There are really only a few things I miss about our pre-kid days – Saturday morning sleep-ins top that list, but travel is a close second. If we were braver, more easy-going parents we would just jet-set with baby in tow, but the thought of the packing and the plane ride and the early bedtime-imposed curfew has deterred us from venturing any farther than Portland…until now! On Sunday we boarded a plane bound for San Francisco – Shane had registered for a work-related conference and Jules and I decided to test our travel mojo and tag along.
We left our house at 8 am sharp, proud of ourselves for packing lightly enough that we were able to wrangle everything onto lightrail without much fuss. We had timed our flight during Juliette’s morning naptime, hoping she would fall asleep during takeoff and snooze for most of the trip, but pssshhhh. How could she sleep when she had Mom and Dad at her beck and call, ready and willing to pump her full of snacks and read her every one of the three books we had packed 15 times over? She knew she had us over a barrel and wasn’t going to do anything she didn’t want to. But it was fine – we settled for a 20-minute doze and let it go at that, as she was generally pretty happy (and quiet!).
We took a cab to the hotel from the airport and have never been so relieved to hear those four magic words: “Your room is ready”. After six hours of being strapped in her stroller and held in our laps, Juliette was on the verge of going bonkers – we walked in the door and set her loose. She flew around the room like a tornado, tipping over the garbage can, throwing the bedside magazines on the floor, testing out the swivel of the desk chair, and then pausing just for a moment to take in the view from the 24th floor.
After a pretty impressive struggle, she finally crashed for a two-hour nap and woke up ready to take on the town. The three of us walked through the evening bustle of Chinatown and landed at Tacolicious in North Beach for dinner. Shane loved the chorizo tacos and I went a little nuts over the churros and chocolate. Jules might have overdone it on the made-to-order guacamole.
We took our time walking back to the hotel, enjoying the warm glow of the city as the sun set on SF.
We stayed out until 7:45 (!) and then headed back for bathtime, books, and bed. We’ve still been squeezing Juliette into her blue plastic tub at home, thinking she needed the stability, but it turns out she’s ready to bathe like a big kid!
By 8:15 the baby was asleep and we were officially in for the night. Thank goodness for a view, at least…
Shane and I climbed under the covers and plugged our headphones into the laptop to watch an episode of West Wing – it was kind of nice, actually, turning in so early. I guess sleep trumps cocktails these days.
Jules and I walked with Shane over the Moscone Center on Monday morning and said goodbye to him as he headed into his all-day conference. My stomach flipped just a little as he walked away – baby and I were on our own in a city I really don’t know all that well. What would we do with ourselves? Coffee and pastries seemed like a good place to start, so we grabbed a latte, an almond croissant and some yogurt and sat on the patio at La Boulange.
We walked around for awhile and then went back to our room for a mid-morning nap – Juliette had come down with a fever in the middle of the night (this girl’s colds have the WORST timing!) and she desperately needed some rest. Oh, my poor baby…
She seemed to be on the upswing when she woke up and we were both a little stir-crazy, so I buckled her into her stroller and we set out for Sue Bierman playground, near the waterfront. I did my best to sanitize both Jules and the swing she sat in and we spent awhile taking part in her favorite pastime.
When she (okay, I) tired of the swings, we staked out a spot on the grass to eat blueberries and watch some kids play soccer.
The Ferry Building was right across the street from the park, so we walked over there to browse the shops offering artisan cheeses and hand-crafted ceramics. I bought some ice cream at Humphrey Slocombe and the two of us sat on a bench facing the water to watch the ferries go by. My cayenne cantaloupe sorbet was perfection, paired with a scoop of horchata which Jules was more than happy to help me finish off.
We both took a short afternoon snooze back at the hotel and then met up with Shane for an early dinner during a break between his sessions. Juliette and I popped into a couple of stores on our way back to the hotel, and then it was time once again to start the bath-books-bed routine. Shane made it back in time to tuck her in, and I tucked myself in shortly thereafter. Juliette’s fever had bummed me out a bit, and I was still cursing the slammed hallway door that woke her from her afternoon nap, but hey, we were rolling with the punches. San Francisco had come through in a clutch with swing sets, ice cream, and sunshine!