Thursday, 12 May 2016


My friends know I love fashion (although my day to day wardrobe doesn't necessarily scream fashion forward my instagram feed is full of haute couture) so it was such a pleasant surprise the Oscar de la Renta exhibit was in San Francisco! It was at the deYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park and the park itself was beautiful. We went on our last day and I wish we had more time to explore the grounds (especially the Japanese Tea Garden).

On our vacations we almost always compromise by doing something the other person enjoys and then switching. For instance, in New York we went to a baseball game and then to the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art). In San Francisco the baseball game was followed by the Oscar de la Renta exhibit. Fair's fair. Basically his favourite thing is baseball. My favourite thing is art.

I was so excited and the dresses were stunning. In particular I loved seeing older designs (from the 1960s) and the more recent Met Gala dresses - in particular the black and white design Sarah Jessica Parker wore a few years ago. I took about a thousand photos as inspiration for my cousin, the surface designer - see her blog here. She creates hand painted silk designs so of course I sent her photos of the same medium from the exhibit. Enjoy a very select few of my photos below!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016


We began and ended our vacation in San Francisco. Although I liked the city as a whole very much we were off to a rocky start from the beginning. Driving in SF was a complete nightmare and totally convinced me road trips are not for us. (We picked up a rental car at the airport because of our plans to go to Yosemite National Park - otherwise we would never have driven.)

And of course after 8 months with zero offers on our house we were in SF all of 2 hours when we received an offer. This couple had no qualms about letting us run back and forth to our hotel room on vacation to make calls and send paperwork when they had no intention of actually purchasing our home. YEAH. (We find out later they have done this before. Multiple times.) That will put a damper on your vacation.

Regardless we managed to enjoy San Francisco but I didn't leave my heart there...this time. Maybe we'll visit again. If so, we will take a cab and we will not answer real estate calls.

I'm quite proud of the photo above. It is quite difficult to get a photo like this without tourists roaming around!

The two photos above are of "Crooked Street" on Lombard Street. It has 8 (9? 10?) hairpin curves. Search it online for a good pic! When we returned to SF for the last few days of our vacation we stayed at a hotel on Lombard, but further up (not on the crooked part)! We saw multiple cars drive down this little street which was surprising to me and I can't help wonder if they were tourists. Also I still can't get over how STEEP the streets are in SF!! I have a recurring nightmare about driving up a steep road and the car I'm in flipping over backwards so I did not enjoy the city driving! Haha.

On the trolley! Or as it's actually called, the cable car. They have wooden breaks! And you can actually hang off the side. We weren't able to do that because they were usually packed full of people and we could only find room in the back.

We spent quite a lot of time down on the piers (Pier 39 has many sealions lounging about)! Above is the view from the pier - do you recognize Alkatraz? I was surprised it didn't feel very far away from the docks! We had so many things we wanted to see and do in the city we did not take a tour. You could easily spend a week here and fill your days with activities. 

At the top of Lombard Street again.

It is no secret I am not a sports lover. However, I can always be easily convinced to see a professional sporting event and always enjoy myself. In super nerdy news we got certificates at AT&T stadium that said it was our first time there. And in sporty news we saw their ace pitch - Madison Bumgarner. That's apparently a big deal according to my dad and husband. Also - that head to toe Blue Jays outfit was quite a talking point.

This is the size of one of the cables on the Golden Gate Bridge! On our way back from Yosemite we thought we would be crossing the Golden Gate but GPS took us to the Bay Bridge (which was actually larger and more impressive but not orange).

Thanks for the memories, San Francisco!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016


I don't even know where to begin with Yosemite National park.

Yosemite was recommended to us by my friend H and since I strangely love a good hike (although I strongly dislike most other exercise). I was totally on board. I expected to be wowed by the redwoods (giant sequoias) and was surprised to find myself as awed by the mountains as I was by the Alps in Austria and Switzerland! The rock faces were complete cliffs and intermittently a waterfall would spring out of nowhere and plummet off the side!! It was something to see and photos can't do it justice. We spent two nights at Yosemite Village in a tent cabin with a heater and our greatest vacation achievement was the 5 hour hike to Nevada Falls. (Predicted to be 5 to 6 hours and completed by Team R in 4 hours and 45 minutes, thank you very much.)

Above: This hike was on our first afternoon in Yosemite. It was called Mirror Lake and was an easy but pretty 1-2 hour hike. Finished off with pizza in the cafeteria. Strange camping in the US of A, but perfect for people without room in their suitcase for the tent and Coleman stove.

Those hiking boots are two years old and they have lived an adventurous life. They've been to Switzerland and California. Lucky boots.

Above: Vernal Falls. This was the first part of our hike to Nevada Falls. Once at the falls you can climb up many (many) stairs to get to the top. I am a major scaredy cat and very frightened of heights so I was reluctant to do any slippery, wet, death stairs but I'm so glad I changed my mind. Even so we did about 3/4 of the stairs maybe and then turned around. This was mostly because I was worried I would get to the top and be too terrified to turn around (can you say climbed back down the high dive ladder, anyone?). We didn't realize once at the top the path continues in a loop to Nevada Falls, which was our final destination. Oops.

At the top of Nevada Falls. Behind us and to the left is the falls which was a complete straight drop off the edge of the cliff! One of the most stunning and terrifying views ever. God is so amazing! Check out my instagram for a couple of other photos (and video) of Nevada Falls.

Sunday, 1 May 2016


We bounced around a little in California so my posts are going to be slightly out of order.

On day two of vacation we drove to Monterey and spent part of the day in Carmel - a little town where Clint Eastwood used to be mayor. It poured rain until late afternoon so we had a chance to dip our toes in the Pacific Ocean before dinner. This day was a bit of a shemozzle with the weather and also making counter offers on our house (it has been for sale for 8 months and of course our only offer came about 2 hours after we landed in California). Don't get too excited for us - in the end those people were just wasting our precious vacation time and weren't interested in our house at all.

Spur of the moment we decided to have dinner at Pebble Beach and as you can see from my first post, I am very glad we did! Our meal was delicious and it was kind of neat to overlook the 18th hole of the golf course while we ate.

On the beach in Monterey before dinner. Our little manny would have appreciated the beach. Also, brand new hair cut!!