Archive for February 2011

The Honeymoon – San Francisco

February 25th, 2011 — 8:11pm

Our early flight to San Francisco meant we were waiting for a taxi  in the lobby of our San Antonio hotel at 5am.  Has may have dropped the “We’re on our honeymoon” line to the check in lady and they may have resulted in us securing a nice little upgrade.  Score!

We landed in San Francisco and took the train into the city.  We had no intention of getting taxis any where that we could catch public transport.  Ok so it was hard work lugging our cases on and off trains but neither of us wanted to use up our honeymoon budget on over priced cabs.  Plus it really wasn’t that bad!  We made our way to the Omni San Francisco where we were greeted by an incredibly friendly and informative check in assistant.  He was so helpful and alerted us to loads of cool things including a local market that was on over the weekend.

We headed out to Union Square and spent the day doing a LOT of walking around!  We pretty much just walked around where ever we fancied with no particular destination in mind.  We ate a very large late lunch at a diner just off Union Square then walked over the China Town.  It was so fascinating, I absolutely loved all of the architecture in the city it really is beautiful and hilly!  After a few hours the temperatures dropped and our legs ached so we went back to the hotel to rest up and get something warmer on.

We spent the evening at Pier 39, which I loved!  I had visited San Francisco 8 years ago and whilst I remembered some things it was great to see it all again.  We walked over the Fisherman’s Wharf where Has grabbed some shrimp.  We didn’t really love Fisherman’s Wharf so we walked back to Pier 39 and sat and watched the Sea Lions.

Early the next morning we headed to Pier 14 for breakfast at the local market.  I absolutely loved the atmosphere there, it was so colourful with fruit, vegetables, handmade crafts, cakes.  The San Francisco Bay Bridge loomed in the background and the smell of all the freshly cooked food had our mouths watering.  We each had an egg and sausage sandwich – incredibly messy but most definitely delicious.  We didn’t have long to savour our breakfast before we had to walk up to Pier 33 for our Alcatraz Cruise.  The walk was a little frantic, our Iphones told us it would be a 20 minute walk, unfortunately we had to check in for our tour in 15!  Full on food we marched in the heat, being overtaken all the time by extremely fit joggers by the time we reached the ticket collection office we were exhausted!  Luckily for us we made it there with time to spare so a brief sit down in the shade with a bottle of water and we were raring to go again when our tour time was called.

I had already been to Alcatraz when I visited San Francisco 8 years before, but it was such an amazing tour I really wanted to do it again, plus I knew Has would love it.  The boat journey to the island provides wonderful views of he bay area and the Golden Gate Bridge.  We didn’t witness any of the famous San Francisco fog, we had clear blue skies and gorgeous views.

The Alcatraz audio tour is award winning and is absolutely something you have to do if you’re in San Francisco.  You are guided around the prison by past wardens and prisoners, they tell you stories of day to day life, riots and even the attempted escapes.  Once the tour was over we walked around the island to admire the view of the San Francisco Bay area, where we are pretty sure we saw a Sea Lion bob his head above the water (Either that or a Shark!!)

After catching the ferry back we made a quick pit stop at IHOP, then caught the bus to the Walt Disney Family Musuem.  We weren’t allowed to take photographs inside but I thoroughly enjoyed learning not only about the growth of the Disney enterprise but also about Walt’s family life.  I loved learning about Walt and the people around him, as you walked around the different rooms different stages of both his professional and personal life were explained.  By the time the tour was coming to an end and I learnt about Walt’s death, I actually felt a little emotional.  The tour did a really great job of connecting you to the man behind the mouse.

We had intended to walk over the Golden Gate Bridge but the time had slipped by us and we had to get back to our hotel to get ready to see Rufus Wainwright at the San Francisco Symphony Hall.  He sang five Shakespeare Sonnets with the San Francisco orchestra.  It wasn’t really my thing but Has really enjoyed it.

The next day we took advantage of a breakfast coupon we had been given and enjoyed the most amazing meal.  I totally embraced the American way and was ordering my eggs like a native!  Although I did make a rookie mistake and completely forgot where I was when I saw “Hot Tea” on the menu.  Thinking I might be in for nice hot brew I felt a little silly when I was given a blackcurrant tea bag.  Still it was a nice drink, just no Yorkshire Gold!

We had tickets to see the San Francisco 49ers.  We knew there was a city bus that took us to the stadium but were a little unsure of where to catch it, so we did he most sensible thing… followed the fans in the 49ers tops!  It was such a fun atmosphere, as we were following someone in a football jersey a lady walked past with her children and cheered “Go ‘Niners!”  The bus journey didn’t take too long and we could soon see the stadium.  We bought a brochure, 2 hot dog, and a couple of drinks in souvenir cups before taking our seats.

It was an insanely hot day, as we waited for the game to begin the sun was behind the stadium offering us some shade.  When the game began the sun moved around a fully soaking us in heat.  We pretty much sat in the sun all afternoon, I started speaking to a fan next to me who said it was really unusual for it to be so hot at this time of year in San Francisco.  One of my favourite things about American sports is the atmosphere, next to Has were a family of Rams fans who were there to cheer on their team against the 49ers, not once was there any trouble from anyone.  We both really enjoyed the game and as it went into overtime we were both on our feet cheering for a 49ers victory.  They finally won 20 – 23.

On our last night in San Francisco we were determined to ride on a cable car, it did however mean climbing a few very hilly blocks to get there.  The night was still hot and I had stupidly worn a coat, the hills in San Francisco were incredible I ached every night and actually really hurt my ankle whilst we were there.  We only climbed about 5 blocks but they were all up hill and stupidly steep.  We rode the cable car to a really small little restaurant called Frascati.  I had an amazing duck salad to start and lamb for my main, Has was a little jealous after he tried my duck salad because it really was that good!  The restaurant was small, rather crowded and because it was a hot night really stuffy too.  They didn’t have air conditioning but they did have all the windows open.  I really loved the restaurant, it was so romantic and the staff there were excellent.  I’d definitely go back.  It was the perfect ending to a wonderful weekend in San Francisco.

Comment » | Honeymoon

Leaving their mark

February 16th, 2011 — 3:14pm

Signing frames and guest books, Ok so their not new ideas, but they’re still a good one!

Our photographer Deborah Stott arranged for our favourite photo from our pre-wedding shoot to sit in a frame with the mount ready for everyone to sign.

It now hangs proudly on our wall in our hall way.

I have to admit that half way through the evening I suddenly realised that nobody knew to sign the mount so I had to rally up a few people to spread the word!  I love looking at the messages, there were a few on there where I couldn’t identify the author but after a little investigation work I now know the scribblers!

Our guest book is one of my favourite things ever.  The day after our wedding we sat at my parents house as I read aloud the entries, I literally couldn’t read them for crying.  I was so touched by what people had written.  I love to just get it out and sit quietly reading it, it actually lives in our bookshelf so I can easily grab it when ever I feel a little sentimental.

2 comments » | Our Wedding, Wedding Inspiration

Our New Home

February 15th, 2011 — 4:26pm

Feels more like home!  I’m not going to linger on the bad stuff because we really do feel more settled but the first couple of days were hard.

This is how it looked when we moved in

Complete with broken sofa, heater, blind and extractor fan.  Smelly rugs, dusty old lampshades, a TV from the 1950s and minimal furniture (we’re renting fully furnished.)

Fast forward 3 weeks,  a lot of unpacking, cleaning, moving, complaining, a few aching muscles, an air freshener or two and a fat lip and we’re finally at a point where we feel cosy.

The landlord replaced the broken sofa with a nice new leather set, fixed the heater and we have the majority of our things now out and about.  Things will probably move again because we have a side board still to come.

We still lack storage in the kitchen but it’s certainly looking a little cuter now we’ve put up our picture clock and decorated the microwave with a few picture magnets.  I also love that I can have all our cooking and baking books out on show. (Sorry I forgot to take a photo of inside our fridge cribs-styley… maybe next time!)

We’re blessed with a large hall way which has two storage cupboards to hide all of our unpacked boxes (!?) and also our bookshelf.  I love having our books out on display along with a few decorative items.  Above the shelf is the frame that people signed on our wedding day.

Our bedroom is now a more welcoming place to be, we haven’t finished with this room yet as we still have to work out a few storage issues but it’s definitely getting there.  Also – how much do you love our chandelier!?  My godparents surprised us with it just after we moved in and I think I’m in love.  For anyone who has seen Anchorman, Has said to me the other day “You actually love lamp”

The bathroom got kitted out with a few new accessories including new artwork.  We picked up a few vintage looking postcards when we were in Hawaii on our honeymoon, as well as really cool map of the islands.  So we framed them and hung them up in our bathroom.

Only problem now is, every time I go to the bathroom it makes me miss Hawaii even more!

So there you have it, our first marital home!  Huge thank you for all the cards, gifts and thoughtful tweets, you’re all so lovely!  (Sarah, Kerry brownies were a huge hit and they’ve all gone!)

So what do you think?!


2 comments » | New Home

Happy Valentines!

February 14th, 2011 — 5:40pm

Lots of love


Comment » | Baking, Laura's Life

I heart the Internet

February 12th, 2011 — 2:09pm

We move into our new home just over 3 weeks ago and whilst I’ve been able to post the odd update on the blog, living without the internet has been tough!  The engineer left about 20 minutes ago and after first announcing on Twitter that I was at last connected – I’m blogging!  Oh how I’ve missed it!

First of all HUGE news, bigger than big!  Suzie is going to be a mommy!!  I know, right!  I found out before Christmas and I’ve been waiting to shout about it.  Suzie had her first scan last week and Mini is looking super relaxed and healthy.  She’s due early August and I am beyond excited!

I also had the complete honour of guest posting for two wonderful blogs.  First up was for one of my absolute fav blogs Met my Match and the second was a follow up to my previous post for the Wedding Genie.  Go take a read, both are great blogs and I’m truly thankful for being asked to post on both.

Also in other great news Cupcakes and Peonies is back!!  After a little break they are ready and raring to go!  I’m so pleased the cupcake world just wasn’t the same without them!

I have quite a bit to tell/show you including the rest of our honeymoon recaps and a few before and after snaps of our new crib, which will all come over the next few weeks.  In the mean time have a great weekend!! x

Comment » | Laura's Life, New Home

The Honeymoon – San Antonio

February 4th, 2011 — 4:00pm

Our greyhound trip from Dallas to San Antonio took 4 hours.  Although we could have flown we thought it might be cool to have the chance to be driven across state.  We had a short stop in Austin, where 2 HUGE men without necks bordered and started to question various passengers about how much money they were carrying and whether they had any drugs.  Talk about scary!  We must have looked very trustworthy as they didn’t bother us, despite that the coach journey enabled us to see quite a lot of the Texan landscape and gave me the chance to write up some of my Wedding Report.

Let me just say that our Iphones and more specifically Google Maps were completely essential on our holiday.  Everywhere we went we were able to follow the route on our phones, Has had worked out the best way to walk from the coach terminal to our hotel before we’d even got off the coach.  Thankfully the walk was only short and we arrived at the Drury Plaza Hotel Riverwalk.  It was formally the Alamo Bank so the interior was very grand and impressive.  We had booked a suite and whilst the decor was a little old fashioned we couldn’t fault the room.  It was huge, comfortable and had a balcony which overlooked the Riverwalk.

One of the perks of our hotel was what they referred to as Kickback.  5pm every evening they offer guest 3 free alcoholic drinks and a selection of hot and cold nibbles.  After making the most of that we went for a lovely meal at a restaurant, raved about on Tripadvisor, called Las Canarias and ended the night with a short stroll around the Riverwalk.  It took me quite some time to adjust to the time difference, I have to admit that by 8pm most nights I was pooped.

The next day we took a bus ride out to the San Jose Mission.  It was a really beautiful place and so quiet we both really enjoyed wondering around learning about the people who used to live there.

After seeing the mission we headed back towards The Alamo,  we were both really looking forward to visiting but I have to admit feeling a little disappointed.  The San Jose Mission was in the middle of no where surrounded by desert, The Alamo was inbetween a Häagen-Dazs ice cream shop, a Ripley’s Believe it or Not and tourist souvenir stalls.  We weren’t allowed to take photographs inside but we did get a few around the grounds.

That night we ate at a restaurant called Mi Tierria and had by far one of the nicest meals of the trip.  We shared fajitas and my god were they delicious!  We finished with an amazing Dulce de Leche Cheesecake.  The place was amazing and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone visiting San Antonio.

The next day we took a boat tour on the Riverwalk, it was nice to learn about some of the history of the city and snippets of trivia like how the Hyatt hotel had to be restricted in height when it was built because no building can cast a shadow over the Alamo.

One of the things Has wanted to do whilst we were in San Antonio was visit the Alamo Drafthouse.  A famous cinema that as well as showing the latest films have event nights.  Such as Top Gun in heckle vision – you can text in your comments so they’l appear on the screen, or The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle film with all you can eat pizza!  Unfortunately we weren’t there for any of the event nights so we went and saw Due Date.  The other really cool thing about the cinema is that all through the show you have waiter service.  We managed to order nearly $60 worth of food and drink, everything was incredibly delicious though!

We ended our last day with a night time stroll around the Riverwalk then heading back to our hotel to the top floor terrace for a beautiful view of San Antonio.

Comment » | Honeymoon

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