Tuesday, November 06, 2007
So I got ONE HOUR OF SLEEP on Thursday night before the trip. One. I got a few hours of sleep on the plane.. Obviously not enough..

When we got to San Francisco, we were on the tram that took us to the rental car area. I looked out the window and saw a hill. My knee-jerk thought was, “Oh, look, a landfill.” Then I realized we weren’t in South Florida.. it was a mound of earth NOT filled with trash. What a concept! How nice!

We had to wait a long time for the rental car, which sucked.. I could feel my time in California ticking by while sitting in an uncomfortable airport chair. Our car became available just as Chris’s cousin from LA, Tony, showed up. He had flown in, too. We got our car and went to pick up his other cousin, whose name I can’t spell, who had just landed on a flight from Boston.

me & bridge

We went and got pictures at the Golden Gate Bridge, then stopped off for food at a brewery-restaurant overlooking the ocean at Golden Gate Park. (Maybe the other way around?) It was trippy since the sun was on its way to setting, so it felt like it was in the wrong place in the sky. (“The sun is over there – so shouldn’t it be morning?”)

Then we drove on over to Napa.. By the time we got there, it was dark. I dazedly greeted Chris’s family and took a quick shower, then dressed for the welcome reception. They had a picture show of Catherine’s and Tim’s childhoods, which was really nice.. Chris’s parents really did create blessed childhoods for their kids. Honestly. I think Chris had been more places by the time he was 10 than I have been by now, at 29! Catherine had piano lessons and dance lessons. She played Carnegie Hall. There she was, smiling in San Francisco – in front of the Twin Towers – at the beach. Most importantly, she looked liked she had a very, very happy childhood. It was really nice.

We fell into a coma for 7 hours, then got up early to get ready for the wedding. When I got up, I finally got to see what Napa looked like. It was awesome. Outside our hotel room window, we had beautiful hills with hot air balloons floating in the sky.. Too bad I couldn’t get any better pictures.

our hotel room window in napa - there were hot air balloons outside

The hotel had a pool. Chris and I had to run to Target that morning.. When we came back, I suggested to him that we go swimming, laughing. It was like 50 degrees out. As we were getting out of the car and laughing, looking at the pool, we both paused as we realized someone was in it. Outside. She got out of the pool just as we realized.. Now, I’m sure the pool was heated, but the outside sure wasn’t. Brave girl. Maybe she really needed to wake up? Hangover?

The wedding was gorgeous. It was so cold in the morning.. I was worried about my sleeveless, above-the-knee black dress, but by the time we got to Auberge du Soleil, where the wedding was, it was nice and warm. By the time the ceremony rolled around, everyone who got stuck sitting in the sun was actually hot.

flowers & view

the view

Da Bo (Catherine) was gorgeous. Brides are always gorgeous, of course, but she started out that way, so I knew she’d look especially pretty. Tim kissed her every 10 seconds or so. They seem very happy. It was a happy day.

tim & cat

tim & cat making their exit

We sat with Chris’s friend Dawn, Patty, Patty’s boyfriend John, Tony, and the cousins who came in from Australia.

Chris ate part of the centerpiece. This caused John to ask, “What about this man says Successful Doctor?” Ha!

my chris, eating an apple from the centerpiece

the centerpiece (victimized)

See something is off?

After the wedding, we drove back to San Francisco. We stopped off at one point and I got some pics on the side of the road.. Napa is so pretty.


me in napa

We saw the bridge at night.

Chris & bridge

me n bridge at night

Chris found Lombard Street for me. We drove down it twice. It cracked me up, totally.

lombard st
our view at the westin

Then we found the hotel. Chris picked a nice one! We cleaned ourselves up and grabbed a cab to Fishermans’ Wharf for some sub-par shrimp dinners. By the time we left there, it was nearly midnight – 3 a.m. our time. We were tired. We couldn’t find a cab to get home. Our strawberry shortcake was melting.

Eventually we got back. We woke up early and watched the sun rise over the bay out our hotel window in bed. Then Chris said, okay, we have a couple of hours before we go to the airport – what do you want to do? I said, aren’t there sea lions here somewhere? So we got the scoop from the hotel concierge on where to see them – head back to where we had dinner the night before! So we did. And oh my god, I’m glad.


I absolutely LOVED the sea lions. Loved. Chris was trying to get a picture of me at one point and he asked why I was smiling funny, and I’m like – because I am choked up right now! They were LOUD and all of them were either fighting or sleeping like babies.. It was just hilarious. I loved them. I can’t wait to see them in the Galapagos. Chris assures me I will be sick of them by the time we leave there, but I can’t believe it. :)

itch!  just like a dog!

sea lion


the sleeping ones were so cute

one of Us at pier 39

He ended up literally pulling me away by my backpack.. Apparently we were running really late for our flight. Luckily, we weren’t checking bags or anything and we made it. Oh, he did stop by Lombard Street again so I could hop out of the car to get a daytime shot. SUCH A GOOD BOY!

lombard st - i liked it there :D

Of course, the plane didn’t – Chicago was especially windy and O’Hare limited the amount of flights they were accepting, so we were forced to circle over Iowa for a while. We got to our connecting ORD-FLL flight while it was still sitting on the runway, but after anyone was there to let us on the plane. That sucked. The flights to West Palm Beach and Miami for the night were booked, too. But we could fly home the next morning at 8, they told us.

Missing our flight

This is a whole bunch of annoyed people missing their flights. I sat there and took pictures and tried to not worry. That technique obviously did not work.

Luckily, my boy is smart. He had Patty find us a flight out of Midway that night, so we cabbed it there and were back in Fort Lauderdale by 11:30. I won’t say how much it cost, but Chris said it was worth it, so that’s all that matters.. :)

Now I just need to get caught up on my sleep!
Wow! It sounds like you had an awesome time! And you took some really pretty pictures.. The one of you in front of Napa Valley is great!
Yeah.. a whirlwind, but we tried to make the best of it. When we thought we were stuck in Chicago for the night, I started thinking of what we should go see (Sears Tower?).. Heh.. but yeah, so pretty.. Thanks! I took like 500 pics! I got a "digital photo vault" to dump my pics onto on vacation from now on so I don't have to worry about filling up my 2 GB card.. WOW.
Glad ya'll had a great time. You look stunning in the Napa Valley shot, San Fran is a great city to visit and the Sea Lions are everywhere on the docks. So much so that they have been know to get on boats to the point that they sink which would suck if you owned the boat. Cute animals though to watch. They bite your fins playfully on your visit or at least they did with my dive buddies GF.
I loved your night shot on Lombard Street. It is a pretty cool place.
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I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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