California Staycation

California is one of my favorite places and I love living here. Today we decided to be tourists of San Francisco. The kids had never been to Alcatraz and we had never been to Angel Island before. We got up early like it was a school day and packed a picnic lunch. We left the house by 7:45 am in time to drive up to the city and find parking before arriving for our 9:30 am departure.

It was very cold and even with our multiple layers we were still freezing. When it wasn’t windy, we felt fine and when the sun eventually peeked out, we were quite comfortable.

Here are some pictures from our Staycation.




Being in Alcatraz and listening to the stories while walking through the prison cells and hallways made me thankful for my freedom. It made me wonder why and how some people become so hardened and can hate life so much that they don’t want to follow the rules and will accept the loss of their freedom in exchange for their choice of rejecting societal norms.

Some people may not have the ability to weigh the pros and cons of their choices and be able to look past the current moment to see that they might end up in a worse place if they choose to act in a certain way. The human mind fascinates me.

Seeing the small cells where men lived and hearing how the space became part of them was so surreal.

The solitary confinement units where the worst of the worst inmates were placed in the dark for 24 hours at a time would make most people go insane. Hearing the audio tour as you walk through the exhibits really makes you feel and experience what it might have been like before 1963 when the last inmate was released from Alcatraz.

It’s actually a beautiful place to visit and to take in another view of the city from the water.


From Alcatraz, we took another ferry over to Angel Island. The sun was out by now and it was a beautiful journey. We ate our picnic lunch from the boat deck and enjoyed watching all the sailboats sail by. Once we arrived at Angel Island, we took a tram ride around the island that lasted one hour.





It turned out to be a perfect day of sunshine. We all loved the island and hope to come back and rent bikes one day and tour around again and explore this gorgeous place. We took a ferry back to San Francisco and finished our day with a walk to the Ferry Building. From there we started to head back to our car and discovered the stairway to Coit Tower. Even though we were tired, we still rallied and hiked the 400+ steps to the top because I was curious and wanted to try something new. More beauty was experienced and I was thankful that we all made it despite a few grumblings. I kept telling my kids that we didn’t have any wimps in our family and I guess they believed me!

My phone battery had died by the time we got to the steps so I was unable to take anymore pictures. Jeff took this one of me playing in this flower tree that made me smile.


There was a beautiful secret garden we discovered, quaint little homes and a cute black cat. The Filbert steps are definitely worth taking if you ever have the chance .

We are definitely tired now after more than walking 19,000+ steps, but in a good way.

I love San Francisco and life is good!



I’m loving my newest fitness gadget that tells me how many steps I’ve taken per day and sets a goal for me to meet. I met my goal of 10,000+ for the day.

Elizabeth and Reid both seemed excited about theirs and were monitoring and measuring their workouts and talking about their 10,000 steps. I was curious and decided to check it out. I think I’m hooked.

I like having goals and seeing a number makes me accountable, if I’m paying attention.

Yesterday I chose to walk a bit longer on the beach because I wanted to meet my goal. When we came home and I still had a couple thousand more steps to go, instead of making a cup of coffee, we walked to the coffee shop. I scored more than 15,000 steps, just being more mindful and choosing to keep moving. Love this!!

Today I wore it to the gym for my TRX class and was surprised how little movement was actually created in 45 minutes. Knowing this, I chose to get on the stair master later in the afternoon to “catch up.” I am motivated.

It can measure your food intake, your weight, your exercise, your mood and even your sleep. Who knows what else it can do?

The first night I thought it just measured the hours of sleep from the time you set it until you woke up and turned it off. Actually, that’s because I turned it on and set it next to my bed. Last night I actually wore it, and the crazy thing measured my minutes of sleep and minutes of restlessness and actually showed me when I was restless. I think that’s pretty cool. I wonder if there will be any patterns and now I need to set some sleep goals, like maybe get to bed at a decent hour. I’m hooked.

Ok, one more cool thing before I sound like an infomercial, the little fitbit fits in your pocket, on a strap or even has a little wrist sleeve. The data it captures can sync with your phone and your computer and keep track of your progress.

I love cool, fun, technology. Now I hope it helps me get and stay fit.

Here’s a link to learn more: