Umbrella Sky

August 31, 2012

Friday… and I can feel Autumn, it’s definitely coming.

So let’s ignore that fact with a fun set of photo from Portugal… 

Spotted here

So lovely.

Have a great weekend!

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San Francisco To Do

August 30, 2012

So I wanted to write a post about all there is to do in San Francisco…

Of course you don’t need to do anything special, it’s a beautiful city to explore and you can do so by walking, cycling, using the various trams and cable cars too.

But there are some great tourist attractions too…

This is the Contemporary Jewish Museum.

We didn’t go inside due to time but the exterior is amazing. If I make it back here one day I will go inside…

We did visit SFMOMA which we loved.

The entrance is spectacular.

I loved this piece… 

You stand opposite, and then when the lights change you see an image. We missed a ballet dancer by a few weeks, so gutted by this one of birds was amazing. So beautiful, I wish I could have captured it for you. 

We also joined a tour, something we never normally do but I would highly recommend. This one took us around all the Andy Warhol pieces and the very knowledgable guide told us all about his life and his art and explained some key pieces to us.

I love art but I don’t always understand it and my appreciation goes ten-fold when I do so I will definitely do this more often when I visit a gallery.

Next up… Alcatraz.

This is the main attraction in the city, and the company that run the tours is a slick machine. My husband wanted to take the night tour, which means you get to wander the prison in darkness and with far fewer people… Luckily we didn’t book in advance so our options were limited (I am a huge scaredy cat it would not have ended well) so we went one afternoon.

It’s a really great tour that I would recommend you try. 

The boat trip is short… and you get some great views of the city and the island. 

As you can see there are a lot of people here… 

You get given headphones when you arrive and the tour guides you around the island telling its history and famous stories. So very interesting. 

Alcatraz was notorious because the most dangerous or repeat escapees were housed here.

The state maintains that no-one ever did escape, many tried and failed, only a few have never been found, either they failed and drowned or, did they make it?

 I cannot imagine living in a cell, no privacy ever.

I know it sounds strange feeling sorry for criminals, but the US system is so harsh. No rehabilitation… no chance to change.

This is the yard, you can imagine how bleak life was for the inmates when they were here, seeing life going on as normal just across the water.

 This is the view from the wardens office. Pretty amazing.

A really fascinating trip.

Next up… Lombard Street.

 It’s not really crooked but super curvy.

It’s so pretty though, and great exercise just to get here let alone to walk up it. 

 The street is lined with what can only be described as mansions… such amazing buildings and all different.

Pretty cherry blossoms and great views await you at the top…

Another thing you must do while in San Francisco is take a ride on a cable car. 

It feels crazy dangerous, like you could lose control at any moment. The only thing between you and the car running away down the big hills is a guy with a break. 

We found out once on board you need to buy tickets in advance, we had our cash already but the guy couldn’t take it.You can find more information here

One activity recommend by a San Francisco native was to visit the Ferry Building and try food from lots of stalls…

Jordan from Oh Happy Day has a multitude of Eating recommendations and more to do here

My husband immediately  made a beeline for this place…

A huge pulled pork sandwich… so messy but oh so tasty. 

I headed straight to Miette… again as recommended by Jordan but I would have spotted this place a mile off, its ridiculously cute. 

I really wanted everything. I really was like that child who having been told they can only have one thing wanted to make sure they were making the right decision. I swear I stood there for 15 minutes trying to decide. 

I got there in the end and my treat did not disappoint. 

 Banoffee Cream Pie. Banoffee is my all time favourite. This pie was insane. I couldn’t even share.

This is where we spent our last dollars before we flew home… taking a last look at the Bay.

You should definitely go check it out, and try to leave room in your suitcase, as we didn’t and there were all kinds of amazing treats that would make amazing presents for friends and family… or souvenirs for you. 

That’s it… Honeymoon blogging done.

You can see any one of the posts by search the tag honeymoon.

I had an amazing time and feel very lucky that we had three months of travelling just the two of us seeing lots of very different places.

It really opened my eyes.

Marriage Advice

August 29, 2012

Another Wedding Wednesday, not a wedding today but some advice that I think is spot on.

From Lydia Netzer, married 15 years.

1. Go to bed mad.

Her reasoning being that everything will seem better in the morning. So true. Sometimes an argument is just stupid.

2. Laugh if you can.

Stopping a fight becoming a fight is a skill, one I am working on.

3. Don’t criticize. Ever.

“Here is a fact: Whatever critical thing that you are about to say to your wife is already being loudly articulated in her head. And if it’s true, she already feels like crap about it.”

I totally agree with this, and try never to criticize.

4. Be the mirror.

I am leaving most of the quote in here… such good advice.

“Your husband is the mirror in which you see yourself. And the things you say to him give him an image of himself too, which he will believe.
You want him to believe it, so make it good.
Be a mirror that reflects something positive: you’re smart, you’re successful, you’re fantastic in the sack, you’re a great provider, you’re the best. 

Don’t think he won’t believe you because you’re married and you’re contractually obligated to say nice things. He’ll believe the shitty, insulting things you say and the gloriously positive things.”

5. Be proud and brag.

“Let your spouse hear you talking about them in glowing terms to other people. Be foolish. Be obvious. It will mean everything. You will stay married forever.”

People always tell me I am too soppy. I adore my Husband and I don’t care who knows it.

6. Do your own thing.

Standard.

7. Have kids.

“Kids stop you from being as crazy as you want to be. Because when you have kids, you can’t be that crazy.”

8. Get really good at sex.

Speak up basically. Don’t settle. It’s important.

Great advice.

9. Move.

I love this…

“Live in different houses. In different parts of the country. Travel. Make it so that you can look back and divide up your life into the years you spent in different cities, or different houses. If you’re feeling stuck geographically or physically, you can confuse yourself into thinking you’re stuck romantically. See your husband in different places, in different contexts, in different countries even. Try it. Take him to a mountaintop and give him another look. Pretty sexy. Take him to a new city and check out his profile.

Along the same lines, don’t be afraid to change personally, or let your wife change as a person. Don’t worry about “growing apart.” Be brave and evolve. Become completely different. Don’t gather moss. Stagnation is unattractive.”

10. Stop thinking temporarily.

“Marriage is not conditional. It is permanent. Your husband will be with you until you die. That is a given.”

This is the best thing about marriage. The feeling of security. I don’t think of it as temporary but I do know that if I don’t always give it my all it might not be and that scares me more than anything.

11. Do not put yourself in trouble’s way.

“Any friendship that troubles the marriage should be over immediately. Protect it with knives and teeth, not because it’s fragile but because it’s precious.”

12. Make a husband pact with your friends.

This is good… I always worry if I have had a moan they think it means something. It doesn’t ever.

“The husband pact says this: I promise to listen to you complain about your husband even in the most dire terms, without it affecting my good opinion of him. I will agree with your harshest criticism, accept your gloomiest predictions. I will nod and furrow my brow and sigh when you describe him as a hideous ogre. Then when your fight is over and love shines again like a beautiful sunbeam in your life, I promise to forget everything you said and regard him as the most charming of princes once more.”

13. Bitch to his mother, not yours.

“This is one I did read somewhere in a magazine, and it’s true. His mother will forgive him. Yours never will. If you’re a man, bitch to your friends. They expect it.”

I don’t think I would bitch to either but it’s a very good point.

14. Be loyal.

“You and your spouse are a team of two. It is you against the world. No one else is allowed on the team, and no one else will ever understand the team’s rules.”

Love this.

“Ups and downs ultimately don’t matter, because the team endures.”

15. Trust the person you married.

“Love them completely and let them love you. If it all goes to seed, it’s going to hurt either way. Better to have gone into it full throttle. Full throttle marriage is a thrilling ride.”

See the full article at the Huffinton Post

San Francisco – The Bay

August 29, 2012

I thought the Bay area of San Francisco deserved it own blog post… we spent quite a bit of time down here, in evenings and during the day. It’s quite a touristy area to be but if you walk away from the main strip a little you can find some amazing spots…

Pier 39 is fun…  but be warned it is tourist central.

You gotta get an ice cream (or Fro-Yo)… 

It’s definitely a fun place to visit with children, there are little rides and points of interest everywhere, and don’t forget the ice cream. 

And you must visit the sea lions, we watched them for ages. They are very noisy and it’s funny to watch them flop all over each other basking in the sun and falling in sometimes. 

You can see Alcatraz from here too… we’ll come back to this place tomorrow. 

You can easily walk here form the centre but it’s fun to take a tram ride… and while in San Francisco you must do this. 

We also hired bikes and rode around down here which was great fun. You can cover a much bigger area. 

We rode right up to the Golden Gate bridge… 

A great tip is to ride right over, take a picnic and enjoy the view from the other side. You can even ride to a cute little town and get the ferry back.

We didn’t have time with all our other plans so we rode halfway before turning back. 

I love these houses up by the bridge, real Americana. 

And I loved checking out the mansions on the Bay…

And we were told to visit Boudin’s… it’s fun to see the bread being baked into shapes but we ate better food elsewhere, service was actually shocking. We never had anything but amazing service in the US so here was strange. 

I had to have some Chowder served in the sourdough though. Had to be done.

I do recommend visiting the little restaurants at the end of the strip towards the Ferry Building, we went into one and had a seafood feast!

It’s very pretty here at night… 

And we chose to spend our last few hours down here before we drove to the airport… 

 This is a very confused me… I was so ready to go home but I really didn’t want to. I wanted more adventures.

I have one more post about San Francisco for you… as there is so much to do here I have picked out my favourite activities to recommend for you…

San Francisco – The City

August 28, 2012

So the week we reach our first anniversary is the week I will finish blogging our Honeymoon.

This is it people, the last stop… San Fran!

We loved it here, being able to walk around and be in one place for 4 days was great.

The city is so fun.

Silly amazing hilly streets to more than rival Bristol…

 

I love a tree-lined avenue, my dream is to live on one… this is a good’un.

 

 

Such beautiful houses and apartment buildings.  I saw so many I could have just moved right in to…

I love this tall white building, they gotta have window seats in those big bays or they’re not living there right.

The big grand houses in the bay ruled.

 

And we had some great shopping here… I went on a Kate Spade spree. Man I love that store, so glad we have it here now.

San Fran has more than its fair share of buskers and street artists. This kid down by Bloomingdale’s was amazing. His Mum was sat with him too, great way to earn your pocket money.

 

A great looking dive bar we found near our hotel… we’ll come back to this spot later.

Some really lovely evening walks taking us anywhere and everywhere in the city and capturing some great city scape sunsets.

We walked everywhere everyday, my Husband loves to walk and explore. Morning strolls were always short, ending as soon as we found a good-looking breakfast spot…

I couldn’t help but stop at all the beautiful doorways around our district.

This was the morning we found a real live bagel bakery. Good Morning!

And more strolls. It was so cool being in a city I have seen so much of not just in movies but so many blogs I read are written by lovely people based here.

We tried to go to a super cool bar here, recommended by many it sounded amazing. It’s an old prohibition era place called Bourbon and Branch. We couldn’t book which is advised as there was a large event on in the early part of the evening so we thought we would try our luck

This was the queue.

Except when we got close it wasn’t a queue but a mob of people freaking out because they couldn’t get in. We tried to have a very English and polite word with the doorman to see if it was worth us coming back later that night but people were being so rude and desperate to go in we realised we probably didn’t want to be inside with any of them anyway.

So we left.

We instead went to a bar opposite our hotel… no idea what it was called but they barman loves Hip Hop, as does my Husband so they went on a full on geek out and go on so well the barman bought us drinks. We left quite drunk after $1 mojitos and freebies.

Then we visited another recommendation from a native; Colibri for some Mexican food. This wasn’t the kind we had been eating the whole time we were in California, but almost fine dining Mexican.

We started with more drinks… the best margaritas I have ever had. For food… you can visit Full as an Egg

After which we headed back to Gold Dust, that dive bar we spotted earlier. The bar is being closed down so they were having a massive party to protest or mourn I wasn’t sure which.

 

It was rammed and they had an amazing band of 3 old guys and the whole bar was singing.

We positioned ourselves by a waitress station… big mistake, they were working so hard!

We had the best time, I am gutted I can’t remember the song we heard when we went in because for weeks it was stuck in my head and reminded me of that night.

Needless to say we were super drunk by the time we left… all my photographs were terrible, but it was one of those stand out nights that I loved.

On our last day we headed to Chinatown…

 

It’s like all Chinatown’s, mental… busy and a little world all on its own.

 

In our drunkenness I dropped my bag, which held my camera. This was me trying not to cry while we took it to get fixed. If you can get a camera fixed anywhere its Chinatown right?

Luckily it seems to work itself out.

These were little snaps of the neighbourhoods we managed to see… much more to come!

We stayed at the wonderful Hotel Adagio

The Best Year Ever

August 27, 2012

 Today I have been married for 1 year.

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
Dr. Seuss

It has been an amazing 12 months.

I hope we make it to forever.

Field of Love

August 26, 2012

I am feeling super sentimental right now… so this story had to be shared.

Spotted at The Telegraph

A Man grew this meadow for his wife.

 What a Man!

Swoon.