Last Saturday morning I flew up to OAK to spend the day with Jan, Mark
and my cousins. Jan’s kids had driven from Arkansas with their kids the
previous Sunday and had spent the week sightseeing around the Bay Area.
Joining us were, Jan’s son Greg, and his wife Heidi, and their three
children, Kaleb, Erin and Jacob. Jan’s daughter Bev and her daughter
Emily. I have a lot of respect for the three adults handing the
cross-country drive with four kids in the van… they made it in two
days!

Dad picked me
up at OAK around 9:30am and drove me to the marina in San
Leandro. Mark arrived
shortly after with Greg, Heidi and the kids. Then Mark’s daughter Sue
arrived with her boyfriend, (I feel terrible that I can’t remember his
name!) A few minutes later, Jan arrived with Bev and Bev’s friend Sri.
Sri is from Vancouver and was in the Bay Area visiting his family
living in Mountain View. It was a full boat and I later learned that I
took Dad’s place. Yeah, I felt bad about that too.

Ten year old Kaleb doning his life preserver and cool sunglasses.

Seven year old Erin and her trendy shades.

Jacob is three and desperately wanted to drive the boat.

Emily
is eleven and is already a pro at driving the boat. She got to do it a
couple of years ago when she visited with her mom. She still likes the
wind in her hair.

We
set off along the estuary past Jack London Square and the Port of
Oakland. We couldn’t have asked for better weather… it was clear, a
little breezy and surprisingly warm. We all brought heavy coats
expecting icy winds on the water, but not everyone needed them.

A ship being loaded along the port. It was pretty cool to watch. One ship looked like it was being loaded with scrap metal.

Sue and her boyfriend.

Jan and Me.

Heidi and Bev.

A beautiful day.

There
was only a teensy bit of fog left from the morning creeping behind the
Golden Gate Bridge. Sorry the color is off, I’m still working on it.

We
motored under the Bay Bridge and got a great view of the new section
(on the left). It looks like they’re almost done… maybe four or five
years and it’ll be open! We went past Treasure Island and headed towards Angel Island.

When we picked up speed, it got a little chilly.

We docked for a little bit at Angel Island. It was a beautiful day and really ideal for a picnic.
Being
a Bay Area native, I’m ashmed that I had never visited Angel Island.
It’s beautiful with lots of hiking and bicycling trails and some places
for camping. It offers great views of the Bay and it looks like it’s a
kayak ride away from Tiburon. I will definately have to return.

We checked out the visitor center to see a little of the history of the island.

I
had a hard time getting Jacob to understand that this was a scale model
of the island. It was kind of funny when I pointed to the little boat
dock, he kept asking me where the boat was.

Greg and his kids.

Emily found a very rusty old cannon. Jacob wanted to make it fire.

The kids with Grama Jan.

After
we walked around a bit, had a couple of snacks and a few bathroom
breaks, we piled back into the boat, got all the kids back into their
life vests, and headed back across the bay.

There were some kayaks rowing around Angel Island.

A few sailboats were out too.

We
docked at the free boat parking at Jack London Square for lunch at
Scott’s Seafood restaurant. Also parked at the dock was this large
Alameda County Sheriff’s ship.

Check
out the artillery at the front! We all agreed that Mark needs to get
one of those for the front of his boat. I think it would make fishing a
little easier.

Lunch was delicious with the kids having kid food like chicken strips, grilled cheese and a cheeseburger.

Us
grown-ups shared a wonderful sauteed calamari appetizer. It was buttery
with lots of lemon. Quite good and a nice alternative to the
traditionally deep fried variety.

A
bunch of us ordered the seafood salad. It was topped with bay shrimp,
Dungeness crab meat and large scallops. We all got the dressing on the
side, but the salad really didn’t need it.

Sri ordered a delicious-looking chicken breast topped with a mushroom sauce. It looked great.

Sue’s boyfriend ordered a seafood jambalya-ish dish. He said it was really delicious.

That’s all the food porn I was able to get. We were all hungry and ready to eat.

Getting the kids back into their life vests and making our way back to the marina.

I can’t remember what Jacob was pointing at, but it was very important to him.

We
got the boat cleaned and everyone headed back to Jan and Mark’s house.
Jan, Bev and I took Sri back to Mountain View. It was really great
talking to him. He was born and raised in India and we enjoyed talking
about the cultural differences. I was curious about a few things and I
wanted to compare them to the Chinese traditions I know about. He’s a
really nice guy and I hope we can see him again. That’s a hint Bev!

Each
once in a while I’m able to get some samples of product we create for
our various clients at my work. Thankfully I was able to procure some cool stuff
for the kids. I was able to get all of them a backpack, a soft-sided
lunchbox, a couple of hats and a couple of them got a bit of apparel.
Because of the public nature of this blog, I won’t go into details on
the items I gave everyone. Thankfully, they were a big hit and I was
thrilled that everything went over well. Plus, they’re all set for
school with backpacks and lunchbags.

Erin posing for me with her new hat and backpack.

Emily posing with a new hat, scarf and long glove-type things.

Jacob
wearing his backpack, which he won’t need since he’s not ready for
kindergarden yet. Here he’s unbuttoning his pants because he wants to
wear the swim trunks I gave him. His mom had to chime in and ask him to leave his underware on. Otherwise he would have stripped down in front of everyone.

 

Posing with the swim trunks… and then distracted because he discovered that they have a pocket!

Here Emily is showing me the world of Webkinz. I was vaguely aware of them, now I’m quite knowledgable.

Dad joined us and Greg and Heidi picked up Round Table Pizza, (Bev and Greg’s favorite from when they were kids). The kids played outside until it was time to pack up and get ready for bed.

This is what I got when I asked Kaleb to pose for me. Nice.

I got this great shot of Jacob… except for the beer bottle.

Greg moved it and we tried to get Jacob to smile for me again with no success. Jacob wanted to try the beer by asking, “Does it taste good?” A great question coming from a three year old.

I don’t think so kid.

Erin chillin with Dad.

It was wonderful to see everyone and I really hope they can come and visit again.

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About wobetxela

Artist, mom, traveler, hiker, babywearer (for as long as they'll let me) and hobbyist photographer.
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4 Responses to

  1. jandsschultz says:

    Alex, What beautiful cousins you have. Emily reminds me so much of her mother at the same age. Don’t think we’ve seen pictures of them for a long time. Thanks for sharing them.

  2. kfyeom says:

    You were on a boat when I called…ohhhhhhhhhh 😀

  3. oldpartner says:

    What great pictures! I agree with Mom, Emily does look so much like Bev. I’m sure that you had a great time with them. I hope that Chris was able to see them as well. I know that we had talked about it before he left for the Bay Area. Thanks for sharing!

  4. christao408 says:

    What a great day on the Bay.  I can’t believe that you’ve never been to Angel Island, especially as a girl scout.  It is a beautiful place to hike and, even better, to ride a bicycle.  Glad I had the opportunity to see Greg and Bev again while in SF. 

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