I haven’t felt so great since we got back from our USA trip so that’s why it took me a while. ;) But I’m finally getting around to editing the footage I have into vlogs! Here’s what I filmed our first day in L.A.
We’re back in Sweden again! I still have more photos (plus the videos) to post but everything came to a halt this week because of jetlag + sickness. Ugh! Slowly getting better though. ;)
Here are some pictures from when we walked around in Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, after our visit to Alcatraz. A soooo much more pleasant walk when we didn’t have see it all while running in complete panic.
First, we stopped for lunch at Boudin. So good!
We all got sandwiches and the kids got pizza.
It’s very telling how hungry they were when the pizza was way too hot to eat but Elis tried to find ways to eat it without burning his fingers. ;)
A very typical picture from this trip too. You’d ask Sam for a pic and he’d go “take a picture of Luna!!”.
We were still talking about Alcatraz and it was nice to see it there in the distance while we walked by.
If you wanna know why they were running it’s because they had seen one of those telescope (or whatever they’re called??) things and they love them…even if they can’t see anything.
I was really looking forward to showing the sea lions to Sam, I thought for sure that he would LOVE them. He loved the ones we saw in the water in Monterey, and of course he was already obsessed with his sea otter Luna. I figured this would be really cool!
But he took one look at them and then he sat down at a distance and wouldn’t come closer. I kept asking “-Hey, Sam! Come look!! Come wave at the sea lions” and he would just shake his head and then finally when I asked why, he said “Mom….they’re gross”.
I could see why he thought so haha. I think it was the volume of them and the fact that they were just lying there like slugs.
Elis wasn’t too impressed either. ;)
They were both superimpressed when we walked by a bigger Boudin and they had a big alligator and other animals in bread. They loved that! ;)
Some obligatory tourist photos by the sign.
It was a good day, such a cool morning at Alcatraz and so nice to just stroll along the water and look around at Fisherman’s Wharf afterwards. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, San Francisco just had the perfect weather all the time!
Yesterday was a truly special day! I had been looking forward to seeing Alcatraz for the longest time and it was just as amazing as I thought. The day started as a TOTAL nightmare though. We were going on the early morning ferry and the website told us to be there 30 mins prior to boarding (the boat would close 10 mins before departure). We left the apartment with a lot of time to spare, with plans to stroll along the water and grab some breakfast before getting on the ferry. Hah! That didn’t happen. We got stuck in traffic, got lost in the city, couldn’t follow the directions of the gps because of roadwork and when we finally parked we only had 10 mins before the boarding would close. We were a little stressed at that point but it’s nothing compared to when we asked someone for directions to Alcatraz and they told us it was about a 20 min walk from where we were. We had parked at the wrong pier!!!
We just had to run the entire way! This was awful. I had bought these tickets weeks in advance and I knew that they were completely sold out for the day. If we missed the ferry we just wouldn’t get to see Alcatraz at all and this was all I could think while we were racing down the piers, freaking out over how far it was and how tired we were (on empty stomachs too). We finally made it with A MINUTE to spare, almost close to tears and completely wiped out.
But we did make it! And twice as happy to be there on the ferry. ;) Alcatraz was amazing and I’m so grateful we got to see it. All good in the end, we laugh over how we desperately ran the entire way there now.
I can’t even start to describe how fascinating everything about this island was. We were just soaking everything in from the minute we got there.
Is it horrible that I thought these pink cells were the prettiest? Then I heard the audioguide say how this was the worst place to be in the prison and I thought “maybe not”.
I joked and told Josefin I would say that the boys loooooved Alcatraz and found it totally fascinating. They didn’t hehe. They did think it was a little exciting going to a prison, and looking at the prison cells. But they quickly grew pretty bored and eventually fell asleep. ;)
I love how Elis is always up for a photo!
I loved the audio tour so much. It was a special thing to listen to the voice in your ears (a former guard), while walking and looking at all the places they told stories about. One of the most interesting things I’ve ever done and I could’ve listened for hours.
While we had the boys sleeping in the stroller about every second person stopped to either say “aww so cute” or make a joke about how they must’ve really loved Alcatraz. ;)
An amazing experience!! We were talking about it all day afterwards and like I said, I’m just so grateful we got to go.
We’ve made it to San Francisco! We absolutely love it here and I feel like I never want to leave. 😭 Yesterday was so much fun, we saw a lot of the city by foot and on bike. We rented bikes to go over the Golden Gate bridge, it was AMAZING. I kept saying “wow…wow…wow” while I was biking and I’m still just so happy thinking about it. Bucket-list moment! We also wandered around on foot and saw so much of SF, still wow-moments because I just love everything about how this place looks. Even the hills. ;)
Here’s some pictures from our first day in San Francisco:
All ready to go!
After we started biking towards the Golden Gate brigde, we realized that we were really hungry because we hadn’t had breakfast yet. So we took a little detour and started biking down the streets looking for something good.
We lucked out because we found a place, ordered pancakes and they were so yummy. Just look at them! Funny story: I walked in and ordered three plates of pancakes and the guy didn’t say anything but after I walked away he asked Josefin “is she alone? because she just ordered a lot”. Guess he couldn’t see Gustav and the kids outside. ;)
Took this picture to show how our bikes took up half the sidewalk. Oops.
Then we made it closer to the Golden Gate bridge and stopped to take a bunch of photos.
Best thing about this picture is how a stranger who was walking by stopped to say “hey! arm out! the monkey is in his face!”. She was talking to Sam and the (not monkey) that covered his face. Pretty funny that she just noticed and had to say something so the pic wasn’t ruined.
All ready and sooo excited to go bike over the bridge! The kids were looking forward to it but both fell asleep on the way there. Except Elis I guess who claims he was wide awake the whole time. ;)
On the other side of the bridge in Sausalito. Elis was being such a cutie smiling to everyone.
We enjoyed some smoothies…
…and then took the ferry back to San Francisco. Like I said, Sam has not let go of his otter Luna.
Walked up a bazillion (hehe) hills and then made it to the most famous one. Lombard Street!
No one knows how to fake smiles for pictures like my kids. Haha.
And this is a really bad picture but I had to include it because Josefin stepped out in the middle of the street to take it and then said “hope it turns out good because I just risked my life to snap this” Hahaha. Could not leave it out with that investment from her side.
Every street is so pretty here!! Almost can’t take it.
Oh Elis. 😍😍
Last stop of the day was to look at the painted ladies (+happy surprise: there was a playground there).
I loved when the kids started dancing around.
We’re all just so happy to be here! Hope to enjoy the rest of our days in San Francisco just as much!!
On monday we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. After all the crazy lines the day before, we made sure to get there about 15 minutes before they opened. And even then there was a long line standing to get in!
It was a little bit crowded but we still had a really great time there. Here are some pictures I took:
If I could summarize the day in one word, it would be SEA OTTER. Sam saw them the moment we walked in and then he was obsessed. It was all he talked about aaall day and all he could think about. Then we saw a little movie about a otter named Luna that was rescued when she was a baby. Sam loooved that movie so much and was so invested in everything that happened to Luna. At the end of our visit he got to pick out a little baby otter that he named Luna (of course) and it has not left his arms every since!
There was something so soothing about watching the jellyfish and their slow movements. This was actually one of my favorite parts.
We could’ve stayed here for a long time!
And these were pretty hypnotizing too haha. Especially when they opened their mouths. ;)
They had a interactive center for kids which was really great. Here they could feed hungry baby birds!
Then I walked around with Sam and he only wanted me to take pictures of cute things. He was very picky too. None of the fish made the cut. ;) But this babybird did.
The stingray petting tank…..this didn’t feel great :O Look at all those baby hands reaching for it.
I’m a little afraid of stingrays and was filming a clip when one of them just popped their heads up the water right where I was. I’m ashamed to say I got really scared and just jumped back and did a really wierd legthing. A person behind me laughed and said “I wish I had a film of your reaction”.
Then we were done with the aquarium and I didn’t get a picture of the boys but like I said, Sam got a little otter (he didn’t want the big ones because it was important it was a baby) and Elis got a stuffed shark.
On our drive up to San Francisco, we stopped at Olive Garden for some lunch.
The boys both had spagetti and meatballs and they kept telling me how great it was.
I didn’t get his fingers in the pics but they were making a “very nice, mom” sign. ;)
Now we’re in San Francisco!
We left L.A. early morning yesterday to start driving up north. First stop: Monterey! The very first thing we noticed this morning was the cooler weather. On our last day in LA it was 42 C outside…we were shopping and had to run from store (AC) to store (AC). And then on our drive up it got worse, when we stopped for lunch and checked the temp it was actually a crazy 46 C outdoors. Hot!! Felt like stepping into an oven = not very pleasant. But Sam said “-wow, this is the nicest thing I’ve ever felt”. Both kids are very unbothered by the heat. ;)
But in Monterey we had clouds! And it was only 32 C (at the most) which was totally manageable.
Looking to see if they could spot some fish.
We took the beach promenade at Cannery Row which was so beautiful!
And when we saw these cliffs it seemed like a really good idea to climb them. It was more straining than we thought though! So it got a little bit sweaty there at the end. ;)
But Elis loved this “adventure” and thought he was being so cool sitting all by himself on those rocks.
Sam found these shoes a few days ago and he is obsessed with them. Cats and rainbows!
This is how family pics turn out with one of the kids asleep and the other one about five seconds from falling asleep too. Haha.
Lunch today was In-n-Out!! A personal fav.
Haha Elis! Yesterday he was not feeling great in the car and would not keep anything down. But being the foodie he is, he kept asking for food the whole day and we felt so bad just giving him nothing at first and then very little. Today he made up for the lack of food so yes, this was him at lunch.
Then we hit a big playground, wore the kids tired so they could rest their feet in the stroller while we walked around Fisherman’s Wharf.
Look at all the jellyfish!! Sam made sure I got a picture of it.
And the seals! I’m embarrassingly bad at this stuff so my nephew Karl will have to verify that they are in fact seals. ;)
The look on Sams face when he discovered them!! He really loved them and how they were playing with eachother in the water. We stood there looking at them for the longest time…Sam didn’t even notice all the bird poop on the fence (once he noticed he was done watching them).
Such a cool place!
Ending the day at our fav place Target. ;)
We love the whole package…the store AND the cool red racecars that provide some nice entertainment.
Thanks for today, Monterey!
Yesterday was a big day for the boys! We went to Disney’s California Adventure Park. I really love Disneyland and was pretty excited to go as well. ;)
We had an amazing day. On the upside, there was a lot of fun things to see, Disney is always magic, the boys both got to meet their heroes and there was actually not that bad of a crowd-situation. On the downside, the heat!? THE HEAT! It was so warm that we thought we would actually melt away sometimes. But it also made us really appreciate the sun setting later. ;D
Here’s some pictures:
The biggest reason why we chose California Adventure instead of Disneyland was Carsland!! Sam is the biggest fan of the movie Cars and has been since before he could talk. I’ve just always known I wanted to take him. Finally <3 And it was incredible to walk around in Radiator Springs and meet all the cars.
Elis really wanted to stick his hand in the mouth of the car. He was so proud he managed to do it too. ;)
And meeting Lightning!!! This was big for Sam. They told them “it’s okay, you can touch!!” but Sam just stood by looking at him the whole time like “wow…”.
Look at Sams face <3
Getting their heroes facepaint on! Sam chose Thor and Elis chose Captain America (duh). We spent a lot of time at this section of the park, they really loved all the superhero stuff.
Haha I had to include this picture “oh look how much fun we’re having…” ;D
I will show more of this in the vlog I’m making, but Elis was SOOOO EXCITED to meet Captain America. He was so giddy and smiling while we were standing in the line and kept whispering stuff like “captain america…..*heart eyes*”. I loved it, he’s not gonna be this age forever when something can be so truly real and magic like saying hello to your favorite superhero.
And they had to say “-little captain america!! look over here!” because Elis had a hard time taking his eyes of the big one.
That moment when they were so happy they just started spinning around and dancing in the streets of Radiator Springs.
So glad we were able to go and make so many memories for all of us!! I have a feeling the boys will talk about his for a long time. ;D
Hi! We’re in LA right now. The boys did SO GOOD on the flight over, so proud of them. <3 We landed here on Monday afternoon so yesterday was our first full day. We had plans to just take it easy and relax with the jet lag, so we didn’t have too many things planned. But with traffic it ended up being a full days anyways!
Here’s some pictures I took. I filmed quite a bit too so there will be a vlog (I just haven’t got time to edit it yet):
We drove up to the Getty Center in the morning. It was breathtakingly beautiful!! Views over all of LA.
It was BRIGHT sunshine so my pictures didn’t turn out great. :O But I’m so glad we took a guided tour of the garden and got to hear all the story behind (an artist designed the whole garden instead of a gardener). It was beautiful to walk through and hear all the thoughts behind every part. We also almost melted a little bit in the sun, such a warm day.
They had a little discovery/art center for the kids as well which I thought was so cool. Both Sam and Elis LOVED these masks they got to make. Which were totally creepy haha. They both wanted to make scary ones and Sam drew some brown lines under the mouth, when I asked him what it was he said “It’s a witch. And that’s barf coming from the mouth”. If you know Sam you know stuff like that is the worst thing he can think of.
Most random part of the day was when we were driving from the Getty Center and we wanted to eat, so we just looked at the gps and found the nearest Chipotle. We had no idea it was in the middle of Beverly Hills, right next to Rodeo Drive! So we just ended up there by mistake and thought it was pretty funny.
Last stop of the day was the Santa Monica Beach!
We mostly just played in the waves (they got pretty big!) and it was really nice to just cool down from the heat a little bit.
Elis went in for a bit but didn’t like how hard the waves came crashing down. He was totally happy covering himself in sand for the rest of the time though. ;)
And this picture represent the 2,5 hours we spent trying to drive home in rush hour traffic! It was pretty crazy. :O And we thought driving 40 mins home would be hard to do with keeping the kids awake. If we only knew it would be almost four times that much. But we made it with no kids asleep (even if it took us desperately trying every game we could think of). Today we’re excited to do no driving whatsoever! Haha.
The second stop on our little Italy-tour was Florence. We stepped off the train from Venice and we fell in love right away. Florence was so beautiful in a way where I just said “-pictures will never do this justice”. And I was right. Also, it was so sunny which occasionally made for overexposed pictures like the one above (where Elis is missing his scalp, haha). But what can you do? 😂
Here’s a look at our first day in Florence (with a few pictures from my phone too):
Started off by skipping down the street because we were on the hunt for some gelato!
I love Sams face in this picture. Even at four years old he couldn’t help to stop and stare at the Cathedral. It was unreal.
I tried snapping it with my camera but it’s the kind of thing you have to see in real life (or I just need to get better at taking photos). So majestic and beautiful with a thousand small details to look at.
Found some gelato! Not just some. This was, hands down, the best gelato I had on the entire trip. I got the pineapple, it tasted sooo fresh and homemade and just MELTED IN MY MOUTH. ARGH. It was almost like butter in icecream-shape?? Take me back so I can have some more. ;)
We didn’t take any pictures but right before this we went on the antique carousel on the Piazza della Repubblica. I recommend it if you’re ever there, it was a fun thing for the kids to do.
Only family picture we got on this trip! All thanks to a kind stranger walking by and offering to take one for us. He had a daughter with two kids as well so he thought of her when he saw us. <3
Taking a pizza-break! Both boys got a little car and I thought it was pretty cute how they then followed them around everywhere on this trip. Sam especially wouldn’t let go of his and if you look closely, it’ll be in his hand most of the time.
My little tourists! 😍
Oh Elis, sunshine in my life. So happy he and his brother loved being away on vacation together just as much as we did.
On our trip last week, we were able to stay at and review the Palazzo Ruspoli. Palazzo Ruspoli is a Bed and Breakfast in Florence, Italy and it was perfect for us. Because we were in Florence for a short stay, and wanted to see as much as possible, the location was key. This simply couldn’t be at a more central location! We also enjoyed how kid friendly it was and admired all the beautiful details inside.
Checking in, we got the warmest welcome and we felt right at home.
The elevator was very convenient after long days of walking.
We loved our room, it was full of italian charm and so bright and spacious. High ceilings and big windows with lots of natural light flowing in.
We even had a view of the Il Duomo outside our window!
In addition to one big double bed, we also had two single beds for each of the kids. A spacious room which we really appreciated. Our whole stay was very family friendly.
The breakfast was really good and included a choice of yogurts, muesli, jams, cheeses, hams, bread, croissants and juices. A good start to the day!
Like I mentioned, the location could not have been any better. Walking out the door we were only a few steps away from the Piazza del Duomo. We loved this. We didn’t have to waste any extra time in the evening or morning and could just spend the whole day exploring Florence.
Thank you for the stay, Palazzo Ruspoli! We had a great time.