27 March 2016

Dear San Francisco

I will visit you again, even if it only rains when I come to see you. I still love you.

Jokes aside, I am grateful for the rainboots we bought two years ago on our SF visit. They came in handy this time, too.

Suboptimal weather cost us at least 8 hours in plane delays. Never fun for any traveler and especially challenging when you have a toddler along for the journey, but kids never cease to amaze me. They find fun anywhere they are and certainly live in the present moment. We should learn a little something from them when it comes to our attitudes in times where things, like the weather, are out of our control. 

The day has come again when I can read a magazine on an airplane!

We spent our hours coloring, playing with Peppa Pig figurines, building a newly purchased Lego airplane model and eating lunch. The iPad didn't come out until we reached the 5 hour mark at the Boise airport...folks, there's not much for entertainment at Gowen Field. But thankfully, our plane boarded shortly after and made the quick 1 hour 22 minute flight into SFO. 

Ben picked us up and shuttled us home to their Lower Pac Heights cottage. We were fortunate enough to be sleeping in the apartment just steps from Katie and Ben's, which made Kiki's bedtime welcome. 

As we have done so many times now, in almost three years of traveling with Kiki, we methodically unpack and set up her space to replicate something familiar. Sometimes she has her own room to sleep in, often it's the bathroom in hotel rooms, or a closet, and in this case it was a tiny space in a corner, just out of site of our bed. Her travel crib is a welcome haven, usually greeted after a long day of sleepless travel. We pack her favorite blankets and stuffed animals. A white noise app on our iPad serves as a travel sound machine these days and we set up some sort of monitoring device. We read a book and brush teeth just like we would at home, and finish our routine with a quick snuggle and then down in her crib she goes. 

I know I have an easy child when it comes to sleep, so I don't tell you our bedtime routine to make you vomit at its seemless ease. Instead, I wanted to share the logistics, because people have asked me what our sleep situation looks like on vacation. This works for us and our child. And I am grateful we've been setting these expectations since she first traveled at 3 months old vs 3 years old. If you have an independently thinking 3 year old, you will understand. If you haven't reached toddlerhood, buy a travel crib and a plane ticket and go! Teach them young, and they'll surprise you with their adaptability. 

Coloring has been the highlight of our days recently, including vacation.

Enough about the weather and logistics. We spent a great long weekend in the big city. We visited the Bay Area Discovery Center, ate great food, used the 5 minutes of sunshine we saw all weekend to take a photo overlooking the bay from Hawk Hill, took a ferry ride to Tiburon to meet up with our new friends we met in Hawaii (Polly and Kiki were reunited!), had coffee in Sausalito, and spent time coloring while listening to Ben's record collection. Oh, and ate more good food!

Practicing writing characters in Mandarin at the Bay Area Discovery Center

Never too early for table tennis lessons.

Loving the ferry ride with great views of Alcatraz

Dinner out  and more coloring

San Francisco, I shall be back to have a picnic in Golden Gate park and run in Crissy Field, in the sunshine. It will happen!

Thanks for the great weekend, Katie, Ben and Olive! You know how to make us feel welcome and show off your great city!

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