12 Nov

The Golden Gate Bridge at Sunset

We are back!  I am happy to say that after seven years of marriage, three kids, and two careers, The Normans had a family vacation.

There are plenty of people who can pack up and go wherever, whenever they please.  We are not those people!  Our trip took planning, budgeting, and tons of prayer.  After all, we were driving with three kids to San Francisco.  Our initial intent was to travel north for my cousin’s wedding; a simple, quick turnaround for me and the Mr.  But, my aunt offered to line up a babysitter if we wanted to bring the kids. The opportunity presented itself and we went with it!

My husband and I are pretty laid back, so when we missed the exit for the 5 and ended up on the 99, we didn’t stress too much.  We soon learned the detour would only take us 20 miles off track so there was no need to freak out or turn around.  Our sidestep led to lunch at Bravo Cheese Farm; a quaint little stop laden with fabulous Americana, a three-story treehouse, and sweet treats!   After several stops to let the kids ride their scooters, we made it to Pleasanton. The town is adorable.  We played Bocce ball at Campo di Bocce (I want one in SoCal!!!), played in the pool at the hotel, and then enjoyed the wedding at Ruby Hills Golf Club.  It was truly gorgeous.  After a final brunch with extended family, we made our way to the city.

Have you ever experienced a moment when time seems to stand still?  Without rush or anxiety, much is accomplished…that was what we experienced!

We found our way to the hotel and walked a block to Fisherman’s Wharf.  Bread Bowls at Boudins, Ice Cream on Pier 39, rides on the San Francisco Carousel, and Sea Lion viewing.  Exhausted, our kids fell asleep early.  Brett and I ordered an artisan pizza, which we toasted with a couple of beers on the bed as the kids slept.  The following day we enjoyed breakfast, a cable car ride, Chinatown, the park in St. Mary’s Square, and grilled cheese sandwiches at Cowgirl Creamery in the Embarcadero.  The afternoon brought a ride over the Golden Gate Bridge, a stroll through Mill Valley (where I excitedly visited Tyler Florence), and dinner and dessert in Ghirardelli Square.  Do we sound nuts?  Because, in retrospect, I think we sound absurd!

I cannot tell you enough how amazing the time was, how enjoyable our experiences were, how elated the kids were to experience different sites and treats.  Brett and I will treasure their faces and the first family vacation forever!  And, amazingly, we are back refreshed.  Maybe not so much physically as we are emotionally.  The experience refreshed our souls, minds, and spirits, which I believe are equally if not more important than our bodies!


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