The ramblings of a woman,
wife, & mother, who loves:
Jesus / my man / the three,
learning about parenting /
mamahood / childbirth,
cooking foods healthy /
international / yummy,
pretending to garden /
write / design,
attempting to run /
exercise / lift weights,
enjoying traveling /
camping / adventures,
finding ways to love /
serve / sacrifice for others.

It is not to say she does these things
with style or grace, or even skill.


Moving to the Suburbs

July 11, 2014 - 2:01 PM

We wished we didn't have to leave the city, we would've LOVED to have stayed in the city our whole trip, but our time was up and out of the city we go...

Travel Log: 19 October 2011

Josh still had one final day at his conference and we would pick him up at a train station later that night. So after a "normal" school morning, I packed up the house and the kids and headed out of the city. To travel down to the suburbs the kids and I took the coastal highway along the Pacific and I planned to take the kids to a state park beach along the route. 

When we got to the initial beach I picked out, something inside me kept telling me it was not quite right at this place. Maybe it was the cloudy sky, but the aura felt like melancholy and infinite sadness and I could not shake a sense of weirdness. On the northern most end of the beach were interesting structures built of driftwood and as we walked along the beach to the south there were signs warning of possible water contamination from the farms above. I hated leaving since I had already forked over the day use fee, but after only ten minutes, I couldn't take it and I made us get. out. of. there. 

I drove us back up to the state park beach at Half Moon Bay and thankfully the kind entry guy let me in on my previously purchased ticket, phew! The sun came out upon our arrival there and the kids had a blast playing in the massive waves of Half Moon Bay. 

half moon bay

After a quick seafood dinner, the kids and I made the trek over the mountains and up the hills to our suburban destination. The house we had rented for the next month was located in Emerald Hills. This community of massive houses is built on every square inch of said hills, and has winding one lane roads throughout. The house itself was typical California style with stucco outside, typical Sante Fe decor inside, three massive living spaces, large kitchen and dining, and 3 bedrooms. But the selling point of this home was the backyard. 

Built on a hill, with the bay in the distance, the backyard had 4 terraces, wrapped completely with a privacy fence. The first terrace was the huge back deck with a hot tub and large outdoor seating. The second huge terrace was a full-fledged, legit Tiki Bar built under the first terrace, complete with bar seating plus additional seating, fridge, sound system, sink, and surfboards, not to mention an outdoor pool shower and toilet. The third terrace was a beautifully landscaped seating area with fire pit and the fourth terrace was a heated pool. 

pool view

Even though we weren't supposed to think about parties, we couldn't help but name this house "The Party House." When we made arrangements to rent this home, the owner had mentioned that their neighbors had complained to the county about previous renters due to loud weekend parties. She was hopeful if she rented it to a nice family, the neighbors would calm down. After Josh and I saw this place all we could think was, "Who could blame the guests?! This whole place is built to par-tay!" :)!

Lucky Josh missed out on my initial move-in-freak-out, but thankfully the kids and I got us all unloaded and unpacked without much ado and ready to tackle finding a grocery store. Being in this tightly wound area in the hills, it took us a solid 15 minutes simply to get down to the city. From there, it was a fight through massive traffic to the nearest grocery store. This traffic would be present our entire stay, at all times of day, never ending, never giving any break, massive traffic, always, traffic, traffic, traffic. (Can you tell I'm not a fan of traffic?)

It was at the grocery store I experienced for the first time the downside to only having only one piece of plastic. My cash/check card freaked out at the check-out, due to me traveling to multiple cities in one day, and refused to let me use it. With no other method to pay, our groceries already bagged, almost closing time at the store, I wrangled through our bank's automated system and finally got a real person to unlock my card.

After embarrassingly holding up the cash register for almost half an hour while the store was in final closing mode, I was completely frazzled. Then to drive back through crazy night traffic up to home, I was frazzled. Then to drive back down the winding roads then through traffic to the BART station to pick up Josh, I was frazzled. The day had won and I was done. After a hug and a kiss, I gave Josh the keys and admit defeat. Time of death: 11:30pm.

Drive from city to suburbs: 2 hours, 48 miles

Suburb traffic driving to groceries and BART station: 2 hours, 15 miles


A Monday and a Tuesday: 6th & 7th Days in the City

July 9, 2014 - 9:28 AM

Travel Log: 17 October 2011 - 18 October 2011

Today would mark the start of "normal" school days for the remainder of our time in California. We would reserve our excursions for the weekends when Josh could join us. By this Monday, our time change wake ups were starting to wear off and the kids were getting back to their normal 7am wake-up (vs. the 5am of the week before, oy!).

I have never been a stickler for waking up early as I have never been a morning person. However, I have also read a lot of articles about children needing more sleep, especially teenagers, and I happily let my kids sleep-in, no matter the day. If we start our school day between 8:30-9am, I'm happy. :)!

I tell you what though, it's always a rough go when we get back to "normal" after having an amazing week of "unconventional" school days. We all love the "unconventional" days, we all prefer the "unconventional" school days, but it was time. I wanted to make certain we were faithful with all we reported we would do for our school year and not have to finish some subjects into June, :)!

As I mentioned, we did have our history lined up with our big adventure and our The Story of the USA books were ready to start us at the California gold rush. Our science lessons were also more geared toward studying the earth and earthquakes. Our other subjects we had worked on during the previous week but we were now back into extended teaching lessons of new concepts. 

Yep... that first day back was rough... but the promise of going to play at the beach was a great reward!


In the cute shirt she hand drew, :)!

Tuesday was quite the similar day but had two rewards: going to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, our final event on our City Pass, and going to Chinatown to buy a set of daggers. The museum was quite a distance from us but thankfully we had one more day to use our transit pass, too!

I do love museums. For me, the most fascinating things about seeing art in person is experiencing the scale of the pieces and noticing the details that photos don't do justice, whether it be the shock of how tiny Salvador Dali's paintings are or studying the brush strokes on a Frida Kahlo. Modern art is also something that is fun to experience with children. Josh's mom had once told me while we were at a MOMA, "Modern art can be anything the creator or the viewer wants it to be." The kids could see Marcel Duchamp's Fountain and really discuss what it means to question art establishment authority via a simple gesture as placing a urinal on its side. They all agreed it was plain silly.


And like I said, with this, our final full day in the city, we HAD to go to Chinatown for one last time. Wo/Man, do my kids love Chinatown. We took the bus instead of the tourist-filled cable cars in order to make our trip there "quick." Our bus was entirely filled with Chinese dialect speaking people and the kids were loving every single minute of it. They felt as if they had traveled to China and it was a wonderful cultural experience!

These last two days in the city were wonderful and made us get a great sense of what it would be like to actually live in the heart of the city full time. We all agreed it would be awesome. 



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About Me and This Blog...

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
   Ladies Trip to Napa Valley
   My Parents Rode in a Plane!

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2012 to MN and CO
   Vacation to the North Shore and Cabin
   Boulder for the Summer
   Life in Boulder

Begin Our Adventures of Winter/Spring 2012 to UT
   The Drive to CO/UT Begins
   Vacation in Moab
   Living in Moab / Denver

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2011 to CA
   The Drive to CA Begins
   Living in the SF
   Living in the Suburbs
   Coming Home to IC

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2010 to Eastern Europe
   Life at Czech English Camp
   Travels in Germany & Austria
   Travels in Czech & Poland


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