Thursday, January 28, 2016
Happy Thursday! In its honor - a slew of stories from when our Awerkamps came to play in the Bay back in July 2015. Maybe I should be embarrassed about how late this one is, but actually, I have a post about one of our earliest VA adventures from AUGUST 2014 (?!?!) So hey, something from just last summer ain't too shabby. :)

Looking back on these photos made me just soar with thanks for our summer in the Bay. We talk about that stint like it was our family's summer in heaven (um, because it was). "Remember walking through downtown San Jose to get to the library, Olivia?" "Remember meeting Dad at Adobe for lunch every single Wednesday?" "Babes, remember Golden Gate Park? We went there all together!" One day we drove to the coast and picked strawberries. We camped in Yosemite, we biked the vineyards of Sonoma, we swam on the rooftop of a high rise in downtown SJ till the sun went down (see all my Bay posts here). And in between all of those incredible moments, we lived day-to-day in a teeny, yellow-walled, one-bedroom cottage. It was, at times, squishy, and yet all the time, it was one one stellar adventure. 

But you know, the winner of all those rolling good times may be the one below - spending seven days with our best friends exploring Santa Cruz, Capitola, Monterey, and that blessed San Francisco. My in-laws rented a beach house in Capitola (the colorful beach city below), and yes, for a week we bounced between that home base and all the bright spots of the SF Bay...
Above -- Awerkamps are great volleyball players. Blood Awerkamps, anyway. Married-into-the-family Awerkamps (ME) are not so much and that, my friends, is okay. I take their pictures.

Below -- I don't remember Olivia disliking the sand (she's a beach baby!) but I love this photo for capturing her clean freak face. This is the exact face she makes when something is wet or slimy or weird or dirty. "It's gwoss,  Mom!" Must've been something down in that sand in this one. :)
Ryan has six brothers - that's Jason and Nate below - and one sweet sister, Emily. We love them so.
 San Fwaaaancisco!
- Olivia
Dad + Uncle Ty + a distracted Claire Bear. I remember that we were all watching a guy sailing under the GG Bridge here - on one of those standing sail boats (do I even call it a boat??) He was basically on a surf board with a sail attached, and he was tearing those windy waves apart. We were entranced. People are so cool. 
 There she is!! Mmmm that CHILD. 
 I remember that the day we saw SF was a big, packed day. After loving the GG Bridge, we drove up to Sausalito and into the Muir Woods, one of our favorite spots in the Bay. The Muir Woods was one of the first things we did when we moved there back in May, and we were so excited to take our family back. The place is just unreal, you know? It's an oasis of peace in that corner of the country where life is bustling. Love love love Muir Woods.
 Olivia + Uncle Luke, Ryan's youngest brother.
Ryan's oldest brother, BJ, was stationed in at the US Presidio in Monterey, which is also why the family tripped to the Bay. So we spent a good, long day in Monterey and got a glimpse of BJ's summer world. We visited the famed Monterey Bay Aquarium and then took on the wharf -- we were on a hunt for the best clam chowder down there and we found it!
The awesome restaurants and joints along the Wharf let you sample their chowders - Olivia's just topping one sample off below. For foodies like us, samples are a party. We made the rounds twice just to "make sure" we could pick the right chowder to buy (no joke there, though - choosing the winner chowder was tough)! 

 There's that child again. Mmm! ;)
The whole Gang + that five-star chowder!
When we didn't have exploring days, we had beach days back in Capitola. I love my in-laws, and I love how they plan trips. We get out and go, then we stay home and play in a sweet spot, like Capitola. This last shot was snapped on one of those stay-home-and-play days -- July the Fourth! I remember that we played paddle ball, they all played volleyball (right? :)), and all with the view of flags flying high from the boats off the coast. It was lovely (God still bless America)!
Seriously, though, so glad I didn't post this one back in July! Reliving it all just now made me happy, and absolutely itching for our summer ahead. Lucky us - we are headed back to California for Ryan's final law school internship. This time, though, we're moving south to sunny San Diego!! Ryan was hired by a great SD firm back in August (our top pick, both firm and city!), so we've known about the pending adventures for months and months, it seems. Thanks in part to this bright, summer post, our beach-city summer is starting to feel real. Bring back the salty air, sun kissed skin, and tangled hair (and a little housing option, pretty please, we're on the housing hunt)! San Diego we are READY for you.

And to that blessed SF Bay - especially via this trip with our perfect family - you'll long live forever in our hearts as an incredibly sweet summer for our little family. This time for us was pure joy. PEACE and serious, serious love, Bay. xoxoxo


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