Wednesday, August 25, 2010

road trip 2010 :: i left my heart (and a whole lot of money) in san francisco

the last few days of our two week holiday were spent in the beautiful city of san francisco.  part of the deal that b and i made was that if we were going to spend 5 days "roughing it", then we were going to spend 5 days in luxury. well, it didn't quite work out that way.  let's be honest, we can't afford luxury in san francisco.  and we can't afford five days either.  so we settled on 2 comfortable nights.

we drove over the golden gate bridge, parked the car and walked about half way across.  it was windy and cold but we were able to handle it.

and of course take a family picture.

on our way to the hotel we took a detour down lombard street.
i forgot how impressive this is.  and being in the tahoe made it just a little more outrageous.  we kept saying, "can you imagine living in one of these houses and having to move in."  the kids thought it was great.  and i knew we were in for a good time.  until we got to the hotel.

b found a place that offered a kid's suite, available and affordable.  we should have taken that as a sign.  as soon as we drove onto the block where the hotel was located, i started getting nervous.  it looked a  bit sketchy but we wanted to check it out inside before making a decision.

we checked in and got to our room.  it was pretty cool.  the kids had their own room with their own bathroom, bunkbeds, a tv, computer and chalkboard.

there was a living area with microwave and tv.  and then a room for me and b with our own bathroom and tv.  i figured as long as we were in the hotel it would be ok.  b quickly got acquainted with the city map and the desk clerk.  we thought we would take the trolley to a pizza place that was recommended by a friend.  so we ventured out of the hotel and that's where the adventure began.

i guess i should start by telling you that this year's theme at the kids' school was earth @ cha.  they learned about recycling, pollution and taking care of the planet.  do you get where this is going?  we walked about one block and the kids started getting nervous.  we were hoping to get a city pass that we could use for the three days and  not have to take our car out, parking is insane.  but the booth was out of tickets.  so we paid for 5 trolley passes ($50 for 5 round trip tickets).

while the boys and i were waiting in line for the trolley, andrew, who is now glued to my leg, starts crying.  he said, "why don't people care?  why do they throw their trash on the floor?  i'm scared" and more devastating, "i want to go home."

i was crushed.  i thought this was going to be fun and i never imagined it would cause them stress.  i found myself in one of those mommy moments where the world is spinning around you and you're not sure how to make it stop.  it is in those moments that i am grateful that b is my partner.  he saw my panic and frustration and took over.  "we are getting on this trolley.  we are eating pizza. and we are going to have a good time."  instantly everything felt better.

i had a talk with the boys that life is not just cha, and the valley.  this is a big city with a lot more people and different from what we are used to experiencing.  but there is also a lot more to offer and see here.  sometimes you have to step out of your comfortable and safe life and experience something that challenges you.  it was true for both them and me.  we all felt better once we were sitting on the trolley.

and we managed to find the restaurant and have some pizza.  and spill water all over the floor in the first five minutes we were there.

and topped it off with some gelato.
and a smile.

on the walk back to the hotel, i knew everything was going to be alright.

day 2 was going to be trying to pack everything that we wanted to do into one day.  we took advantage of the free parking and took the kids to the exploratorium.  it's a hands on kid's museum, basically a giant museum filled with experiments that the kids could do on their own.

they ran from one place to the next figuring things out and learning and having fun.

despite the fact that we paid for all day admission for 5 we got hungry and left to go to fisherman's wharf.  parking was a hassle of course.  and we ended up at the boudin sourdough bakery.  we opted to eat upstairs in the restaurant instead of in the busy cafe downstairs.
this was the mini clam chowder bowl and oh so yummy.  the kids enjoyed the pizza.
and we all appreciated a little bit of calm and getting off our feet for a while.  but this little lunch costs us close to $100.  if we had eaten in the cafe it would have been a whole lot cheaper.  but seeing everyone happy was priceless.

another thing i wanted to get to was a museum on the wharf that had old arcade games.  and more importantly an old photo booth.

then we walked around for a bit.
we went back to the hotel to relax before going to the giant's game.  b bought tickets on stub hub for us.  we took the muni from union square to the park.  another interesting experience where they didn't have change in the machines and we couldn't get tickets and the kids needed special tickets and we had to wait in line and it smelled like pee and there was a woman/man running up and down the escalator laughing and singing and the kids thought that was hysterical but had no idea what it was all about and sofia and andrew were chasing each other around while we waited for b to get the tokens and it was stressful . . . again.

but we got on and made it to at&t park.  and it was amazing during the day
and at night
and they won.  and the kids had corn dogs and hot chocolate even though we thought we could get away from buying food by having that expensive lunch.  and we were all happy.

and we didn't want it to end.

on the last morning of our trip i got to have a little time to myself to do some shopping.  with my coffee in hand i ventured out into the city to see what looked interesting.  and it was all interesting
and pretty.
and i thought, i could have done this when i was younger.  move to the city and live on my own and grow up and step out of my sheltered life.
who am i kidding?  on day one, i would have been crying and begging to go home just like andrew.  it's just who i am.

but when i got back to the hotel i thought b had gotten a job at the hotel.
but it turns out he was just using the fax machine. and then we left.  it turns out this "luxury" leg of our vacation cost us more than the previous 10 days.  wow!  but what fun we had.

we packed into the car for the last time and took the 6 hour drive home. wanna see what happens with 3 kids in a car for 6 hours?
and that is the end.


Gaby said...

So, so cute! I'm glad to know you guys made it home safely--and all in one piece!

Melissa said...

I love the video! And the story about Andrew crying broke my heart, yet made me laugh at the same time. Glad you guys had such a nice trip. Love you all!