Archives for ‘Adventures’

30×30: Fortune Cookie Factory

February 22, 2014 By: Jenna Category: Adventures, Food

The first item I crossed off of my 30 Before 30 list was visiting Golden Gate Fortune Cookies in San Francisco’s Chinatown. I spent the afternoon with a friend and we had dim sum in a park, stopped by the cookie factory, and ended our day with a stop by the Tin How Temple. The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie visit took about five minutes, so it’s more of a stop than a destination.

The cookies spin around on the machine in the upper right hand corner, and the fortune cookie former (does she have an official title?) pulled them off and twisted them around a metal rod. I paid 50 cents to take a picture, and ended up buying a bag of “naughty” cookies for our upcoming New Years Eve party. They were really tame adult-style messages, and it was fun to see everyone’s face when they broke open their cookie and were told things like “A kiss is the upper persuasion for the lower invasion.
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I had my film camera with me, and after we visited the factory I wanted to take a picture of my friend. Then I asked her if she would take one of me. Hers didn’t turn out (she was mid-blink, bummer), but I really like what she captured of me. The factory is down and to the right from where I’m standing. As you can see it’s not really a road that you will find it on, more like an alley.

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30 Before 30, Brainstorming

December 27, 2013 By: Jenna Category: Adventures, Goals

I’ve seen a lot of 30 Before 30 lists that have very grand and exciting goals – but I learned my lesson with my 101 in 1001 list and didn’t want my 30 Before 30 to become a source of stress or anxiety as my 30th fete approaches. I want it to be filled with goals that I love and will enjoy prioritizing.

Inspiration struck one day and I realized I want my list to be about food! Specifically, 30 food experiences unique to the San Francisco area. Growing up I knew two things about San Francisco – it had a huge bridge, and it was a place where you eat chowder out of sourdough bread bowls on the pier. My version is going to include restaurants, items, and experiences. If I launch it in the new few weeks I’ll have 15 months to eat my way through.

Below is what I have put together so far. What do you think I should set out to eat between now and April 2015? Suggestions in the San Jose area are greatly appreciated because getting up to San Francisco can be a lot of work with the little ones!

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Sharing one of my favorite Chicago food experiences with T1 – eating local treats at the Green City Market

Chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, (Boudin)
It’s It
Burrito in Mission, (La Taqueria)
Chez Panisse
French Laundry
Oyster tour, (Hog Island)
Jelly Belly factory tour
Anchor Steam Brewery  tour
Bakesale Betty chicken sandwich
Irish coffee at Buena Vista
Roast chicken at Zuni Cafe
Cioppino
Wine tasting in Napa
Mushroom hunting (TH’s Christmas present, we’re going in January!)
TCHO Chocolate Factory Tour

 

One Quick Take

December 16, 2013 By: Jenna Category: Adventures

We went to the Oakland ZooLights on Saturday evening. Finding manageable things to take the kids to when I’m without TH is tough because it’s much easier to have an enjoyable time when you can play man-to-man on kids this age. Not only was this an inexpensive, very age-appropriate activity, but we were able to go with T1′s best friend Trey, Trey’s mom, and Trey’s grandma. The other adults helped me hold T2 and keep T1 from getting lost ,and I was able to take pictures and be in the pictures, which is something I rarely do anymore. The Zoolights cost us $15 for our family and I think we’ll make it a yearly tradition.

*T1 frequently says “He is my best friend. I miss him every day. But when does not play with me, he is not my best friend.

 

One Quick Take

December 09, 2013 By: Jenna Category: Adventures

We went to the Bethlehem Festival last night with the woman who worked as our nanny, and her family. It was so fun to spend time with them! The festival was really cool, but the kids were freezing and not old enough yet to appreciate it. It has a performance that moves throughout the space, repeating every 30 minutes. Out in the courtyard there are stations where you can learn about dyeing fabric, basket weaving, etc. And they gave out free hot chocolate!
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My Ideal Vacation with Young Kids

November 19, 2013 By: Jenna Category: Adventures

My trip to Texas taught me a lot about how I’m going to approach travel with young kids for the next few years. There are people who take their children to Disneyland, and talk in glowing terms about nothing but the smiles and laughter and first encounters with characters who previously existed only in a virtual world. I know that a trip I took to Disneyland with young kids would not be summarized with a Pollyanna attitude. There would be meltdowns and missed naps and obscene amounts paid for messy popsicles in the shape of Mickey’s head. I don’t generally consider myself to be a negative person, but when it comes to parenting I have a hard time managing my expectations and the trying experiences are what often stick in my memory.

Speaking of managing expectations, I didn’t manage mine very well for the first portion of our trip, spent in Austin. I was meeting my parents there while they were on a business trip, and staying with two young kids by myself in a hotel (my parents were in a separate hotel, a 5-minute walk away) was a lot harder than I thought it would be. T1 saw his first 3D movie with my parents and I’m happy about the little bit of time they were able to spend together, but that’s something I won’t be repeating again until both children are self-sufficient.

Traveling with young kids means making-do without the arsenal of resources that helps make parenting manageable and enjoyable. After two days I left Austin and drove over to Houston to spend a week with our closest friends from Chicago. When I got out of the car and hugged Paige it took a lot to hold back the tears – I was overwhelmed with relief to be in a kid-friendly environment with my friend who I can 100% be myself with. We didn’t have anything except the mundane planned for my stay. We went to the gym, made meals from scratch, traded off childcare responsibilities as we ran errands, and stayed up late into the night painting our nails and talking about our husbands.

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      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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