Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate the holiday!! And to those who don't, I hope you have a wonderful day with family or friends too!! It's our favorite time of year, and nothing makes me happier than seeing these two happy faces standing next to the tree...
We've had a busy, busy week (hence the couple of days I didn't post anything - very unlike me!). On Friday, we had a special event. For the past 20 years, Jon and I get together with very close friends to do a trim the tree party. There are traditional things we do (which will never be spoken of!) but mostly we eat good food, reminisce about the good old days, and exchange gifts. I brought homemade gingerbread with whipped cream. It was SO good! I used this recipe but I only had blackstrap molasses even though it said not to use that kind. We all think it still turned out great!
While I was baking, Jon took the wonder twins to Ghirardelli Square to look at all the decorations.
The Dude lifting up Croc so he can see what appears to be a kid's best dream: a chocolate making machine!
This is one of the tourist attractions that I actually do recommend. Ghirardelli chocolate (and See's chocolate) are a part of San Francisco. You can't come here without seeing how it's made! :)
I mean come on. Are these not the cutest stink pots in town? We tried really hard to get Croc to tell us what he asked for from Santa but he was tight lipped. I guess some secrets need to stay between a kid and the big guy from the North Pole.
I'm assuming from these photo feed pictures that they all went to Musee Mecanique! This is yet another tourist spot that you must check out when you're in town. It houses all these historic arcade games in their original working order, some of them from the old Playland at the Beach, and you can actually play the games. I read an article where someone interviewed the owner and he said something like what's the point of letting people look at all the arcade games and then not letting them play them!? He wanted people to experience the machines themselves. The guy knows how to repair them all and sometimes you can even see him roller skating around the museum while talking to customers.
This totally explains the pocket picture I took from The Dude. Lots of coins and cheap quarter machine toys :)
Fisherman's Grotto is also pretty cool if you MUST go to Fisherman's Wharf (which I don't recommend - it's not really what SF is all about!). They line up all these food carts and sell seafood. But here's the thing: the food isn't actually all local. So you're not *really* tasting San Francisco when you go there, but it's a cool experience nonetheless. If you want to experience the true seafood of SF, go to Swan Oyster Depot on Polk Street (and get there EARLY!).
I love their new jackets. I got them at Uniqlo for a super fair price. They outgrow and lose things so quickly that it's dumb to spend a lot of money on coats.
You know what's crazy? This water you see below is Aquatic Park, which is part of Maritime National Historical Park. It's a semi-contained area of water where a lot of swimmers get their laps in, including me once upon a time. I used to zip up the wetsuit and train for the triathlon at this spot. I always felt safer here because it's so much more contained from the big waves. Well last week they had to close it because sea lions were biting the swimmers! It happened multiple times to the point where some swimmers had to go to the hospital! Yikes.
Then we did our latest Koala Crate which was cowboy themed! We made a horseshoe stamp and Croc made little beanbags and a bandana for a game.
I've mentioned before how much I love these crates because they include everything you need to do a few crafts. I don't have to run out and buy anything because it's already there.
The paint bled right through this little scarf onto the new art table I just assembled for them. It wiped right off but I need to let go of its perfect appearance right now because expecting kids to NOT get a piece of furniture dirty or banged up is absurd.
Once the gingerbread was ready, Jon and I peeled out for trim the tree while the boys hung with our friend!
I did my own nails for the occasion including these fun little confetti glitter things (that Croc later tried to peel off one by one).
Our friends who hosted are so stylish. Even their Christmas tree is stylish. I have no idea where they even found this variety in the city.
We had salad, Delfina pizza, gingerbread, and lots of these cookies. Sugar cookies are a classic and I love them!
Then it was time for our white elephant exchange. I drew the best number of the batch! We play that #1 gets to pick first, then also gets to steal at the very end too (as long as the present isn't "dead" by being traded twice already).
I drew an umbrella. DUD!!! We were all laughing pretty hard because the guy that wrapped this one is kind of notorious for giving bad exchange gifts (exhibit A). We were teasing him asking if there were dollar bills shoved in the umbrella spokes or some kind of trick it did that made it more special.
So he decided to demonstrate how durable it was and how awesome the gift truly was :) Sure, buddy.
Jon couldn't figure out if he was actually *getting* a crib dribble or if it was just a box. It was just a box, folks. Inside were yummy spices from Napa. Score!
I ended up trading my umbrella for this Santa decoration and a pack of Skyline Chili mix!! I need to feed my craving for Cincinnati chili every once in a while and you can't find it in SF!
Look how happy we are to be away from children. Not that we don't love them dearly!
Only my stylish friend can make a rubber band ball look cute as part of the decor. Also a very good selection of books to borrow!
I saw this on my IG feed and it made me think of my grandparents because they did this every time I went to visit. In fact I remember the last time they did it, Jon and I were moving to San Francisco and we were saying goodbye for now. My grandma followed us all the way out to the gravel driveway and waved the entire time until I couldn't see her in the mirror anymore. She said "I'll pray for you." Grandparents are so special. I miss mine all the time, but feel so blessed that I knew all four of them for many years.
Last night we made peanut butter cookies for the big man. It was a family event.
Daddy upped our game a few notches by locating colored sugar sprinkles to coat them in before cross hatching with a fork. I later gave a non-colored sugar sprinkle cookie to Crocodile which caused an immediate meltdown as he said, "they don't have glitter!!!!" :) The priorities of a little kid.
We love our new oven so we can watch the cookies get brown. Our old oven needed duct tape to keep it closed, so we've really classed up our act quite a bit.
Now we're taking a little quiet break from the gift opening insanity. I'm going to go for a nice long run (7 miles is now considered long!) and then stuff my face with all kinds of treats. I got about five new pairs of super comfy pajama clothes that I'd like to just put on rotation for the next 48 hours - haha!!
Tell me a tradition in your family. Could be Christmas related or just anything at all! One of ours is to read Twas the Night before Christmas on Christmas Eve. It used to be just Jon or me reading it, and now The Dude contributes. In the next couple of years all four of us will be reading it!
Did you do crafts when you were a kid? My school was pretty great about doing crafts a lot but now in public schools it isn't really a thing.
(Almost) daily blogger. Sober runner. Mental sh*t stirrer. Pro gender equality in tech. Family first.