california dreamin'

Life in California has been relatively peaceful considering the massive population and big city surroundings. Ryan and I have been doing exactly what vacations are intended for... relaxing.
Our friends Jon and Jody have taken great care of us, allowing us to stay in their home and touring us around the Bay area.
Yesterday we woke up to another beautiful California day. While Jody headed off to work, Jon and his 3 year old son had dentist appointments. Ryan and I agreed to stay home with the 11 month old baby while the others were gone.
As everyone left, Ryan decided that it would be an ideal time to rotate the tires on the car. I stayed inside with a baby who was heartbroken that his dad had left him all alone with a stranger. He cried for quite some time before finally falling asleep as I carried him around. Success! Only minutes later, Ryan walked back inside the house. At the sound of the door opening, the sleeping baby in my arms woke up and burst into tears once again. Way to go, Ryan. We struggled to cheer him up, only succeeding temporarily before he'd scream again. For those of you who will certainly be asking as soon as the wedding has happened, Ryan and I aren't planning on having kids in the near-ish future.
Jon finally returned home and magically calmed his sad baby in a way that only a parent can. Next on our day plan was a trip to Costco. It might not sound all of that exciting, but for Ryan and I it was. He bought an external hard drive and a huge supply of batteries, while I tossed some fresh cherries in the cart. Once we'd made our purchases, it was off to make a far more exciting purchase. We are now proud to be in possession of a pair of 3-day park hopper passes to Disneyland and California Adventure. I'm the most excited girl on the planet as I think about finally being able to meet Mickey Mouse.
Continuing on with our day, we stopped at a fast food outlet called Pollo Loco, where we sampled what Jon promised were some of the area's most delicious churros. Admittedly, they were pretty darn amazing. Having already passed the point of no return on our trend of unhealthy eating, we stopped at 7-11 to grab some pina colada flavoured slurpees. Best idea, ever. While we sipped our slurpees, Ryan took photos of planes landing overhead.
We finished off our day by joining Jon, Jody and their family for a barbecue and picnic in the park. We ate hot dogs and brownies and played at the park with the kids.
After dinner we took photos of the sun setting over San Francisco before we returned home for a quiet night of TV and general lazing around looking at the photos that we've taken thus far.
This morning we woke up and lounged around the house, contemplating taking photos of the sunrise but succumbing to our laziness. Jon had the day off again and the 3 of us were set for another day of photo adventures. It's great hanging out with people who actually find joy in standing at one spot for long periods of time just to capture the perfect shot. We drove through San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge, took a slight detour to Starbucks and then headed to Muir Woods National Monument, a huge forest full of giant Redwood trees.
Each of us stopped every few minutes for another photo. We took an hour to walk what would take a normal person only 10 minutes. Hundreds of photos later, we left the forest and continued on to In N' Out burger, where we dined on delicious burgers and fries. Say what you will, but I love American fast food chains in all of their greasy glory.
On the way back to the house we stopped for photos at a Mormon temple perched on the side of a hill with a stunning view of the city below. Normally open to visitors, it was closed for the day. Cameras in hand, we managed to entertain ourselves for quite some time taking photos of honeybees in the rose bushes.
Dinner came with even more delicious food. Jody and Jon made an amazing meal of tri-tip sandwiches, corn on the cob, and baked potatoes. Home cooked meals are especially delicious when you spend so much time on the go.
The rest of the evening was spent lazing on the couch with a cup of coffee in hand and a bag of kettle corn on the couch beside us. Life is good, and we love California!