Before we drove directly into our old neighborhood for a burrito and some leg stretching, we wandered around Lover’s Cove (in Monterey):We let the kids get out of some of their energyand I sucked in as much of that sunshine combined with ocean and reflected sky that I could.I held hands with my little one and dug my toes in the sand.Meanwhile Paul was simultaneously elated to have found this net and heartbroken to learn we would not let him bring it in the car with us.Before crossing the bridge to our hostel in Marin
we made sure to stop in the Marina and take note of the difference between the bay and the ocean. We looked out at Angel Island and Alcatraz, as I made mental notes that these were places to visit when our kids were a tad bit older.
Happily, we saw friends.
People usually make a place much more special feeling. In the city there are memories everywhere I look but those don’t matter as much as the chance to catch up with or just tag along like we did, and feel like we are in a home away from home. Not tourists or people passing through, but we are hanging out.We made it just in time to celebrate Dallis’ birthday
with pizza, balloon, lotto tickets, and ice cream.We stayed up late and laughed a ton.These are friends we wished would move to Los Angeles (you better at least visit more, now that you bought a Prius).In the morning, we laid under open windows exposing the crispy air of the forest.
We last minute decided the best souvenirs of the city might come from Chinatown.
A special place in Joe’s heart after working there with youth in Americorps.
So we splurged on wooden swords and a red umbrella.
We bought poppers for the walking and sesame balls for snacking.
We played in multiple parks.We tried to catch a sunset
and even asked strangers to take a family photo of the five of us.We saw Daren (which my kids voted for over my offers to take them on the trolley or the Farmer’s Market in the Ferry Building).
We drove across the new Bay Bridge while reading zines
and catching glimpses of the tearing down of the old bridge.
We visited the Exploratorium
and found an echoing tube that sounded like it came from Goggles! by Ezra Jack KeatsHey, this room looked like the Mystery Spot in Santa CruzThere was plenty to see and hear and touch, like any well made kid’s museum.My favorite pieces were these chairs and the “potty fountain”(Olivine’s name for it) which none of my kids would drink out of. It was a water fountain made from a toilet. I saw lots of funny sibling posed photos.A close runner up was this outdoor installation that was modeled after the tides and kids could climb around in it This museum is located on Pier 15, which ten years ago, looked so different. The city is endlessly changing with construction in almost every corner, and at the same time rich with history and world famous landmarks. It is familiar and yet strangely new, all at the same time.Paul wanted to see Giants stadium
(He adores sports these days).
I think these little ones saw more of the city than we thought possible.
We walked a bunch (with no stroller and no baby sack). This scene is from Lands End (out near Sutro Baths with new trails)
Of course we had burritos and falafels in the Mission,
packed up the car at the end of the week,
and headed home under the big sky of highway 5. I read aloud the last fifty pages of the Cycle of Lies book I borrowed from the library (fascinating-about Lance Armstrong).I come home from trips like this:
a. so happy to see my bed
b. fired up to plan our next adventure
c. sad we didn’t have more time (john, serena, nicole, phillip, sojourner’s’) to visit with all the people we miss
d. thankful that we have a family rhythm that includes summers and family vacations