Sunshine and Smiles

Sunshine and Smiles

Monday, October 31, 2011

Birthday Weekend in San Luis Obispo

I don't feel like I need to tell everyone how wonderful Dan is. My friends tell me, my family tells me, if Funny Bunny could talk, he would for sure tell me. Well this weekend was no exception. For my birthday which we are all aware that I absolutely love and adore, he decided to surprise me with a trip to SLO for the weekend. And not just any trip, but an enchanting wine tasting, fine dining, exploring new towns, staying at The Madonna Inn type trip. From the minute I heard about The Madonna Inn, I said "That is right up my alley! Hint, hint D!"
We drove down on Friday, checked in and immediately went to sleep for a few hours. (BIG birthday party the night before.)

We woke up, and headed to downtown SLO which has got to be the cutest place ever! Within minutes Dan and I were in an argument about why we couldn't just pack up and move to SLO for fun! (This is not a joke, this was a real argument.)If you know me well, you know that any time I visit a place I fall in love with it, and want to move there immediately. "We will figure it ALL out later!" I cheer. "Let's move next weekend!" My boyfriend the planner tells me "Absolutely not Kel, where would we live? Where would we work?" as I cry "I need adventure!"

After that, we ended up having a nice dinner at Novo, which was suggested by my dear friend Kevin. It had twinkle lights on the patio and birdcages hanging from the trees. Most precious ambiance ever.

Saturday morning we got up early and headed to breakfast at Apple Farm, another suggestion from Kev. I fell in love with the charming little house it was in and the cozy feel to it.Where went to next was one of my very favorite parts of our trip. Dan had played baseball in SLO for a Summer in college, so we went to visit the baseball field he played at. To see his proud face and the memories it brought back to him put a smile on my face. I love learning about someone you love's past and the things that make them feel nostalgic.

Kevin had made me this amazing list of all of the wonderful things SLO had to offer, and seeing as how I LOVE lists, I set out and started crossing things off immediately. First, we went to Kelsey Vineyards and Winery where we drank apple chardonnay. So delicious! We then set out to Paso Robles where we tried a few wineries and talked to some really nice people. One of the wineries, Lone Madrone, had a tiny little tree house making this my favorite stop. Not to mention we got a really great bottle of wine and a gorgeous necklace made in Africa for me.

We decided to drive down to the coast to watch the sunset and arrived in a little town called Harmony. I had heard that Harmony is one of the smallest towns in California with a population of 18. I stopped in the tiny little post office, signed their guest book and set out for the next unbelieveably tiny town called Cayucos. Oh my gosh, this town!!!! I loved it. It is this tiny little beach town that literally has not changed from the 1800's. It looks like it should have been a ghost town, other than the fact it is on the water. We stopped in The Saloon and had a beer. The bartender told us his family has been in the town for 7 generations and that the bar has been there for over 100 years. I love history, so seeing places like this totally gets me excited.

Saturday night Dan and I had dinner at Alex Madonna's Gold Rush Steakhouse. It was delicious. It was hands down the best filet I have ever had, and Dan said the same about his prime rib. We had great service, tasty wine and I even got a slice of birthday cake. Such a fantastic day.

We slept in Sunday and left The Madonna Inn (sadly) and went down to Avila Beach. We hiked down a pathway and arrived at Pirate's Cove. In order to get there, you have to go through a tunnel and it leads straight to the cliffs over looking the ocean. It was amazing. I love any sort of tunnel/secret passage, so I was stoked. On the way back I saw that there was apple picking in a farm a few miles ahead, so we stopped to pick some apples (the PERFECT fall adventure and Dan's nightmare) for the kids in my class and we I had a blast doing it. Dan is tall so he was able to reach the really good, ripe apples.
We walked around downtown SLO for a while and after that decided it was time to end our perfect vacation.

I was so sad to leave, because yes, I still want to move to SLO, (it was love at first sight)and am going to concoct a plan on how I can talk D into one of my impulsive, emotional based ideas without any of his logical arguments.:)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Favorite things...

Celebrating my birthday this month week has really made me think about my very favorite things in the world. So here is a beautiful, happy list of just a few...

My birthday
Making lists
Forehead kisses
Making my dreams come true
Rope swings in front yards
The faces of children as you read them a book
Fresh flowers in my apartment
Reading my horoscope every morning
Pictures. Taking them, but mostly looking at them after
The feeling when my Vogue arrives in the mail
Discovering new cities
Pretty wine labels
When my ipod is psychic
Anything pertaining to bunnies
Pretending I can walk in 5 inch heels
Being madly in love

What are your favorite things?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Getting in the SPIRIT of Halloween

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays hands down. Haunted houses, pumpkins, watching scary movies... the works. And don't even mention all the halloween candy I eat by the pound every year. It also helps that my birthday is four days before so I am always in a very festive mood. This year has been no different. I have encouraged all my friends to partake in many Fall traditions with me and we have been having so much fun.
Last Thursday Cody, Kirby and I headed down to Half Moon Bay to visit our favorite pumpkin patch Lemo's. This place was made for me. It is bright, fun, vibrant and adorable. You can go on rides, go through their haunted house and feed animals in their petting zoo. We all had a blast picking out pumpkins and spending quality time together.

After all the fun there we did some wine tasting in town (because what trip isn't complete without wine?) 8 tastings to be exact. :) We met some people who told us they had just finished at an awesome labyrinth in town you could go through. This totally piqued our interest and we set out. We had so much fun going every which way in the maze. We got dizzy, we laughed, we were frustrated at times, but we finally made it out. We were thrilled! Now hungry, we headed back up the 1 and stopped at Sam's Chowder House. It had such a beautiful view of the ocean, and the sun was just setting so it was a perfect time to stop and eat yummy seafood. What a pumpkin perfect day...

View from our delicious dinner

This past Monday a few of us did the San Francisco Haunted Tour. I have been wanting to do this tour from the moment I created my first SF Fun List. I was so excited to finally cross it off! We met at The Queen Anne Hotel and listened to our tour guide Jim tell us all about the history of the hotel and how haunted it was. He told us that we would be taking a walking tour of all the most haunted mansions in Pacific Heights. I absolutely love this sort of stuff, so I was giddy with excitement as my best friend Cody (who is always a good sport and accompanies me to all the crazy adventures I want to go on) rolled his eyes. I thought this might be a good time to head across the street and grab some wine to liven things up a bit.

Ghost hunting crew...

Trace and I checking out room 410 which is the most haunted in the hotel

We all had so much fun as Jim took us to the mansions and told us about murders and cover ups and of course, the ghosts that still haunt the houses. It was really cool to hear all about the history of San Francisco as well. I walk by these places every day for work and would have never known.

I have loved getting into the spirit this year! Tonight D and I are going to the Whaley House in Old Town San Diego on a night tour. This house is recognized by the government as a TRUE BLUE haunted house. Eeeeee! I just love that my awesome boyfriend wants to do fun things with me all the time. I hope we see a ghost! Hope everyone joins me in getting in the spirit! Lots of love! xoxo

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Here's to Happiness...

After a particular melancholy morning yesterday, my sweet best friend cheered me up by taking a long walk with me and reminded me how truly lucky I am in life. "But I just want to feel sorry for myself and have a pity party"-I thought. I wanted to worry about what I didn't have (nor really want), and wallow. Alas, I pushed my ego aside, and realized she was right. I am so very lucky.

So I decided to get all dressed up for a new exhibit opening by one of my students parents last night. I got in a cab and headed to the Wharf. As I rode down the steep San Francisco hills I looked out the window as I went up and down and realized this is what life is like, a lot of ups and downs. I passed by Coit Tower, the TransAmerica building and peered over the hill at the Bay Bridge with the moon shining right behind it, and it all came into perspective. Here I was, all dolled up, heading to an exhibit opening meeting my best friend in the world, getting to see incredible art by one of my students mom's (because yes! after all that hard work, I really am a teacher!) in one of the most amazing cities in the world. I. Did. This. Myself. And like a flash it all made sense.

In light of my little epiphany, I decided to make a list of some of the things that are making me happy at the moment, and remind myself when I am immersed in acting like a vain, 27 year old girl that my life is pretty OUTSTANDING...

So here's to happiness...

1.Running start hugs from the kids at work every morning. What an awesome way to start every day. Even Mondays.

2.Pumpkin pie in EVERYTHING! Pies, lattes, soup, pancakes.

3.Shopping at second hand stores and scoring great outfits on the cheap. (Hey! It's vintage!)

4. Having terrific friends and family who love me enough to want to celebrate my birthday with me at THREE different parties.

5.When the kids in my class emulate what I say. In example, when we went to leave the other day I heard a little girl in my class say "Let's rock and roll." -Simply awesome.

6. The love of a wonderful man.

7. When Funny bunny hops up on my bed to say hello!

8.The History Channel in October. All things haunted and so spooky!

9. Best friend dates: pumpkin patches with Cody, breakfast and long walks with Tracy, 20 conversations a day with Britney, deep, meaningful chats with Kirby.

10. The fact I get to be with my whole family in 1 week! (Hip, Hip, Hooray!)

11. Reminding myself that this is my FAVORITE month of the whole year!

What is making you terribly happy right now? xoxo

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Here's The Scoop...

This past week I have...

Had cozy, rainy nights in with good friends...

Relaxed with wine and candles...

Spent time with Kirbs, Rach and Cody

Drank delicious wine at happy hour with Brit

Have had that happy hour turn into even more wine with Brit...

Celebrated Em's 26th birthday with a night out on the town...

Watched the Blue Angels fly through the sky at an epic party...

Baked cookies with extra chocolate chips.

Taken precious pictures of the kids in my class...

Spent QT with Funny Bunny...

This has been one of the best weeks I have ever had in San Francisco. The sun has been shining, I have been enjoying all the fun with ALL my friends, whether it has been happy hours, cozy nights in,running into them at parties and chatting through millions of texts to recap our nights. On top of that I have somehow managed to get a lot done at work and school. I will let my pictures do the talking for last week. I just have to reiterate: I. Had. SO. Much. Fun.

This week is yet another Jewish holiday so I am reaping the benefits by having Thursday and Friday off. Cody and I are doing our annual trip down to the Pumpkin Patch in Half Moon Bay Thursday, something we really look forward to doing together every year. I am taking a workshop on implementing even more Reggio Emilia in my classroom which is led by a Professor that I admire so much for his dedication to teaching emergent curriculum in schools. And Sunday, I will celebrate Dale's bridal shower which I am really excited about because she is just the sweetest person, and I really adore her. I always love getting together with all the teachers, we have such a great time together.

Have been missing my man these past two weeks, excited to spend almost a week with him next week and have him give me my birthday present a little early. I just love my birthday SO very much! 16 days to go!! xoxo

Sunday, October 2, 2011

San Diego- Home is Where the Heart Is

I have had the weekend off since Wednesday evening. Thank you Rosh Hashanah! I flew into San Diego Thursday morning and headed straight to Coronado for QT with my mom and bro. I love being home because I am at my most comfortable and am so relaxed. So relaxed, that I leave little messes all over the house without noticing, sleep for hours on end, and drink all my mom's wine. (Thanks mom!)

Thursday evening Dan and I headed out to Jamul and had a wonderful time with his family. Joe and Jill came as well as Maureen and Johnny. I love being around them, and we drank delicious wine and bbq'd steaks and ate crab. Carla has the house decorated so cute for Halloween! Every corner of the house has little goodies. I absolutely loved it.

Friday morning I headed with my mom and Dale to visit my sis and Dyl pickle to have lunch with them in San Clemente. It was so great to see the little munchkin and spend time with my family.

Later that evening, Dan and I attended Maureen and Garrett's beautiful wedding in Point Loma. We had a blast chatting with friends, and dancing the night away...

Saturday consisted of nothing but fun! I had brunch with Kandi, who is one of my oldest friends. We have known each other since we were in 1st grade together and have so much fun when we see each other. My friend Adam's band was playing at a music fest in PB so we all hung out at Sherman's and caught up while watching Adam's band and enjoying all the sunshine.

Today I spent the whole day with my mom, dad and Obie. We had lunch at Miguel's where we are regulars and brought the pup. I love being home and spending time with my dad. We talk history all day long and I love hearing stories about him growing up, and learning what my grandparents were like when they were my age.

D and I are watching football with my dad and are heading to a cute little restaurant called Alexander's in North Park for dinner. This weekend has been jam packed. I love being home, but am looking forward to seeing all my kiddos in the morning and seeing all the Blue Angels practice from my roof all week. Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend filled with sunshine and lots of smiles. I leave you with this....