Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fun in California!

I REALLY need to get creative with my posts (you have heard that before) but for now, more recaps!

This past week brought lots of fun activities and some incredible weather.  You might recall I was begging for a few hot days in the city, well we got them!  When we arrived home from St. Louis the house was 87 degrees and opening the windows did nothing to alleviate the heat (no wind).  It was perfect for spending time outside but made for restless evenings in the house...which apparently cause Scott to do house cleaning.  Another benefit of hot weather! Kidding, Scott!  

Tuesday Chrissie and I decided to take the kids down to Chrissie Field for a little fun in the bay. Kayla wasn't too interested in the actual water (who would be?  the bay is FREEZING!) but really enjoyed her watering can!

Can you get any cuter?!

Friday as you know I spent a lot of time at the DMV.  After that lovely experience Lola and I headed to Dolores Park with Kristina for some wine and cheese.  That night Nick came up and they joined us for taco night and two exciting games of Scene It.  The score is tied and Scott and I are ready for the tie breaker!  Hopefully Kristina realizes that playing in the park is much more fun than work and continues to take days off!  

Saturday...Napa...surprise, surprise!  Tia and Tom were in for the weekend so Scott and I joined them for a little wine tasting, yummy lunch at the Rutherford Grill and of course lots of catching up!  It was great to see them and hopefully they continue to make regular trips to the city (and vicinity).
Oh yes, a mandatory stop on the way home...Gloria Ferrer.  This was our free tasting, not really sure we could have passed it up.  I will be back for more next weekend with Kristina (and hopefully Diane) for our pick up weekend!  YAY for bubbles!!

My weekend activities concluded with a trip down to Redwood City for dinner with Tommy and Cortney and some gymnastics in the yard with Hanna and Paisley!  As a result of my back bend my body is feeling a little sore today.  But hey, at least I didn't land on my head!  Thank you to the Hyland family for great food and company!

Scott enjoyed a little golf this morning with Todd and Cru (warm up for Palm Springs next weekend) while I slept in :).  It was much needed catch up sleep and now we are just enjoying a lazy Sunday, Scott napping as we speak.  

Another perfect week and weekend.  Looking forward to what this week brings...more fun activities, including my first Giants game!  

Friday, April 24, 2009


I guess it's official. I am no longer a Missourian or Coloradan...I am now a Californian. After 3+ hours at the wackiest DMV I have new license plates and a temporary CA driver's license. It sure would be nice if they could just print up a real license there, but apparently they enjoy causing people slightly more pain in the form of carrying around a wad of paper for 4-6 weeks.  

Oh, is finished and I am officially home in the state of California!  

*not my license plate above...I didn't think it would be a good idea to post my real plates on the internet!  

what I could be doing

I could be walking lola, running, looking for a job, shopping, pricing new brakes for my car, watching get the point! Just about anything!

What am I doing?

Sitting in the DMV! I have been here for 3 hours. Well, that's not entirely true. I took a trip to get a $90 smog check at hour 2! If I wasn't on my iPhone this rant would be MUCH longer about how silly this system is. Luckily, Kristina and I have a day date that involves wine at 1 or I might be crazy by tonight!!

Good news, I already passed my written exam and got a California driver's license. That test was hard but I only missed 3 of 36! Phew! I don't look entirely dumb in my picture either. Trying to find the silver lining of this experience!!

Hope you are all doing something more fun than me today!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Yet another weekend recap

This past weekend was a very exciting one.  In fact, I think I am still catching up on sleep.

Friday, Scott and I headed off to St. Louis.  After three hours of me freaking out on the airplane, afraid it was going to fall out of the sky (poor Scott, it wasn't one of my prettier performances), we arrived safely.  Of course, in true Eilene fashion, the table was decorated and a wonderful dinner was cooked.  It was nice to have a relaxing evening with just the four of us as all of our previous visits have involved a lot of activities and socializing (little did my mom know, this one would too).  

The table

Saturday morning I finally got to meet Eli!!!  He is absolutely adorable and is already holding his head up (only a month old).  Allison looked great and it was so fun to get to see her little family.  Kind of crazy that we were playing Barbies at 1947 Pine Run and now she is bringing her baby over!  
Wish I got to be around more to see this cute little face!
maybe not this face (kidding) :), although Scott does claim he enjoys fiesty babies!
Proof (Eli was melting down at this moment)
The proud parents!

There are SO many great stories and pictures from the weekend I could probably compose 15 posts, but I will try and keep it top line.  Just know it was a perfect weekend!

Saturday the fun continued with a surprise 60th birthday party for my mom.  She was definitely surprised although she had a few clues that something was up (phone calls, dresses, etc...).
me, mom, dad
Me and Gabrielle.
Grandma and me
I think you have met us a time or two :)
The Smith clan...grandma and her four kids

After plenty of gag gifts, real gifts, a margarita fountain, two kegs, speeches, a slideshow, and mingling, we headed home.  
Me in 5th grade...see any similarities?

Sunday we headed over to the Reppy household for some more Eli time!  While I think Scott and I were pretty lame guests (Saturday took its toll) we enjoyed seeing the remodeled kitchen, Eli's room, and of course, spending time with my new little friend. 
Don't you want me to babysit your kids?!  This would be a hair of the dog moment...

After a 4:30am wake-up and trip home on Monday we arrived safely back in San Francisco.  We missed our little Lola and she was definitely happy to see us.  Thanks to Michelle and Kristina for taking such good care of our munchkin!  

Looking forward to our next St. Louis visit...Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter

Scott and I had originally planned on a low key Easter of just us.  Saturday night we got a surprise that family was coming...YAY!  When we moved into this house we were excited about the possibility of hosting friends and family so it was nice that we got to have them all over. Plus, it always makes holidays better when you can share them with family (not that it wouldn't have been special and wonderful with just the two of us).

Scott, Kristina, Marcus, and Beth
Mimosas with Beth
Nick enjoying...
the Masters!!  For the record...Scott was VERY disappointed Kenny Perry didn't pull off the win (hope you are feeling better about this today! ;)  )
Our Easter table (jelly beans, peeps, peanut M&Ms, and whopper eggs).  We also made an egg casserole (that turned out pretty good despite making up a recipe), biscuits, french toast, and bacon!  YUM!

After a rousing game of Scene It (Beth, Nick and I won), we bid farewell to the family and enjoyed the rest of the day relaxing.  Our wonderful weekend ended with a little pizza and movie watching (the Queen-I hadn't seen it).  

As you can see, we took advantage of the great weather and time to spend with each other and family.  

Next to St. Louis to see little Eli!!!

Saturday Activities

Saturday morning began with coffee and a leisurely trip to the dog park.  It is a really unique park tucked into the side of a hill and is actually an old baseball diamond (you can see the old backstop in the far middle of this picture).  As you can see Lola had a great time playing ball on a gorgeous Saturday morning.
run lola run!

Since it was such a nice day we began brainstorming fun places to go and explore in and around the city.  While we wanted to sit outside, we ended up settling on the Cliff House on the coast.
The walk up this hill was very windy...felt a little silly in my dress at that point (since everyone else at the beach had on fleeces and scarves)!
While we didn't get to sit outside and enjoy the sun, the view from our table wasn't too bad!  Plus, it was nice and warm inside :)

After lunch (which ended up being around 3ish) we came home for an afternoon with the Masters.  Nothing like golf to nap to!  

Saturday night we stayed in and watched Milk.  Rent it...immediately!  Not only was it a great movie but it was neat to see all the places in the city it was filmed.  Specifically, the Castro since it is so close to us here in Noe.

On to Sunday...

Friday Date Day

Ok, first a bonus picture from Thursday...
Kayla decided to help sort her toys from inside the toy bin!  She really enjoyed getting in and out repeatedly.

Now onto our Friday night.  As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Scott and I tend to have Friday dates on a regular basis.  This week it kind of snuck up on us in the form of Warriors tickets!! After sitting in traffic for an hour and a half (A's opening day and a Warriors game at the same time, next to each other) we made it!!   
Enjoying some pre game beers in the club.
Game time!  This was my first NBA game!  It was very exciting and it was CRAZY to see how tall these guys are!!  I was a bit (ok, very) disappointed that Yao Ming didn't bother to show up (we were playing the Rockets).  Would have been neat to see him.

It was another great date Friday that was followed by an incredible weekend...

**Sorry about the dark writing above...the formatting with Macs and blogspot tends to be a little temperamental sometimes.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Good to be home

After a week of catching up on sleep, getting over my cold, and catching up on everything that I dropped for 10 days (cleaning, laundry, shopping, etc...), the weekend came!

This weekend was nothing short of perfect.  Not only the weather, but the company and activities.  Saturday Scott and I decided that it would be a great day for a trip to the Presidio Golf Course to hit the driving range.  So, we put on our country club best and headed to the course.  My first few shots were nothing short of horrendous and I am sure everyone was thrilled I was taking up a spot on the range.  But, after a little coaching (thanks, Scott) I was able to consistently make contact and even get my right-shank under control.  While I still have a LONG way to go I made huge improvements and I am looking forward to getting back out there...maybe I will even brave 9 holes next time!  

What is a little golf without a trip to the Presidio Golf Course Cafe for a beer?  There is something about "country club food" that I just love.  Burgers, chicken sandwiches, club sandwiches, fries, etc...  It hits the spot!  

The rest of the day was full of couch time.  It was nice to be able to just relax together after the hectic past two weeks. Oh, we also watched Baby Mamma.  Actually not half bad and much different than I expected.  Good laughs...

Sunday, the fun continued (with a nice sunburn from Saturday's events).  We needed to get to Macy's to update the golf wardrobe and I even got a present!  Scott was finally at the end of his rope with my sunglasses so I got a new pair.  You see, every time I smiled in my old ones my cheeks would push them up and off my nose.  Come to find out, this is a problem I have with a lot of sunglasses so I ended up with a new pair of aviators.  

After good conversation and a few glasses of wine at the Cheesecake Factory (overlooking Union Square) we picked up Lola dog and headed to Dolores Park.  
As you can see, A LOT of people had this idea
View of downtown from the park
Lola dog soaking up the sun
Just what I needed after a week in the wind and rain.  I am a bit bummed that this is about as good as it gets here in San Francisco.  While I won't miss the 100+ degree days in Boulder a few in the 90s would be very welcome during the summer months.  Oh well, I will just have to hold out for our Hawaii trip in August!!!
Some bubbly in the park.  What a life!

It was a great weekend and I am already anxious for next weekend to get here...hopefully the weather is as nice (my skin actually ended up slightly darker than pasty white after all the outdoor events)!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Final Thoughts

It is definitely good to be back home with Scott and Lola.  No matter how amazing a trip is, it is always nice to get back to your family, bed and shower.  Speaking of showers...

I have never experienced so many odd shower devices.  In the B&Bs we stayed in there were often switches to turn on the hot water (like a light switch) and then a whole control box with a variety of buttons you had to push to get shower actually working.  This was usually followed by a trickle of water that would go from scalding hot to freezing cold.  There were a few times one person had to figure out the shower and take the rest of us on a tutorial of how to make it work.  

Also, what is with the bathroom light switches being outside of the bathroom?  Never could get used to that.

A few fun notes:
  • crackin' wee pub-this was the way Craig described many of our lunch spots!
  • hand luggage and overhead locker-British Airways terminology for carry ons and overhead bins
  • A typical Scottish breakfast consisted of eggs, a half of tomato (fried/baked?), mushrooms, beans, ham and sausage (this was also served on the plane to London from Edinburgh)
  • J.K. Rowling is from Edinburgh.  She began writing the Harry Potter books across the street from the Royal Oak, Hogwarts is based on a school in Edinburgh (Tony Blair attended this school), and most of the movies were filmed in Scotland.  There were many references to the books/movies and it was very fun to see the inspiration for the magical world!
  • Even though the Scots speak English, there are definitely times when you can't understand them!  Their accents are so strong!
  • Luckily we made it out of the UK without having to use the code word! "MAC!"  I am still a little fuzzy on how this works...
  • We were also fortunate not to need the fishing line that Cynthia brought along.  Although I think that the mom's could have used a clothes drying line at one point ;)
As I mentioned before, I left the trip a few days early.  When we originally booked I was still employed and didn't want to take more than a week away from work.  Well, the rest of the ladies stayed until Wednesday and managed to squeeze in even more!  
Unfortunately blogspot makes this picture a bit small, but the Queen is in the car in her bright pink outfit! Definitely amazing they got to see her-my mom said it was quite the spectacle and very amazing.
I missed my chance!!!  Prince Harry was RIGHT there.  
It's ok...I am pretty happy right where I am :)

Obviously we packed a lot into 10 days!  Lots went on here too with Allison and Chrissie both having healthy baby boys while I was gone.  I get to see Tanner again tonight (he is absolutely adorable!) and can hardly wait to get to St. Louis to meet little Eli.  Congrats to both moms!  

Well, that wraps up my trip over the pond.  Back to normal blogging...thanks for listening!

St. Andrews

I decided this post needs it's own entry because it was a pretty special stop.  While I am not a great golfer (ok, when I golf it looks more like putt putt) my dad is an incredible golfer and has played St. Andrews (the old course).  So has my mom, but from what I hear, not in quite as good of form as my dad :).  

The 7 of us on the Swilken Bridge.  Kind of a big deal in golf! 
St. Andrews was much different than I expected.  Very unpretentious!  The course pretty much sits right up against the edge of town and really looks more like a large park than a golf course. As a matter of fact, on Sundays that is exactly what it is.  Sunday the course shuts down and people come out with their dogs and families and enjoy the grounds.  The course is very much meant for the people of St. Andrews (and Scotland in general) and they make sure tee times are reserved for locals and the area is accessible to those that live there.  As my dad said, Scotland makes it very easy for people to get into the game of golf.  It is very unassuming and relaxed as opposed to the country club mentality the states have created.  I could go on all is just a really neat place!
The opening of Chariots of Fire was filmed on this beach.  Me, with St. Andrews in the background.
As Chrissie mentioned before I left, I was going to Scot Land (as in my Scott).  So I decided I would leave this as a reminder (at least until high tide).

St. Andrews is much more than a golf course.  It is a town, there is a college (where Prince William went), and of course, a lot of history. 
The remains of St. Andrews Cathedral.  Just based on what is left, this place had to be absolutely unbelievable in it's time.  We timed our visit during a downpour with winds driving the rain horizontal.  It all added to the experience though!  
Sitting like the monks used to
Casey climbed into one of the sarcophaguses!  Better her than me...I think I would have had nightmares.

From here we headed back to Edinburgh for a little more pub time and my last night abroad.  It was an incredible trip and one that I will never forget!  One more post to follow with a few last notes...

and the journey continues...

Well, when I last left you we were taking a tour around Scotland.  Let's continue...
Glamis Castle.  This is where the Queen Mother grew up...not a bad childhood home, huh?
The mom's under a beach tree walkway.  Toni would like on of these in her yard, please!
The pet cemetery at Glamis was, cute?  They had stones for guinea pigs, dogs, birds, etc...
All seven in the gardens at Glamis
Sheep!  As I mentioned, there is no shortage of these furry little guys in Scotland.
After touring the castle we discovered the zip line outside and did a little horsing around!  Cayce, me and Erin (pictured) all took a ride.  By the way, there was a sign that said the playground was for children ages 2-8.  Young at heart, right?!
Eassie cemetery.  This might have been one of my favorite stops.  I am not quite sure why.  It was an unexpected stop, just off the road and it was just so quaint and quiet and seemingly not often visited by tourists (another bonus to having Craig along!).  The light was amazing at this time of day and it was just a peaceful little stop.
Sunset at Eassie
At Eassie there were some very old headstones.  This one has masonic marks on it.  There were also many with skulls and crossbones on it (which Craig managed to convince the mom's were pirate graves)
There were obviously a lot of meals on this trip and I can't complain about any of them.  The food in Scotland was great (and very fresh according to my mom!). 
The mom's enjoyed a glass (or more) of Glenmorange Scotch.  Here is Cynth posing with a little Glenmorange display at a pub.
Another meal.  Probably some more warm soup.  I don't really like soup all that much but when it is cold and rainy there is nothing better!

I'm going to switch to another post for the finale of the trip and some final thoughts!