Sunday, March 24, 2013

San Francisco and Bay Area

We have been home from San Francisco for nearly a week.  A week ago today we were at Alcatraz. (more on that soon) It's hard to believe that a full week of school has gone by since spring break. I'm always in marvel of that. This week we have started the process of learning music for the end of the year and that's another element that's hard to believe...that's we're a sleigh ride from summer. 

As I have shared in previous blog posts, I'm completely cheating on all other forms of social media given my frequent posting through Instagram. My IG feed is posted to the top right corner of my blog's homepage. 

I pulled a few photos from the trip to share as memorable parts of our trip, the ones perhaps we have reflected upon the most since coming home to Memphis. 

This photo below is probably one of the most beautiful views my eyes have ever seen. This photo does not do it justice, but it serves to spark my memory for how sweet it was to see with my own eyes.This photo was taken in the garden that belongs to Thomas Keller's restaurant, FRENCH LAUNDRY.

Absolute heaven on earth. 

Each and every component of this establishment is manicured to a "T" and is so outrageously beautfil, I've now run out of fun words to describe it. Should you ever want to eat here, you need to save about $500 for 2 people and make your reservation approximately 2 months in advance. 

Another place I'd been dying to see with my own eyes (now this is silly in comparison, Room Service. I've been eyeing their furniture for a couple of years and soon, well sometime soon, I'm goign to make a purchase.  So...while on the trip we included this as a stop in our plans. (They only have stores in California.) Guess what happened when we got there...Go on...Guess!?!?!
They were closed.  I felt like I went to Wally-World and the gates were closed. Kind of silly.
They reopened 2 days later and we went back.  Disaster averted. I got to see some pieces and examine some fabric samples. All is right with the world once again #firstworldproblems

As I said, a week ago today, we were at Alcatraz.  Traveling all the way to San Fran and not going was not an option. So, we went.  I went with great hesitation.  Here's the big news, IT'S SUPER CREEPY.  Newsflash, it was a prison! (Yes I know you know all of this.) But for these very reasons, the fact that it is now a national park is a little on the flip side to me. Weird.

When you go in they give you a headset tour guide.  There are probably 250-500 people at any given time on the island, so you're not totally alone.  The thing that is a big addition to the ultra creepy-ness is that while all these people are walking through the cell house, they all have their headphones on listening to the guided tour.  So it's silent.  SILENT. Not a peep. Nothing coming from this large mass of people walking through a prison at a slow, glacial pace.  Creepy, right? Yeah, I thought so too.

Now, once you get outside of the cell block, it's one of the most beautiful places ever.  Ironic, right?
Did you know that people actually lived on purpose? Well, they weren't random people,  the families of the prison guards. But they lived there with their little children.  If my husband had that job, I'd put the big "NO" in place on that whole living situation. Doesn't matter how pretty it is.

One of the primary reason for our trip out west, school visits. Not just any schools, but schools with strong music programs.  One of the schools on our list...the Pacific Boychoir Academy. And, it was lovely.  Ever.Single.Aspect. We spent a good portion of their Monday music schedule with them including rehearsal time before school was out, some time with the children after school, dinner, and an evening rehearsal. One of the pieces the boys were singing during their afternoon rehearsal was the Mozart Requiem. Did somebody read my mind? I just about died.  Of all the music to be sung and to get to hear...'twas this.  How in the world could it have been such to hear my very most favorite piece of must. What alignment with "the stars"...or something.

This is a wonderfully nurturing environment (as a school should be) where the students receive the utmost in attention and respect.  It is very obvious to my eyes and mind that hours upon hours of blood - sweat - and tears have gone into making it a solid learning environment that's full of encouragement, discipline and love.  When the students graduate the 8th grade from this school it's intuitive for them to stick around, after all why would you want to leave an environment like this?

If you're in the bay area, make sure to see if they're performing during your visit. Or better yet, if you're in the bay area...send your son there!

And then there was the food. We spent a day in Sonoma, Napa, and Yountville. I've seen many pretty things in this fine country of ours, but this is actually where heaven on earth is. Seriously. What a celestial place to spend your time. And the food and drink aren't bad either.

Should you be interested in more trip pics...please check out my Instagram link on the top right corner. Quite seriously, there are approximately 100 photos from our trip. Some call it "overload"...I call it "documentation".

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