escape from LA part one: san francisco!
get ready for a ridiculous amount of photos guys!
the cheeks went on holiday and i have a heck of a lot to show and share. holiday sounds so fancy. but you know what, part of it was! like the amazing lunch at chow where i had the best glass of chardonnay and fennel salad. whilst holding a fussing knox, standing up most of the time. but still. a solid shfancy meal. that, and i got to pretend i didn't have a real job and a bunch of grown-up stuff waiting for me for two solid weeks.
is this what it feels like to be kim kardashian? ooh.
the not so fancy part was lugging around a backpack/diaper bag and our double stroller, plus a few tantrums i could have easily done without. toddlers! that said, the fancy and the not so fancy moments made for a memorable first family road trip. again please.
now here we go!
we thought traveling at night would be our best bet. and despite being awake for almost 24 hours, it was a genius move on our parts. we left LA at 2:30AM and made only one stop for coffee, hashbrowns and gas, which woke up the boys earlier than we would have liked. d'oh. they didn't seem to mind though. you could tell they were like wtf is going on, but excited all the same. knox especially would start giggling for no real reason. the miles of farmland helped entertain them too. they love cows! we arrived in sf by 8:30AM and we all went gaga over the bay bridge. i've crossed it hundreds of times but it never gets old. i know the golden gate bridge is the main attraction in the city but i have always been partial to the bay bridge. that old girl.
we stayed with a friend who was brave enough to host us in his one-bedroom, mission district apartment. really we weren't there much at all though. we did lots of exploring and thankfully, since my college days, the city has become a lot more kid-friendly. from our friend's place we literally stumbled upon the mission playground on our way to delores park. we did the biggest happy dance. it had two play areas, a soccer field, basketball courts, a pool and a crazy merry-go-round contraption that coincidentally matched perfectly with the backpack i bought especially for the trip. purchase further validated! anyway, we hit this place up at least twice a day during our stay. it really helped break up the stroller time, which max + knox are really fighting us on.
so two blocks from the park we were JUST AT is delores park can you believe? i am still kind of in shock. sf i could seriously kiss you. this park just got a major renovation and is one of the best i've seen. and the view remains one that can't be beat. when i lived in the city years before the play area was pretty meh. it is now HUGE and sits just below the section where my friends and i would hang out on sunny days, get tan and drink wine. we dubbed it delores beach. those were the days man! SIGH AGAIN.
after delores we walked, ok climbed (those sf hills man!), our way to noe valley. noe valley is like really, really pretty. and it totally knows it. each shop is cuter than the next and then they went and put a whole foods with an actual parking lot smack in the middle of it to really sweeten the pot. also, it's full of stroller mom's and dad's so we thought we could actually have lunch there. at a table. OMG. it was a super epic fail. my food just sat there staring at me. and it looked good. i got it to go. story of my life.
this would fall into the not fancy category! and no photos because there is nothing to see here! but if you must know it was a veggie tofu scramble minus mushrooms + avocado. strolling on!
the walk home was a lot more relaxing. the boys napped and we were able to chat and just enjoy. it's the little things.
and that was day one!
day two was spent wandering the mission district and valencia street. good grief i miss this place! the street art/graffiti, the food and the people make it the most colorful neighborhood even on the dreariest of days. to which there are many. the highlight of the day was lunch with our dear friends and their adorable baby! we met them at gracias madre, this amazing vegan mexican restaurant. we have one in las angeles but this one is more of the real deal. and we were able to enjoy most of it since the boys were asleep! i actually ordered food i thought i would get to eat! pazole! then a mariachi came by and well, we almost regret not paying him to leave. it woke the boys right up.
damn, i really wanted the rest of that pazole. it made a great breakfast the next day at least. so this lunch i would consider half fancy :->
after mariachigate, we said good-bye and kept walking toward twelfth. there were a few places i could not pass up, including a latte from four barrel. if you are in the neighborhood i highly recommend it. the space is large and open, and just really cool. plus, they play actual records. i just love that! makes me want to bust out the old turntable. maybe another year on that. oh and the coffee itself is great!
day three was cold. oh yea how did i not mention it yet. sf you were COLD AF. the week before was great weather but upon our arrival winter finally decided to show up. so by day three i was ready. and slightly less cold than the day before. day three was also our last day in the city, and we saved it for golden gate park. it was hard to narrow down where we wanted to spend the majority of our last day but i knew the boys would love it there. and you will never see me at the warf. ever.
no surprise, the fountain between the de young and the academy was the biggest draw for max + knox. they are obsessed with water. like no amount of goldfish can compete. unless i handed them the whole damn bag. please never let it come to that. and it was all good until they tried to jump in. i suppose i can thank all of those weekends at the splash pad for that! needless to say i was out of goldfish (oh the irony!) so it was hard to pry them away from it. that part of traveling with little boys can be so exhaustive. it's like they don't believe me that something even better is just up ahead. or they are so in the moment they don't really care what awesomeness awaits. hmmm.
aside from the fountain, the boys really got a kick out of hanging out by keith haring sculpture. max was especially in awe of it. he's often drawn to big objects, tall and out of reach. kinda weird. like he respects it because he can't just have his way with it. it was really cool to see him literally oooh and wooooooow over it. it reminded me that while they can be complete brats at times they sure know how to soak up new experiences. that certainly is not something wasted on the young.
we left the park starving. i didn't want to eat there for fear that everything would be overpriced, touristy and just whatever. so we made our way to that fancy pants lunch i went on about at chow! omg guys it was the best. i am convinced i could have THAT chardonnay and THAT salad every other day for the rest of my life. and thank you chow for making me feel like a fancy person! and for the crayons. crayons for life.
after lunch it was time for one last playground session before calling it. cuz we all about that park life guys.
and day four. we out! thank you sf. you were a real treat. now time for one more stop before home. and reality. bleh! next stop... pismo beach! as if you didn't know.
to be continued sunshines...