Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Best Birthday of My Life!

Note: this post is long overdue, but had to be done for posterity purposes.
Back in July, Nate and I started talking about going to Wicked for our anniversary (which is Oct 11). I have wanted to see it for a couple of years and I conviced Nate that it was a good idea. When we checked the website, we realized it was closing at the beginning of Sept and decided that there wasn't a great time for us to go, especially since we went to Disneyland in August. I wrote it off and decided I wasn't going to be able to see it anytime soon. A week and a half after we got back from Disneyland and 6 days before my birthday(which is Aug 28th), Nate said to me, "We should go to Wicked for your bithday". I was like "really?......OK!!!!" So we did just that. It was pretty spontaneous.

We made it a very quick trip. We were gone for 4 days and two of those days were driving days. The night we got there, we stopped at his grandparents house and had dinner. I was a slacker and forgot to get a picture.

The Oakland temple was on the way to the hotel, so we stopped and got some pictures. It was so pretty...but I FROZE!Our first official vacation day started off with breakfast with some pretty cool people. My friend Courtni, from high school and her family were living in the Bay area (they moved to Idaho the day after this pic was taken). We met them for breakfast and to catch up. She has such a cute family. It was kind of ironic that I never visited until the day before they moved away, but we had a great time. Next up, a trip to the city. We started off at Union Square, then took the trolley down to the pier area. Getting on the trolley was pretty much a nightmare since it was so busy that weekend. It was every man for himself and I might have thrown a few elbows by the time we finally caught a ride. Here I am waiting for the trolley. It took us about an hour to finally catch one. The trolley was well worth the wait! I loved it. We stood on the outer edge and got to see everything from that viewpoint. Our first stop on the pier was Boudin's for Clam Chowder in a sourdough bowl. We saw this fun bread and had to take a picture. Fisherman's Wharf was fun and smelled very fishy...obviously. Too bad we're not bigger seafood fans. This seemed like seafood heaven.For my birthday cake, I decided a good substitution would be a cookie bottom sundae from Ghirardelli. I was right. It was amazing! Look at that beauty...not me, the cookie bottom sundae. I was worth every last calorie. Yes, I did share with Nate. This displays the way Nate was feeling when it was gone.
And this is how I felt. I look like I'm ready for more, and I was. We decided that wouldn't be a good idea.

Peir 39, Alcatraz and China Town

One of the trip highlights was Alcatraz. While we were waiting for our time to go over, we walked aoung Pier 39. It is a crowded fun place with a lot of shops. We got to see the sea lions, which apparently lay out on the docks every day. The numbers have gone down over the years, but there were still quite a few. It was pretty entertaining to watch them

Like I said, Alcatraz was awesome. They give you headphones and send you on a walking tour. I found it quite fascinating.

After the tour, we walked outside where Nate took pictures and I did this (refer to picture below). It was so windy and cold. I tried to bundle up but my jacket wasn't helping a ton. Our last stop that day was China Town. We spent most of our time walking though all the shops and seeing all the cool stuff they had. We had my birthday dinner at a restaurant there that isn't worth mentioning. It was below adequate and disappointing, but China Town was still really cool.

San Fran part 3...Wicked edition

For the second day of our trip, we drove to Carmel. If you've never been there, please go! It is paradise. Our day started at the beach. We rolled up our pants and walked down the beach in the water. When we got about as far away from our car as possible, we found a stranger to take our picture. I went to pull the camera out of my purse only to realize it was in the car! So we walked all the way back up the beach and climed the massive hill to our car. We grabbed the camera and walked back to where we started. Another stranger agreed to take our picture. When we tried to turn the camera on, we found that it was out of batteries. Awesome. At this point, we decided a picture on the beach wasn't meant to be.
After the beach, we found a charming little place to eat lunch. It was the best meal we had on the trip(this does not include the cookie bottom sundae). After lunch, we walked around the town and windowed shopped. Carmel is a great place to see, but very expensive to buy. That didn't bother us...we were there to relax.
The Cottage of Sweets was so darn cute, I had to make Nate get his picture taken next to it. Before we headed back to San Fran, we took a drive down the coast and found this amazing spot to take a picture. It was such a beautiful day and the views were amazing (as you can see). Now...the pinnacle moment of our trip and the best birthday present I've ever received, WICKED!!! We gave ourselves plenty of time to get back to our hotel so we could get ready and get to the city for the show. We were so nervous about something going wrong that we took BART(public transport) in early and arrived about an hour an a half before the show. Instead of chancing the time at a sit down reastaurant, we ate at the Carl's Jr next to the theater. It was full of transients. It gave us the opportunity to buy dinner for a homeless woman who walked up behind us in line, asked us to buy her dinner and told us what she wanted. I decided it was a much better method than standing on a corner with a sign.
Here we are in front of the theater. It is so pretty inside! The show was absolutely amazing! It was both of our first times seeing it and neither of us were disappointed. I was so impressed with the cast and how talented they were. My favorite was the girl who played Elphaba. Her voice was so unique. It was interesting to put the music with the story, which I didn't know. I loved how clever it was and that it has a great moral. I would recommend this show to anyone. It is so great! The morning that we left, we wanted to make a few stops to Lombard Street and The Golden Gate Bridge. I love Lombard Street and how well taken care of it is. The bridge was also very cool. We walked out to the middle and were able to see a great view of the city. It was the last thing we did on the trip. It was so much fun and a great way to spend my birthday! I really could not have asked for a better present. I can't wait to see how he tops himself next year.