carlyna, with child

i met carlyna when she tuned out to be the person who bought a chair we sold on criagslist a few weeks ago. frankly, i was a little concerned the criagslist killer was going to knock on our door. thankfully, she is a) not scary at all and b) so cute and fun and pregnant and was looking for someone to take pictures of her during this time in her life before she delivers her first baby (a boy) in just a month!!

she spotted my camera while she was in our apartment and asked if i would be up for the task. ummmm YEA.

california is just not being its sunshiney self lately and i was worried about how these would turn out on such a gloomy day. but, i’m pretty sure carlyna would look great in rain, shine, hail, blizzard, sleet, etc, etc, etc…!

here are just a couple i have to share tonight.
i’ll post (a lot) more tomorrow!!

(carlyna, i really, really hope you like them!)

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birthday trip to san francisco, part 2

so yesterday i told you about our very long, landmark-filled saturday in san francisco.
sunday was equally packed but in a more leisurely way. at least a little bit more leisurely. plus our feet hurt a LOT (and by ‘our’ i mean ‘my’).

we got up and on the road by about 9:30 and made our way toward washington park where my friend melanie had clued us in that there were good breakfasts to be found. we yelped one place but on the way got sucked into another. that place was moe’s. and it was good. huuuge breakfasts with potatoes cooked over lava rocks?? i’m not sure if that’s true. but that’s what michael told me and i’m going to chose to believe it. and at least 1/2 of what michael says is true.

we ate our breakfasts so fast that i didnt even get a picture.
…and also, as much as i love having pictures of our food (and i knowww how much you love seeing them, right….?) it really just does not look cool to photograph your food in a resturant. so i guess really, i was just feeling too cool for school and i didn’t take a picture. sorry about that.

after our big breakfasts we rolled out of moe’s and up a very steep series of streets toward coit tower.
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coit tower was our one landmark on the agenda and the rest of the day was dedicated to strolling neighborhoods and maybe finding something to buy.
but, first, the tower:
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welllllllll, after walking all that way, up up up to the base of the tower we were supposed to take an elevator to the top to be rewarded with a vast view of the entire city. turns out the elevator was broken. sweet. down the hill we went. but not before we took some pictures from the parking lot. hope they count for something. like, here is lombard street. they say it’s the curviest street in the world… i don’t know who says that, but it must not be true because michael says otherwise, and again, i just blindly believe whatever he says. because im the wife you are always supposed to blindly believe the husband, right? (wait, that doesn’t sound right…. whats going on here???)
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anyways, we sat in the parking lot, with a bunch of other potential-elevator-riders-tuned-sitters-of-parking-lots letting our legs rest for the hike back down the hill. while resting i took this picture of the pretty, pretty (almost too pretty to eat) chocolates melanie gave me at our dinner the night before. yummmmmmmm.
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then we walked back down.
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we strolled some shops around washington park and when we’d gotten enough of that we grabbed a bus to the ferry building. here is michael on the bus (rare):
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the ferry building is a historic building that is packed with tiny little shops and food stalls. most all of them had one specific specialty. like the cheese place had a lot of cheese:
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and this place had the most sweet candies and sweets:
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(yeah, those flowers are candy. so lovely. they are handmade in italy and they cost $6.50 for each little flower. and they tasted great! just kidding. i did not buy a $6-1/2 piece of candy! sheesh. but lovely to look at, no?)

and to counteract all of that sweetness, this place boasts lots of tasty salty pig parts!
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the marketplace at the ferry building would be a perfect place to gather together a picnic and eat on a bench over looking the water… but we were still stuffed from our lava potato breakfast. maybe next time.

next we took the subway to the castro district.
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when taking the subway, watch out for crazies:
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the castro theater:
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we spent what was left of our day poking through shops. we left the castro with an egg cup (i know, who buys an egg cup? but i actually needed one and have been looking for one, and this one has feet on it!! like little chicken feet. so, yes, i bought an egg cup. and yes, just one. why did i need just a single egg cup? well you see… wait, you don’t care. ill stop talking about egg cups. right now.) and, at a very sweet pet shop, we got a leash for each of our dog daughters. meeka’s is orange with some abstract flower-looking design and mckinley’s is blue with elephants with trunks that look like mustaches to me. we each picked out one of the leashes. guess which leash belongs to who. (hint: i like pretty much anything with a mustache)

after the castro district we headed back to union square since our flight was drawing nearer. we still had about an hour to kill so we wandered around some more shops (this time of the large, shiny, brand-name variety) and saw one of the biggest malls we’d ever seen.
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whoa. big mall.

and that is it. the end of our trip.
we figured ending at a giant mall was a good way to ease back in to los angeles.

speaking of los angeles, here were are swooping back down into our quaint, little town.
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birthday trip to san francisco, part 1

so I have a discovery to share with you: san francisco has the most beautiful weather!!

i know everyone says it’s cold and rainy and windy, blah, blah, blah. well, turns out, they are lying! really, i know this to be true because i went there and it was perfect! and it’s also, pretty and fun and bustling and creative…
which leads to the obvious conclusion: everyone that lives there is lying through their teeth about the weather as a means to keep the entire country from moving to their city!! secret is out.

okay, so now that that is cleared up, here is the recap of our trip, mostly in pictures, with some words in between.

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FRIDAY
we kicked off our weekend by taking virgin america for the short, one hour flight, to san francisco . virgin is pretty hip. they have mood lighting (as shown) and screens at every seat with music, games, online ordering of food, a map tracking your location/altitude/speed, satellite tv, etc, etc. and you can IM people all over the plane based on seat number. not that i did… but i could have, and that is the point.

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when we made it to san francisco and to our hotel – the intercontinental in union square, which was very new and very big and very nice – michael saw the clean room with the big, white, smooth, untouched comforter, without a wrinkle insight, and he immediately did this:

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he is 26. in case this made you wonder.

SATURDAY
since we had, literally, only 48 hours to see the city, we got moving fast. we were out of the hotel room by 8:45am and on the move.

first stop: chinatown
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i’d read about a fortune cookie factory that you can find by going down a little alley in chinatown. i really, really like seeing things get made, especially things you can then eat, so we obviously had to go.

we found it, we saw it, we bought the cookies.

surely the freshest fortune cookies we will ever eat. very crunchy.
michael got a fortune advising him to focus on the color purple to bring him luck.
mine said to be frugal.
i’m pretty sure the fortune cookie gods got our fortunes swapped on accident.

next up: cable car ride
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we caught a cable car in chinatown , rode about ½ a block, then came to an incline, and then the car broke and came to a complete stop. so we sat in a stationary cable car, in the middle of the street, for about 5 mins until a big truck came and literally pushed us up the hill! the truck driver got us to the top, gave a little friendly two pulse honk, and off we rolled down the hill. i’m not sure if getting pushed by a truck made the ride more or less authentic…?

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broken or not, our ‘special’ cable car got us here:

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and then it was time for breakfast. adding to my obsession with michael’s iphone is its ability to yelp on the go. (yelp= user restaurant reviews) you can type in ‘breakfast’ and ‘near current position’ and lo-and-behold there’s a very highly rated little café just 3 blocks from where you’re standing, on a street you probably wouldn’t have wondered down had yelp not guided you do it. now replace all of those “you’s” in the previous sentence with “we’s” and that is what we did.

so, we found pat’s café and had this for breakfast:

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after breakfast we were off to firsherman’s wharf, with a view of alcatraz island, and to hang out with the sea lions.

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after the wharf we made our way to the golden gate bridge. we wanted to walk the bridge but didn’t want to do it twice, so we walked to the half way point and back. good enough for me.
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by the way, i read that it’s the most photographed man made structure in the world (i don’t think I believe this, and michael definitely doesn’t believe it, but that is what my fodors book told me) and just in case you’ve never seen a photo of the golden gate bridge (you have!), here it is:
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and in case you’ve never seen a photo of us in front of the golden gate bridge (you haven’t!) here we are:

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(just ignore that really ugly chain link fence. this just happened to be the view available when we found a single girl that we deemed to look trust worthy enough – and frail enough to outrun and tackle if need be – to hand our camera to take our picture)

next we headed the the golden gate park just to wander around and around…
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and look at nature…
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and finally, after alllll of this, we were completely exhausted! so we went back to the hotel for a rest. buuuuuut first we grabbed a sandwich to split (of avocado, goat cheese, celery, watercress, and walnut pesto – so good) at wichcraft on the way.

After a nap and some tv we were ready to head back out to meet my friend melanie (we went to school together and she’s now living in san fran) for dinner at Citizen Cake, which was our third, and final, very good meal of the day.

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……… stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of our 48 hours in san francisco.
(this just already a really too-long post. i’ll be back with sunday’s recap tomorrow!)