The ramblings of a woman,
wife, & mother, who loves:
Jesus / my man / the three,
learning about parenting /
mamahood / childbirth,
cooking foods healthy /
international / yummy,
pretending to garden /
write / design,
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It is not to say she does these things
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Fifth & Final Stop: San Francisco!

June 6, 2014 - 3:43 PM

Travel Log: 11 October 2011

This day started off craptacular but thankfully ended on a high note.

Fifth & Final Stop: San Francisco, California

Dairy allergies are a funny thing and people can react to them differently. For us, when it used to happen, it required incredible patience on our part till it passed. The patience was needed not only for dealing with the reaction but also for dealing with a child who purposefully disobeyed by eating the dairy in the first place. (Holy smokes, am I SO thankful we are through with that phase!) Just like one little white lie can lead to a thousand more white lies, so can one act of disobedience leads to much more disobedience. We tried to drive around and enjoy some time in Lake Tahoe, but it was not going to happen. Lake Tahoe was over. One forced smile photo and then we simply needed to strap everyone in and get back on the road. 


We were able to continue on the two lane Highway 50 up and over the Sierra Nevada mountains, stopping briefly for hot dogs at the goofy Weinerschnitzel hot dog joint. We crawled through Sacramento, made a dash for the city, crawled through the city, and arrived at our first VRBO, right on time: 4:30pm.

Fifth day of driving: 5.5 hours, 189 miles

(Would have been 3.5 hours without traffic. Good thing the morning's issues had us leave when we did, :)!)

Our first VRBO claimed to be a beautifully restored Edwardian flat in the Russian Hill district. Oh. my. goodness. It was too beautiful to be true. It was a typical downtown San Francisco flat, built on a steep hill, beautiful ironwork gate, 3 stories tall, huge bay windows, tall ceilings, gorgeous bathrooms, and a beautiful rooftop deck with views of the Golden Gate and Alcatraz. It had a perfect location in downtown San Francisco, on a quiet street off a busy street, secure underground parking, one building from mass transit, two blocks from Trader Joe's, an arm's reach from the Ghirardelli Chocolate Marketplace, and a stone's throw from the San Francisco Bay and Aquatic Park. (Ok, more like one building away from the chocolate fatory and 1.5 small blocks from actually touching bay water, but still, you get the point, it was close!)

After staying at countless rentals and hotels over the years, I still have a mini-freak out each time we arrive at a new place. If we traveled like "normal" people with only suitcases, I'm sure it would be different. But we don't. We travel with a big cappuccino maker and dirty bikes and school books and laptops and devices of all kinds. Plus, I'm a stickler for not wrecking or scratching anything in the places we stay in. So while we are trying to unload into a place, I am trying to make certain what its condition was before we arrived in order to make certain we leave it exactly how we found it.

It usually isn't until after we unload, unpack, start laundry, organize, rearrange, situate, plug in, grocery shop, unpack again, and organize again and then pour myself a drink that I truly r e l a x. And holy smokes, what a beautiful place to r e l a x...


View to the north from the roof deck, with view of Ghirardelli Clock Tower, Aquatic Park, and Alcatraz.


View of the roof deck itself. When not galavanting around the city, this is where I would spend all my "free" time, from morning cappuccinos to afternoon drinks. 

Seriously, we're not the fancy-smancy type. We get by with little and we really don't need much. (Just visit our house to know that! :)!) This flat was an amazing find and, continuing the theme since we decided to go to California, since our Miriam was returned to us, since we bought our "new" car, since we even arrived safely in SF, I once again spent a lot of time thinking about really, truly, deep-down, being thankful to God.

I used to write down all the blessings we had received and how God had provided for us. During that previous year of our crazy, a person I considered a friend questioned me about where those blessings came from and lowered the significance of them to being coincidence, not from God. (They lowered the significance of how I had seen God work throughout my entire life, as a matter of fact.) Add into it, how much the image of Christians thanking God is like a band-aid, catch-all, typical, empty, self-centered thing to do, and how often Christians are portrayed in general, why would I ever want to publicly thank God?

It breaks my heart to say but during that previous year, unlike the Biblical character of Job, I slowly caved under the pressures of life, the words of the people around me, and I could not bear to rejoice or speak much of God. I knew He was there, through it all, but... but... I just was so dizzy and weak from the funnel

Finally being "alone" while driving out to California, with only my family, I was able to see through the things I had been listening to that were false. I felt so hopeless before leaving Iowa that, as I mentioned, I truly thought we were going to die on our journey. But with each new day of our journey, I was able to see the good of the last year, see the tethers, see the slivers of hope.

And now, here I was, drinking a beer on the roof deck - I was able to be thankful for the previous year, thankful for the crazy, life altering experiences, thankful for the grace, thankful for a new friend who had been a soft voice of truth through the chaos, thankful for the forgiveness for all the terrible errors I had made over the previous years, thankful for the many blessings - thankful to God.

This was only the beginning, these next five weeks we were going to be spending in California were truly a time of change for me and my faith - but oh, in such a good way! :)!

We planned to spend 8 nights in this beautiful home before moving to the suburbs for the rest of our California adventure. From here on out, the kids and I were going to begin a week of amazing adventures.


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About Me and This Blog...

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
   Ladies Trip to Napa Valley
   My Parents Rode in a Plane!

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2012 to MN and CO
   Vacation to the North Shore and Cabin
   Boulder for the Summer
   Life in Boulder

Begin Our Adventures of Winter/Spring 2012 to UT
   The Drive to CO/UT Begins
   Vacation in Moab
   Living in Moab / Denver

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2011 to CA
   The Drive to CA Begins
   Living in the SF
   Living in the Suburbs
   Coming Home to IC

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2010 to Eastern Europe
   Life at Czech English Camp
   Travels in Germany & Austria
   Travels in Czech & Poland


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