Saturday, April 10, 2010

Grandma Jill

Grandma Jill came to visit us this week.  She came just in time for General Conference and Easter.  We celebrated at home with an Easter feast.  No eggs this year, since Jared is too young to appreciate the holiday.  He enjoyed conference from the most natural place for a little boy: inside his toy box.
 Last time my mom came to visit, Jared was too little for us to get out very much.  This time we had lost time to make up.
 The weather prediction for Monday was rain, rain, rain, so we decided to go to San Jose and visit the Winchester Mystery House.  A crazy house built a hundred years ago in consultation with spirits to save a wealthy lady from ghosts seemed like the perfect spooky place to spend a gloomy Monday afternoon.  Of course California, true to form, couldn't even deliver on promised rain.  The sun shone brilliantly all day.  The house was really fascinating.  The tour took us to 110 rooms of 160 in the house.  There was something interesting to learn in almost every room.  The house has stairways that stop at ceilings, doorways that lead to nowhere, closets that open to be hallways, and a fixation on the number 13 evident everywhere.  
Tuesday was the first Tuesday of the month, which is free admission day at the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.  The park was beautiful with trees in bloom.  I had never been to the museum before. It is huge! We are going to have to take advantage of all of the free first Tuesdays for a while to be able to see it all.  My mom was especially excited about the exhibit of antique Amish quilts.  Jared, it turns out, is not an art enthusiast, but he'll learn to appreciate it.  
Tuesday evening we went to San Francisco to see Wicked.  We left Todd and Jared home for some male bonding and had a girl's night.  The show was amazing.  I had never seen it before, and I didn't know the story, but it was done really well.  
Grandma believes that no trip to the San Francisco area is complete without a stop at fisherman's wharf.  Here she is rocking out at the Hard Rock Cafe.  I was surprised to find out that the Hard Rock Cafe has valet stroller parking.  Who knew they were so family friendly?  
Later we spent some time in downtown San Mateo.  We wandered the beautiful Japanese Tea Garden in Central Park, and then Jared showed Grandma the swings and taught her how to pick and eat only the most delicious pieces of grass.  
We wandered downtown for a little while, finally stopping for frozen yogurt at Yogurtouille before picking up Todd to go home.  
On Thursday we went to the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach to look at the tide pools.  I read that this is prime tide pool season, but the weather was too cold and blustery for Jared to last very long.  A lot of the beach was closed off for seal pupping.  
We didn't see any starfish, but Jared enjoyed getting dirty.  
When we got too cold in the sand, we hiked up the bluff above the beach. Looking down we could see dozens of seals and seal pups sunning on the rocks and swimming in pairs out of sight from the beach below.  It was an amazing sight.
We had a really great time with Grandma, even if it was exhausting.  Come visit us again soon, Grandma!  We miss you! 

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