Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Thanksgiving and Beyond

Thanksgiving and beyond! The first time we've spent Thanksgiving with the family in San Fran. It was lovely to spend time with them all, going walks before dinner on the big day, meeting up with their friends, Sean and Jess, on a walk the day after. Beef Wellington, actually two of them, and all the trimmings for lunch- they really looked after us. The weather deteriorated after that, meaning we were confined to indoors and spent the time watching and helping Andrew make a side table out of a cross-section of tree trunk that he'd seen recently felled, whilst driving home! Lily is such good fun now and you can have a proper conversation with her. Charlotte is two months old and growing rapidly, not having too much difficulty filling a six month babygro! She smiles and occasionally chuckles, revealing a sweet little dimple on her right cheek. She lies on her back, kicking and waving her arm up and down. Sleeps well all night through, but 6 pm until 10pm are a difficult time. I remember that all too well! So after five nights sleeping underneath Lily in her new bunk bed that Andrew and Lizzy have just finished, once Andrew went off to work and Lily went back to Playschool, we took ourselves off to a Best Western, just down the road. The first day, we explored another part of the Bay Area called Sausalito, with its historic centre and marina after marina lining the shore, easily accessible on foot. Then parked up and walked over the Golden Gate Bridge almost all the way across. Had to be done and it is a wonderful bridge, but overall not as pleasant as walking over Brooklyn Bridge, where the traffic is further away from you, and there is less of it. With 6-8 lanes off traffic constantly flowing right next to you, it was a very noisy experience! The views were superb. From there, we drove to a higher point and overlooked the bridge from above. We returned to collect Lily for the day and take her to the California Academy of Science, in the Golden Gate Park. A bit pricey, but on another rain-soaked day, a great day out. Lily zipped around at first, as different exhibits caught her eye. There were lots of aquariums, and a tunnel with massive fish swimming around, which she named mummy, daddy, grandma and grandad, Lily and Charlotte fish! A three-tiered rainforest, beginning at the leaf-cutter ants on the forest floor, all the way up to the butterflies in the canopy, excited her particularly. She didn't like the rattlesnakes and anaconda at first, but after a massive picnic, made up for us by Lizzy, we went around the whole thing again, and this time, she took a little longer over the various displays, especially the extensive collection of tiny frogs! There was a starfish and sea urchin low level tank, that children could touch and experience sea creatures up close, and Lily eagerly got stuck in. A full day out with a break in the middle for us to sit down and watch her play in "the Cove", a lovely, safe children's play area. Home to mum and Charlotte and then back to the hotel for us and a rest! That night nearby San Anselmo clocked up 4" of rain, as it teemed down and the thunder and rain woke us up! More heavy rain forecast for tomorrow, when we planned to go to the cinema, to vacate the room for cleaning! It will have rained for seven days solid by the time it dries up! We had thought to hire bikes this week for a couple of days but we're still waiting for the weather to pick up!

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