the rest.

Kyle and I are no strangers to traveling together. We have an excellent system — he drives, I navigate. It’s worked super well for us in the last 10+ years that we’ve traveled together. We’ve found our way around Canada, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and all over California, Oregon, Idaho and Vegas.
Whenever we leave to go somewhere semi-unfamiliar, we take along a big book atlas. This last weekend we were totally focused on getting to the hospital to meet our new nephew and see our family; the after-stuff never even entered our minds! Thus, we left our home without our trusty, beat-up, well-used atlas to guide us. No big deal! I have directions to the hospital! And they were awesome ones I printed from the campus’ website. We found it easily and immediately. The rest? Not so much of either. We got lost in the city several times. Can I ask you, San Francisco, why you refuse to put Freeway This Way signs on any of your streets? And when you do, you just randomly leave out the last few so that the drivers are taken 80% of the way and then left to fend for themselves? It took us over an hour to find our way from the Embarcardero to UCSF Parnassus. Granted, most of that was spent in horrific traffic (thanks, Fleet Week!) but seriously — we found our way to the hospital with no map! Jovi even started praying to Jesus that daddy would find the hospital. And when we finally came across Carl, and then Irving, we were like “Jovi! YOU ARE AWESOME” and then she spent the next 10 minutes congratulating her daddy on finding the hospital. “Good job, daddy!”

But really, the weekend was pretty amazing, otherwise. We took the girls to the zoo, which they loved. Jovi has been to a few zoos already but I think this is the first time she was actually old enough to really appreciate it. Although we argued for about 2 hours on why she wasn’t allowed to pet the animals or get inside their enclosures. Have you ever tried explaining to a 3 1/2 year old that even the cuddly animals can be bitey? So the petting zoo was a big save as far as that issue went. She got to pet sheep and goats and chase ducks while Aven wandered around looking offended if a goat looked at her the wrong way. She wasn’t herself that day (might have something to do with all the tantruming the day before? I’m sure that takes a lot of energy. Sigh).

Jovi wanted to go in there with all the "pink birds"

aven's scrunchy smile

I don't think you can see it, but they were feeding the giraffe right behind Kyle and the girls. Within a couple feet!Those leaves between his head and Aven's are the giraffe's food.

my reluctant giraffe

awww baby gorilla!

We also got to see my awesome, amazing, beautiful friend Michelle. It’s crazy because I have known her for over ten years now, and aside from college, we’ve seen each other only a handful of times over the last decade. But when we do manage to meet up, it’s like old times. We don’t miss a beat and we pick up right where we left off. It’s a special friendship and I treasure it!! I wish everyone could have their very own Michelle — if you ever find one, hang on tight and never let go! Friends like that are priceless.

Jovi’s new BFF Michelle. She loved her and took to her right away, which is neat because she’s usually shy around new people.

enjoying the zoo

ah. there's nothing like the daddy-daughter relationship.

We got there right after they put out the food for the grizzlies!

chompin' on some lettuce. And yes, there's a glass partition there.

cutest peacock ever, right?

we took the girls for a ride on the zoo's train

Michelle and Aven right before Jovi threw a penny into the fountain and it skipped four times! That has to be worth bonus points, right?

I think Jovi's Heaven will be full of pet-able animals!

Friends :)

Sunday morning we met Michelle in Pacifica and went to an awesome beach. It was a little foggy and chilly at first but then the sun came out and it was wonderful. The ocean is my favorite.

We went to a two-story Target (with its own parking garage - what??) and got the girls some sand toys.

Ok I'm smiling hurry up and take the picture so I can go back to building important things!

Aven gave herself a sand-patch in lieu of a soul-patch.

Daddy and his girls

They played and played while Michelle and I visited. I kept secretly hoping a wave would catch them off-guard so I could win $10,000 on AFV

Half-Moon bay! haha

my loves

On the way home from San Francisco, the girls needed a break and we needed to stretch, so we stopped at a pumpkin patch just outside Sacramento. The girls got to run around a bit a pick their own pumpkins off a four-acre patch!

Our vacation west-ward was quick, hectic, stressful and interesting (especially Saturday night when we found ourselves lost, right in the center of the Castro District- haha!) but that’s pretty much just Life, right? In the midst of all those hair-ripping-out moments were sweet ones where the girls gave us a random “I love you!” or Kyle and I laughed at stupid jokes the other made. And of course, we got to meet our sweet, blessed, brand-new nephew!

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7 Responses to the rest.

  1. Aw, wish I could have been there with you and Michelle. Looks like you had a fun adventure!

  2. Nichol says:

    How are your beach pictures so bright and the kids faces perfectly lit? The oregon coast is infamously gray :(
    I have a DSLR but can’t get it right.

  3. Christa says:

    What a fun adventure. Micah and I always have marital conflict/intimacy building exercises when we are driving together. I am learning to shut my mouth a bit more these days and just enjoy the ride, but in a city… it is best if I drive… heheee. I know there is so much more around looking at the pictures of a trip… especially after – I can look at some of our pictures and think… wow – this looked so fun… was I there, because it sure felt stressful, but after time the stress part dissipates and the good memories remain… and are softened with “remember when” jokes… makes me smile!

    • I’ve told Kyle a few times that we could never do The Amazing Race together because we’d probably end up getting a divorce – haha! Mostly joking….
      I should start taking photos in the midst of all the stress and bickering. Maybe that’d help make us laugh later! haha

  4. Angela says:

    You and your family are simply wonderful Jen!

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