Monday, January 31, 2011


Following our very busy Friday, we woke up incredibly early to drive up to Tahoe to go skiing at Heavenly.  This is what Erin and TJ planned to do over Erin's birthday weekend so Darren and I joined.  Darren got off to a bit of a rocky start due to Erin's trial by crashing but we ended the day mostly crash free.

This is the view of the gondola.  This is near the middle of the actual skiing area and goes up another 2,500 feet or so on the mountain that is not visible from this side.

The views of Lake Tahoe were breathtaking!

On a lift to the view above.

Enjoying the view while skiing.

Sharing a lift with Erin & TJ.

The views on the the tram down the mountain after a long day of skiing.

Friday, January 28, 2011


The original reason for our trip to San Francisco was to surprise Erin for her 30th birthday!  I'm not sure how we pulled it off but I've never seen anyone so surprised.  I even spotted a few tears! Erin was so excited to see us and that we flew all the way to Cali just to surprise her on her birthday. What a great feeling!

I just wish I had a picture of the look on her face. I'll never forget it!

The free gigantic piece of pie the restaurant gave Erin.

Happy Birthday Erin! So glad I got to spend your 30th with you!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Attack of the Sea Lions

We saw this funny fight between three of the larger sea lions.  I'm not sure who won, but it was humorous to watch!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sea Lions

After disembarking the ship, we ventured over to see the sea lions on Pier 39.  Typically there are hundreds of them there during the winter, but not this day.

This guy liked to pose for us.

The babies piled on top of each other were so cute!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

U.S.S. Jerimiah O'Brien

After Alcatraz we had a great lunch of crab at Fog Harbor.  Don't mind Darren refusing to smile.

After eating, we headed over to the U.S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien, a Liberty Ship used during World War II.

Liz demonstrating the ships "big guns."

The tour even allowed us to go down into the engine.  I always knew the engines on these enormous ships would be huge, but I wasn't expecting it to be 4 stories tall and equally as wide and deep.  Pictures couldn't accurately show the vastness of the engine room, so I just got this picture of the ship's throttle.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Rock

Last weekend in San Francisco, I got to venture out to Alcatraz, The Rock, for the second time taking Darren and Liz with me who had never been there before.  After a really late night flying in the night before we were up bright and early for our 10 am boat to Alcatraz.  The weather was cool but definitely warmer than the last time I was there in mid April!

On our boat ride, it was starting to clear so you could see Alcatraz and both the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges.

We were greeted with a warning assisting prisoners.

And a nice view of the new lighthouse.

This is the old lighthouse.  After building the prison, it was too small and the light could not be seen from the other side of the island.

The prison itself is very nondescript.  It is very spartan and what you'd expect a prison from the early 20th century to be like.  The cells were only 6 feet wide and 10 feet long, about the size of my walk-in closet....

The views from the island are some of the best of the city and the bay.

One more view of the new lighthouse.

And a few pictures of Liz and I on the way back to the mainland.

And one more of "The Rock," after the fog and clouds had lifted.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Marlene!

Darren's mom's birthday was this past Sunday.  Since we were already in Chicago, to celebrate, we took her out to the Texas Roadhouse for lunch.  Darren's sister made sure to tell our waitress that it was her mom's birthday so they could do something to embarrass her!  At the end of the meal, they rolled up a saddle and made her sit on it and wave her napkin in the air so everyone could see her.

If the embarrassment of sitting on a saddle in the middle of a restaurant wasn't enough,  the waitress had asked how old she was and the proceeded to announce to the entire resteraunt that she just turned 66.  This is her face as the waitress was announcing her age to all present.

Fortunately she took it in stride and I think she had a really nice birthday lunch with her whole family present!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dan & Pantila's Reception

You know when you get Darren's med school friends together you are in for a great party.  Dan and Pantila did not disappoint and threw one heck of a party!

Darren and Safa.

Darren and me.  Too bad you can't see the red shoes I'm also sporting!

When the libations are flowing with Darren's friends, you never know what will happen... But typically it involves all of the guys dancing together while the girls just shake their heads and laugh.

I really can't tell you what is going on here... But it sure does look like Brian and Darren are giving Safa kisses.

Many self portraits ensued towards the end of the night.  Here is one of the better ones of Kelly and me.

And one of the blurry but still cute ones of me with Darren.

And a parting goodbye shot of Kevin, Beth and baby girl.  Notice Beth sporting her 5 month baby bump?  Yea, me either... She's still quite tiny!

Hopefully I can get a picture of Darren with all of the Loyola guys, but that one wasn't taken with my camera.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dan & Pantila's Wedding

Over the weekend we were back in Chicago for the wedding of one of Darren's medical school friends.  Dan is from Chicago and Pantila is from Thailand.  They met during their residencies at Dartmouth in New Hampshire.  You just never know where you will meet the love of your life! 

They were married at Ascension Catholic Church in Oak Park which was absolutely beautiful and bright.

Pantila's father was able to come from Thailand to walk his daughter down the aisle.

Dan and Pantila while they are saying their vows.

And putting on the rings.

Now presenting Doctors Dan and Pantila Bateman!