Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Planes, trains, pigs ears, and cousins!

That's right, Abel took his first plane ride, ate pigs ears and hung out with cousins. Oh California, there is no place quite like you!

The Rae clan needed a vacation and when the Kenney's welcomed Baby Langdon to the family early this month we knew we had the perfect excuse for a trip. Our visit included five days in San Francisco, Thanksgiving with Jodi's family and a few days of hanging out with Jodi's family in the beautiful Carmel Valley (where Jodi and her family live).

As Ian would say, we ate our way through San Francisco. We didn't eat a bad meal and let me tell you, we ate a few strange ones! We ate delicious chinese food (to include pigs ears, a savory custard with clams, apples and herbs and delicious eel fried rice) at Mission Chinese, breakfast every day at the Farm Table (yes, every day!), sushi (Abel loved it), Indian food (he didn't love it) and Burmese food at Burma Superstar (the tea leaf salad was amazing!). We also got to visit Ian's cousins in Alameda, hang out with friends in town, walk to the top of Tank Hill (we are Raes! We had to find the highest point around), walk along the beach, check out Golden Gate park, play at the Exploratorium, walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, eat sugary pastries in Chinatown and browse books at City Lights Books.
Perhaps the most challenging and fun part of our visit to San Francisco was figuring out transportation. We opted to not take a carseat, committing ourselves to only using public transportation. Trains, subway, foot, bus, plane and ferry. No, we didn't take the cable car. They were ridiculously more expensive than the alternatives and slow. I do have to admit that they look pretty cool coming down the street.

From San Francisco we took the Cal-train south to visit Jodi and her family in Carmel Valley. We got there in time for Thanksgiving and it was good! Jodi made a super tasty pumpkin cheese cake, Dave smoked a turkey and the side dishes topped it all off. Dinner was good!

It was fun to see all of the cousins hanging out and "playing". I say "playing" because there were four kids under the age of four. It was a little crazy. Carson and Abel are learning the art of sharing, Peighton is willing to share but would like to be asked first (or so it seems to me) and little Langdon is only 3 weeks old so he's not playing yet. Everyone came out unscathed, only one dish was broken and frankly both of those feel something like small miracles!
That said it was wonderful to spend time in Carmel Valley. It is so beautiful and warm there!

And now we're home. And how I love this place. Walking off of the plane last night in the pouring rain I was reminded of how much I love this place. Of how much this place has come to be my home, my place. Sometimes we have to leave to remember. And now I remember. This place, this life, is so right for me. I'm grateful to have visited family and friends in California, to have seen the sites and eaten tasty food and now I'm grateful to be home. Home with Ian, at 2912 Cottonwood Avenue, with our critters out back, the winter rain pouring down, playing with Abel and laughing at Maddie, while sitting in front of the wood stove.

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