Wowwweeeee, what a trip.  The cold and flu fairies really threw us for a loop, but we pressed on and had a great, though exhausting, week in California.

Juliette awoke in a decent mood on Tuesday, so after saying good-bye to Shane we headed over to Mission Street to pick up a Blue Bottle latte and eat breakfast at this cool little plaza, next to a giant, “friendly” monster head.

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By 9:00, Jules was fading fast, so we jetted back to the room for naptime.  She woke up feverish and a little cranky, but perked up as I let her romp around the king-sized bed – all those pillows!  And that soft down comforter!  I think she really felt like she was getting the shaft in her little Pack N Play.

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Fever be damned, we set out together to grab lunch at Jane on Larkin and then trek through Japantown and up Filmore to Alta Plaza Park.  It was a slog, pushing that stroller up San Francisco’s hilly streets, but man, talk about a playground with a view!  Juliette and I played for awhile and then found ourselves a sunny spot on the grass to sit back and enjoy the lookout.

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We took our time winding our way back to the hotel, stopping to window-shop and pick up an iced coffee.  The only up-side to Juliette’s cold-induced lethargy was her willingness to contentedly hang out in the stroller as we walked circles around the city.  She’s usually a bit antsy if she’s buckled in for more than 20 minutes, but last week she quietly chilled out as we logged mile after mile.

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And man, I really loved showing San Francisco to her – all the colors and smells, the ornate fire escapes and the canyon-like streets between skyscrapers, the urban buzz that you can’t quite find in Seattle.  I hope she grows up to love the city as much as her dad and I do.

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We met up with Shane in the evening to grab a few tacos for dinner and then Jules was ready to call it a night.  Shane had a pretty packed schedule, with sessions all day and then parties “networking events” at night,  but I appreciated him always being around to help with bedtime, to give Jules her bath and read her a bedtime story.  Or the San Francisco Chronicle.  Whatever works.

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We got a slow start on Wednesday morning, as Juliette hadn’t slept all that well and still hadn’t kicked that dang fever.  But we eventually made it out the door, in need of fresh air and breakfast (and coffee, for the love of God, coffee!), and found ourselves at Red Door Coffee.  We found a great little table, my latte was perfect, and Jules quietly sat on my lap like an angel baby as she ate her yogurt.  Things were looking up.  Until the manager came over and very politely asked us to leave, as the coffee shop was a 21 and over venue, 24 hours a day.  We quickly packed up our things and walked out, feeling embarrassed and frustrated and a little bit homesick for our beloved Columbia City Bakery.  Thankfully, we found solace in the waterfall and a sunny bench at Yerba Buena Gardens.

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Our Park du Jour was Washington Square Park, about a mile north of the hotel.  We ate lunch on the grass there while watching some dogs run around and listening to a couple of guys in construction vests and hard hats play a saxophone and guitar.

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We packed up our things after lunch and walked further north to Fisherman’s Wharf.   I really wanted Juliette to see the sea lions, as this was one of my favorite San Francisco sights as a kid.  She was not impressed.

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But the carousel!  Now we’re talkin’.  We stood here for awhile and just watched the horses go ’round.  Anything for that girl.

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From Pier 39, we took a long walk along the waterfront, as I wanted to go back to the Ferry Building to pick up a vase from Heath Ceramics that I had my eye on.

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Again, Jules proved herself to be the perfect walking companion.

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So again, I treated us to ice cream!  Jules, hold the cone while I take a picture.  Or…just go ahead and stick the whole thing in your mouth.

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We ate dinner that night in the Mission at Pizzeria Delfina – this place has become an SF staple for us.

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As we tucked Juliette in that night, I started to feel a little tickle in my throat.  Uh-oh.  By 9:00 I was feeling feverish and achy.  Double uh-oh.  I had a horribly restless night as I struggled to cool down, then warm up, then cool down, praying in the midst of all my tossing and turning that God would please, please, please have mercy on me and make this a quick little bug.  Shane headed out at 6 am to pick up some cold medication and I quickly dosed myself up – we had tickets for a 12:45 Giants game and I was bound and determined not to miss it.  We all headed out for breakfast together once the meds kicked in and then Juliette and I went back to the hotel to grab a nap.  Thankfully, her fever had finally broken once she woke up, and the rash that was appearing on her belly confirmed what the nurse I’d talked to on Tuesday suspected – she’d caught a case of roseola, characterized by several days of fever followed by a non-itchy rash.  My own spirits and symptoms were lifted by Juliette’s upswing and the three of us set out for AT&T park for baby’s first Giants game!

Juliette was amused by the game for the first three innings, sitting quietly on our laps and staring wide-eyed at the people and the ball field and the cotton candy vendors.  She clapped when everyone else clapped and was only minorly alarmed when Shane threw her in the air after Gregor Blanco’s home run.  We’re going to make a baseball fan out of this kid!

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Shane had brilliantly bought us club level tickets, so when the game lost its charm, we headed inside for lunch.  Innings 4-7 were spent bouncing back and forth from our seats to the club level, as Jules became increasingly antsy.   Finally he strapped her into the Ergo – one loop around the park was all it took for this girl to be OUT.

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She snoozed through the end of the game, but we were thrilled just to have made it to the ninth inning.  And to see a win!  There’s nothing like being swept out onto AT&T plaza in a sea of happy fans in orange and black.

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We made it back to the room around 5:00 and called it a day.  Juliette and I were both completely beat – my cold was rearing its ugly head and Juliette was just plain worn out after four days of short naps and restless nights.  We did our best to keep her content until her normal bedtime, but ultimately tucked her in at 6:30.

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We said farewell to our room at the Grand Hyatt on Friday morning – we were certainly going to miss this view.  But the close quarters?  Not so much…

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I still curse the germs that got us sick, but we were leaving San Francisco with some incredible memories.  Even in the midst of the fevers and the tiredness and the cafe eviction, Juliette and I still had a blast together – as we were sitting along the waterfront on Monday, sharing our ice cream, I was struck by how much I enjoy hanging out with my daughter as she makes the transition from helpless babe to fun-loving companion.  And oh, how I love showing her the world, even when it’s tiring and inconvenient and upsets our schedule.  She won’t remember this trip, but I will, and I’ll tell her how she lit up when I handed her that ice cream cone, how happy she was to sit in the grass overlooking the city, how she clapped with the crowd when Petit struck out batter after batter.  I forgive you, baby, for the nights you woke up at 2:00 and wouldn’t settle until 4:00, popping up over and over while your dad and I tried (and failed) to ignore you from two feet away.  It was all worth it.  I think.

Next stop, Turlock!