Alright, here we go! Get your seat belts on, our journey is beginning. Here's me and the kids ready for take-off:
Since we were already in the Mission district for lunch, we decided to swing by Mission San Francisco de Asîs. Ruslana enjoyed seeing a mission in person since she studied them in school last year.
Oh, and how could I forget. A true highlight of my life, witnessing a nighttime segway tour. The flashing helmet lights were a great touch. If only we could've gotten in on this earlier:
After we grabbed some fish and chips for lunch (can you tell we like to eat on vacation? #sorrynotsorry), we took the ferry over to Alcatraz island.
|Ruslana on her very first boat ride|
Levi had a BLAST walking around the island. He looked like quite the jail bird trying to escape!
After our time at Alcatraz, we headed back to the city for the trips main event (yes, even better then witnessing the segway tour!). Remember "Marjorie," Ruslana's best friend that we raised money for (read previous post here)? Well, that sweet little girl, whose real name is Tyna, made her way home to America in March and for Ruslana's birthday we planned a reunion. And to make things even funner, Tyna had no idea that we were coming. Check out Ruslana surprising Tyna at dinner:
After that moment, these two were inseparable. And it was precious. They picked up right where they had left off, only now they were both speaking English!
Here are the girls with their siblings. Their FAMILY! Something just a year and a half ago these two couldn't have even fathomed. God is so awesome.
Next up our families headed to Ghiradelli for an early birthday celebration. They made Ruslana a special birthday sundae and even came out and sang to her. It was a lot of fun!
After we finished our dessert, Tyna came with us to our apartment and the girls had a slumber party. Since they grew up sleeping in the same room at the orphanage, they were very excited to share a room once again. I let Ruslana open one of her birthday gifts early--a "sleepover kit" containing a pair of BFF PJ's, a bag of chips, and a Snickers bar for each girl, as well as a travel Trouble board game for them to play.
|Ready for bed in their matching BFF PJ's|
After a fun filled night, Ruslana was able to wake up on her birthday with her best friend right by her side! It doesn't get much better than that. We went to breakfast, then took the BART back to meet Tyna's family.
After the girls said their goodbyes (and promised to Face Time soon!), our family headed to the Raider game.
There's not too much I'm going to say about the game. Maybe taking a one year old, well heck, any age person to a Raider game in Oakland isn't the world's greatest idea. But, we created a memory and Ruslana loved seeing the game up close. After the game we hopped on a plane and flew home.
We had so much fun on our mini-vacation spending time together as a family, celebrating our daughters last birthday as a preteen (yikes) and seeing Ruslana be reunited with her very best friend on American soil. It will surely be a weekend that we will never forget!