West Coast Travelogue: San Francisco

Our next step in this west coast adventure involved heading west several hours to tour the grand city of San Francisco. My brother has some friends who live in Berkely who had graciously invited us to stay with them. Ian and I joked that this was our first “tiny house” experience because we stayed in a converted shed in their backyard just big enough for a double bed, pack n play, and a couch. But it was perfect for our little family, and we enjoyed having our own space even while staying with someone else.

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On the way to San Francisco we stopped by the Jelly Belly factory. Because we stopped by on a Sunday, the factory was not in operation but it was still fun to walk through the plant and see how the jelly beans are made. I had no idea that the process was so labor intensive. Of course the free sample bags at the end were a fun perk too! 🙂 Oliver’s trying to break into the car right here, per his usual antics. Lol.

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We got in to San Francisco early Sunday evening and wanted to go experience some of the town right away so we headed in to Chinatown for dinner. We went off the recommendation of our hosts and ate at a very authentic place called Kam Lok. It was my first authentic Chinese experience and while I was a bit scared we were all going to get sick, it was kinda fun to just immerse myself into the place and I actually really enjoyed all my food! We got one of the mix dinner options and got to try a bit of everything!

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For this section of our trip, we still had my parents and siblings with us and it was nice to have some family along to help entertain the boys and explore the city. Monday was our big sightseeing day. We left in the late morning and didn’t return until evening! We thought for sure we would end up coming back because the boys would be cranky but they proved to be great sightseers! Eliot loved hanging out in the ergo and Oliver did a great job walking all around the city! He was such a trooper to walk his little feet off and only asked to be held at the very end of the day.  Of course we had to begin our day in Union Square so I could check out Britex Fabrics. What a fun store, but so overwhelming!

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Would you believe it, I got so overwhelmed that I ended up with just a little Dr. Seuss panel that I found in the clearance section of the store. I think this would be a great resource if I needed some particular type of fabric- like wool or home dec, but going in without a specific need, you end up with too many options. Also I noticed that their quilting cottons section was several dollars more per yard than regular fabric stores who carry the same lines. I loved this wall of vintage sewing machines though!

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We left Union Square and took the cable car down to Fisherman’s Wharf. Definitely recommend that experience.san francisco (6 of 14)Fisherman’s Wharf was full of fun sights and sounds for the boys to take in. There were some big ships docked and a cool museum of video games (from the 1900s on!). Most of the video games were functional and only cost the original amount to play so the boys got some quarters and played 3 different games for $1 total!

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We walked up to the Ghirardelli store and decided to be typical tourists and ordered a big sundae to share. I have to say that this is one thing I think was way overrated. Yeah the ice cream was fine but we had even better ice cream later on in our trip for a third of the price! Down from the Ghirardelli store was a nice big grassy area where the boys enjoyed running around and watching the boats sail back in forth in the bay.

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Oliver loved having Daddy and Uncle Joe to swing him around!

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Tuesday we knew would need to be a laid back day to help the boys recover from Monday’s big excursion so we headed to Golden Gate park and had fun riding the carousel, playing on the playground and seeing the San Francisco skyline from the DeYoung museum’s tower. Definitely recommend that for a great free view of the city.san francisco (11 of 14)

Then we met up with my family at the Golden Gate Bridge viewing area and said goodbye to them as they were headed back to the airport that afternoon. I loved how beautiful the area was down here! San Francisco is such a gorgeous city and we had amazing weather to explore the sights.

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Me and my sissy taking a selfie in front of the bridge. And we aren’t really trying to be too cool for school. The sun was so bright that our eyes were all squinty without the sunglasses!

san francisco (14 of 14)We made a fun impromptu Ikea stop on our way home from the bridge because traffic was so bad and we were all getting a little hangry. Thankfully we spotted an Ikea right off the interstate so we stopped in for a bite and to let the boys run around a bit in the kid’s section. I always love an Ikea visit! Once we got back to our host house, we decided to go ahead and pack up our stuff and begin our next trek that evening so we could get a few hours of driving in while the boys were asleep. Brilliant idea as they fell asleep as soon as we left and we had 5 hours of nice, quiet driving before stopping for the night.

Next up, our 3 days in Portland and my fellow bloggers meet-up! 🙂


West Coast Travelogue: Grass Valley, CA

Whew, I didn’t mean to take so long of a blog break but traveling with 2 children under 3 is a full-time job and I just couldn’t get the time or brain space to do anything else! We are back home now and beginning the unpacking and transitioning to East Coast time and real life again- not an easy task for any of us! As fun as our trip was, I am happy to be back and looking forward to spending some time sewing again. I’ve missed it! Because this was such an epic trip for our family, I want to share a bit of a travelogue of our experiences and adventures along the way. More for the fact that I don’t want to forget any of this time than I think that y’all are interested in reading about it. I met up with such fun people and had so many great experiences that I want to memorialize this trip forever. But who knows, maybe some of you would also like to read about our time on the West Coast. If not, just ignore anything with the travelogue title and you’ll be good to go. I’m going to dive right in today with the first 5 days of the trip (and the reason we went out in the first place), my brother’s wedding in Grass Valley, CA.

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BTW all of these pictures are taken with my iPhone 5 so the quality is not as great as they would be with the real camera but travel takes place too quickly for big cameras! Also I’m trying to share different pics than I did on IG so if you follow me there (@oliversfancy), you won’t get a complete repeat!

Getting ourselves out there in the first place was a fun adventure! We made every effort to pack very light because we knew that would would have laundry facilities along the way. (sometime soon, I will tell you about my fun challenge of capsule wardrobe packing) Even so, bringing 4 people, 2 car seats, loads of snacks, clothes and accessories ended up being quite the haul!

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The boys did fairly well for their first flying experience: key being lots and lots of snacks to keep the crankies at bay! Oh and watching the airplanes in the airport was quite fascinating.

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The wedding went off beautifully and we all looked smashing if I do say so myself. 🙂 Only ended up with one not-so-great shot of my little family but glad to have gotten something. By the way Oliver is wearing his Vintage May outfit. He has gotten quite a bit of wear out of those skinny jeans and I can’t wait to make him more for this fall/winter!

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Siblings oldest to youngest…Can’t believe 3 of us are married now!

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Bride and groom with my two munchkins. They love Uncle Jared and can’t wait to get to know Aunt Stephanie more.

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Oliver needed his own “pretty flower” and was so pleased when the flower lady gave him one. Then he ran around brandishing it like a sword so he kinda missed the point of the flower. Such a boy-child. 🙂

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The night after the wedding, we took the boys to the Nevada County fair which was in town that week. So fun! I don’t think I’ve ever been to a state or county fair and I loved the experience. It’s not a super cheap experience but it was worth it for the fun memories with the boys.

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We let Oliver pick about 4 rides to go on and he especially loved these car rides! I loved the fact that we all got to go on the carousel. I’m such a kid at heart and love to ride those every chance we get. And Eliot didn’t get left out of the fun either. He loved seeing and petting all the animals!grass valley, ca (9 of 11)Funny fair story: Oliver dirtied his shorts and we had to do an emergency change but the only pair of shorts I had on hand were Eliot’s 12 month shorts. I didn’t say a word, just slipped those shorts on Oliver (couldn’t believe they actually buttoned!) and he walked around in 12 month shorts the rest of the night, none the wiser. He would have been upset if he had known, but thankfully he’s a skinny kid or he would have been the kid at the fair with no pants!

grass valley, ca (11 of 11)Checking out the monster truck jam happening on the other side of the fence. And snacking on some yummy kettle korn! A must-try when they cook it in the kettle right in front of you.

grass valley, ca (10 of 11)And thus ends the first part of our 3 week trip. Next up, San Francisco and my first fabric store stop. Yep, I’ll be sure to let you know about all the fabric stores I visited along the way. (and the crazy amount of fabric I brought home!)