Monday, August 23, 2010

Girls' Getaway Weekend!!

But before I tell about the weekend's adventures, I thought I would show you the whole wheat cranberry scones I made last Sunday.  Pretty yummy, huh!?  I love that my kitchen has a gas stove and oven.  I think things cook better!  This recipe is from Weight Watchers and is super easy to boot!!

Now, for the weekend!! 

My friend, L, and I decided to take a little girls' weekend roadtrip for the last weekend of the summer.  Our first stop Saturday morning was Starbucks!  The perfect way to begin a road trip: coffee and baked goods!
Now, I will add here that we happened to get in line behind two people who had never been to Starbucks before.  Let me just say for these two dears the choices and possibilities seemed to be a bit endless (I mean the variety of options still gets to me at times), so our quick stop turned into a longer stay, but I am happy to report that each new Starbucks customer tried a new treat and seemed to enjoy her final choice!  It was also really cute to see all the different people in the coffee shop this morning.  A father had stopped in with his little girl.  She had so much fun eyeing all of the goodies behind the glass of the bakery case.  At another table was a wedding planner helping a young couple plan their big day.  She was prepared with floral arrangement samples and everything.  What fun!  I'm glad I had the extra moment to truly get a sense of the life experiences that happen in a coffee shop. 
Okay back to our trip!
I indulged in a skinny vanilla iced latte and triple berry coffee cake.  Yummy!! 
L got iced tea and a yummy scone.
And we're off!! 
An hour and a half later we arrive at our destination!  Here is L in front of our fabulous hotel.
Here is our fun room.
And fabulous tv!! 
Here was the view...really nothing to do, but relax by the pool -- a perfect vacay!!
But first...some sustenance!!  This was an adorable '50s cafe in the hotel.
Then, it was off to the fabulous pool!  I brought so many fun magazines that had been piling up at home.  What a treat to just read and relax!
By early evening some storm clouds were brewing so we headed back inside to get ready for dinner. 
We ate at another fabulous restaurant in the hotel.  The chips, queso, and salsa were delish! 
The next morning we got to sleep in and enjoyed watching a fun new favorite show: My Fair Wedding with David Tutera!!  It is on WE and you should definitely watch if you haven't seen it before. :)
Before we left we made a stop by the luxurious day spa for pedicures.  Don't worry, they had a huge tv in the mani/pedi room and we got to watch more fun wedding shows!!  Such a fun girly treat!! :)
On our way home, we stopped at the Allen outlets.  It was so crowded and majorly hot, but we braved the elements in the name of fashion and enjoyed looking around. 
Our final two stops were this amazing taco place
(I ordered the actual "rusty taco" and it was fabulous!  It was made with pork and pineapple.)

One word: Delish!
I ordered the red velvet on the left, which apparently the NYTimes has touted as one of the best, and continuing with the wedding theme of the day, L ordered the wedding cake cupcake, which is apparently their best seller.  I think we both chose winning flavors!!

Thanks, L, for a super fun girls' getaway!!

Hope you all have a fabulous week!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Weekend Update

This weekend was absolutely fabulous!  It was so relaxing that part of my brain is having trouble remembering what I did. :)  I do remember indulging in a massage, having lunch with a precious friend, and taking a little road trip wtih some sweet friends to visit TCU to see their chapter of my sorority perform their recruitment skit.  So fun!  After the performance we ate dinner at PF Changs in Sundance Square.  I had such a fabulous time and definitely think that a laughter-filled dinner and car ride home is a wonderful way to end the weekend! 

I also did a little baking before church on Sunday morning.  Church was another memorable and precious experience of its own and I am so grateful for those moments.  However, the only pictures I have to offer are from my baking. :)
Here is the blueberry sour cream coffee cake I made on Sunday.  It was pretty yummy if I do say so myself!  You will notice it is perhaps a little uneven in the pyrex because I forgot a cup of flour after I had already poured the batter in the pan.  Oops!  I had to mix it in in the pyrex. :) 
Oh well, it's the taste that counts, right?
Hope you are having a wonderful week!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Family Road Trip

Last week, my sweet cousin N and her darling children A & R picked me up and off we went to the town I grew up in and where my parents and our grandmother live. We had the best time!!
Here is sweet A at our grandmother's house.  The tea set to the left is one that her mother and I spent hours of fun with as we hosted tea party after tea party.  It was always an extra special treat if we got to put real water in our tea cups! :)
 Ok, now I have to just have a moment and share that I just realized you can post captions by the pictures!! Woo hoo! :)

What a precious smile!

Miss A was so precious and took this photo of her mama and me. 

Next stop: Dairy Museum!

Miss A in front of her favorite exhibit in the museum
Let me just say that this skeleton on the bicycle was a major hit for the kids.  When you pushed the white button to right, the skeleton started pedaling the bike and telling you all about how to keep your bones healthy and strong.  So fun!

Mr. R loved it, too! 
 Don't forget the ice cream! 
Any stop at the Dairy Museum would not be complete without a stop at the cute soda fountain inside.  After all, it was an awfully hot day! :)
Mmmm...looks like R likes his strawberry. :)

Miss A seems to be enjoying hers, too!
I tried it for myself and it was definitely the perfect treat!   Yummy!!

And the perfect ending to any trip to the Dairy Museum is a fabulous photo by the very large cows in front of the museum.  Both holstein and jersey cows are represented here and yes, these cows proudly stand very close to my high school alma mater!!

Now it was back to our grandmother's house for an impromptu talent show. 
It was so fun to watch a new generation revel in the delights of performing before an encouraging audience as N & I had so many times before! :)

Miss A performing an exquisite "Mary Had  a Little Lamb". 

Here is Mr. R in the process of stacking his blocks. 
The big finish for his number was getting to knock over his carefully built tower!
We had such fun reliving childhood memories, visiting family (so good to see you, AD & K!!), eating at yummy restaurants and just getting to be together.  It was also a treat when we journeyed to my parents' house and enjoyed watching A and R play with some of my brother and my favorite childhood toys.  My sweet friend L brought her precious baby C over, too.  What fun!  Thank you to our fabulous hostesses and host.  It is always so wonderful to spend time with you!

Thanks so much for a fabulous trip, N!!  I can't wait to see you all again soon! :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Last Weekend

Last weekend was so fun!  Although I did have a little school work mixed in, I was also able to relax, which was so nice.  I started out my Saturday morning with this
a pumpkin spice latte!
(can you tell I am ready for fall?)

and more importantly this

Oh, how sweet a morning quiet time is sitting on the back porch with a cool breeze joining you on occasion.  I am currently reading through 2 Samuel 22 and have found it to be quite the adventure.  The depth of meaning found in Scripture completely astounds me.  I am overwhelmed with each verse.

"He brought me out into a broad place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me."
2 Samuel 22:20 nrsv
Thank you, Father, for your abundant blessings!

On Sunday, I floated the Comal River with some friends.  How relaxing and fun!  I hadn't floated the river before, but I had the most delightful time in New Braunfels and can't wait to go back. :)  We ended our journey with a trip to the Hula Hut for dinner.  YUMMY!! 
The perfect ending to a fabulous weekend!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Friday Night & Saturday in San Francisco

After my delectable afternoon tea, I boarded another street car back to the financial district where I picked up my luggage and took a cab to my new abode, a darling boutique hotel with Country French decor.
Here is my room complete with a teddy bear. :)

I even got an upgrade to a room with a fireplace.  It was so cozy.  The fireplace really came in handy for San Francisco's chilly evenings.
Aren't the little details so charming?

Another really nice feature of this hotel was it had evening hors douvres. 
I enjoyed a little snack and then grabbed a cab to go to the opera!
Across the street from the opera house is either San Francisco's Civic Center or City Hall.  I can quite remember, but know it started with a "C". :) 
Isn't it beautiful? 

At San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House, I got to see Deborah Voigt in Pucinni's "Girl of the Golden West".  It was FABULOUS!!!

Saturday morning dawned bright and beautiful, the perfect day for a tour.  Dylan ( my tour guide and he did a fabulous job.  We got to see practically all of the city and Muir Woods and Sausalito.  What an adventure!  Here are some highlights:
One of the oldest churches in San Francisco.

Possibly one of my favorite pictures of the entire trip.  What a beautiful blue sky!

The city view from Twin Peaks.

The Grateful Dead house in Haight-Ashbury

Janis Joplin lived here once.

Jimi Hendrix's home
The street sign at the corner of Haight and Ashbury.
Anyone else humming the themesong to Full House?  I sure do everytime I see this picture.  Here is where they filmed the opening credits.  So fun!  You can see the famous Painted Ladies in the background.  Makes me nostalgic for those great shows on ABC's TGIF.  Those were the best!
Next stop is the neighborhood of Pacific Heights.
And you guessed it!  The house pictured above is none other than the home in Mrs. Doubtfire.
What beautiful homes.  I love the solarium or green house in the front of this one.
What a view!
And the flowers...

Next, after walking around Pacific Heights for a bit, we hopped back in the van and headed through the Presidio.  Then, we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge!!  What an experience!

After our journey across the bridge, we paused at a lookout to take some pictures.
I thought the surf at the edge of these rocks was so beautiful.
Now, onto Muir Woods.
Let me just pause for a moment to say that walking through Muir Woods was such a sacred moment for me.  There is just something about being completed enwrapped in nature that allows for a precious experience with our Creator. 
Following are quite a few "tree" pictures. 
I tried to capture the awe and wonder I was feeling, however impossible I knew that would be.
A green canopy
The path ahead
The majestic redwoods
One of my absolute favorites
A little reminder on the return path to be quiet when in nature. 
This reminder is something I need for my daily life. 
Perhaps one reason for the sacred nature of this time was the quiet. 

After an hour in Muir Woods, we loaded back onto the van and headed to Sausalito. 
It is such a charming town by the water.
I also enjoyed a delicious ice cream cone here.  Yummy!!
Dylan brought us back to the city and we ended our tour close to Union Square.
After the tour, I headed to Grace Cathedral.
Here is a park outside the cathedral.  Many people were out enjoying the beautiful day. 
I just love looking at churches.
Beautiful stained glass.
After a restful pause in Grace Cathedral, I headed back over towards Union Square.
The St. Francis to your left and Saks straight ahead.  I believe Tiffany and Co. is to the right as well. :)
More beautiful flowers!
Dylan, our tour guide, told us that San Francisco's original name was Yerba Buena. 
He said it was some type of mint.
More shops!!
I've read that the afternoon tea here is fabulous, too!  Maybe I can try it on my next trip. :)
A great department store
The Priscilla of Boston store.  I just loved seeing the wedding gowns in each window. :)
And, finally a photo of H&M for my dear friend, E!

I flew home on Sunday, July 4th, and got to celebrate Independence Day with my sweet friend L and her precious family.  They had a fabulous cookout and we got to watch fireworks.  So fun!! :) 
Well, if you are still reading, thank you so much!!  I thoroughly enjoyed my trip and look forward to my next adventure!