At the beginning of Summer, I took a 3 week vacation and traveled to America:) I shared about part 1 of the trip already (Missouri/Elsie's Wedding) but have yet to share parts 2-4... the California part :) Today I'm so excited to show you pictures & little stories from of my time at Violet's in San Francisco (Bay area). Here we go :)
I left Missouri on a Tuesday Morning and connected in Chicago onto SF. I had a Bloody Mary at 6:30 in the morning-- the male flight attendant gave it to me for my willingness to switch seats and I figured-- what the heck, I'm on vacation ;) It was gross drinking that early but I made do ;)
I arrived in SF around lunchtime and found Violet reading by the baggage claim. I ran up to her, so excited to see my sister-like friend!! I spun her around and it felt like we'd never been apart-- that's a great feeling to have with long distance friends :)
We did lots of fun things in San Fran (both our favorite = eating out b/c we're foodies)... but my very favorite part was seeing Violet with her bun in the oven :) Violet had had a hard time with pregnancy and I'd seen her go through a lot of sadness when her first pregnancy didn't go full term-- it was a beautiful gift to see her thriving as Roman grew healthy inside of her and I saw one of my best friends filled with every version of joy & excitement possible :) I got to feel him kick too and it made me so happy :)
We went to an Ultrasound to see Roman's progress... I could only recognize his foot at the time b/c babies are sure mushy in there but he was doing good and Violet was so happy seeing him again and again :)
Spoiler Alert: Violet had her baby a month after I left and Roman is beautiful, healthy and making Dustin and Violet sooooooo happy :)
A few days later, Dustin's parents threw Violet and Dustin a super amazing baby shower and we had a very fun & yummy day! It was the best shower I've ever been to (lots of meat) and I felt like I was with my own family-- Violet and Dustin have lots of love around them and they're family & friends are so sweet & hilarious :) At one point, Dustin's Mom and Aunty did an interpretive dance to "My Humps" by Black Eyed Peas. I had a hard time not spitting my drink out from shock laugher!
I got to meet the famous Widgey and Fonzy-- they're so awesome and felt like my Tom's long lost family! Super squeezy dogs, they gave me lots of kisses and I tried holding them constantly (like that girl from Looney Toons).
Then-- LADDER GOLF! You may have heard me talk about this game a few times since my trip... because it's weirdly amazing! I watched for a while and was attracted to the colorful balls...but once I joined in, I was addicted to the game itself! Basically, you throw your Ball String Thing and try to get it on the rung of the ladder (see below)... there's different points per run and fun little extra rules. It's pretty fun, especially if you're a competative smack talker like me ;)
I played Ladder Golf for a little in the day but it wasn't till after the baby shower that things got real interesting! Since we (dustin/violet & their friends) had made somewhat of a drive out to the Baby Shower, Dustin's parents invited all of us to stay overnight and hang out more. And a little dream came true for me...
I felt like I was at a high school co-ed party, something I'd never experienced and felt was missing in my life. It wasn't high school enough (no drugs, making out, writing on ppl's faces) but it was just what I'd always wanted... we made a drinking game out of Ladder Golf, slept in one room razzing each other and telling stories with too much information and woke up with hangovers (minus Violet of course) and Dustin's parents made us egg mcmuffin type breakfast :) Come to think of it, that's not very high school... just the co-ed part and drinking. But it was fun fun fun and I totally woulda made out in the corner if Keith had been there ;) HA
Violet and I went for Mani/Pedi's and I got gel nails for the first time ever... that was a stressful experience and one I'll never revisit ;) And I picked tiny lemons off of the lemon tree in Violet's backyard... and ate them :) So yummy and different than store lemons. Wish I had a lemon tree in Winnipeg ;)
Over the week, We did touristy stuff around town and I was constantly & easily amused by everything... including Salt Water Taffy in masses, the landscaping in SF, seeing the ocean, pretty old signage everywhere, seeing a police takedown on the side of the road, Burrito restaurants everywhere and lots of little differences from my hometown in Winnipeg. I was really feeling relaxed and it was all a great break from my regular work schedule :)
Violet had visited Winnipeg twice and this was my first time to her home in SF and I couldn't believe the size difference! It's the biggest place I've ever been to and made me redefine how big I thought Winnipeg was... it's so not ;) SF stole my heart and I loved being in Violet's hometown and home!
I got to meet some of Violet's friends... here we were visiting Nova Studio, a soap making shop that Violet has worked at :) It was neat to visit Lori's small business and she gave me a handmade soap that looked like food-- mmmmm! And we all went for Thai food, my first time trying that!
On another day, we met up with our friend Lacy, had lunch and went shopping in a weird mall type thing that made me feel like I was on The OC or some Cali tv show. It. was. awesome. I love feeling like I'm in a tv show ;)
This wall was fun to take photos at (Lacy took the top photo of me along with the Welcome photo in my sidebar)... and Violet made her pic it into a blog banner (2x). We got a little carried away and security came. The tv mall was watching us and warned us this was the only spot that allowed cameras (not in stores)... weird, but ok. The security lady took this photo for us and my face shows remainder of the 'not impressed' about no pictures afterwards, ha.
Once Lacy went to work, Violet and I went and saw Water for Elephants at the theatre and relaxed a little. I cried way too much during the movie (because it has animal cruelty in it) but aside from that, it was a really pretty movie. The elephant was my favorite part and Reese whatshernames wardrobe and styling :)
Like any good Canadian, I freaked out about going to a 2-story Target and loved that it had a Palm tree in front!! (Canada doesn't have Target. Or palm trees). Check out the fun cart escalator... oh technology, i love you.
I'd been away from home for a little over 2 weeks and was pretty pretty excited to see my boyfriend 5 days before the end of the vacation :) Keith and I had planned for him to meet me in SF, we'd have a few days alone in the big city [pt.3 of vacation posts] and meet back up with Violet & Dustin the last few days to hang all together [pt.4/Santa Cruz]-- then Keith and I would travel home together :) And it was soooo perfect!! My heart exploded with happiness seeing Keith again :)
The three of us quickly introduced Keith to the yummiest burger ever-- In and Out Burger. It is SO YUMMY! And since Violet had a hobby of taking pictures of everything we ate out, here is me representin ;)
We visited Japantown in San Francisco (this was our first time crossing the bridge into SF, before that, we were in the Bay Area). Japantown was so fun and I loved the paper store (amazing overload of cute tiny things) and the bookstore. There were so many amazing design books that our local WPG bookstore doesn't carry, it was fun to sit and look through them all :) But it was extra-neat seeing Twinkie Chan's book in person-- I felt like she was in the store with us and I blog-geeked out. Then the manager got mad at me for taking pictures in the store ;) (Hi Twinkie if you see this!)
We did a little more touring together in San Fran, located the huge Apple Store near Market Street hoping to buy the elusive iPad 2 and then forgot where we parked. Which is a pretty big problem in such a big city... walking in the streets around there, I seriously felt like I was in New York or something and I was a big wimp. Keith practically recorded the busy walk on his iPhone and I thought he was going to get beat up or something. We were total tourists and Violet & Dustin laughed at us and were very patient ;)
After a fun snack, D&V brought us to our hotel in Union Square and Keith and I started our little vacation. More on that in Part 3 next week :)