Archive | bay area bucket list

the loveliest tea party birthday for {ALISHA}

About a year and a half ago I got to help my sweet friend Alisha celebrate her birthday with a grown-up tea party.We went to San Francisco for a lovely afternoon at Crown & Crumpet. It has recently moved locations, but let me tell you that I cannot wait to check out the new spot when I get the chance. The decor and atmosphere were lovely and the food & tea were even better!
This creative girl made us little tea box favors…even though it was for her birthday…how cute is that?
These home-made crumpets were so good that I went on a crumpet kick for a while after I had them. Trader Joe makes some that you can toast up and drizzle with butter and honey…YUM! I’m licking my lips just thinking about it!
Pretty Lady…Love this Girl!
I love Alisha! Let me count the ways! I love her parents & siblings {they have been dear family friends for years} and I love her hubby and kids. We went to high school together and church youth group. She moved back to the Bay Area around the same time as us and it was such a treat to get to know her again after years of living apart. Our kids are pretty close in age and love playing together! I trust her so much that she is the person I called to pick up Paige the day my dad died. She took her and kept her busy and happy and fed her…I was so comforted in knowing that Paige was in good hands while we were at the hospital. She loves her family so well, loves God, is a loyal friend and always makes me laugh! Lets just say I adore this sweet, creative, funny, loving girl!
Alisha with her mom and sister…it was a sunny & beautiful day in the City!
And then it was time to go.
look at these cute girls…they have been friends since high school…i love it!
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getting away from it all

in our own backyard {so to speak}

If you need a short trip out of town and you live in the San Francisco Bay Area {or close enough}…I highly recommend that you make a hop, skip and a jump over to Mill Valley for a quick and relaxing get-away with your sweetheart or some friends.Check out all my links and pics below! We were there just two nights last week for a {no kids allowed} break and it was perfect. We had done this exact trip a few years ago and loved it so much that we went back! Our goal was to relax and reconnect…this trip was the perfect way to do that!
::where we stayed::
Mill Valley Inn
We stayed at a great hotel, the Mill Valley Inn, that included parking, Wi-Fi and a wonderful continental breakfast. They also host a small cheese and wine reception in the evening that was a lovely pre-dinner snack. We partook of all of the above! It was not the cheapest hotel but if you have the money it is certainly worth it {in my opinion}! It is in the heart of Mill Valley’s little down town {allowing us to walk to every restaurant spot on our list and Tyler Florence’s Shop}! It had great features, nice accommodations as well as being clean and comfy! We stayed in their Creek House, an old building with wrap-around porches and a beautiful setting of tall trees above and a tiny creek below.

::where we ate::
Right in the downtown Mill Valley area we ate at a ton of amazing restaurants. I love to eat out, try new things and just linger at a restaurant to talk {it is especially relaxing knowing that I will not be the one doing the dishes}!
{so many wonderful places to eat}

Pearl’s Phat Burgers | Mill Valley
{this place was A.Maze.Ing}
Beerworks
{this place was small. a bit crowded. had great beer. lots to choose from on tap. featured small bites plates. great service. a bit overpriced to me. worth it if you have the $ and want a good beer and/or to try a bunch of different things on the menu.}
La Coppa Coffee
{great coffee & desserts in convenient location from hotel. great service}
the Dipsea Cafe
{their biscuits taste like a small pillow sent down from heaven. great menu. relaxed atmosphere. we have only gone for breakfast but love it. a favorite bay area spot on my list thanks to my friend Tim who took me & some friends years ago. worth every penny for those biscuits.}
Piazza D’Angelo
{wonderful food. lovely environment. great Italian menu. gluten-free options.}
Small Shed Flatbreads
{i LOVE this place. we have gone for the day just to eat here. they have local, organic, fresh ingredients and even make gluten-free flatbreads now…run…don’t walk…to this place.}
noci
{the most amazing gelato. open until 9 PM which is rare in this sleep-hallow town. and gluten-free cones}
*Bungalow44
{we actually ate here a few years ago and it was great…we just didn’t want to spend the money this time}
::what we saw::
Tyler Florence’s Shop
Muir Woods
This part of the Bay Area has a ton of natural experiences to enjoy. Mt. Tam, Stinson Beach and several trails to walk or bike on. San Francisco is just a quick drive just over the Golden Gate Bridge! We spent an afternoon in the breathtaking beauty of Muir Woods. There are short trails for strolling {that are made up of boardwalk style, wood planks} making them accessible to almost anyone in a stroller, wheelchair or with a disability. This is quite rare for a national park, or any park, in my experience. If you have time there are longer trails that boast great views {we will do that some other time, for sure}. Bring your wallet as it was about $7 per person just to enter the park area…but again…worth the money. There is a cafe and gift shop as well!
On our last day we headed for home over the Golden Gate Bridge to Baker Beach. It was a beautiful and clear day in the city {you never know what you are gonna get}. But Baker Beach was FREEZING! Seriously so cold! It was just so windy and the wind was so frigid that we literally walked down 20 steps from the parking lot, took a few pics and then left. I’m a total wimp. But I knew we would be back someday soon! {Aaron and I keep laughing about the picture at the bottom right…I look like a troll that lives under the bridge…ha!}

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a life on hold

While Aaron has been in fire academy & we’ve been living here at my parents our life has felt sort of “on hold” and temporary. Needless to say this is kind of tough on a marriage and the occasional date is required to stay in tact. So thanks to the help of family to watch our kids we had the best date in the City last Saturday {we were unofficially celebrating the close of academy life and welcoming a new life in the Bay Area and the hope of great new things to come}!
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