sister visit.

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My sisters came to visit! It was a short visit, but jam-packed with fun. And, the girls were so excited to be together. We even rented a mini van so we could drive together, and listening to the girls chattering in the backseat was one of my favorite parts of the trip. 

When the girls pulled up on that first day, Eliza had already been looking out the window for hours. She immediately dragged Lucy into her room and they played all afternoon. They both compared dress-ups (Lucy packed a few outfits, just in case), played tea party, painted a craft sent by Grandad, and pranced around the house in matching Sofia the First ballgowns. I put together a little bed under Eliza's loft bed for Lucy, piled high with pillows, and they insisted on sleeping together. (Although, Eliza kept rolling around in her sleep and running into piece of furniture, waking her up all night.) 

The next day we hit up the Jelly Belly Factory Tour in Fairfield, and Mrs. Grossman's Sticker Factory Tour- two in one day! Both tours are so much fun, I highly recommend. And both hand out freebies! So, the girls were plastered with stickers and jelly beans by the end of the day. We managed to even fit in a trip to the food trucks at Off the Grid that night, too. Every night this week ended with us rolling those girls into bed, completely exhausted and clutching the days' souvenirs.

Let me just say, kudos to Danielle (the youngest sister) for coming along on a trip that was pretty much planned around all the hopes of dreams of two little girls. But, let's be honest- the Jelly Belly Factory was her request! Because, really, mounds of jelly beans and stickers have always been in the dreams of these three (big) girls...

The next day we spent all morning at Children's Fairyland in Oakland. Eliza and I have a membership to Fairyland, and will for as long as we live in the Bay Area because it is the most magical place ever. It's a tiny amusement park full of rides and places to play, all centered around storybook characters and fairytales. Eliza's favorite are the puppet theater, the Jack and Jill Hill, the Robinson Crusoe Treehouse, the Alice In Wonderland Tunnel, the Jolly Trolly... and pretty much everything. It's such a perfect place for this age. Eliza and I picked out some sparkle fairy wings the week before, and we let the girls wear glitter. They had such a good time, and Eliza loved showing Lucy around.  And, every time we made them take a picture they gave us the cheesiest grins. These girls had me cracking up all week long.

After Fairyland, we decided to brave the impossible and fit in a trip to San Francisco, as well. We wandered Chintown and let the girls pick out a souvenir. Lucy picked out a tiny, purple Pusheen plush, and Eliza asked for a pink "cumbrella" for the entire length of the shops on Grant. After watching her twirl the paper parasol with that little smile, I just had to give in. After Chinatown, we attempted to grab a picture at The Painted Ladies, but Alamo Park was under construction. So, we stopped at Crissy Field to get a good photo in front of the Golden Gate. It was a really great condensed tour of the city sights. Unfortunately, we then got pretty brave and tried to get dinner in the city, as well. We drove to the Mission to grab pizza at Delfina and ice cream at Bi-Rite. Both were delicious, but somewhat tainted by the multiple melt-downs by pretty much everyone. Whoops. Next time, we grab a Hot 'n Ready on the way home, and go to bed. Let me just say, the wait staff at Delfina were so nice and helpful, even though pretty much all the guests were giving us super dirty looks. And, when Lucy smacked her head on the table at Bi-Rite, an employee brought her an ice pack and a smile. Lovely people!

On our last full day, we had plans to go to Muir Woods. But, it rained all day. Maybe we really did need to take the day off and let the girls (and the adults) recover. But, I was bummed that they didn't get to see the Redwoods. We played inside, and Sam took the girls to Cheeseboard for lunch so we could hang out at the shops on 4th Street for a bit. We browsed the stationary, and art supplies. Desi parked herself in the paper shop for a good fifteen minutes winding all of the music boxes, and called out the shop attendant when one of the operas was mislabeled. We window shopped all the pretty things, and walked home with a bag full of pastries. 

That night, Sam took Lucy and Eliza to our church campout. They had such a great time, and all of my friends kept saying that a "mini-Roxie" was running around. With all those curls, my niece really does look more like me than my own daughter. While the girls were gone, we got a friend to come sit with Sadie. We got dressed up, covered ourselves in glitter, and hit The Church of 8 Wheels to rollerskate. The best place for a night out- it's a roller disco in an old church in San Francisco. I've decided that a sister date needs to happen every single trip now. And, it should most likely always involve glitter... oh, and slurpees. After downing slurpees and McDonald's on the way home (the only places open after 10pm in Berkeley), we were wired and stayed up watching tv all night. And had one blissful night in which we could go to the bathroom without tip-toeing around little sleeping girls. (Our one and only bathroom is a jack and jill between our two bedrooms.)

We had such a great time with the girls here. Sadie was so sweet and accommodating most of the time, and if you look hard enough you can see her little lump in all the pictures. She was happy to go along for the ride. The last time my sisters came to visit was when Eliza was a newborn. So, this was a special trip and some much needed sister time. It was also so fun to see Eliza get to share her space with her cousin. She has been talking about Lucy every day since they left, groaning "I wish Lucy was here." 

Love you, girls!

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