After taking Jessi away for the weekend I wanted to do Mandi's weekend pretty close behind so the girls could talk with the same amount of knowledge and understanding. This is always the pressure when raising twins. Giving them equal information but making it unique to their personality and understanding. Honestly at times I feel pulled and have a bit of anxiety that I don't do it well. But I sure give it my best effort. I work diligently at keeping things as equal and fair as possible. But there are times that for whatever the reason it comes out looking a little different. This trip I intentionally planned to be extremely fair and equal and I feel like I accomplished that. In my last post I mentioned the program I used for this purity trip so if you want to refer to what I used look at Jessi's trip.
For Mandi I planned a San Francisco weekend. My best friend's single sister lives in San Francisco in a high rise condo in the city. She offered to let Mandi and I come and stay in her spare guest room. I thought it would be the perfect place to share a sweet memory together. So we left on a Friday this time on an airplane. While we flew we each had an earbud in and listened to our tapes. We discussed the questions privately together and enjoyed our short plane ride. We did not rent a car but my friend came and picked us up at the airport. She gave us a fast San Francisco tour and showed us all the fun spots. We ate lunch with her at Fisherman's Wharf. It was a perfect day and we enjoyed burgers and french fries out on the water. She then took us back to her place which was close to the trolley and we left our luggage at her place and began to explore the city on our own. We took the trolley down to Union Square and shopped together. It was fun watching Mandi try on clothes and discover her style. I love this kid. It's fun to watch Mandi become braver with her styles. I am used of Jessi trying out new things but Mandi is an athlete and dresses in that fashion. But little by little I am watching her become more style conscious and she always makes great decisions when it comes to appropriate outfits. It is so fun to watch her become more grown up in her decisions. I love watching her grow.
We ended up eating dinner in a cute little Italian restaurant. We listened to another talk while we ate and then spent our time discussing the material. Time went by so fast as we laughed and shared different stories. Mandi is starting to like a boy at school. He is a Christian and comes from a seemingly nice family but to be honest now that it is high school I do not know much about them. He is also a twin and I think she likes that. He has an identical brother and they share many of the same friends. She seems to just be having fun getting to know new friends at her big school and this new friendship seems to be making things a bit easier for her for now. I am thankful to have this important time with her! It came at a perfect time.
The next day Ashley went to work early and we did not even see her. Mandi and I had a plan for the day. We would rent bikes and ride them across the Golden Gate Bridge. We rode the trolley all the way down to Fisherman's Wharf, from there we rented our bikes. We rode from Fisherman's Wharf, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and all the way to Tiburon (22 miles). Once we got to Tiburon we ate a late lunch and caught a ferry back to Fisherman's Wharf. Along our way we would stop at different great spots and listen to our tape series. It could not have been a nicer day for a bike ride! Once we got back to Fisherman's Wharf we raced all the other bikes off the ferry to the bike store about a mile away.
With Mandi I do everything athletic. It is the way she likes to communicate. I am good with that. She is a shoulder to shoulder kind of girl. She likes to keep really busy and to keep moving. She loves competition and she loves being active and not just sitting and talking. To be honest even though it is different than Jessi I love that they are not just alike! It makes me work harder to understand both of them! I say that with Mandi you go through the back door to communicate with her like doing something sporty with her and then chatting afterwards or during. With Jessi going through the front door seems to work. Just mention to Jess you want to talk and it seems to work. She will sit and talk sharing her ideas with little hesitation. Mandi would rather run a race with you and share in that experience. She seems to thrive off of challenging herself. She loves new experiences and appears to be energized them. I have worked hard at trying to understand this about the two of them and to separate their differences. The largest challenge is changing my personal styles of communication fast enough to be a good communicator with both of them.
After our bike ride we ran (and I mean ran) up the hill to catch the trolley. THANK GOD I work out!! Honestly Mandi is hard to keep up with athletically! She is in amazing shape due to all her basketball training. We then went and grabbed dinner together. By the time we got back to the condo we were tired.
The next day we decided to go and see Berkeley University. We rode the BART out to the university and we toured the campus. It was beautiful! We went into many of the shops close to campus and we had a fun time seeing something new. We ate lunch in their cafeteria. I wanted to show her what college life would look like. I know it is way early but I wanted her to start dreaming. Afterwards we rode the BART back and shopped Union Square. We ate dinner and went back to the condo to finish up our series. We talked and answered the questions.
Our final day we toured a little more and then we went to the Drake Hotel for our final dinner. I had bought her the perfect ring at Tiffany's. Her ring was silver and was shaped like a square. It was amazing and looked just like her. I gave her the small light blue box and she opened it and told me how much she loved the ring. We talked about everything we had discussed over the last few days and we each shared how it was for each of us. I can not write how special this time was for me! The joy of having Mandi to myself for the last few days was amazing. I felt like I understood her so much better! I hope to do this again it was so great!
I decided to take Mandi to the Drake because I wanted our time to end somewhere that would last the test of time and the Drake Hotel was the perfect place. I did my research before going to make sure I would pick a place that had history and was somewhat different. That is exactly what the Drake Hotel was. A man opens the door in full uniform and you are treated like royalty there. It was a perfect compliment to Jessi's night at the Hotel Del. Sharing this very special time with the girls is a dream for me! My prayer is that it will mean something special to them as they grow into adulthood. Who knows maybe Mandi will bring her own daughter to the Drake and tell her of our fun time together in San Francisco. And maybe she will continue the tradition. Who knows. But what I do know is that this weekend will be another treasure in my heart! It grew our relationship in ways that are priceless. I did not spend that much money on this adventure but it was worth every single penny! I will never forget it!!
Thank you my dear Mandi! You were such a blast to be with! I pray that you will carry what we shared together in your heart and that your new understanding will help you become a woman that knows when to say NO and knows the values that she wants to keep to. I love you with all my heart!! I will never forget our time together!