Monday, January 12, 2009

California knows how to party!

In honor of our one year anniversary, Adam and I took the week to go visit my grandpa in (slightly) sunny California!  It. Was. Amazing.  My grandpa loves young love, so he worked really hard to make this a special trip for us.  We took lots of pictures, so I'll start posting them and narrate as I go!

After our close call with getting to the airport for our trip to Utah, we decided to play it safe and give ourselves plenty of time to make our flight.  It worked!  Unfortunately, the plane was almost full by the time it landed in Kansas City that Adam and I got split up and both had a miserable four hour trip trapped by the people next to us.  With that out of the way, we made it safely to the Oakland airport and were soon greeted by Grandpa, who after dropping off our luggage, took us to lunch at the Hickory Pit (where his breakfast club meets).  After a nap and catching up with Grandpa, he heard about Adam's love of seafood and took us to the swankiest place in town.  Adam and G-Pa got some kind of West Coast fish that was apparently really good while I walked on the wild side (for this Kansas girl) and ordered Alaskan halibut.  Not too bad!

My grandpa gave us his condo for the week while he stayed with his lady friend Jackie (no scandals...he slept downstairs, she slept upstairs...he made sure to make that clear!).  I love my grandpa for so many reasons, but especially his sense of humor.  This post-it note above the scale in the bathroom is just one example of it.

The next morning, he dropped us off at the BART station and gave us a map of San Francisco.  We tried not to look like tourists, which meant that we walked a lot in the wrong direction for 20 minutes before stepping into a Starbucks to memorize the map.  Our first stop was Chinatown.  Pretty cool, but it definitely had some interesting smells...I wasn't really excited to go back there for lunch, but Adam got some cool pictures.

While looking over the map, we noticed a few locations we wanted to check out: the "steepest street" and the "crookedest street."  They seemed to be fairly close by, so we began our journey.  And continued our journey.  I definitely was feeling the burn after 10 blocks of straight incline!

However, our detour was definitely a pleasant surprise.  We walked along Hyde Street (pictured below) for another 10 blocks, which was the most picturesque street ever.  We loved the trees lining the street, gorgeous homes, and cable cars still running.

After visiting the steepest street (which was very steep), we visited Lombard Street, the crookedest street.  It was beautiful!  We loved the brick road and gorgeous landscaping....we're just glad we didn't have to drive down it!

After our long walk/hike, we were definitely starving and somehow found ourselves in Little Italy (no complaints there!).  We found a cafe and ordered excellent panini sandwiches, then finished our meal with gelato.  Adam definitely picked the best flavors - fresh pear, guava, and pomegranate.  We then took BART back to Walnut Creek (just about three hours before the BART riots took about timing!).

When we got back, we shared our pictures with G-pa and had time to visit and relax, then back to eating - soup and salad this time...we had been eating a lot of food!  The next morning, Adam and I drove to Oakland and were able to go to the LDS temple there...the same one in which my parents got married!  It was really beautiful and a good reminder of the importance of families.  I love mine!

When we got back, G-pa's friend Jackie made us lunch - clam chowder and tuna/avocado sandwiches on Jewish rye (I'm telling you....this vacation really seemed revolve around food).  Adam definitely enjoyed the chowder while I really loved my sandwich!  Adam, G-pa, and I then took off on a scenic drive to get to an old auto museum.  I tell you what, those two boys went crazy in there!  I have to admit, there were some pretty nice looking cars.  We had just taught Grandpa how to use his new digital camera and he was just snapping away!

That night, we met up at a little Italian place with my uncle and aunt.  Adam had never met my mom's brother, so it was fun for everyone to get to know each other.  My grandpa introduced Adam as "Shorty Buhler" the entire was great.  We had a good time and good food.

The next morning, my grandpa had arranged for his buddy Skip to give us a limo tour of San Francisco.  What was supposed to be two hours turned into four - but it was great.

Adam and I fell more and more in love with San Francisco as we drove around its neighborhoods, parks, and sites.  There is so much to do and see!  We got some great pictures and did lots of brainstorming on how we could eventually move out here (you know...setting goals and making plans!).  We love it.

That night, my grandpa had made reservations for us at the Hilton right by the airport since we had an early flight.  We had some high hopes for the hotel, but were pretty disappointed when a day's worth of internet cost more than our monthly service at home.  Good thing we were close enough to get some from the unsuspecting Econolodge across the street!  We arrived the next morning safely in Kansas City, but were a little bummed our vacation is over.  Only three degrees, five years, and a whole lot of money to be saved until we can move there permanently!


Michelle said...

See, I want to move to Walnut Creek. Dave's Aunt lives there, so we go up all the time to visit, and I LOVE it!! We're not really urbanites, (although I would give my right arm for some good chinese food somedays) and even though I KNOW WC is in the middle of the city, it still feels like a smallish town. It's the best of both worlds, for us anyway. Now, we just have to save up the money to move there too. Money is such a bummer.

Beth said...

How cute is your grandpa? (So cute.) Sounds like a fun trip.

Ashley said...

Hey guys! I just found this, and it looks like you two just have a ball! That's awesome!

It also looks like this was a super fun trip! I think the people at my OB's office should post a sign like Gramps did over the scale. Turns out, the one we have at home is 4 pounds light. I like it better.

Chelsea said...

I loved my trip to San Fran, so of course it's fun to see other people's pictures. We went to some of the same places. I think we also ventured a trip to Alcatraz...long day.

I'm so glad you came and got your laundry bags done. I worked into the evening to get my pillow done. It was actually really fast once i got everything cut. I still have your thread! If you want I can just keep it for next month and you're ready to go.

Also, you MUST teach me to knit sometime. I am seriously going to attempt that huge cabled blanket (x2) for christmas this year and want to have them finished by October. I know, lofty goals.

Amelia said...

That sounds like such a great trip! The other coast is nice too ... just different. We have the "largest live oak tree" and the "smelliest marsh" to compare with Frisco's straight and crooked streets. :) I'm glad you had a great time - Karen, your grandpa is a hoot!

Mel said...

I love this post! What fun it looks like you had :)

Erin "The Pretty One" said...

Eeeekkkk! I love new blog reader, but more than that I love photogs in my area who are as fun lurving (as TAMN would say) and pure as I am. Just kidding! A little "Church" joke.

Please excuse the mess that is my blog at the moment. I am finalizing me branding and really have been slacking.

Thanks for the comment on my blog! Do you like in the KC area now? What ward are you in. We should totally meet up and shoot sometime or just grab a bite!

My email is

Hope to talk to you soon!

Erin "The Pretty One" said...

One last thing... seriously I am not a stalker! I am always looking for second shooting opps. Also, if here are session/wedding opps that come your way that you cant do I would LOVE a ref!

I hope you are having a great day in this beautiful Kansas fluke warm Spring day. Lord knows that it could snow tomorrow! Gotta love the Midwest!