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Last weekend we were blessed with the opportunity to spend a day and a half in the lovely land of San Francisco! It ended up being the most perfect little trip for us, too. We met up with some friends down there to do a bridal session for them (they're getting married in just a couple of weeks!!!!) and she took some family photos for us in return. I think it's safe to say that we'll make this whole "travel somewhere cool and exchange family photos" an annual thing (Claire is insanely talented). It was actually hilarious because at one point we were all standing on the beach and she was taking family photos for us...  in her veil and wedding dress. That drew a lot of curious looks in our direction, to say the least. There were so many random strangers taking photos of the "photographer bride" and we were all laughing profusely.

We spent the entire day on Saturday driving around from pretty location to pretty location just trying to soak it all in while also documenting Dallin and Claire in their wedding attire during such an exciting part of their life. We started the morning in Muir Woods (OKAY, IT WAS BEAUTIFUL) then headed south to Big Sur (STILL BEAUTIFUL), ended up at Pfeiffer Beach, and then finished the day back at our little airbnb near San Francisco.

Our morning at Muir woods left me speechless. I've never been to the Redwoods but Muir Woods managed to give me a little taste of big, pretty trees and now I'm hooked. I have no choice but to make a trip up to northern california simply to see all of those BIG, spectacular trees.

Right after we'd wrapped things up at Muir Woods we made a last-second decision to drive south towards Big Sur. And now, looking back on how everything played out, I'm SO glad that's what we decided to do. There ended up being so much traffic that it took a lot more time than our maps app said it was going to take, but it ended up being a blast just getting to take a mini-road trip with our buddies. Plus, Billie was an absolute angel and was smiling and happy the whole day (mostly she was just flirting with her new friends in the back seat).

The views along the coast made the drive worth it. Even if we'd have never gotten out of the car, the views alone were enough to make my heart sing. Thick, clouds of mist swirled mystically and curled up against the hillside. The sun would peek it's rays through the cloudy cover every now and then just to remind us that it was still there. Wildflowers lined the highway and the ocean breeze tickled them until they danced to the sound of the waves crashing against the shoreline down below. All felt right with the world.

We pulled into the parking lot of Pfeiffer beach late in the afternoon. It wasn't sunny, but it wasn't cold. We walked down a paved path until it was intercepted by the sand. We removed our shoes and let the cool sand envelop our feet in a dusty embrace. There's something so therapeutic about the ocean. You never know how much your soul needs it until you're right there beside it and suddenly you feel as if you can finally breathe-- really breathe.

Being out on the beach invited so much happiness into Billie's heart that she was squealing and laughing aloud practically the entire time. Which, obviously, made US happy. So all in all, it was a very, very happy moment for our little family. She was turning heads left and right because laughing babies seem to have that effect on people. Which, again, was hilarious because as soon as people looked in our direction they saw a bride in her full-blown wedding attire photographing a little family on the beach. It's seriously hilarious.

I am so in love with these family photos, though. I'm a full believer in documenting the family often. Things change so rapidly in a family environment and that's exactly why I feel it is important to document the little phases of our family as frequently as we can manage. It's also extra fun to get family photos done when you're on a trip. So far, two of our three family picture sessions have been while we were on a trip! Not even mad about it. This time around, we were at the prettiest location, right in the middle of such a happy moment, and Claire captured it all so perfectly. She even gave us photographs of us randomly starting to dance because we felt awkward being in front of the camera-- those are debatably some of my favorite shots out of the whole set. They're real, they're raw, they're so us.

Anyway, Pfeiffer beach was amazing. Billie also now has the biggest crush on Dallin, so that's adorable. She's such a little flirt (which is both adorable but also semi-terrifying for her mother). But it meant so much to me that both Claire and Dallin took time to hold her and love on her. That's one of those really silly and seemingly insignificant things that means so much to a mother. **Please note Billie trying to EAT Dallin's boutonnière. LOL.

The airbnb we stayed in was literal perfection. Tay and I actually usually stay in "entire homes" (aka you get the whole place to yourself) because then you don't feel bad if your baby starts to misbehave... but this time around we (as in us and our two cute friends) stayed in private rooms at "Heidi's house." There's a first time for everything, right? Heidi is literally the coolest person I've met this year. Straight up. And we wouldn't have met her had we not gone out on a limb and decided to stay in a room rather than in an entire airbnb to ourselves. Her home was the homiest, coziest place, too. I'd be confident enough go as far as naming her home the "ultimate grandma house." She had the most impressive statue of liberty collection (it took up an entire wall of her home and included a light post in the backyard in the shape of the statue of liberty), a cool knight in the back garden, and neon signs everywhere. I want to be just like her if I ever grow up. She's my new role model.

We decided to head into the city for our final hours in the bay area. It was a Sunday morning, however, and everywhere we went was swarming with tourists. We spent a decent amount of time in the car trying to navigate around all of the traffic. Taylor was death-gripping the steering wheel and his knuckles were turning white, which lead to him announcing that he'll never, ever live in a big city like that. He's a small town kinda guy, I guess. It works out, though, because I'm definitely a small town livin' kinda girl. Despite all of the extra time in her carseat, however, Billie remained happy and smiley all morning. I'm tellin' ya, she's an angel!

We attempted to go to this pretty overlook, but there were seriously SO many people trying to do the same thing that we eventually just decided to try and find another random place to enjoy the view of the Golden Gate Bridge. As luck would have it, we ended up finding the prettiest little spot to just sit and take in the view. We had to walk a little bit to find it (only to discover later on that there was a much closer place for us to park our cars), but it was worth it! Plus, the weather couldn't have been more perfect so the walk was nice.

Billie kept waving at anyone who looked her way. She's lift up that chubby little hand and wiggle it around almost as if she was saying, "Hiiiii!! Pay attention to me cuz I'm cute." I was dying because it was actually pretty stinkin' adorable. Whenever she learns a new trick, she likes to show it off (aka waving is a new trick). 

After a bit, we decided we were hungry so we headed across the bridge and ate lunch at Fisherman's Wharf. We'd planned on doing more, but alas, it took us forever to find a place to park so we were a bit limited on time. **note to self: next time, don't try to navigate around San Francisco with a car

Lunch was good, though! We got sourdough shredded chicken tacos and tomato soup in a bread bowl from Boudin. Finding a place to sit and eat lunch proved to be about as difficult as it was to find a place to park, though! I was sent to save a table for us while everyone else waited for the food. At one point a whole group of Koreans that were traveling together approached my table and in very broken english tried to ask me if they could borrow the extra chairs at my table. To their surprise, I responded in Korean and told them that the three extra chairs were reserved for my three friends who were on their way. The shock on their faces was priceless! I told them they were more than welcome to sit and wait while I waited for my friends and they gratefully accepted my offer. Needless to say, it made my whole day to make a couple of new Korean friends! 

It was only a day and a half but we packed in enough fun to feel as if we'd been on the trip for a week. And we barely dipped our toes into all that there is to do in San Francisco. We'll be back again soon, pretty city (that's a promise). Thanks for the best weekend.


1 comment

  1. I have you beat! San Francisco in 22 hours! Phantom of the Opera, touring the city on a cable car at 1:30 a.m., walking across the Golden Gate Bridge...and back, shopping and eating at Fisherman's Wharf and Gharadelli Square, Chinatown. It was also the weekend of the Super Bowl that Steve Young and the SF 49ers were in. Celebrations everywhere!


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