Friday Favorites 12/16

I love this time of year with all the festivities!  We've been busy keeping the Christmas spirit alive.

It appears that my mom and I have started a tradition of a girl's trip to SF during the holidays.  We've done it a few years now.  This year we decided we didn't want to do the typical shopping so instead we tried a few new things.  One of the items on our list was cocktails at Top of Mark at the Mark Hopkins.  Our view started off very foggy but once it cleared it was spectacular.  The restaurant has a 360 degree view of the city.  Typically the restaurant opens at 4:30 for cocktails but during this time of year it opens at 4:00 pm.  You have to arrive a bit before opening to guarantee you will get a spot (there are no reservations for drinks and tapas).
Something we've never done in our numerous trips is a city tour.  We decided to try the double decker open air bus tour and we loved it!  We sat on the top to get the full experience but it was freezing.  We drove around and saw it all.  There are so many areas that I've never been to and loved soaking it up. We even drove over the Golden Gate Bridge which I've never been to.  I've always wanted to see the Painted Ladies and we got to see those too.  I was surprised how different it looks from the shows and movies.  Much smaller and the grass area across the street is very hilly.  Towards the end of our tour we stopped in Cow Hollow to grab a bite to eat.  We stumbled upon Balboa Cafe and it was such a gem!  If you're ever in the area you've got to find them and try their brunch.  I also highly recommend the Big Bus Tour.

Emily had a field trip this week to Gymnastics Beat and I got to go along.  Emily had a blast and I loved going along for the fun.

Jingle our Elf left cookie mix this week so we made sugar cookies and decorated them.  They are in the freezer ready for Christmas Eve and Santa.

On another day Jingle left out our pajamas and Polar Express tickets for the girls.  We have this tradition where we go look at Christmas lights in our pj's and eat popcorn in the car.  We call it the Pajama Polar Express.  Emily cracked me up... she was so excited and she was telling daddy what we were going to do but she whispers, "It's not the real Polar Express, it's just mom's car!"

PINC was invited this week to try out the new Cyclebar at Fresno and Friant.  I was really nervous because I've essentially not worked out for over 5 years (thanks to children).  I ended up really liking it!  It was very hard but I didn't die.  I've already signed up for a couple more classes.

Emily had her last day of school today and a holiday party.  I was able to attend and volunteer; I love getting to spend these moments with Emily.  They played games, made a Christmas countdown, decorated brownie Christmas trees, and ate lots of sugar!  I can't believe half the year is over.  Emily is excelling and loving school.  We just love her teacher and the school.

We have a fun, jam-packed weekend and are ready to deck the halls, rock around the Christmas tree, and jingle bell rock.

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