On our second full day we had originally planned to do the tour with the little car around town. I was bummed it didn’t work out but we decided to roll with it and do our own mini tour of the town 🙂
First up? Trolley ride is a MUST DO while in San Fran! And it didn’t disappoint! It’s not just a touristy thing but is a legit mode of transportation for the locals. The driver was super funny and did a great job managing all the people and stops and confused tourist passengers.
People were all wanting to stand on the outside holding on but I was just fine riding in the back 😉 We don’t have to have the perfect IG Picture moment haha
The trolley is operated by just a handle to start and stop. The whole thing is just really, really cool and it’s a very quick way to get from place to place. It wasn’t very cheap but it was a “must do” that I’m glad we experienced!
On our way we passed several stops to other things we thought we may want to check out later in the day like Lombard Street and Coit Tower (we know Coit Tower only because one of The Bachelor dates was inside it on an episode ha!).
We got dropped off at the end of the line and got to watch the drivers as they manually pushed the trolley to turn it around to face the other direction. I just love when stuff is kept in it’s original design. Even with SO much new technology the trolley is still run by a single man with a single lever!
Hey there Fisherman’s Wharf!
Our goal on any trip, including Aflac ones, is to spend quality time together. If we’re going to be away from our children then you better bet we’re going to be hyper focused on pouring into our marriage.
It can be a tad tricky on Aflac trips. We know SO MANY people with Aflac and many of them travel in groups. They all sign up for tours and outings together. Eat meals together. Spend their whole trip together. There is NOTHING wrong with that and I’m not judging them for enjoying traveling that way but it’s just not how we like to travel. We want to spend all that time just us.
It can also be tricky when Zach’s parents go on the trips too. In the past we’ve spent a lot of time together with his parents while on the trips. And while we truly LOVE his parents and ENJOY spending that time with them…we have come home realizing we didn’t get the quality time pouring into our marriage that we would have liked to have. Even with being super tight with his parents…dynamics are just different in a group than they are one on one. And that one on one time is where we thrive and what we both need most in order to feel truly reconnected after a trip together.
This trip was THE BEST as far as a blend of doing things solo and with Mr Rusty and Mrs Charlotte. I think THEY had the best trip they’ve ever had together too. They spent so much time just the two of them going to parks and festivals and exploring the city and it made both Zach and I SO HAPPY to hear how much FUN they were having together!!! Maybe we’re rubbing off on them 😉
We flew in with his parents on arrival day and had the welcome lunch and dinner with them and then ate with his parents at the awards banquet. We were heading to Fisherman’s Wharf and found out that they were just roaming around town too so we invited them to meet us for lunch! They were coming from Chinatown so Zach and I looked around at the lunch options while we waited. Let’s just say we had TONS to choose from!
We ended up going for Alitoto’s because they had indoor seating with a view of the bay. It was GORGEOUS! And it was such a nice feeling to be able to treat Zach’s parents to a nice lunch together. It’s funny that Zach is technically his dad’s boss so the lunch was a treat for his #1 agent 😉
Sourdough bread in San Fran is unlike ANYTHING in the WORLD. SO AMAZING.
Zach is becoming quite the IG Husband. “Cool wall…want a pic?” haha
It was great that all of us were naturally on the same page and didn’t feel like we had to stick together! We enjoyed our lunch and then they headed off to their plans for the day and we headed down to check out Pier 39!
Zach is truly blessed with incredible parents and he considers his dad his best friend and I couldn’t have lucked out more in the mother in law department. The fact that all four of us truly enjoy each other’s company is a gift! I feel bad we didn’t get a picture of them together but had them take one of us haha They were so cute though showing us all their selfies at different spots!
My world knowledge comes from Disney haha I knew Boudin was a big deal because they have a Boudin shop at Disneyland that gives out free bread samples and a tour 😉
We were tempted to get an alligator bread for Britt!
These baskets were so cool as a way to transport bread from one spot to another.
Walking down to the pier!
Again, we had very little knowledge about San Francisco prior to this trip so we didn’t even know what Pier 39 was. But apparently it’s a SUPER huge tourist location and is a long pier with tons of shops and entertainment and restaurant options.
Two story carousel!
It was a special week honoring the military so it was VERY crowded but it was so neat seeing different naval ships and uniforms of all the people walking around the pier.
There was an airshow scheduled for the next day so we enjoyed watching some of the practice runs!
We stopped in a fun taffy shop and loaded up on TONS of a variety of unique flavors of taffy to take back home!
Zach LOVES this cookie butter and it’s become a “thing” with him and some of the Aflac people. I guess one time at a meeting Zach was carrying around a jar of it and eating it the whole time. Some of the Aflac friends of ours saw this shop at the pier and said we had to go in and check it out. I mean cookie butter as big as his head? Epic!
We got cookie butter coffees and oh my word is was SO GOOD!!! If you’ve never tried cookie butter it’s delicious with cinnamon graham crackers and can be found at Walmart, Publix, etc.
So I kept getting confused about this but San Francisco has both trolley cars (which is what we rode on that morning) and cable cars (like this one). When I see a cable car I think about the movie Heart and Souls which was one of MY FAVS!!! Hello young Robert Downy Jr! Now that I think about it I think it was a bus in the movie and not a cable car but whatever…
When we finished up our coffees we got an Uber to head over to Lombard street. We had them drop us off so we could walk down it and had another Uber pick us up at the bottom.
Uber has CHANGED THE TRAVEL GAME y’all. We got to do SO MUCH more on this trip than we ever would have in the past without having a rental car. We both said that Uber made this trip amazing. It would have been fun either way but Uber made it possible to be GREAT. It’s so nice to go and do and not have to worry about renting a car or dealing with public transportation options!
Zach’s parents walked UP Lombard street but we were smarter and got dropped off at the top and just walked down 😉
It was a pretty walk with gorgeous views and we kept talking about what a pain it’d be to LIVE on that street with ALL the tourists there!
Uber ride to Chinatown!
Confession: I’m a sucker for the dates on The Bachelor where they go explore a new city together. I just love those chill dates where they walk through a market or randomly try on some local clothes or buy little gag gifts. I just think it’s so cute!
My favorite part of this trip was our time in Chinatown. It felt like my very own “explore the town” Bachelor date. We walked hand in hand down the streets. Took it all in and even made a stop at a tea shop!
So we saw this sign that said “free tea tastings” and figured WHY NOT. It ended up being SO fun. Omg I probably drank an entire gallon of tea by the end of our tasting. The guys there didn’t pressure us to leave or to buy anything so we hung out and learned a lot about tea.
Zach doesn’t like tea so I’d end up drinking both my own sample of each type as well as his. Def had to have a potty break before we left!
I’ve been drinking green tea most mornings for awhile now and really enjoy it so I liked getting to learn more about different teas and their benefits. A couple great points our “tea guide” made were:
- When you wash your dishes you use warm water. If you washed them in cold water…the stuff would all stay stuck. Drinking warm tea/water helps to clean out your system in a way that cold doesn’t (I’ve actually switched to drinking room temp water now after this lesson)
- Meditation is good for the soul and is like being in the ocean under a wave. The waves still crash (life is still hard) but through mediation you are under the wave – you can see it, you know it’s there, but it doesn’t affect you (knock you over) the way it would If you were above the water.
We also learned a lot about ginseng and how it has so many benefits. Zach is considering starting to take it as it could help a lot with his MS stuff!
We legit wanted to buy some but then it was $32 A POUND haha NOPE
Stay Classy San Francisco 😉
We walked over to Coit Tower and Zach had to go to the bathroom. I started up the stairs with him and then decided it wasn’t worth it to hurt my foot walking up that many stairs. So I hung out at the bottom and he went solo.
I know I mentioned in my last post about some of the not-so-desirable sights we saw (drug use etc) on the trip but truly overall I felt VERY safe in San Fran. I felt comfortable being alone and wasn’t scared or anything at all. We also had all positive interactions with people every where we went and were impressed, overall, with the city as a whole!
Zach’s pics from the view at the top (which actually did NOT result in a bathroom find for him!)
Can you spot me?
Ya know just grinding away responding to IG DMS 😉
For dinner we headed over to Original Joe’s which was a highly rated Italian restaurant. We were both pretty full from all the tea (oops) so we tried to keep it light!
Keep the meal light…but keep bringing us ALL THE SOURDOUGH!
I’m pretty much obsessed with crab cakes!
Pretty square outside the restaurant
Gelato for dessert! Which wasn’t as good as I’d heard it’d be (hard to compete with the real deal in Italy though!)
Do you ever have a moment where so many things had to align JUST RIGHT for you to be in an exact spot at an exact time that you just KNOW it had to be the Lord?
Often on Aflac trips we’ve been known to skip out on the Aflac events. We try to utilize all the time we can to make the most out of our trips so sometimes that means missing the free meals (because they take SO LONG) or speakers who were not as interested in seeing.
We had not originally planned to see Dominque Dawes speak at the prayer breakfast. For some reason we’d thought it started at 10:30 and we had plans for the day that started at 11:00
The morning of our last full day Zach said he didn’t want breakfast. We were bickering and needed a little space (y’all know it happens when you’re together SO MUCH for several days in a row!) so I decided to go downstairs to the breakfast to grab some waters and to refill my water bottles.
As I came down stairs I just happened to be coming down at the time the prayer breakfast started and the security was all shuffling everyone into the room where it would take place. No water bottles to be found. I was kinda stuck and felt rude leaving when I didn’t have anywhere to be. It was only 8:30 after all and our plans weren’t until 11.
So I stayed. By myself. I sat and nibbled on the breakfast and listened to Dominque Dawes.
I lived in the Atlanta area during the 1996 olympics and we were downtown a TON and I attended multiple events (boxing, basketball, swimming). I’m so thankful my mom was so hardcore about giving my brother and I that experience. Because I didn’t fully appreciate then just how awesome of an opportunity that was!
Dominque Dawes was one of the gymnasts in the 96 games and part of the American team and won gold. I keep meaning to look up her routines on You Tube as I know Britt would LOVE THEM.
I’m not into gymnastics. I mean I appreciate it as a sport, but it’s not my thing or anything like that. I didn’t know who she was before that morning.
But y’all. Dominque Dawes. She spoke TO ME.
I had a hard moment in August that really shook me to my core and woke me up about some personal baggage I’ve carried around for most of my life. I reached a point where I was finally ready to not let go of it…but to heal from it.
She shares a similar past. She said an EXACT phrase that I have said myself and that describes exactly how I feel regarding rejection and lack of love. It was a moment that I knew the Lord put me right where I needed to be.
I was thankful for the bickering Zach and I had that got me to leave that room. Thankful for the timing where I happened to be walking down as the crowd was shuffling in. Thankful for my water goal that got me down there to begin with.
Thankful to hear her truth. Hear her story. And relate to someone who “gets it.”
I love that Aflac focuses on faith and prayer and that Dominque shared her personal walk with the Lord as well as other things about her life. I love that she was wearing a nursing bra and breastfeeding her twins and that all her children and husband were with her on the trip. I love that she was real and raw and honest about tough spots in her life.
She said there is purpose in the pitfalls and she’s so true. She thanked her tougher spots for getting her to where she is now. She is a better mother because of her personal pains. Something I relate to SO much and I just felt like I could sit there all day listening to her talk. It was a powerful moment for me on my personal journey and I’m so thankful I was right where I needed to be in that moment.
A little reminder of my sweet boy back home!
Zach’s parents met us in the lobby and we headed over to Urban Putt. Zach had found it online when looking for things to do locally and it sounded super cool and a great place to have a group activity!
We had planned to eat a full lunch there but their restaurant portion was closed for the day so we got heavy snacks instead…including trying chicken and waffles for the first time!
If you are ever in San Fran then this is a really cool spot to visit. It’s indoor putt-putt but it’s above and beyond whatever you may be thinking!
Each hole was intricately designed and had so many need elements to it. Spots where if you hit the ball at a certain spot then x,y,z other things would happen or the ball would travel in all sorts of unique patterns. It was SO COOL and another place that we kept saying “we need to bring Kye!”
We did our best to keep up with the competitive boys! I actually beat Mrs Charlotte by one stroke (and you know they were all hardcore about keeping score haha)
This whole was SO cool. The ball “walked” up steps and went through a long maze of activities!
At the end of the course the balls automatically sorted themselves by color too!
SUCH a fun time! It got Zach and I out of our little funk and ready for a fun rest of the day and it really was such a fun thing to experience as a group outing together!
We planned to head back over to Fisherman’s Wharf area to check out Ghirardelli and Zach’s parents said they’d tag along too so we shared an uber. We didn’t realize the air show was going on so the uber took AWHILE but it was worth it to get to see the awesome jets!!! (video 1 and video 2)
Breastfeeding mermaid…I’m all for it 😉
One of life’s tougher choices: WHAT DO YOU ORDER!!!
We shared a brownie sundae and it was AMAZING.
Mr Rusty and Mrs Charlotte were heading over to meet up with other UGA fans to watch the game so we said our goodbyes (we ain’t UGA fans and we def ain’t spending vaca time watching football haha) and took our time checking out Ghirardelli.
We got several chocolate bars to take home to the kids. We have a mixture of chocolate lovers (Zach and Britt) and sweet lovers (Kye, Tess and myself) so it was good to have both the taffy and the chocolate!
We had a TOUGH time getting an uber with the huge crowds for the airshow!
At the hotel we got all packed up and ready for dinner and went to this beautiful restaurant at the hotel to see the sunset.
For dinner on our last night we made reservations for John’s Grill which is 110 years old!!!
Love a place with some cool history!
The steak was legit 😉
Finally a break from the strikers on our walk back!
We were on like the 32nd floor and could still hear them the entire trip in our room : “What do we want?” “Contract!” “When do we want it?” “NOW.”
I’m actually going to mega regret typing that. It will be in my head for DAYS.
On our departure day we didn’t have to leave the hotel until 10:30 so we got early morning tickets for The Museum of Ice Cream. It was within walking distance of the hotel so we just packed up all our stuff and got ready for travel and planned to check our bags in the lobby for them to hold until we got back to load the buses.
Wellll we woke up to alerts that our flight had been delayed. And delayed. Basically we knew pretty early on that morning that there was pretty much no way of making our connecting flight in Atlanta to Valdosta.
I LOVE that we have a local airport but it can be a struggle with any sort of flight issue. There are only a few flights a day both into and out of the Valdosta airport. And it only flies to and from Atlanta. So options are slim. With the San Fran flight being pushed back it meant we’d most likely be missing the last flight of the night out of Atlanta to Valdosta.
It was CRAZY stressful. But what fixes stress? ICE CREAM.
We couldn’t do anything. It was out of our hands. At that point in the morning the flight was still set to arrive in Atlanta on time. And thankfully we weren’t alerted until after our time there that the flight was pushed back further. So we were able to just have fun!
It’s so funny the culture created around Instagram. Growing up I have just always had an appreciation for photos. I’ve never been like a photographer or anything but I’ve literally always carried a camera with me since about 7th grade. Yup. Film style baby. I’ve always taken TONS of pictures. Always! So seeing this culture develop around photos is pretty neat to me.
On the one hand I love it because I love having fun photos but on the other hand it makes me a bit sad because I feel like so much of everything in our world is about “living for the ‘gram” rather than actual living. This museum was REALLY awesome. I’m not knocking it. We had a BLAST and truly ENJOYED it and HAD FUN but I also think that majority of the people who visit it are probably there for the photo opportunities more than the experience and that the museum put majority of their focus into making an “instagram worthy” set up throughout their building.
Whipped Cream room!
We got to sample all the ice cream flavors!
A big pull for the museum is getting to SWIM IN A SPRINKLE POOL. I mean all my ice cream loving dreams came true!
Yup. I said Sprinkle Pool. As in, a POOL OF SPRINKLES.
Something you may or may not know about me is that I’ve been an ice cream lover for as long as I can remember. As a little girl I have fond memories of my dad taking me out for TCBY. As a teen, living solo, I started a nightly ritual of eating a bowl of ice cream while watching my favorite show of the day. That evolved into a pretty epic nightly sundae made up of at least seven toppings (sprinkles, cinnamon toast crunch, coconut, gummy bears, marshmallows, choc chips, basically anything and everything you can imagine).
I ate ice cream literally every night for YEARS. Probably over a decade.
Then ya know you start having babies and your metabolism hates you. And now I treat myself with the occasional Halo Top sans any toppings at all. #adulthoodsucks.
We are such tourists getting all excited to see our first “gender neutral” bathroom haha
Once we exited the Sprinkle Pool the museum took us through little themed rooms and each one had something special. Either an activity for us to do or a treat to try. The theming was SO FUN. And SO well done.
It also worked out really nicely because the whole museum is timed. A group of us entered the sprinkle pool together…and Zach and I were so quick in getting out and heading to the next room that it ended up being JUST the two of us through each exhibit!
This treat was our favorite. It was our first time ever having MOCHI and OH MY GOSH LIFE CHANGING. Seriously y’all. It’s INCREDIBLE. Since I can’t smell a lot of my taste is texture based and the texture is AWESOME. This one we sampled was mint chocolate chip, which I don’t even like, and we both LOVED IT.
Ice Cream andddd Unicorns?!?! Was this place MADE FOR ME?!?!
The chocolate sprinkle covered animal crackers are one of those snacks that I literally cannot keep in my house. I WILL EAT THEM ALL.
When we entered this room we were given instructions to NOT touch the clouds. Me, being a typical first born, I stayed FAR AWAY from the clouds. Zach, being a typical middle child, got AS CLOSE to the clouds as he could without touching them haha
We didn’t even think of asking the staff to take pics of us together in the rooms until the dang cherry room haha
I guarantee that neither of our statements were seen by “thousands of people after us” because I’m sure whoever came in next messed them up. It’s sad we live in a world where supporting our President AND loving Jesus are considered controversial. Right?!?! But hey they are our statements and we can make ’em 🙂
I loved this 50s diner set up and getting to sample more ice cream while learning about the history of ice cream. There were also fun games to play together in this room which were a little wacky (like dancing which we’re terrible at) but so fun!
At my dad’s house as a kid my brother and I hid little green army men ALL OVER the place. Like he still has some hidden in his house now. It became a “thing” and I thought this wall was so cool and such a happy reminder to me of a great memory!
I love some fun ice cream facts!
We had SO MUCH FUN! I ended up buying a super cute ice cream hat as a souvenir for myself. It was a really perfect way to end our trip and I’m so thankful we went that morning as the rest of the day SUCKED BAD and at least we had the memories of our ice cream morning to get us through!
If you have a chance to visit The Museum of Ice Cream I can’t recommend it enough! It would also make a GREAT date night together!
When we left to head back to the hotel we got updates from Delta letting us know that our flight that was originally supposed to depart San Fran at 12:50 PM would now be leaving at 5:00 PM and wouldn’t arrive in Atlanta until after midnight, meaning we’d miss our 9:00 PM connection to Valdosta. We’d have to get a hotel to stay in Atlanta and take the first flight out of Atlanta to Valdosta that next morning.
THANK THE LORD we could arrange childcare. I was stressing! Of course the first time we travel with a super complicated childcare set up this happens!
We went ahead and headed to the airport because there was nothing else to do and we held onto some hope that maybe we could rearrange flights or something.
I want to say here that if/when you ever had ANY sort of issue with travel, especially when it’s NOT your fault. You NEED TO SPEAK UP. It SHOCKED me the number of people who didn’t say ANYTHING about it.
They aren’t just going to offer you up something. They aren’t going to say “our bad, here’s a present.” You HAVE TO ASK.
We rearranged our checked luggage to have some necessities on hand with us for the hotel stay when we checked in and had them still send our bags to Valdosta. Our asking for stuff? It started right then at check in. They checked all of our bags for free (which we didn’t need because we get free bags anyway with our sky miles card) and didn’t worry about weight limits either for us. They also went ahead and gave us vouchers to get lunch for free at the airport AND set us up with a hotel for when we arrived in Atlanta.
Again, we had to ask. We saw a TON of Aflac people with flight issues that day. Some people even SLEPT in the Atlanta airport.
I’m not saying to be rude or to push for something for free just to get something. But this was a big deal! Our flight being delayed over night like that? Having to arrange childcare for FOUR kids? That’s not a small thing. Delta has plans in place for these types of things. So ask. And ask again. And then…ask again.
I have NO SHAME in asking someone to make something right or to do what they can to make it better when they (or their company) are at fault. It never, ever hurts to ask and I ALWAYS do it in a super, super nice way (if we do a good cop/bad cop situation you know whose who haha). 99% of the time the bad cop isn’t even needed because this good cop GETS IT DONE 😉
It changed AGAIN to leaving San Fran at 7 pm and not arriving into Atlanta until after 2 am. Nightmare for sure.
Delta at that point pulled out ALL THE SNACKS they had. Games. Everything.
We got vouchers for free dinner. We sat by the counter and I was just amazed at the people who’d wait in line for ages to only get up at the counter and say stuff like “why is it delayed?” and then just leave with NOTHING. We did kinda spread the word about the food vouchers so others could get them too!
I read our book club book: PS I Still Love You. Cute, but not nearly as cute as the first one!
Crepes for dinner!
Finally heading to ATL!!!
We got into Atlanta after 2 am. The Atlanta airport was DEAD. We were seated ahead of Zach’s parents and did not wait on them because we wanted THE BED. We ended up having to hunt down a Delta employee and they gave us super cute little pouches with overnight necessities.
It was SO AWESOME because the hotel is basically attached to the airport. Like they have a little train thing you take to get there and it was SO smooth and easy. And omg the hotel was SO NICE. I felt so bad that we only got to enjoy it for three hours haha!
When I went to get ready for bed I glanced in the mirror and I could not BELIEVE how good my hair still looked! After that long and crazy of a day!!! I use a L’Ange curling wand and love it!
Zach undressed and BAM so many sprinkles hahahaha
Solid threeish hours. Cool.
How COOL is this hotel? I seriously just LOVED IT!
On the flight for hoooommmmmeeeee!!!!!
After ALL that mess ALL that Delta would do was give us 11,000 sky miles each. Which is just crazy that they wouldn’t do more. I called and sat on hold and pushed and pushed and pushed to even get that amount. Yes, still nice. But when you get me on the phone I won’t stop asking until you give me more haha. I finally got the 11,000 miles each and just called it a day since our flight was boarding and I knew once I got home I’d NEVER take the time to call again.
So we’ll take our 11,000 miles 😉 I also assume they probably wouldn’t give us more due to the fact that we didn’t even pay for our tickets…Aflac did haha. But hey we were the ones who were inconvenienced, not Aflac right?
It was a sucky way to end what was a truly incredible trip. We LOVED San Francisco and have it on our list of places where we’d like to take the kids to visit. It is expensive so it’s not one we can take any time soon but it’ll def be a place we go before Kye graduates high school haha.
We are so thankful Zach works for a company that recognizes the hard work of their employees and that goes above and beyond in rewarding those efforts. Zach has a great team working with him and we’re so excited to have more people join us from Valdosta for the next trip…NYC in April 2020! (Aflac announced no trip in 2019 while they switch over to a new travel date for convention…April will be the new time rather than October). We’re already counting down!
Thank you SO MUCH again to everyone who helped make this trip possible. We are so blessed with amazing people who love our babies and helped above and beyond and so thankful for trustworthy babysitters who adore our children too!