Monday, March 4, 2013

Adventures with Tracy...

I love my friends.
My parents often comment about how I have a "best friend" in every port, but I guess there is a bit of truth to that.  I have been blessed with incredible friends throughout my life and each of them have taught me so much and helped me get through several trials I've been faced with.  There's nothing I love more, than when friends I love so dearly come to visit.
I met Tracy back in the summer of 2007 through mutual friends from my Devonshire years.  It's weird to think that we really only had one year together before I got married to Dallas.  It feels like I've known her forever.  We definitely packed in our fun that year before I moved to California.  Every week we would do some kind of outing, whether it was shopping, dinner, movie, guitar hero, road trips, and even a cruise to Mexico.  I always had so much fun with her!

Over the past four and a half years of living in the Bay area, we've still been able to keep up our adventures, at least once a year, sometimes more.  She came out to visit the first year Dallas and I were married.  Then we met up in Santa Barbara and Disneyland the following year.  And I've also made a couple trips to Utah over the past few years.  But my favorite was when we met up in Florida for a week full of fun at Harry Potter World, Epcot Center, NASA, and Gatorland.  Great memories!
 I was VERY excited when she told me she was coming to town for a quick visit at the end of January/beginning of February!

The first day she arrived we ended up spending the afternoon at a yummy outside cafe in the sun catching up, playing with Daxton at the park, and doing a bit of shopping.  The second day we drove into San Francisco to the CA Academy of Sciences.   We met up with our friend Lisa and her daughter Maddie.  (Lisa and I lived together in New Zealand and I've blogged about her several times.  She and Tracy knew each other in a previous ward...small world!)   
Both Maddie and Daxton loved the inside Rainforest and Aquariums.
The Rainforest is protected in a three level glass dome and is kept at the exact temperature and humidity level of an actual rainforest.  My camera lens quickly fogged up at the beginning and took awhile to get adjusted to the new surroundings.  Butterflies, birds, frogs, and other animals move freely within the dome, so you have to watch carefully where you are stepping.  Daxton was fascinated by everything.
Each level has a different country of origin it's animals originate from.  As you walk the circles to the top you see several different fish, snakes, spiders, etc on display.  I love the endless light that streams through the solor lighting sytem on it's roof.  Gorgeous!

(Can you find Tracy?  Look for green pants!)
Watching the beautiful butterflies
We found this little cutie among the thick branches on our walk through the rainforest.
When you get to the top of the rainforest, you take an elevator down four stories to enter the aquarium.  It takes up the entire bottom floor of the Academy of Sciences and is Daxton's absolute favorite.
There is a really cool tunnel that is covered on three sides by a freshwater tank.  Daxton loved standing up against the glass and watching the humungous fish swim by.  I wish I could have known what he was thinking.  He was absolutely mesmerized.

(A big thank you to Tracy for snapping these next few pictures of Daxton, so I could make sure he didn't fall backwards off of the bench!  They turned out so adorably cute!)
My favorite picture below
After the fresh water tanks, they have several different salt water exhibits, touch pools, and large reefs to explore.  Maddie loved the touch pools, but kept wanting to lick her hands after!  I sure do love that girl!

My new favorite Jelly Fish...
Lagoon Jelly

 After the aquarium, we visited the Albino Alligator and then the African exhibit to see the penguins.  The penguins were so playful and kept swimming right to Maddie and Daxton in their strollers.
Maddie, Lisa, Me, Daxton, and Tracy at the entrance.

After the Academy of Sciences, Lisa and Maddie headed home.  Maddie was in need of a nap and Lisa (now pregnant again) needed one as well.  Tracy, Daxton, and I decided to explore Golden Gate Park a little more and ended up at the Japanese Tea Gardens.  Some of the water had been drained for maintenance purposes and the flowers weren't in full bloom yet, but it was still very pretty.  Daxton was in smiley form after having eaten as well.
My favorite bridge
After the Japanese Tea Gardens, we drove to Baker Beach for a beautiful shot of the Golden Gate Bridge and then through the Presidio to show her the National Cemetery for sunset.
We then made our way to Pier 39 for dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, where we stopped to get yummy chocolates at Ghiardelli.  After dinner we swumg by daddy's work, gave him the chocolates, and made sure he had some quick kisses from his little boy.  Daddy's schedule has been insane with busy season and he's definitely missing little Daxton!
Such a fun day and it was only the beginning of our weekend!


  1. I LOVE reading about all your adventures in San Francisco. One of these years I hope to be able to visit there and you'll still be there to show me around.

  2. Oh! You blogged about our adventures! I love it. You take fantastic photos! This is like reliving the trip all over again.... which makes me happy. Love you! Thanks again for showing me a good time.


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