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Sophie Visits for Thanksgiving


My cousin Sophie’s stint in the UK was coming to a close so on her was back to Australia she spent a week with us for Thanksgiving. I can’t remember the last time we took a staycation, was a lot of fun touring her around the Bay Area and hitting spots we hadn’t visited for years… The winter weather was kind and cooperated with clear skies for me to fly down and pick her up from Oakland International Airport, a beautiful night flight back north with a quick diversion over downtown SF and the Golden Gate.

The last time Lisa and I hiked the Sky Trail out in Point Reyes was more than 10 years ago when Tariq and Andrea visited us on their way to New York City. It was a beautiful introduction to the coastal forests of Northern California for Soph, we had a little bit of drizzle during the roughly 13 mile loop from Point Reyes Station out to the coast. Magic spot to eat lunch out there overlooking the ocean toward Point Reyes. No better way to finish off a four-and-a-half hour hike than with oysters and bubbles at the Marshall Store! My calves are still sore four days later…

The kids finished up school for Thanksgiving break so the five of us headed out early to explore SF for the day on Sophie’s third day with us. An early ride across the Golden Gate followed by stops at a few favorite haunts around the city: B. on the Go, Chinatown, a ride on the cable car, ABV for afternoon cocktails, Mission Dolores Park and of course Mission Chinese filled the day quite nicely.

We took it a little easier the day before Thanksgiving, with a morning skate at Snoopy’s ice arena and then a quick stroll through the towering redwoods at Armstrong Woods. I’m awestruck every time I see those trees, no matter how many times I’ve seen them before… Dinner at Diavola was followed by a few to many margaritas around the chiminea!

Thanksgiving was a day of wine sampling and exceptional food, as always. Carol and Greg outdid themselves with late lunch for 20 people, the four grandkids had a ball playing with each other all day. I was exceedingly uncomfortable by the end of the day, that second plate of turkey and mashed potatoes was definitely not necessary. But it didn’t even compare to the second serving I saw Doug put down. I don’t know where that guy puts it.

Was a very fun week, Soph was such an easy guest and the kids loved having her around. Playing piano with them, Snapchatting, stories… She deinfitely topped the guest chart in their book. Come back anytime!

Sophie Visits for Thanksgiving  

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  1. Soph says:

    Awww I love this! What great pics your so talented Sam! Thank you Valtenbergs for having me, proud to be related to such a beautiful family, was sad to say goodbye to you all after such an amazing week, will definitely be back, hope to see you all again in the not too distant future! Xxxx

  2. Cathy says:

    Thanks Sam. Great blog! You really gave Soph a fabulous time. She loved being with you and celebrating Thanksgiving with your extended family too. The turkey Greg cooked made my mouth water and reminded me of our Christmas with All the family to come. It’ll be wonderful to have Sophie home with us this year. Can’t wait to see and speak to her and chat about her whole USA experience from her grand welcome to the modest flight out! On our way to Adelaide now and staying with Jenni. Take care all Valtenbergs and thanks again for keeping us up to date with photos – as it all happened!