Monday, February 3, 2020

July 2019 - Little People of America Convention and Road trip back home with JJ and the Taylors

We  traveled to San Francisco right after Ashley finished EFY literally picking her up and starting the drive. We got there in time to go to a baseball game that night and Ashley was able to enjoy the dance.  Throughout the week Ashley was able to reconnect with LPA friends and we were able to explore the city. 

One of the first days we were able to meet up with the Gunnel's at Fisherman's Warf last minute as they were coming home from a family camping trip and it just worked out that we were there at the same time.

The shopping in San Francisco can be interesting, ha ha. 

We went to the science center one day and the most interesting part of it was the roof with plants growing all over it.

 We also enjoyed some of the Little People of America activities like the talent show, Bingo, the fashion show and Ashley enjoyed the dances.


We explored China town and it reminded us of our time in China. 

 We did the hop on/hop off bus tour to explore the city.



One of the last nights of the convention we went to dinner with friends from LPA. Ashley has known Chloe since they girls were little so its nice to connect when they can. 

At the end of the Little People of America convention the Taylor's and JJ flew up to San Francisco to join us. Since the convention fell over 4th of July the kids were able to get away from work to meet us. 

After they flew in they ate at a little pizza place around the corner from the hotel because it was the only place that was open. The pizzas were like $30 for one!

We took the kids around town and saw as much as we could before we started our long drive down South. 

This was the view at the top of Lombard street. The sign said no large vehicles but Jeff drove us down in the minivan anyway, ha ha. 

This is the view from the bottom of the street. It has claimed to be the windiest street in the world...well it's definitely the windiest street that I've been on in the US. 

Ghiradelli square is one of the places we went to and watched the machines making chocolate.

Fisherman's warf is always a hit. Jeff loves getting the fresh crab, I love getting the clam chowder in the sourdough bowls. 

Exploring the shops along Fisherman's Warf....

I love looking at all of the unique Victorian houses. 

We went to Haigh and Ashbury...psychedelic. 

We went to the top of the tower at the museum in Golden Gate Park. The museum cost money but it didn't cost to go to the top of the tower. 

From the top we could see the Science mueum and it's living roof that we explored earlier in the week. 

We hiked out on the Golden Gate bridge part way. It was foggy (like pretty much always) but it was still good. It made me dizzy to look over the edge and imagine those who have jumped thank you. 


We ended up at China town before we headed back to the hotel. 

4th of July at night we ended up taking a crazy bus ride back down to fisherman's Warf. The bus was packed with people and we little sat next to a homeless man who was telling us his story...the other bus patrons were wide eyed and wary...especially as he told us about his time in prison for murder.  

After lots of waiting and preparation getting there we realized that San Francisco was not a good place to watch fireworks. It was just a big lit up blob of fog. We ended up leaving early and just went back to the hotel. 

On our way out of town the next day we went to Muir Woods. This ended up being the Taylor's favorite part of the trip and they were sad that we didn't stay there longer. It was kind of rushed because we had to get on the road to get to the next city.


Muir wood is only about 30 minutes from town and worth a visit. Its amazing that so close to the big city you feel that you are in the middle of a forest.

This is a picture of Ashley taking a picture of the Taylor's taking a selfie, ha ha.

Our next stop was the Santa Cruz boardwalk. Jeff had been there earlier in the summer and so he wanted to take us to the haunted house that he had been to with Joel. 

It was based off of a movie they had watched recently. (It wasn't really anything like it.) 

By the time we got to Monterey it was dark but we headed to the ocean anyway. 

The next day we explored more of Monterey. We even went through State Registered Historical Landmark #1 which was the custom house. The kids weren't so much into the history but they didn't mind messing around some.

We walked out to the end of the pier and met the cutest, most patriotic dogs. 

On the road again....JJ and Ashley sleeping...

We made a pit stop at the Madonna Inn. I don't know if I would ever stay that (a bit ghetto fabulous) but it was definitely worth a visit. Over the top is an understatement. 


At the end of the day's journey we made it to Solvang. We had dinner at a barbeque place and then went to the hotel early to relax.

The next day we walked around Solvang and checked it out. 

As we continued to drive down the coast we stopped at Santa Barbara and parked on the pier and checked it out.

In the end I think it was interesting trying to do a trip with so many adult children who have their own ideas of what fun is and had to endure driving down the coast with "parents" ha ha but we all made it and were able to experience some nice things along the way.

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