I could have spent ALL DAY there. The whole thing was totally the jam on my peanut butter and jelly. But then there was also those moments of seeing Sloane get overjoyed about the seagulls flying around the pier. I don't know why this was a thing for her, she was just all about those birds and wanted to get as close as she could to them.  But the market - the pork belly, the perfect strawberries, the coffee, the oysters, the mushrooms, the little baby chicks, the apple chips - I was in farmer market heaven.  Later that day, we met up with Ken’s cousin and his family for more oysters at the Water Bar in Rincon Hill. I can't tell you how giddy it made me to see Sloane hanging out with her cousin, Elizabeth. We visited their church for Easter Sunday the next day and had ourselves a time lazing about in the green grass after service eating chocolate chip pancakes and watching flouncy-dressed babies look for easter eggs.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


I feel a little as though I’ve been hurled back into real life a little too soon; I would have loved some padding at the end of that vacation to ease back in, but that didn’t happen.  Before I could blink myself awake, it was rushing out the door to take Sloane to daycare, piles and piles of work emails to catch up on, and scheduling life and crossing things off the to-do list. I’m not totally out of vacation mode though; I’m going to reminisce by going through these photos and sharing them with you all. That's them perk of taking photos – I get to re-live wonderful experiences and spend extra time thinking specifically about each moment.  We were away for a whole week so it is boatloads of photos, but I’ll dole it out in pieces.

We spent the majority of our time in San Francisco (with daytrips to Napa and Santa Cruz) so we got to explore several different pockets of the city. And what a city it is! Part of our great experience was due to Jen, a family friend that we stayed with, who is passionate about the city of San Francisco and was pretty much a rockstar about showing us around.  I love meeting kindred traveler spirits; she is one of the good ones. 
We stayed with Jen in a really fantastic and convenient location in the city, next to the ball park, in an area called South Beach.  We could walk to so many places and the public transportation was fantastic. The first day, we walked through: Union Square, Chinatown, and North Beach. The second day, we walked through the Castro and hung out in the Mission District with an old friend from Richmond. Jen also drove us around various areas like the Golden Gate Bridge, Russian Hill, Fisherman’s Wharf and the beach so that we could see more of the city.
Union Square - I swear that first day we were there, it was like the whole city was getting bathed in a giant bathtub of sunlight.

Historic Chinatown

The little trooper

North Beach

Castro District

Ike's Sandwiches! 

Mission District 

Delores Park

The 'Change' at Ike's - thinly sliced rib eye, beer battered onion rings, gouda, and bbq on a perfectly crusty and soft baguette. It was sooo good. I'm still thinking about it. 

I loved all the various views of the city that we got from different spots around the city

Delores Park had one of the best playgrounds I've ever seen!

Bi-Rite ice cream (two thumbs up for the earl grey flavor) and Bi-Rite shop down the street were both adorable and delicious 

I tried the coffee, croissant, morning bun and chocolate tart (OMG) here and I am already regretting that I didn't go back to try their other things.

Waiting in line, getting a sun bath, NBD.

Part 2, coming up!