Friday, August 28, 2009

Reno, NV - San Francisco Trip

Since we hadn't been to visit Mark's parents much, we decided that we would plan a trip to visit them and then maybe go to San Francisco for a visit and try to see the Broadway play "Wicked".

We tried to get tickets to Wicked when it came to Utah, but I was blocked out of the site when it opened due to too much traffic and then they were sold out when I was finally able to get back into the site.

Mark's cousin was getting married on Father's Day weekend and so we figured that would be a great time for a visit. There was only one small hiccup. On the Friday and Saturday of that weekend my sister Julie and I were participating in a boutique for Lehi Round Up Days and I would have to be there for all of Friday at least.

I talked to my sister and worked it out so that I would work the booth on Friday with her and then have Jade come as my backup Saturday afternoon.

We decided that Mark and the kids would leave on Friday morning and drive to Reno and I would fly down on Saturday afternoon in time for the wedding reception. I thought this was an EXCELLENT plan since every other time we have traveled somewhere it is usually ME that makes the 9 hour drive from SLC to Reno by myself to leave the kids with Mark's parents, while my dear husband flies to wherever we are going and then I meet up with him there.

Shortly after they had left our house I got a call on my cell phone. It was Dear Husband informing me that the DVD players that we have for our car finally died and so after less than an hour he pulled over at the nearest Target and promptly purchased new ones.

Later on that afternoon he called to inform me that apparently they were doing a tour of each and every rest stop and bathroom between SLC and Reno (about 530 miles). He was quite exasperated and I sweetly mentioned that maybe he should not let them drink so much. . . . to this he replied that they were NOT drinking all that much, but that both had bladders the size of a skittle!

AHHHH, revenge can be sooo sweet!

The next day I flew to Reno and it was so nice - it only took 1 hour instead of 9, I read a magazine, no one was asking for a snack, drink or to go to the bathroom. But best of all I never heard "how much longer?" one time!!

We went to the wedding reception that night. It was at Harrah's Auto Collection in Reno and there were lots of really cool old cars to look at. Jack and Mark loved it!

Here I am with the kids. I think that Jack has some sort of vendetta against me - every time we try to take his picture he pulls some sort of funny face or is not looking at the camera!

After several tries, Jack insisted that he take a picture of Mark and I. Not too bad for a five year old!

The next day was Father's Day. Mark wanted to go to Nevada City, CA (not too far from Reno) to see the Nevada City Classic bike race. This is the oldest bike race in the country AND. . . . Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer were scheduled to race!

The Nevada City is really a cute town. We got there plenty early and watched some of the other races and walked around the town. Here is a picture of one of the houses - doesn't that look so quaint and small town American? I loved it.

Here is a picture of their Chamber of Commerce building. I totally fell in love with this cute town!

The race was a criterion which means that they set up a sort of track and then the riders race around it a certain number of times instead of it being one long strung out ride over several miles. This is the best race to go and see since you get to see the riders more than once.

This is at the start of the race. The race official is giving them rules, guidelines: "this is this and that is that, blah, blah, blah."

There were LOTS of people there and when it came time for Lance and Levi to ride we totally had to jockey for our spots. People kept trying to crowd us out. If you know anything about us Bronson women, you know we don't take too kindly to that. At one point I had to totally "box out" against the railing while Mark found a bathroom!

Here are some pics of Lance and the race. They are not very good because we were at the start / finish line and they were going pretty fast each time they sped by. My little pocket camera is not really equipped to get really good action shots.
This is right at the first, everyone is trying to get clipped into their pedals and get going. Lance is on the far right in the black and yellow "LiveStrong" jersey with his head down.

Here they are racing by. If I had known that we were going to the bike race, I would have brought my good camera, instead of just the "slip in your purse pocket one". Oh well - next time!

This is probably the best shot of Lance that I took and he is looking down!! ARRGGHHH!!

It was really cool to see them ride and Mark really liked it. I commented to him about how skinny those biker boys were and he said "Well dear, you don't haul your butt up the French Alps carrying around an extra 12 pack of Twinkies and Ho-Ho's". Good point. I guess I will never ride the French Alps!

Jack and Madeline were happy that they got to spend some "alone time" with Grandma and Grandpa Harris too.

On Monday morning we got up and drove to San Francisco. Mark's parents came with us and we took the kids too.

Here we are at the entrance to Chinatown.

Check out Jack's face - doesn't he look thrilled to be here?!?

The kids LOVED Chinatown - what's not to love with all the cheap crap spilling out of doorways? The oriental ladies all raved over Madeline and her hair. At almost every shop we walked by the oriental lady standing in the door would make a comment about how cute her hair was. "Ohh, so cute hair on little one!" (say with a thick Chinese accent for full effect)

We walked away the proud owners of a couple of ninja swords and a china girl dress and a stuffed Chinese cat. The best $20 we spent since they both played with them non-stop.

Mark and Matt are always telling Jack they are going to "take him down, down to Chinatown for some rice and noodles". I think this is from some movie, but I'm not sure which one. Anyway, when it came time for dinner, Jack wanted to rice and noodles in Chinatown! You know what they say. . . .when in Rome. . . .

That night Mark and I went to see Wicked and the kids stayed with Grandma and Grandpa at the hotel. The show was awesome. Definitely my favorite. This picture is not very good - my camera was acting crazy, I think it was the lighting.

When we got back to our hotel room that night this is how we found Jack and Madeline. How adorable is this?!?

Oh, while we are on the subject of our hotel room let me tell you about the crazy miscommunication we had. I reserved the room online through Priceline. I then followed up with a phone call to make SURE that our room had two beds in it. They assured me that it did. I again checked with the clerk at check in that our room had two beds and was assured that it did.

We get to our room and sure enough we had two beds. . . .two TWIN beds!! I went down and tried to switch rooms and was told that they were sold out for the night AND their hotel did not have rooms with two queen beds, only twins. I then asked for a roll-away bed. Only to be told that since the rooms were so small they didn't HAVE roll-away beds! OY!

I went back upstairs and told Mark the bad news. He was NOT happy, but at this point there was not much we could do. So that night we each slept in a twin bed and SHARED with one of the kids. Good times, good times. Like I always say "if nothing crazy ever happened on vacation, you wouldn't remember it."

The next morning after a yummy breakfast we went to Pier 39 for more sight seeing. The kids loved the sea lions and we spent about 20 minutes just watching them.

Here we are at Pier 39. It was really windy!

What trip to the Pier is not complete without giving money to the "robot man"? He stands there completely motionless and then when you put $$ into his cup he starts making robotic noises with his mouth and moving like he's a robot. Jack stayed as far away as possible from him and Madeline would NOT put the money into his cup.

There were also guys break dancing, putting on quite a show. This picture is for my B-I-L Curtis. One year on our family camping trip we decided that we would have a family talent show after dark. Curtis brought his own cardboard and proceeded to BREAK DANCE right there in the dirt! It was hysterical!

We had a good time and wished that we could have stayed longer. Maybe when the kids are a little older and can walk further!! Ha, Ha.


Lady Jady! said...

I have not seen these pictures yet! Way cute! looks like you guys had a blast! my favorite picture is the one with jack and mads asleep in bed! hahahaha!