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Lake Tahoe Family Vacation – day 1/first day

Ahhhh… Lake Tahoe.  Even though it was 2 months ago, I still get a little sad because our time there as a family was sooooo great and way too short.  I’ve got lots to share about our long 4 days weekend, so I’ll break it up by day.  Lots to share.  Lots of pictures.  Lots of fun.

Back story:  Last June/July my Mom mentioned that it would be fun to do something special for my Dad’s 60th birthday, which was just this past May.  So we got to brainstorming, the sibs, sibs-in-law, and myself.  We thought about Catalina Island, but we knew that there would be no way Dad would go down there without his boat, it’s a much longer drive to then get on a ferry to get to the island, and cost of a condo and food was going to be outrageous.  So we ix-nayed that idea and went with another…Lake Tahoe.  Much closer to home, tons of cabin options, and grocery shopping costs are much more normal.  After hunting and searching, I ended up using HomeAway to book the cabin.  Oh, and did I mention that we wanted to keep this allllll a secret?  Do you know how hard that is?  We’d be at my parents planning, talking, and discussing while Dad was outside then pause when he’d come in.  It was fun!  My Mom, queen of not keeping a secret, was able keep quiet.  All sorts of arrangements were made… I had talked to Dad’s boss and arranged for him to have the Friday off, Paige and Coleman were going to stay at my house Thursday night with my dogs to not cause suspicion, we were thinking of everything!…  Well, we broke our own rule and ended up telling Dad on his actually birthday.  Which was fun!  And now he could join in our secret and get excited with us.

Back to the story…
Some of us decided to take off early from work Thursday and head up early.  Main reason is because cabin check-in isn’t until 4pm, so half of Friday would be spent tooling around with cars full of stuff and people.  The other reason was so we could get some grocery shopping done early, and also so we could relax and sleep in.  🙂

Kaitlin, Stephen, Kevin and I left around 1:30 and drove up, dropped our stuff off and headed out to dinner.  Sushi.  “Off the Hook” is what it is called, I think… It was realllly good.  I actually tried, and liked, stuff with raw fish (of course I’m not that adventurous back at home).   Chris and Colleen had left just a few hours later and joined us when we were done with dinner.  We scoped the place out, called dibs on beds, and we grocery shopping.  And we relaxed.  Settled in.  And hung out.

The next day… drove around and waited for the rest of the group.

[…] Lake Tahoe Day 1 […]

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C turns 1!

Hi!  Remember me?  I’m that gal that takes some pictures of adorable little people every now and then.  And I share bits of my life too.  Yep, I’m still here.  Alive and kickin’.  Soaking up summer, and working on some projects around the house.

But I had to stop and share pictures of this cutie!

This little guy, my birthday buddy, turned ONE!  I’m so glad that I’ve gotten to watch him grow over the past year.  And I can’t wait to see how he continues to grow and become one smart, handsome little man.

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Dad’s Decoy Birthday

3 days before my birthday every year is my Dad’s birthday.  This year was a big year, a land mark year.  Without telling you how young he is I’m going to give you a few hints:  it ends in zero, is greater than 50 but less than 70.  I turned 33 in case you were wondering.  And no, I’m not going to have a big to-do post about my birthday because it was fairly uneventful.  Being as Dad was having a big birthday we were actually planning a big surprise for him.  And we started planning last summer.  But he didn’t know this.  So in order to not throw him off, or have him think we didn’t care, we opted to let him decide how to spend his actual birthday.  Any guesses… water was involved, and a sail, and a pirate’s steering wheel (I can’t think of the technical term right now).  Yep, we went sailing!  This was actually my first time on the boat since it was put in the water in the Stockton Delta.

This is the point where pictures are thin because I was 1) tired, 2) hungry, and 3) slightly intoxicated from one Mike’s Hard Blood Orange beverage due to #2.  We sailed to the Garlic Brothers restaurant, had an average lunch, then sailed around.  Monty, the fur brother, needed to “go to shore” to “take care of buiness” and was greeted by that lovely market ready oinker.

There was a little stand off between the dog and the pig.  In the end no one was hurt.  Except for my dad’s shin from when the pig tried to jump in the kayak.


It was a pretty day.

Dad made friends as they were kayaking back from shore.  The people were pretty entertained by the dog and pig show.

Guess who made cupcakes… Yep, this gal!  Fancy huh?  Any guess what flavor they are… 😉

We made our way back to the marina.  Stopped at Krispi Kreme, which is dangerously close to the marina, then headed home. Oh, but 1 car stopped at Bass Pro Shop on the way too.  Hehe.  Good times!  Happy Birthday Dad!

Stay tuned for the surprise weekend birthday getaway…

[…] to not cause suspicion, we were thinking of everything!…  Well, we broke our own rule and ended up telling Dad on his actually birthday.  Which was fun!  And now he could join in our secret and get excited with […]

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Easter in San Francisco

Sunday after Whitney and Paul’s wedding, was Easter.  Being as this year was already “out of sorts” with being out-of-town and all, I figured why not totally break tradition and enjoy the day.  I wanted to be able to hang out with family after the wedding, sleep in some, and see family that was in from out-of-state off on their trips home.  Weddings are good for that, bringing family together.

Anyways, Sunday morning came.  K and I didn’t have a plan per say, except to maybe end up in San Francisco.  Breakfast, good byes, and we hit the road.  First stop, Half Moon Bay.  We walked around, had lunch, etc.  Then up the coast we drove.  The storm was a-rollin’ in…

Then it started raining.  And we were welcomed by city traffic.  Thank goodness we weren’t taking the exit on the right in the picture below… We ended up driving right past AT&T Park!  Go Giants! We decided to avoid downtown and stuck more along the embarcadero.  Its been awhile since I had been to the ferry building, and K had never been.  So that’s were we went!  Only bummer… I wanted to get some macaron cookies from Miette on the way out.  But everything closes down at 4, and we went back at 4.  Smart planning Courtney! Guess I didn’t need those cookies.

By the way, chai tea lattes from Pete’s are not the same as Starbucks.  I couldn’t even drink it.  It.was.nasty.  Guess I didn’t need that warm beverage on a chilly day. Without a plan, we thought it would be fun to drive over to Golden Gate Park.  We saw the Golden Gate Bridge.  We saw tourists.  We acted like tourists.  Good times! I’m so strong! Then, on a whim, we decided to drive across.  And there was no toll fee for the day.  Must have been a sign!  To be honest, to my recollection, I’ve never driven across.  I know, shame on me the one who lives less than 2 hours away.  But, now I can cross it off my bucket list.  Drive across the Golden Gate Bridge – check! San Francisco from the other side of the Bay.  How do you like my “I’m trying to hide the tourists with my clever bush placement?”

Since IKEA was closing at the time we were driving by (and of course we wanted to stop, story of the day…) I thought I’d show K something cool…  I’ve always only see it from a distance down a side street.  PIXAR!  Of course we couldn’t go in.  That’s ok though.  I’m sure you can totally tell, but I’m posing like the lamp.  You know, the Pixar lamp?  🙂 It was getting to be about time to eat, so we thought we’d head into Walnut Creek and go to San Francisco Creamery.  Don’t judge, I wanted ice cream for dinner.  But, guess what, they were closed early.  Duh, its Easter Sunday.  Everywhere else we saw and wanted to stop at was closing early too.  So we ended up having Turkish food for dinner.  We shared a salad and something with eggplant.  The eggplant dish was yummy!  Being as my dad grew up in Walnut Creek, I wanted to drive by his old house.  The house we spent many holidays visiting.  Like unrecognizable different.  Not how I want to remember it.  Tis life…

So we drove the rest of the way home.  Luckily the traffic wasn’t too bad.  That’s the worst thing about going to the Bay Area, the traffic.  I like my simple country living.  🙂

We made it home.  Picked up the pups from my parent’s.  Shower.  Unpack… who am I kidding, that didn’t happen.  Then to bed.

What a weekend!

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N Girls

On a windy Sunday afternoon, I had a session with these beautiful girls!  Due to the constant “make your skirt blow up” breeze, we had to work fast.  The girls were troopers!  And hello, how adorable are their dresses!


Dresses:  Matilda Jane
Necklace: Libs and Layla

Booking sessions!  Contact me today for availability.

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