After all the excitement of the museum and the pier, Jules and I were ready on Wednesday for an easy-going day closer to our hotel.  I opened up Google Maps and was happy to see there were two large rectangles of green about a mile up California Street, so we grabbed a breakfast sandwich at Flour & Co and set out for some park-hopping.  First stop: Lafayette Park in Pacific Heights.

20150902 san francisco1 sm

Winding, wooded paths criss-crossed the block – plenty of trees to climb and flowers to smell.

20150902 san francisco3 sm

I resolved not to rush us along and let Juliette move at her own pace.  This meant letting her stop to touch every single sprinkler head along the path.  Twenty minutes later, every fiber of my being was screaming, “LET’S MOVE IT!”, but I held my tongue.

20150902 san francisco2 sm

Finally, her urge to run kicked in.

20150902 san francisco4 sm

We were stoked to find a great playground at the other side of the park and spent an hour exploring the terrain.

20150902 san francisco5 sm

20150902 san francisco6 sm

From Lafayette, we walked a few blocks up to Alta Plaza Park – Juliette and I came here last year and I was eager to revisit the super-active playground.  And the view!

20150902 san francisco8 sm

20150902 san francisco9 sm

20150902 san francisco11 sm

20150902 san francisco10 sm

Seriously.  That view.

20150902 san francisco12 sm

20150902 san francisco13 sm

20150902 san francisco14 sm

After a picnic bench lunch at the park across the street from our hotel, we settled into our room for quiet time.  By this point, I’d given up on calling it naptime, as Juliette doesn’t want to have anything to do with afternoon sleep anymore.  She was pretty good about entertaining herself with books and coloring for about…12 minutes, at which point I’d succumb and let her watch an episode of Curious George while I took a breather.

20150902 san francisco15 sm

20150902 san francisco16 sm

20150902 san francisco17 sm

We headed out after quiet time to meet up with Shane – Juliette was a champ in the stroller while we were in the city, patiently sitting still while I pushed her up and down Nob Hill several times over.  She loved using her new vocabulary, pointing out motorcycles and flags and green lights.

20150902 san francisco18 sm

I needed a boost and we popped into Bread and Cocoa for a short Americano and a tall milk.  Coffee dates with this kid are my new favorite thing.

20150902 san francisco19 sm

Seeing Shane at the end of the day was always so thrilling – the way Juliette ran into his arms, you’d think he’d been gone for weeks!

20150902 san francisco20 sm

20150902 san francisco21 sm

We opted again for an outdoor dinner and grabbed burgers from Super Duper to eat on the lawn at Yerba Buena.  My old friend and college roommate, Brieanne, joined us and we compared notes on motherhood and work and the quest to do it all.

20150902 san francisco22 sm

Juliette was fried by the time we returned to the hotel, as was I, so Shane offered to take care of bath and bedtime while I headed down to the hotel lounge for a glass of Prosecco and some cherished time to myself.

20150902 san francisco25 sm

Shane had a pretty light conference schedule on Thursday, so the three of us ate breakfast together at The Grove and then bopped around for awhile.

20150903 san francisco1 sm

This little plaza off Mission Street contains some of my favorite public art.

20150903 san francisco2 sm

I’ve seen this sculpture a couple of times but didn’t realize it was so “interactive” until Juliette pulled us into it for a 15-minute game of peek-a-boo.

20150903 san francisco12 sm

20150903 san francisco5 sm

20150903 san francisco4 sm

20150903 san francisco10 sm

20150903 san francisco6 sm

20150903 san francisco7 sm

20150903 san francisco8 sm

20150903 san francisco11 sm

Shane headed out around 10:00 to catch his morning session while Juliette and I walked over to Rincon Park for one last stint by the Bay.

20150903 san francisco13 sm

20150903 san francisco14 sm

20150903 san francisco15 sm

And one last visit to the Ferry Building, for a vase from Heath Ceramics and macarons from Miette.

20150903 san francisco16 sm

We ate our treats on our favorite bench, snapped one last pic, and then called a wrap, as it was time to head back to the hotel and pack up our things.  And not a moment too soon – Juliette and I had a really, really great time romping through the city together, but shortly after this photo was taken, she took off running in the wrong direction and smacked me in the face when I scooped her up to put her in the stroller, at which point I had to exercise the utmost self-control not to toss her in the bay.  We were both wearing thin after so much go-go-going.  The museum and the carousel and the countless parks had been a blast, but they had left us exhausted.

20150903 san francisco17 sm

Case in point:

20150903 san francisco18 sm

Thank goodness for a chance to recharge with old friends in mellow Turlock!