In celebration of both my mom, Elaine’s, and my Aunt Elaine’s birthdays (a lady never tells her age, so we’ll just say each celebrated a Hallmark year :)), all seven of us Seeley ladies convened in northern California for a wonderful weekend. I’m still in disbelief that we actually got it all organized and all of us made it happen. After a lot of giggling, we dubbed the trip the E7 Summit – ya know, like the G7 group of governmental leaders, only E in honor of the Elaines. 🙂
I was excited to go on the trip yet was conflicted about leaving my kiddos. Conversations with several co-workers days before I left eased my mind about leaving the kids for a few days. They commented that they wished they had the opportunity to share such a trip with their mothers as both their moms had passed away young; before either got the chance to really know them as adults. The day I left, I received word from a friend that her sister had just been diagnosed with leukemia. That sealed the deal – this trip was a necessity! Not that I didn’t miss my kids terribly, but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute with my mom, sister, sister-in-law, aunts and cousin.
The time we have on this earth is precious and we all live too far apart to enjoy each others company properly. I wish I could do this with every branch of my family and a girlfriends trip would to fantastic!!
Here are a few highlights from the trip. To see all the photos, look at the gallery HERE.
My first view of The Bridge! Foggy but still amazing. We had a late lunch in Sausalito before heading north along the coast.
As we climbed the coastal mountains, the fog rolled in. The Muir Beach Overlook had an eery feeling to it as we could hear the ocean crashing at the base of these steep cliffs but couldn’t see it.
Back at sea level, I made my sister stop so I could get a closer look at seals in the wild. I’m fairly certain this was as crazy as tourists back home stopping to take pictures of cows. But it’s a sight I don’t get to see often.
It was a long day of travel and dark before we arrived at our rental house that night. The next morning we awoke to this view:It was off to a drink our way through the Russian River Valley. We hired a driver so we all could enjoy (smart move!) and began the day at Gary Farrell, before venturing on to Moshin, Paul Matthews, Inman, and ended the day at Benovia. Travis, our driver, was awesome and really made our day fabulous! If you’re contemplating a trip, I highly recommend him and the company (I have his card somewhere – message me!)
Oh my goodness, the STARS!!!!! I enjoy a beautiful night sky here on the ranch, but the framing of the mountains and the redwoods (and maybe the wine after sitting in the hot tub) made for a fantastic sight at the end of the day!
We enjoyed a gorgeous hike through Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. I am still in amazement of how massive the trees are. The pictures just can’t capture their enormity.
From there, we continued on to Healdsburg where we enjoyed more wine at Davis Family Vineyards then enjoyed food and shopping in the quaint little town.
I persuaded my sister to stop at this bridge near our house to get a quick snap of the Russian River this valley is named after.
We got a fire started and enjoyed another evening under the stars.
We packed up to spend the day exploring San Francisco before flying home the next day. The sun was finally out at the house so I grabbed some shots from around the property.
Back to the city! We began a whirlwind tour of the sights at the Golden Gate Bridge.
The E7 Summit cohort. We are indebted to a kind bystander that I handed my camera off to.
We were standing right beside the pier at Crissy Field. Below is the view of Alcatraz from the end of the pier.
This happy little beggar barked and frolicked around the pier the duration of our visit.
And, just to shake things up, a shot using my Lensbaby.
We headed in search of food and found a wonderful little French restaurant a few streets up from the bay. San Francisco is a truly beautiful city. I could already tell I needed to come back.
We drove down Lombard Street, the craziest street I’ve ever seen!
Then headed to the Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39. In honor of my husband the history buff, I checked out the drydocked USS Pampanito submarine. That’s the SS Jeremiah O’Brien moored in the background.
Bay view from Pier 39.
Alcatraz from Pier 39.
The sea lions!
We hopped on the a cable car outside of our hotel and did some shopping in Union Square.
On our way to the airport, we detoured by Alamo Square to see the famous Painted Ladies (houses). While these are the most famous houses in San Francisco, the entire city had gorgeous architecture. A glimpse of City Hall.
We packed a lot in a long weekend. I hope to do it again someday.
If you want to see all the photos, have a look at the gallery HERE.