When Shane told me that he’d be going to San Francisco again for his annual VMware conference, there was a moment of pause in deciding whether or Juliette and I should join him.  But it was a brief moment of pause – forget about last year’s trip, with it’s plague of roseola and sleepless nights in the hotel!  I’d be danged if I was going to turn down a chance to spend a few days in one of my favorite cities, even with all the challenges that come with bringing our feisty, unpredictable extra baggage.  Let’s do this!

We left Seattle yesterday morning and landed in SF after an exhausting day of travel.  A two-hour flight should be no big deal, but when you factor in security lines and waiting at the gate and waiting in the plane while other passengers board and runway taxi time at both ends and waiting for baggage and getting from the airport to the hotel and checking into your room, you’re looking at about six hours of desperately trying to keep your toddler quiet and entertained.  Six hours of asking, with increasing levels of panic, “Do you want your new coloring book?  Do you want pretzels?  Do you want to play with mama’s phone?  Do you want dried mangoes?  Do you want to look out the window?  Do you want pretzels?  Please, just EAT SOME PRETZELS AND BE STILL!”.  Ok, I’ve dramatized the journey a little, and Juliette did pretty well, but it wasn’t without a great deal of effort on Shane’s and my part.   We were beat by the time we unlocked the door of our room at the Fairmont.  We unpacked a few things, laid down for about three minutes, and then headed back out, because Juliette was plum full of energy after sitting all day!  Thankfully, we found ourselves a boost in the form of margaritas and carnitas tacos at Tacolicious.

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Best-looking kids meal I’ve ever seen.

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We took a spin around Washington Square Park after dinner to burn off those last few wiggles.

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It worked.

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We headed back to our hotel, soaking in that marvelous San Francisco golden hour.

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Hotel living can feel extra-tight with a kid in tow, but it has its perks – I can lay in bed while keeping an eye on Jules during bathtime!

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Juliette hit the hay hard after just a couple of books.  She conked out around 7:30 and I wasn’t far behind her.

After a solid night’s sleep, we set out this morning in search of breakfast.  We walked down California Street, stopping to enjoy each glimpse of the water, and eventually landed at the Ferry Building.

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We spent awhile enjoying the waterfront (and a Blue Bottle Americano) while we waited for Il Cane Rosso to open for the day.

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We eventually landed a couple of killer breakfast sandwiches and an outdoor table.  The makings of a perfect Sunday.

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After breakfast, we headed across the street to the Sue Bierman playground.  Spin, swing, slide, repeat.

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We spent the afternoon at the Giants game – again, there was pause in deciding whether or not Jules would be up for it, but c’mon!  It’s the Giants.  And Juliette ended up being a champ through the whole thing.  We had to vacate our seats a couple of times to let her run laps around the club level, but there were periods when she actually seemed interested in the game, shouting “Hit it, Buster!” as each player stepped up to the plate and gasping with excitement as each foul ball sailed into the stands.  She’s a fan!  And I’m over the moon about it.

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Speaking of being over the moon, do you know that on Sundays kids get to go down to the field and run the bases?!  How fortuitous!  Skipped nap be damned, we were doin’ it.  Shane might have been even more thrilled than Jules.  The sight of the two of them, rounding third at AT&T – I’ll remember that forever.

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(She was so proud of herself.)

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(Crazy proud.)

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We snapped a couple last photos and then shouted “Bye bye baseball!”.  What. A. Day.

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Shane and I were again pooped by 5 pm, so we kept dinner easy and picked up a pizza and salad to eat at the park across the street from our hotel.  Juliette ran around the playground, a regular Energizer Bunny.  I’m in denial over the fact that she seems not to need an afternoon nap anymore.

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One last go on the slide (seven times), and then we headed back to our room.  Juliette went to bed with very little protest, Shane headed out for drinks with some friends, and I made myself a cup of tea, watched a couple of episodes of Gilmore Girls on the iPad while going through photos, and put together this post, so thankful for the quiet.  But also thankful for a day full of running and clapping and laughing.  This trip is off to a pretty grand start.

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