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San Francisco: My Best Vacation Memory

I thought for sure I had written about this memorable trip to San Francisco.

Today I'm linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week's topic is

I checked my archives a half dozen times and then it finally hit me. I didn’t post about it because it happened six months before I started my blog! And that’s that! In truth, I could never narrow down my best vacation itself, but memories are another story. There’s Alaska for our honeymoon and seeing two moose literally the minute we stepped out into the evening air from the airport. How does that happen? There were childhoods spent in beach town condos.

San Francisco

There’s been every summery long weekend in Truro, Cape Cod, and every summery winter weekend in St. Augustine, Florida. I have the same set of beachy loving in-laws to thank for all of those memories. By now, they all combine into sand and sea and wind and sun and beach naps.

St. Augustine Beach

Of course there was the first time I went to California on a JetBlue flight, right after they had started operating, in fact. I had met Cassidy only a week or so earlier in New York (and Massachusetts and New Hampshire and Maine), but I had these plane tickets already booked because it was my dream place. I fell in love with California – San Francisco and Monterey and everywhere in between – plus whales and dolphins and sharks and one dead red thing. Plus the worst sunburn/windburn of my life. There’s one other vacation that stands out the most for me.

And it didn’t even involve moose! Just moose lovers in San Francisco, and beyond.

San Francisco: My Best Vacation Memory:

Like I said, it’s hard to narrow down vacations because they’re outstanding in their own beautiful ways. For me, it’s about not wanting to go home at the end. I’ve always been homesick and slightly or majorly anxious and tender-hearted that sometimes even when an experience is big and wonderful and life-altering and epic, I am disoriented or uncomfortable. Or gassy. Or something. It’s not my best trait but I’m somewhere in the middle of an adventurer and a homebody. I just never know which part of me will come out. The glacier climber or the crier?

matanuska glacier Alaska

The fear or the strength. Many of us are somewhere in between but the way I toggle back and forth between wanderlust and fear is just strange. It’s also strange that the best vacation memory took place somewhere that I LIVED! I didn’t live there anymore, though. It was a vacation. The trip was exactly a year to the day after we had left San Francisco to move east.

Squat and Gobble San Francisco

We were attending a friend’s wedding and it was also a reunion with the city we both loved after a year apart. AND, we had a newborn baby girl this time! Gosh, the feels. We went to all of our favorite haunts and restaurants and grocery stores and work places – all with an infant in tow. The best were the people who didn’t even know we had had a baby. What a difference a year makes! When you walk in and see their faces and they see yours, and then see your baby!

San Francisco


We came back nearly a year after THIS for yet another wedding but it wasn’t the same.

Many of these people silently slipped out of our worlds, and some silently slipped out of THE world, and are gone forever. That trip a year later was nowhere near idyllic. Some of the people we had loved so much were already gone – from cancer or car accidents. Scarlet had a fresh dog bite injury, and my old workplace was on its way out. That’s why THIS was the perfect trip.

All we knew was love and laughter and the sounds of our own frustrating bi-coastal disorder.

I remember wearing a cute little dress to the wedding we were attending, and Cassidy’s friend Jennie saying, “Your boobs look big and fab!” And they did. Everything is bigger in California. Just kidding – it was the round-the-clock breastfeeding, I’m sure. I’ll take that one, though.

I haven’t been back there in nearly nine years but I dream and think about it daily. That’s the place the sun shines in that way like it’s shining just on you – in all of my memories and beyond.

And I can almost feel it again.

Today I’m linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “My Best Vacation Memory.” Come link up with your spin: HERE. What’s your best vacation memory to share?

So, what would you share?

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  1. Lovely vacation memories and LOL to your boobs. I remember those days. I’m impressed that your favorite here didn’t involve moose but OMG the photos. I adore them. And you, ya know. I miss San Fran. I went to college near there for my first year and what an amazing place. I love that you wrote about it for FTSF. xoxo

    1. I know, right? I have so many favorites that involve moose but this trip was just perfection. I remember getting a stomachache from all the rich food at one point, and even that didn’t phase me.

  2. Aw, quite frankly looked like the perfect vacation to me with San Francisco being a gorgeous backdrop and you, Cassidy and Baby Scarlet, too! Definitely so happy you finally wrote about it for FTSF and got to hear all about it now xoxo <3

  3. Oh my goodness, these photos of tiny Scarlett! How precious:) I love her on the counter in her car seat. Boy do I remember days like those. Except my little ones rarely sat contentedly in a car seat anywhere LOL! So fun to see old friends. I hope you will always be able to visit SF, and enjoy the milestones that pass in between trips.

    1. I had some photo I couldn’t even show – like Scarlet in a pillow on a dining table! OMG we wouldn’t do that now.

      And I love your wishes for future SF travel. I think that will happen!

  4. Memories AND Baby Scarlet!

    With four rounds of breast feeding- whew pretty glad that is all over. I am grateful to have done it, but the around the clock biz is exhausting!

    It has been years since I have been to San Francisco, but it really is a lovely place.

    1. Oh man – two was rough! Scarlet was new to me so it hurt a lot and I got clogged ducts. With Des it was more old hat, except that I never gave him formula or pumped so I was just around him a LOT for 6-12 months.

  5. I loved catching the feelings as I read your post. I think that’s what I love about your posts the most! What sweet memories of a sweet vacation. Now I really have to think about my best vacation memory, but I think my favorite one is a beach vacation in Orange Beach, just after my daughter had almost recovered from rheumatic fever but was still very tired. It was at the end of her freshman year of high school, and it had been a terrible, scary year of illness. The vacation was such a restful, beachy relief.

  6. I enjoyed reading your story and looking at these very special family photos Tamara! I hope you can plan on taking a family vacation to San Francisco in the very near future. Our family vacations in Point Pleasant for the last two weeks of summer were so much fun. Less frequently we would spend a week in Cape May and all of its beautiful Victorian charm. I want to go back there again! Hopefully this summer.

    1. I miss Point Pleasant! And I’ve only been to Cape May a few times but it was super memorable. I hope I hear that you are going this summer!

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