Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer in San Fran, day 2

I meant to do these two posts back-to-back, but ended up going camping and having too much fun (that will all be posted at my Unlikely Kayaker, so anyway, here is day two's highlights.

We started by taking little Wesley to the nearby park for a nice long walk. I'm always a little surprised to see a large natural area in such an urban environment, but it had a very calming and re-energizing effect on all of us.

Well, after Monday's successful drive into the city sans modern navigation devices (I do it OLD SCHOOL with a Google Maps print out, baby!) I was feeling pretty danged confident. I was trying to figure out what the girls and I should do, and thought Chinatown would be cool (despite Cass' warning that it takes advanced parking skills to go there). I had a tourist book and a map, and was feeling pretty cocky.

That confident feeling faded fast when we got down to that area and I realized I was in way over my head! I went to plan B, which was to go where I'm a bit more familiar, so we ended up touring Lombard Street, and heading back towards Crissy Field, but this time we stopped at the marina end for a change of scenery.

~Notice the Segway riders in the background, imagine signing up for a tour and having them try out your skills on that crazy street! No thanks!~

Before we got to our destination we stopped at a sandwich shop called Mr Pickles on Lombard St. It's definitely worth a stop if you need lunch in the city. The sandwiches were delicious and the staff was extremely nice. The young man who rung us up, was very friendly and after handing over our large bag of lunch items, he couldn't remember if he'd put in cookies for the kids' meals so he added 3 more (1 for me!). (And we ended up with 6 cookies to eat, yum!)

The girls entertained themselves trying to outrun the waves, and I enjoyed watching all the windsurfers and sailboats.

We then met up with Cam and Cassie for a visit to the Pirate Store and other interesting shops on Valencia St. (And yes we were mopped.)

Getting out of the city was extremely stressful what with trying to find a gas station (they really don't like people to drive, apparently), Nat's bladder at full capacity, and a scary amount of afternoon traffic.

Both girls were very tired, very cranky and in sensory overload mode. Nat kept going on and on about how the mountains were so much better than the city, so I knew she was homesick! She kept asking on our way home, "Are we in the mountains yet?" When I finally told her yes, I was surprised when she rolled her window completely down.

When asked what she was doing, she told me, "I'm getting all that yucky city air out and letting the mountain air in!"

Yep, it was tons of fun, but also nice to be back in the quiet pines!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

...A Summer in San Francisco

Remember the quote from Mark Twain: "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco". Well, unlike old Samuel Clemens' visit, we were just there in summertime and barring a few foggy/windy/chilly moments, for the most part San Francisco was wonderful and quite summerish.

The girls and I took a quick overnighter trip to visit Cam and Cass. Upon entering the city via the Bay Bridge I was greeted by the toll booth attendant with a "Hello, my sistah!" and then upon looking in at the girls, "You all are beautiful!" Well, with a greeting like that, I knew it would be a good trip! (Miss Moo thought he was weird, but I corrected her and told her he was making the most of his job!)

Since Cam and Cassie were working, I took the girls to Crissy Field/Fort Point. Here were the highlights from day one:

It's FREE. Parking and everything! (and one gets bonus points for finding FREE anything in SF!

Yummy sandwiches from the Warming Hut

Beach, beach, beach and stinky crab shells

DOLPHINS!!! Yes, we spotted dolphins in the bay. They are Miss Moo's favorite animal, and everytime they surfaced she was so excited she would let out a little "squeeeeeee!" Very cute!

The Foghorn from the Golden Gate bridge

Fort Point! I didn't even know you could go in that brick building at the base of the bridge and then to find out you could walk through it (for FREE!). It was creepy, and exciting and fascinating and I LOVE old buildings. And a couple was getting their wedding portraits there. This was my personal highlight.

We then met Cam and Cass and went to see the new Winnie the Pooh movie. Cam and Cass both grew up with the original Pooh (well on VIDEO, me, I grew up with him as a tv special) so we all had high expectations. And thankfully, it was very well done, very much like the original, very charming, and lots of laughs. I wonder if any other 24-year-olds would be excited to see it? That's what I love about Cam and Cass--they're still embracing their childhood.

We then spent time with Cam and Cass and their adorable rescue dog, Wesley. It was our first time meeting him, and oh what a charmer he is. So easy going and loveable! He ditched his owners at bedtime and spent the night cuddled up with me and the girls.