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May 3, 2016
Growing up, Hannah (my sister) and I weren’t exactly close. Well let’s not sugar coat it…we fought all the time. I won’t go into many specifics, but I will say that the show “Power Rangers” got banned in my house due to a Pink Power Ranger “combat training” incident (again, I’m sugar coating things…a lot…). No matter how much we fought as kids, I’m so glad that as we got older, we grew closer and even became best friends! To honor our friendship, and to have a little fun time before our busy Summer schedules pick up, we started a tradition to go on a mini vacation once a year, just us girls. After the first one, we decided to bring friends and the tradition has carried on, 5 years strong! This year, Hannah and one of our best friends, Mandy, decided to take the party to Oakland, California, where Hannah is completing her internship for her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology (she’s graduating on Saturday and we’re all soooooooo proud!!!!). We had such a blast and I’m so excited to share all of our adventures with you!!
Our view from the plane…and people wonder why I LOVE the window seat!
It was never our intention to do touristy things…we just wanted to hang out, have fun with one another, encourage one another, worship with one another, and have a carefree weekend, away from the troubles of the world. And I think that made the trip that much more meaningful, and we all grew closer as friends as a result!!
On Thursday, Mandy and I got on the plane and made it into Oakland late that first night, but we had the best chauffeur, Hannah, to pick us up and take us to the hotel to get adjusted and get the party started!! We decided we were still so hungry, so we headed down the street for some yummy food to fill our bellies!!
The next day, Hannah had to work, so I took that time to work on Shakia and Ricky’s upcoming wedding (congratulations guys!!). Just as I got everything done, Hannah came back to the hotel, and we all got dressed to take Hannah’s unofficially official tour of Oakland!! We got some In and Our Burger, and had dinner on the beach! Then we went up to The Church of Latter Day Saints at the top of the hill, which is this absolutely breathtaking temple, but when you look the other way, you can see the entire Bay Area! How gorgeous, and just one of God’s many masterpieces!!
Burgers on the beach!!
On Saturday, we headed to brunch at a yummy spot called Toast, and of course, took plenty of photos of our food. 😉 Afterwards, Mandy and Hannah took me on my first trip to IKEA!! Guys…that store is magical, no doubt. But that is A LOT of store!!! What an experience!!
Delicious food from Toast!
On Sunday, we went to Hannah’s church, The Way in Berkeley. Worship was wonderful, the songs were beautiful, the preaching spoke to my soul, and everyone was so friendly. I’m so glad Hannah has a place to worship while she’s there and that it’s feeding her spiritually! After church, we went to a delicious spot called Brown Sugar Kitchen for lunch, but the line was already down the street, and the host said their was a TWO HOUR WAIT. We smelled their delicious dishes and resolved that we couldn’t leave California without it, so I went ahead and put our name on the list. To pass the time, Hannah decided to give us another driving tour, and possible drive all the way up the hill to see to lavish mansions at the top. The hills were a wandering maze, and we couldn’t quite find our way to the top, but we did find a beautiful park, where we got out, took pictures, and absorbed some of God’s beauty!
Hannah doesn’t know what to do with her hands…
After a couple hours of getting lost, but having fun, my phone alarm went off and we headed back to Brown Sugar Kitchen where we got there just in time for our names to be called and for us to be seated for brunch! And let me tell you, friends…IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT!!! I had the Shrimp and Grits (one of my favorite dishes) and I will say, it was the BEST Shrimp and Grits I’ve ever had in my life. Brown Sugar Kitchen is definitely my new favorite restaurant, without a doubt!! If you’re ever in the Oakland area, go there immediately! It was so good, I totally forgot to take pictures of our food. Sad day!
After a scrumptious brunch, we headed back to the hotel, changed clothes, and got on the bus to cross the Bay Bridge and head into San Francisco! The city is so much quieter on Sunday evenings…much quieter than I remembered when I went back in October. But we had so much fun regardless of that! We took the bus all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge, just in time for sunset, and it was so gorgeous!!
Then we hopped on the bus again to try to make it to this place called Dandelion Chocolate, which I was told had the BEST Hot Chocolate in San Francisco! If you know me, you know we had to go there!! Hannah was determined to help me get some delicious hot chocolate, so she called the store while we were in transit and the store owner was so kind to make us some even though we got there after their closing time! And it was indeed delicious!!
After our adventure in San Francisco, we headed back to the hotel and packed our bags to head home the next morning! What a fun trip we had in the Bay area with Hannah!! We had so much fun, and returned so refreshed for all we had to do back home. Yayyy!!!
Remember my last trip to California? Check it out, HERE!
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