Day 1 – Got in late afternoon and enjoyed staying in and just relaxing. One of my favorite things at Haley’s apartment is the very private patio with blooming flowers. So nice to view from a whole wall of windows in the Living Room.
Day 2 – Up really early as we are still on EST. Sorry, Haley, to wake you at 4 am! Coffee in the cozy corner of the Living Room. Core 40 Workout. Then Spa day at Kabuki Springs. Exceeded expectations with enormous sauna, steam room, hot tub, cool pool, and of course a lovely CBD massage. I was sent home with the remaining massage oil for those aches and pains. I was able to share with Mark. After being nice and relaxed, we took a walk to Grace Church where we walked the Labyrinth.
Day 3 – Sanctuary Beach Resort! I’ve been dreaming of going here! The weather is gorgeous. Our view from our room is right on the ocean. There’s something so soothing and grounding to me to put my toes in the sand and hear the roar of the ocean. Enjoyed the complimentary wine and cheese, then ubered to Carmel for a walk around and dinner. Also something so invigorating to me to is admiring the adorable buildings. Feels very European. Found a cute little cottage like restaurant /bar to have a nightcap.
Dary 4 –Woke to the view of the ocean. Morning Bike ride along the coast for everyone! Perfect temperature with the warm sun and cool breeze. Swim in the pool, dunk in the hot tub to ease our sore muscles. Back to Carmel for an al fresco Italian lunch. That’s how I want to spend every Sunday - at a long farm table with family – leisurely sipping wine, nibbling food, while kids and dogs run free.
Day 5 – To the Zoo! So fun to meet our newest nephew Cole and watch our niece Lydia. Pure snuggles and entertainment. We had perfect weather for walking around. The zoo was very clean and had some really fun animals we don’t see at home like elephants. Dinner back at Benicia with the family. This is what we really came for!
Day 6 – Lazy Sunday morning having coffee and breakfast with the girls while the boys went off walking. Best bacon I ever had. Afterwards we walked around town and toured a gated over 55 community. Just checking things out – researching! They are trailers that like more like bungalows for ~ $200,000. We were really impressed with the space and how well maintained the area is. They have a club house, pool, and hot tub. We met a resident with her cute little dog and she invited us in to take a look. We were amazed at how spacious her home was. 3 bedrroms, 2 full baths, a covered car port, patio. The interior had an open floor plan – kitchen open to living room and dining room. Benicia is a quaint little town with lots of artsy shops and cafes, restaurants. Great town to stroll AND has a path around the water (a bay which leads into the San Francisco Bay). Of course we hit some open houses around town as well. Just for fun on my day off! Our favorite was a home on the water that had been expanded and renovated. $1.4 M. Same style shaker white and gray kitchen we see in the East, but with some beige mixed in. Master Bedroom had a deck overlooking the water. Nice way to wake up. There was another house that had a cool master bedroom with a separate sitting area in a round shape – all windows with a beautiful view of the mountains. I’d love to do morning meditation and yoga from that space. We were looking for a home with a fabulous backyard under a Million – not to be found – yet!! The family is growing and need more space for our get-togethers. Back to the city where we had a very interesting dinner at China Live in Chinatown. It was really hopping! Very busy and vibrant atmosphere. Reminded me of a hip NYC restaurant. Not your typical food. The marinades on the short ribs were sweet and sour, but very light. Scallops and veggies a bit spicy. North Beach homes the Italian restaurants conveniently located in walking distance to each other as well as our daughter’s apartment. We cannot resist the pignoli cookies.
Day 7 - Back to work for Haley. Mark did a few handyman projects for her at the apartment. We then took a walk to Uncle Ken’s place for a nice chat. Late afternoon we met Mark’s sister Allyson, our niece Chelsea and her husband Jack for a tour of the Salesforce Tower. The tallest building in San Francisco. The setting is a coffee lounge with a 360 view of the city. We then met Haley for dinner around the corner at One Market. I’d highly recommend the Red Snapper! And the butterscotch pudding.
Day 8 – Traveled back to NJ. W were sad to say good-bye to Haley and all the other relatives, but happy to say hello to Grammy, Tara, and our own home. Not so happy to be back in 40 degree weather. I see the forsythia started to bloom, so warm weather must be coming soon. I do love spring in NJ!