Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Credera by the Sea

A few months ago my sweet husband was offered a job.  He wasn't looking for one at the time, but was intrigued by the company.  He visited with them.  We talked.  He decided to go ahead and leave the company he had been with for the past 13 years.

Two weeks later the company that he had been with started laying off employees.

We both breathed a sigh of relief when we realized what our God had saved us from. (Thanks again God!)

But the amazing story doesn't end there.  Turns out Credera, his new employer, was planning a company trip.  A trip for all of the employees, as in every single one, and their spouses.  "Hello, welcome to the company.  And by the way, you and your spouse are invited to spend 4 days and 3 nights with us, all expenses paid, at the Fairmont on Knob Hill in San Francisco."

Cool.  I didn't think it would really happen.  People say a lot of things.  It wasn't until we were packing to leave that it hit me.  I was terrified.  I shouldn't have been.


This is the entrance to the beautiful hotel.  We couldn't have wanted anything more.  A little less might have been dandy.  Turns out Michelle Obama was having a fund raiser there during our stay.  The employee, get to know each other, game of  "Assassin" was curtailed for obvious reasons.  Seeing secret service agents loitering was interesting, although why they call them secret is beyond me.  They stuck out like sore thumbs.

The view from our room was beautiful.  We could see the roof top gardens, and downtown San Francisco.

It was pretty at night too.

San Francisco Winery 6

Our first night there we were treated to a fancy dinner at The Winery.  It didn't look like much from the outside.

Inside was pretty enough to make a wedding planner's heart leap for joy and any bride giddy.  

The table decorations were charming - definitely Pinterest worthy.

The food was delicious....even the mouse cake.  (We were a little worried about that.  So glad it was a misspelling.)


After a good nights rest, day two was full of adventures.  They had planned a team building scavenger hunt on Fisherman's Wharf.  I have to say I was skeptical.  I hadn't realized that my sweet heart worked with people that were mostly 18 - 28 years younger than us.  Our 27 years of marriage was only beat by one couple...who had been married 30 years.  The rest of the couples were either newly wed or in their teens.

The group was split into teams of 8 or 9 persons, randomly  mixed by age and type of work.  We spent the after noon chasing our 20 something year old team mates around the wharf taking pictures, answering questions, and being generally silly.

This laughing lady was in a penny arcade museum, Musee Mecanique.  She laughed for 1 minute 20 seconds straight, which was somewhat unnerving.  You can hear it if click the link...but be is kind of creepy.

Part of the game included interacting with various characters around the pier.  This is a picture of Gilbert and the illusive Rooster! 

We chased up and down and round about for several hours....did I tell you that we were playing with people a lot younger than San Francisco, the city built on hills...big hills.  It was exhausting.  When the game was over we headed back to the hotel to get spiffed up for dinner.

I have no pictures of that event....however, it was lovely.  AND we found out that our team won the hunt! Who would have thought that?!  We won, even though we were handicapped with two old(ish) party poopers.  The prize was a nifty Chromecast gadget for each team member.  Cool.


Day two was a free day!  We had our choice of tours and a $300 debit card to buy food with.

We chose a tour that took us across the Golden Gate to Muir Woods and Sausalito.  

Muir Woods

The woods were lovely, dark, and deep.  Everything you would expect of them.  We had a wonderful stroll in the little canyon where they grow.  We enjoyed reminiscing about another time and place where we did the same thing for the very first time.  (Gilbert grew up near Yosemite.)


Sausalito was pretty, a tiny town of tall houses stacked by the bay.  They reminded me of salt and pepper shaker cottages displayed on a set of shelves. 


Lunch time found us eating crab and enjoying this view.  See all of the boats on the bay?!  We are told the weather was unusual...which seems to be the norm for everyone lately...we enjoyed the sunshine immensely. God planned a perfect day for us.


At this point we abandoned the tour and took the ferry back to the city.  On the way we met this fellow. Pete is the self proclaimed "oldest living hippy." He and his dachshund friend entertained the crowd while we waited to board ship.  His dog was adorable...and I'm not sure, but I am fairly confident that the dog played and sang better than Pete did.  It makes me think that with enough nerve you can make a living doing just about anything. (Please don't tell my boys that.)


On the way from the dock to the trolley stop we discovered Noah's.  We had to stop.  It isn't every day you can have a bagel from your son's bakery....not really, but the name is what drew us in.  (Yes, we did buy him a mug with the logo on it.)  Bagels and cream cheese was the perfect dinner to take back to our room after pigging out on crab for lunch.

Cable Cars

The picture doesn't do the "hill" justice.  All over the city the streets were steep, greater than 45 degrees, hills that terraced at intersections.  We tried walking up a few.  Even at sea level there was not enough oxygen to convince my lungs and legs that we should keep walking.  Thank you Credera for providing us with passes to ride the cable cars!  It was quite an adventure.  No seat belts.  Often standing room only.  These cars went up and down the streets all day long.  I kept thinking that they would never be allowed in Texas...besides the fact that no one would want to ride them in the extreme heat...I don't think Texans are patient enough to deal with passengers darting out into the street to catch a ride, or passengers hanging off the sides.  Perhaps native San Franciscans are just grateful that they don't have to walk.


We had breakfast with the gang from Credera.  Would you believe, out of a group of around 300 people, we ate with two couples who both lived within a block of us?!  One of the wives even taught kindergarten where our oldest sons attended elementary school, at the time that they were there.  What are the odds of that happening?  I honestly look forward to bumping into them at the grocery store.

Which brings me to the end of my story and the most important part.  I did have a good time.  I didn't expect to. I was afraid and intimidated by people with jobs, people that I didn't know.  I didn't know what was expected of me.  In retrospect I know that they didn't really expect anything at all from me...other that I come and have a good time and get to know them.  

It humbles me to know that God planned this too.  He planted my husband in this company - with overtly Christian values and a belief in family.  He knew that it was time for a change, that this trip was in the works, that it would be a blessing.  He knew that it would all be good.  How could I ever have doubted.

Do me a favor?  The next time I get worked up about doing something, the next time that panic attacks set in and drive me over the brink, remind me that God is good.  He is good all the time, and I have nothing to worry about.


Benta AtSLIKstitches said...

Oh Cindy, that's amazing, I'm so happy that this worked out for both of you, and thank you for my mini vacation in San Francisco!!!!

Mina said...

It is amazing how all things work together. What a wonderful trip!

Carla said...

What a blessing! I enjoyed reading this. I think I should visit the States again. What an amazing company to care for their employees like that. God is good

Susan said...

I feel like I went on that weekend trip with you, what fun! I'm glad you had such a nice time, it's great to get a change of scenery and what a fun break! Thanks for sharing that with us, Cindy! Congrats on DH's new job, too.

Sheila said...

What an adventure - know exactly what you mean about those hills - we visited briefly last year and I thought I would never get to the top of Powell(?), it was truly painful!RENT egidsa

Celtic Thistle said...

What a great trip and thoroughly well deserved by the sounds of it!

Jan said...

What a fun trip and you got to bond with all those people! God is good!

Lynne said...

From someone who has just bought a new house with a beautiful view and sold their house of 22 years because they believe God planned it -- God is good, all the time!

I'm so glad you had a great time and Gilbert has a lovely new job.

PS there will be many posts read and not so many comments -- decluttering and downsizing takes an enormous amount of time and energy!

Angela L said...

I am so happy I found your blog! This post was a blessing to me to remember how good God is. Thanks for your insight.