Trip to San Fransisco with the family

Sat, 05/10/2014 - 4:50pm

The family took a trip out to sunny California last week to attend Marsha's nephew's wedding in Oakley, CA, outside of Oakland.  This was my first trip to California. 

David Rossheim, son of Barry and Shala Rossheim, Marsha's younger sister, married Alexandria Benanti at Brownstone Gardens last Friday evening (May 2).  About 100 attended the service and reception.  It was a beautiful event and it was wonderful to be with the Rossheim family.

Caleb and Maggie made the trip from Boston on Wednesday while the rest of us (Marsha, Greg, Megan and J.P., Sara, Josh, Jeriah and Serenity, Lana Dave and Jean made the flight from Kansas City on Tuesday.

On Thursday, we all took a tour of the Jelly Bellies Factory in Fairfield.  What a treat!  I never knew jelly beans were such a big deal!  The kids loved it--so did the big kids.  We come home with about 10 pounds of beans.

On Saturday, we took the Bart from Oakland to San Francisco for the day.  We got an early start and beat the crowds to Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39.  We saw the sea lions playing in the bay and picked up some fancy coffee at one of the shops there.  Then we walked the pier, waiting for a tour boat to take us around the bay.  The boat ride was nice but we all stayed inside while everyone else went topside.

The boys ventured out by ourselves for a bit and walked over to an old arcade -- and I mean old.  Some of the games were well over a hundred years old with some video games from the 80's thrown in.  I liked the pinball games, the one I played growing up.  There was one there that we had here at the resort when we bought the place in 1983.  Brought back memories of the kids playing them.

There were quite a few street entertainers of all kinds, most were playing some kind of instrument.  And then there was the street corner preacher with a loud speaker preaching what sounded like the Gospel.  And then there was the Jehovah's Witnesses stations several places on the strip.  They were dressed in Sunday best, standing behind nice done banners.  They never hardly raised their heads, but only to smile and say hello.  I guess they were waiting on us to ask them what they were doing there.  Then they'd start their script.

We walked on up the shore to where there was a small beach with a grassy area, a park.  Some of us laid out in the sun--I think some took a short nap.  The sun was hot but the breeze was cool.  Marsha got in trouble when she took Jeriah down to the water and let him get in a little too far.  Got his pants wet.  Oh well...

Up from the park was Ghirardelli Square where Megan and I found a quiet corner table in the shade where she could let JP rest a bit.  There was a guy there singing in a small venue we listened to.  It was obvious he was supposed to be there--not one of the street guys.  We had a table, a sound system and a banner of who he was and CD's to sell.  His name was Kevin Toqe and he was very good.  The music was his and he sounded just like James Taylor.  So did his music, but I caught a few words and, I thought, it sounds like he's singing about Jesus.

Sure enough, Kevin is a believer.  I visited with him before he left and bought all 3 CD's.  http://kevintoqe.com if you're interested in checking him out.

It was getting later in the afternoon and the kids were hungry.  We wanted to check out China Town and pick out a local place to eat Chinese food.  Maggie had some connection to a family back east named Nanking.  So we looked and found House of Nanking

It was a store front place, nothing fancy.  We were early for dinner, about 5 p.m..  Maggie went in and asked if they would take our large party.  An older man came out and eye us over.  I say that because that's exactly what we felt like.  Didn't seem like he was excited to serve us and even told us "we couldn't sit together- no room."  But we said we didn't mind being split up.

We went in and sat down at 2 long tables back to back.  The small room was filled with only these long tables that would seat 6 each-- 8 tables total.  It filled the small room.  As we sat there, more and more people would come in to eat.  They filled the tables with people, filling the spots at each table whether you were together or not!  There was one table of 6 that were 3 couples would were not together!  They didn't seem to mind.

The food was very, very good and the servers were working hard to please us.  The old guy took all the orders, wrote them down in a very small tablet.  He warmed up to us quickly.  it was a good time!

We found our way to Caleb and Maggie's hotel.  They were flying out of San Fran on Sunday--that's why they stayed there and we stayed in Oakland.  They found a 5 star hotel on Priceline for about what we were paying for an average motel in Oakland.  The kids enjoyed the big bed.  We rested, then made our way to the Bart and Oakland.

All and all we had a joyous time.  It such a blessing to really get along with family.  I appreciate my son's Greg and Caleb and son-in-law Josh for keeping up with where we were and how to get around.  I didn't have to worry about it at all!