Unexpected trip to San Francisco

The end of March brought sad news of one of our dear family members who had passed away. One of my great-aunts, passed away after a battle with failing health and old age. It brings me peace to know though she raised 12 awesome children who, learned from her, understand what "family" really means. They cherish family gatherings and take advantage of every opportunity to share with one another the special moments in life. Every Christmas, all 12 children and 26 grandchildren come together to laugh, sing, and have a great time together. Mama Anching, the name I called her, always had a smile on her face, welcomed my husband when he joined the family, helped take care of me when I was younger, and is a model wife and mother for me to emulate.

The wake and funeral were to take place in San Francisco, and after some thought, we decided to go and pay our last respects. We packed our bags and our two boys into the care for the day long drive from San Diego to San Francisco. We started at 4AM thought darkness, then fog and drizzle up the 5 North then 101 North.

As we approached San Francisco, we stopped in Mountain View, California to surprise our 5 year old with a quick drive through and photo opportunities at the Google campus. He loves technology and is an avid user of Google products. He knows how to use Google drive, maps, search, apps, and more. He has his own Google Nexus 7 which he's customized himself! At the Google campus, we saw a few Google bikes, a Google self-driving car, the van that takes the images for Google maps, several Android status, and more! We weren't able to go inside any of the buildings, but there was lots to see on the outside.

The Garcia Bros. on Garcia Avenue

Google maps imaging car

Garcia Bros and the Andriod Team: Fro-Yo, Gingerbread, Eclair, Ice Cream Sandwich, Honeycomb, and Jellybean

Google Self-driving car
Google campus bikes
Once in San Francisco, we attending the wake and funeral. My 5 year old had lots of questions about Heaven, death, and old age. In his short life, he's had a few of his relatives pass away. We are open in our discussion about death and Heaven with him. He's asked, "Mom? Grandpa Sergio, Papa Julian, Lolo Peping, and Mama Anching are all together in Heaven?" and "Do kids go to Heaven?". We try and answer these questions are delicately as possible. Since Heaven is described as such a wonderful place in Sunday School, I guess he thinks its not so bad to leave the earthly life for Heaven. It's neat to see his little brain working when he asks his insightful questions.

The visit to San Francisco was bittersweet because the trip was initiated because of a passing away of a family member, but it gave my husband and I a chance to share San Francisco with our kids. San Francisco is a very special place for my husband and I.

San Francisco is the place where I was proposed to, so we brought our sons to the Palace of Fine Arts to the exact place my husband got on one knee and asked "Will you marry me?".

San Francisco is also the place where I ran my first 1/2 marathon, a great accomplishment for me. I pointed out key spots in the city where I ran during the 13.1 miles back in 2011.

We also visited a few other spots:

Golden Gate Bridge
See the bridge hidden amongst the fog and rain?

Lucas Films and Yoda Fountain at the Presidio

On our way home back down the 101 South and 5 South, we stopped at Casa de Fruta to grab a bite to eat and let the kids get their sillies out before the long ride home.

Train ride around the farm for my boys! Daddy looks so happy!
Quick weekend trip to San Francisco was a reminder of the short life we all have. Some pass away after a long life, others leave life with shorter time lived. The death of a loved one always reminds me of the brevity of life. It is a reminder to me to cherish the moments we have and to live life in the moment. It is a lesson my husband and I try to teach our children everyday: be thankful for all our blessings, love and care for those who love and care for us, and never take anything for granted.