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Clara’s Visit!

Last summer, we invited our niece Clara to visit, but for a variety of reasons it didn’t happen. However, this summer she finished high school, so her parents sent her out here to celebrate her graduation. So we got to hang out with Clara for a week and be tourists, and we got to meet her adorable new dog, Nero! (As always, square pics are iPhone.)

The cats weren’t super fond of Nero, and since he wants everyone to be his friend, it bummed him out completely—so much so that on his first day here, when we left him in the back yard for a bit while we went out to lunch, he tried to knock on the bedroom door (which I’d neglected to latch) through the screen, which of course was no match for him so he got right in! (The cats were fine: They simply hid under the bed—which probably tortured him further, but he at least got to eat their lunch—LOL! And the screen already had holes in it from the cats over the years, so I actually didn’t really care because now we have a brand new, stronger one. But I think Nero felt badly!)

The next day we took him with us to Chipotle, and, as he did everywhere he went, he made friends with an employee, and so they gave him a big bowl of rice and chicken. It was so cute! Nero is such a sweet dog, and we loved having him here. The cats were actually pretty good with him by the end of their visit—I think Phi and he would have ended up being buddies if they’d had a little more time. He rekindled my desperation for a dog, much to Tom’s dismay. Maybe I’ll start thinking more seriously about that for when Em heads off to college next year!


On Saturday we went to the San Francisco California Academy of Sciences. Em and I hadn’t gone in years, and I am not sure if Tom had ever been, so it was fun. Two funny things happened there, though: First, a butterfly got stuck in my hair (I’m not a fan of bugs but I think I held it together pretty well—Em remained unimpressed with my bravery…) And second, Nero was scared of the penguins! Usually nothing fazes him, so it was pretty amusing. So Clara got him a penguin toy at the end of the day. That one was much more his speed!



After the museum, we headed out to Ocean Beach for a bit, and then we took Clara to see the Golden Gate Bridge.



After that we still had a little time to kill before our dinner reservations, so we visited the Palace of Fine Arts. The Palace holds such a special place in my heart (we even had our engagement pictures taken there!); I am crushed that there are talks of converting it to a hotel or some other money-making venture. It would be such a tremendous loss for our beloved city…



At the Palace we also found a family of swans! The daddy was there, too, but he was less interested in posing for me…


After dinner we took Clara to see the dancing lights on the Bay Bridge. It was a treat to be there at dusk—so beautiful!


The next day we took the girls to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. It started off a bit chilly, but the clouds slowly burned off and it was really a perfect day. We rode rides, shopped, played games (Clara won another toy for Nero!), and hung out on the beach for a while. Afterwards we hit Marianne’s for some ice cream, and then we drove the long but pretty way home along Highway 9.




And the girls let me play with my slow-motion app on my iPhone. I am not convinced I am using it quite right, but still it was fun!


We spent her last two days with us mostly eating and shopping, both of which meant lots of boring waiting for Nero. But he never complained!


We loved having them here, and absolutely want to do it again one day!