Jules and I have been flying solo these past couple of days, as Shane has been busy at his conference.  Chasing a toddler around the city was much easier with a partner, but I’m hanging in there and when I’m not yelling at her to “wait for mama!!!”, we’re having a really great time.

The California Academy of Sciences was at the top of my list of places to take Juliette, so we set out for Golden Gate Park on Monday morning.  First, though, coffee.  I knew I was going to need it.

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We got to the park 45 minutes before the museum opened, so we took a walk through the botanical gardens.  The sprinklers were on and hitting our pathway, but I thought we could dart through them, super-quick, and stay relatively dry.  I was wrong – just as I barreled down the path, another sprinkler rotated just-so and drenched us.  Jules was a good sport about it, but my hair was not so forgiving.  Oops.

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We headed back toward the museum and found a sunny bench where we could finish drying out, while taking in the view of that beautiful De Young.

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Our first stop inside the Academy of Sciences was the rainforest – parrots squawked from tree branches while butterflies fluttered overhead.  A few of the butterflies fluttered a little too close to Juliette’s face and sent her running to my arms, but she eventually loosened up and was taken up in the magic of the place.

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From the rainforest, we descended down into the aquarium for some serious fish-gazing.  This was a hit – Juliette has just started to master her colors and loved pointing out the orange fish, the yellow one, the blue one, the purple one…so many fish.

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We took a quick spin through Africa after the aquarium, but hit the road just as Juliette was threatening to climb into the zebra exhibit.

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We grabbed lunch at a little cafe near the park and then caught the N train back toward our hotel.  Jules was wearing a little thin by the time we rolled up to our stop…

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And then this happened, 10 feet from our door.  Can’t.  Walk.  Any.  Further…

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We spent a couple of hours recharging in our room and then headed down to Yerba Buena to meet up with Shane for dinner.  Juliette was back on her game by this point, running and running and running.  And running.

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We chowed down on Indian takeout at the park and then called it a day and headed back to our hotel.  I love being on Nob Hill – the climb is brutal, but the views are amazing.

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We kicked off Tuesday morning with coffee at Blue Bottle and treats from Frog Hollow at the Ferry Building.  Gosh, that Ferry Building – I find something new and delicious every time we go there.

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Plus, the wide open hall is perfect for…running!  (Notice a theme here?)

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We strolled along the waterfront after breakfast, stopping every 10 piers or so to look at the boats or go for a quick jog or play a game of peek-a-boo behind the lamp posts.

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Finally, we made it up to Pier 39 to see what the sea lions were up to.  They were out in full force, active and loud and so fun to watch.

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I took Juliette here last year and she just stared at the docks blankly, unimpressed by the action.  But yesterday I could hardly tear her away from them, as she arf-arfed back at them and exclaimed, “look at that one, mama!  splash!”.

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Fisherman’s Wharf has always felt like a giant tourist trap to me – it’s not high on Shane’s and my list of San Francisco hot spots.  But dang, the look on her face when she saw those horses.  I couldn’t resist.

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Jules was pretty heartbroken when the ride stopped spinning and she was asked to say goodbye to her shiny plastic zebra.  This is where the responsible mom would calmly explain that the ride was over and that whining afterwards can take away the fun.  Or, you could just distract your kid with a trip to the candy store!  I gave Jules a bucket and let her wander down the rows of taffy barrels, telling her she could pick out a few pieces.  She picked out about 50 pieces (and I put 40 of them back when she wasn’t looking – I’m not that much of a pushover!).  We shared a piece on the bench outside the store and then I hid the rest away in the bottom of my backpack.  This girl on a sugar high?  I feared for my sanity.

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I strapped Jules back into the stroller and we made our way toward the hotel, stopping at Washington Square Park to eat our lunch and have a go on the swings.  She constantly insists “higher!  faster!  higher!” – this is probably as high as it goes, baby.

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We “rested” (I use that term loosely – stubborn kid is on a nap strike!) in our room and then met up with Shane to catch a ride over to the Mission for dinner.  We picked up burritos and took them to Dolores Park to eat on the lawn with all the champagne-sipping, guitar-playing hipsters.

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Jules looks a little out of place, doesn’t she?

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But the playground there!  Now we’re talkin’!  It’s amazing – tons of places to climb and swing and slide while enjoying a great view of the city.

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Jules and I turned in early last night while Shane went out to party with his fellow techies – sun and strolling and swinging had us both beat.  We’re rockin’ this city.

One Comment

  1. la v says:

    Nice! Seems like you’ve been to every park in the city! Glad it’s going well. You deserve a re-do after last year. Have you tried the affogato at Blue Bottle yet??