Monday, October 20, 2008

San Francisco...A Trip Back Home...

Todd and I were able to travel from Utah to San Francisco and spend five days there while I attended a surgical conference. I absolutely loved the year that I was able to spend living there while doing my internship at UCSF. For me, this was truly a visit back home. My dear husband on the other hand, does not have such "fuzzy" feelings regarding the quick trips he would make to SF while completing his last year of medical school in SLC.

We flew out of SLC early Sunday morning during a wicked blizzard and arrived to beautiful weather in SF....October is the best time of the year there! We drove straight from the airport to Candlestick Park for the 49ers vs Eagles game. We had a blast! Our tickets were on the 5th row up from the 49ers home endzone. We were surrounded by crazy fans who have had those tickets for years! The game was awesome and exciting, however the Eagles ended up victorious...hard to be sad when you like both teams!

A view of the field from our seats!

Nice behind McNabb...I love him!!!

Coach Andy Reid...a fellow mormon and good guy

O'Sullivan back to pass...

Just enjoying the game and our surroundings!

A view of the final score...high scoring and very entertaining!

The dejected team after a tough loss...

A view of Steve Young's retired is he a hottie!!!

A view of the field from just below our seats right after the game...
Following the game, Todd and I drove around the baseball park and the financial district...our old stomping grounds!

Our old apartment. We lived on the 10th floor and had a

perfect view of the Bay Bridge and water from our living room!

While living in San Francisco, I was obsessed with Nob Hill....the view, the cable cars... Todd and I were able to stay at the Fairmont atop Nob Hill during our trip.

Monday was spent at the conference, but that night Todd and I walked down to Union Square for some shopping and sight-seeing. As most of you can imagine, Union Square was a place I spent much of my free time enjoying!!! On our walk from Nob Hill down, many begging homeless people were passed. One was even holding a sign, "Need a Hooker, please give money!" I was dying to take a picture, however couldn't justify contributing to his cause.

Right in front of Nordstrom on Market Street, an elderly man holds this sign and yells.

A similar aged man next to him has a sign about "sinful sex".

They have been there since we lived there...

The following pictures were all taken from the same street corner. Man I miss this city!!!

After our time shopping, Todd and I ate dinner at an Italian restaurant near our old apartment overlooking the Embarcadero and the Bay Bridge. I had my camera, but didn't stop to take any pictures.

Tuesday again was spent at meetings during the day. That night Todd and I met up with some of the other residents from Harbor-UCLA for a great steak dinner at Mortons in Union Square.

I became a true "city" gal on the trip down from Nob Hill.
I wore flip flops and carried my heels. Here I am in front of Saks...
We took advantage of the cable car to spare my footsies even with my
flip flops. I had always wanted to ride them and never did
the entire year we lived there!

The only "heart" that Todd leaves in San Francisco...

Being serenaded while waiting from the cable car after dinner.

Wednesday after the meetings finished, Todd and I drove out near the SF VA Hospital and to the beach. We ate dinner at a fantastic restaurant we found literally the night before we moved to LA...

A view of Golden Gate Bridge from the VA parking lot.

Quite the scenery to enjoy during the few spare moments you had to eat lunch!

The Cliff House restaurant and it's spectacular surroundings!
Thursday we spent time sight-seeing before heading to the airport.
The Golden Gate Bridge...

Coit Tower with Bay Bridge in the background from the top of Lombard Street.

Lombard of my favorite places in the city!

No trip to SF is complete without stopping at Ghiradelli Square for sundays!

One of our favorite parts about SF was our ward.

Who can forget the homeless people coming into sacrament, leaving multiple times within the hour to go out for a smoke in front of the building...

How about the man dressed as a woman who was never lacking comments to contribute to the Relief Society lesson...

The journey to get to church was also never without excitement.

One Sunday while Laurel was visiting, we had to brave the Gay Rights Parade...

Every Sunday we had to pass through the sinful city's perception of Eden to get to ours...

Now to our Garden of Eden in the wicked city...

The church sits on the corner of a neighborhood surrounded by apartment buildings.

The parking lot can only hold ~12 cars so it was always an adventure trying to

find street parking and get into church on time!

And of course, we had to drive by UCSF and SF General Hospitals.

On the little terrace you can see with the trees, the homeless people would sit and wait for you to through your lunch tray away and then go and eat whatever you had left on it. It only took me a short time to realize it was better to just hand off my unfinished plate than to make them dig through the trash for it. You also quickly learned not to eat from the salad bar after seeing the homeless people eating out of it with their bare hands...I didn't eat much when I rotated there!

The Bay Bridge and Embarcadero just a block away from our apartment...

No vacation is complete without documenting Todd managing our luggage...

Hey, I was gone for 2 weeks....what's a girl to do....wear something twice???

I truly have such fond memories of our year living in SF. I am one who leaves a small piece of their heart in the city. It was so fun to be back as a tourist and do some of the things I never got to do while living there. I can't wait for the next visit back!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vacation to Utah...Continued

The remainder of our time in Utah was met with much mixed emotion after the sudden passing of my Aunt Susan. My mom, Laurel, Judy, Bart and myself were able to spend some time grieving with her dear family as well as my immediate family on Wednesday, the day following her death.

That Thursday was a day of and hair salon....both must-stops every trip home. What would we do without our dear Aunt Emily who keeps us all looking so good! Thursday night was a great dinner at Union Station with Todd's mom, dad, sister Jennifer and her darling little boy Ashton, as well as my mommy and daddy, Jocelyn, Laurel and Brady. So sad that I don't have any pictures, especially since I had my camera with me!

Friday was a fun day spent with great families! We lunched that afternoon at a place my family kept raving about right along the Ogden River with Mom, Grammy, Todd, me, Jocelyn, as well as with Jennifer and Ashton. The food and atmosphere, especially the company, was great...too bad it was too cold to eat outside and really enjoy the scenery.

How I do so love and absolutely adore these two fantastic, beautiful ladies!!!
On our way home from lunch we had to drive along Fruitland Drive and admire the handiwork of Laurel and Mom as well as a few men from the ward. One of the ward-members husband's has been deployed in Iraq for 18 months and arrived home to a welcoming flag-lined street!

18 flags in the yard, one for each month Brent was gone.
Unfortunately I don't have a picture the flags along the road....

Friday evening we had a nice dinner at my favorite place, Maddox, with Todd's family.

The Grunander clan...minus me

Saturday Todd and I were able to sleep in and then watch the BYU--New Mexico game with my mom and dad. We all had tickets to go, however Dad was on call and couldn't leave Ogden so we decided to not brave the cold, snowing weather and all watch it on tv. That night we had a great game of cards...too bad my husband has to cheat and win every time!!!

Mom and Laurel enjoying their good hands!

This picture isn't too far off from the truth...CHEATER!

While we played cards, Brady took the following poll:

"Who would you rather break their leg: Max Hall (BYU quaterback) or me???"

I think his feelings and ego were a little bruised when it was a unanimous vote for Brady to break his leg....and without question a very easy choice! Although, that was before this last BYU-TCU game. Maybe you should redo that poll, the answer my be different...

Sad but True...fell asleep at the table after the last hand of cards.

Thanks Wolthuis and Grunander families for all the great memories!!! Already counting down to the next vacation....December 26 isn't that far away!!!