Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Traditions...

Every year we go into San Francisco a few days before Christmas to see the Macy's windows at Union Square and the kids each pick out an ornament to add to their collection that they'll eventually take with them. This year we stayed the night and had a lot more time to wander around the city.
We had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory...after an hour and half wait that Alaina was especially grateful for since we spent it shopping!
We went to the St. Francis Hotel and saw the most incredible gingerbread house! It weighs over 1,000 pounds and is 100% edible. It was amazing. In the morning, we went to Golden Gate Park with the goal being to visit the California Academy of Science. But after 45 minutes of looking for a parking place, we finally had to take a spot about a mile and half away (according to our navigation system)! That should have been our first clue. When we made it to the museum, we noticed a huge crowd that wound around the front, down the stairs, past the bus stop, and beyond. Then we saw the ticket line. Just a few minutes later, a voice came over the PA and said there was going to be a 3 hour wait because the museum was filled to capacity and that all of the IMAX and planetarium tickets for the day had been sold! So, we got brave and went across the street to the De Young Museum of Art. We all really enjoyed it, even Ryan! When it was time to eat lunch, the line for the cafeteria was out the door, so we ended up coming back to Walnut Creek and eating at 3pm.
So, how bad can the economy be if we had to wait in line at Old Navy for an hour, wait 1 1/2 hours for The Cheesecake Factory, have to park 1 1/2 miles away, have a 3 hour wait for a museum, and have to drive all the way home for lunch because the cafeteria is too crowded?!
We always spend Christmas Eve at the Visitors Center on the Oakland Temple grounds. We watch the Nativity story from Luke 2 and wander around the great exhibits.
The grounds are so beautifully lit up for the whole Christmas season. It is wonderful to bring the family here the night before Santa we can keep things in perspective and remind the kids of the true meaning of Christmas.


marcikay said...

what fun traditions! (except for the lines - wow!)

jhoopes said...

Those are some really great Bain family traditions. How fun to spend the night in San Francisco!! (and go shopping there, too!)