Tuesday, May 20, 2008

We're back

We are back and finally getting settled after our week long trip to California. There's so much to blog about but I will try to keep it to a minimum.

Thursday Alex came down with his 2nd cold, not a fun way to start our trip but we managed with a ton of tissues on hand.

On May 9th our 5 year wedding anniversary we packed our bags and headed for the airport. We planned to meet Jason's parents and little sister in California. They drove, we decided to fly. We were a little nervous about how Alex would do on the plane so we invested in a few new snacks, made sure he had his bottle as we took off etc. to ensure a good flight. Overall he did very well. He made friends quick with the stewardess' and neighbors on the plane.

After we arrived in Oakland we rented a red dodge charger and drove to Napa Valley where we would be staying for the week. The drive was pretty seeing all the wineries. I could enjoy the beauty even if I'm not a drinker.

We arrived at the timeshare to meet up with Jason's family. They looked like separate little cabins oh so cute but upon further inspection I pointed out to Jason that they were single wide trailers. HA HA!! Perhaps not our home but clean, and quite nice overall. We later found out that this area floods often so they have trailers so that they can move them all out instead of building and having rooms flooded. Smart I suppose!

That night for dinner we headed to "Go Fish" in St. Helena. Jason's parents wanted to treat us for our anniversary. We had heard of this restaurant on the food network so we were anxious to go since we all love seafood. Jason wasn't very thrilled with his dinner but Alex adored his mashed tators and my sushi was quite tasty. On the way back we stopped at good old Wally World for Alex supplies and snacks. Although it looked very upscale on the outside we soon learned it was just like the Wally Worlds back home. If you can't tell I am not a huge fan of Wal-mart, sorry to those who are.

Saturday Jason, Alex and I did a bit of exploring with our GPS to find some breakfast but ended up picking up the old standby Micky D's. After getting ready we headed to Berkley for a family party. Jason's Aunty Max and Uncle Bob live up in the hills of Berkley. It was a crazy ride up there but way worth it. Dinner was delicious especially Aunty Max's famous homemade fried chicken and the dream cake my FIL spoke so much about. We spent the day visiting, eating and enjoying the view. Alex especially had a great time getting to know his Dad's family and his cousin Elianna. They had a ton of fun playing together.

Alex and his cousin Elianna. She is a year older, a few inches taller and about a pound heavier. She loved playing with baby Alex.

The view from their balcony was breathtaking

Sunday was Mother's Day, officially my first. I spent allot of time reflecting on Mother's Day last year when I was in the hospital with false labor. After being checked out I was given a Morphine shot and sent home to wait it out. We spent the day walking, walking, and walking some more. I wanted Alex to come so badly, luckily it was just two days later that I made it back to the hospital for the real thing. Now a year later I am officially a Mommy. I do my best but I have days where I question if I'm good enough to be Alex's Mom. I know that no Mom is perfect and if I do my best that's all I can do. Being a Mother however has really made me appreciate my own Mom more. She is one amazing women!! She has endured many things in her life. People will ask me how does your mom do it. Honestly I don't know but she has and does. I love that she loves me no matter how different I am from her, and no matter what different paths I have choose to take in my life. I love that she gives her love unconditionally and asks for nothing in return. I love how excited she gets about her kids/grandkids. Hearing her brag about Alex always makes my day. I love you, my best friend! I feel so blessed to call you Mom. I hope I can be the type of Mother to Alex that you have been to me.

My Mom will kill me for posting this picture but I can't resist. This picture was taken when Alex was a few weeks old. My mom offered to cuddle him while I did some baking. When I came to check on her i found them both asleep and grabbed the camera.

My brother did some wierd affects with these two photos, I love them!

So Sunday we shopped around Napa and went to lunch at Taylor's Automatic Refresher. We heard about them from Guy on Diners, Drive Inns and Dives. The have yummy garlic fries and I loved their PB chocolate shake. It was strange to see people drinking a glass of wine with their burger though.
That night we had a big Chinese banquet at a local restaurant. It is a Chinese tradition to have a party when a child turns a month old. Well being that Jason's family lives in California we decided to hold off until Alex was one year old. So for alex's first birthday along with his Grandpa Al's birthday ( same day) we celebrated with a 11 course Chinese dinner. My cousin Jes who lives out in CA was able to join us that night. She even ventured back to our 5 star resort to spend the night.
Monday we went out for breakfast and then laid low for a few hours while my FIL Al's got some lights fixed on his car. Later that afternoon we went to the Jelly Belly factory. We were the last group of the day and the only group so we had a private tour. It was fun because we were able to view areas not usually shown to big groups and could ask any questions we had. We did a little shopping there including picking up some belly flops. We then attempted to go to a local amusement park however it was closed so we shopped around instead and had dinner at a cute little Mexican restaurant. We finished the night with a trip to the creamery.

Tuesday we got up early and headed to San Francisco. We walked around a bit and ate some clam chowder before heading out to Alcatraz for the day. It was Alex's first trip on a boat. We tried to take him outside to enjoy the ride but it was super windy.

As many of you know I am not a huge museum person or history fan at all however this was different. An old prison fascinated me. If you haven't had the opportunity to go out there before I would highly recommend it. We were able to go on the audio tour. They give you a little tape recorder thing and you can walk around at your own pace looking at stuff. I loved how you could heard the cell doors slamming and the inmates chatting. It really brought you back in time. We also shopped around the pier and had some seafood for lunch. It was a very nice day with perfect weather. Alex's favorite thing was the homemade donuts we bought. I really should have taken a picture of him. He couldn't seem to get enough of them.

Wednesday we laid low hanging out at the pool and getting lunch again at Taylors. It was super hot about 98 that day so taking bug out didn't sound very fun. Alex has never been swimming so we thought it was about time to break in his new suit. That night we met up with Jason's cousin Ron for more sushi. Two meals of sushi in one week makes one HAPPY Sharie.

Thursday was Alex's first birthday. I honestly can not believe that my baby boy is a year old now. He is growing up way too fast. It was also my FIL Alan's birthday. We decided to try and escape the heat but heading to SF closer to the bay and hit the zoo. Well our great idea didn't get us far enough from the heat. It was soo bloody hot we almost went home as soon we arrived however we toughed it out and it eventually cooled off. Alex seemed to enjoy seeing the many animals. My favorite happened to be the baby cubs, so cute.

We debated on where to get dinner that night. We didn't want to leave the city yet because we would get stuck in traffic. We decided to use our GPS to find a local place to eat. BIG MISTAKE!! We drove around forever finding either dumpy places or non existent restaurants. We finally stopped along a street of restaurants and asked a local for a recommendation. We ended up at a Italian place that was quite tasty. On the way out I had the opportunity to change a massive poopy diaper in the car as traffic passed by. All I can say is YUCK, YUCK, YUCK. How can a restaurant not have a changing station, honestly?

That night I packed up our stuff while Jason let Alex have his first Oreo cookie, he loved it.

Here are a few pictures of my birthday boy ready for bed in his new jammies his grandparents gave him. On a side note we took him to the store in these jammies on Saturday and a lady ask if he really is a Sound Sleeper, I just laughed in her face. Ya right!

Friday we stopped by a honey farm on the way out of town. I was hoping to bring back some Napa Valley honey for my mom, instead we left with nothing, quite disappointed. We took our time getting back to the airport before we headed home. Alex wasn't nearly as delightful on the way back. I would chalk this up to a week of ciaos, fewer naps, less sleep, new places and people. He did okay and seemed to impress the people behind us but Jason and I know him better. He wouldn't sleep a wink but as soon as his head hit the stroller in the airport he was out and slept all the way home (well almost). It was a very fun long week. Thanks to my in laws for making this trip possible and to all of Jason's family who were so welcoming. We had a terrific time!

Alex has many firsts this week. A plane ride, boat ride, seeing the ocean, being in another state, learning how to point, swimming, using a sippy cup successfully, walking around furniture and eating his first Oreo cookie. He loves to pull his mean face and give lots of hugs. My little baby is now a little man.


Elicia said...

This was fun for me to read...and I found out we have two more things in common - I HATE Walmart too! I am so mad at myself everytime I have to go in there. Target all the way.
And I was fascinated by Alcatraz too , the night we went I dreamed about all the stuff, like men drowning after trying to escape, etc. Scary.

Nat said...

Yay! I'm glad your back. Glad you had a good trip. We need to get together.

P.S. The bags were a hit last night.

Sami said...

I'm so glad you're back too! I missed you while you were gone. I missed seeing pictures of your sweet guy. I'm glad that you had fun! Let's get together soon.

Jillinda said...

I can totally relate to the plane ride. For Luke's first time we went to D.C. He actually was pretty good on the flight there but the flight home wasn't a direct one and it was miserable. So kind of funny. The other day I remembered that I went to elementary school with a Jeremy Owyoung, any chance their related?

Mollie said...

What a fun little vacation...although I don't think a vacation with a little one would be too terribly fun! I am so, so, so very glad you are back! Thanks for doing lunch today:o)

dibble family said...

Shar! It looks like you had so much stinking fun, I love California, I just feel a little sad that you had to come home to this crummy weather. Your week was packed with fun things, and I love the pics of Alex swimming, cute cute! I'm ready to get together whenever! We don't have much going on over here!