Wednesday, December 19, 2007

San Francisco, Day 1

We decided to visit Ghirardelli Square and Fisherman's Wharf today. It was sunny and breezy. Although we started off with coats on, it was soon warm enough to walk around in just a sweater.

We took a trolley to Ghirardelli Square. Jack loved the trolley, and kept repeating "TRAin! TRAin!" for the whole ride. We walked the short walk from the Trolley stop to Ghirardelli. Five minutes into the walk, Lily informed me that her feet hurt and she was too tired to keep walking. It seemed like it was going to be a really long day.

Once we got to Ghirardelli, Jim thought it would be a nice break to stop at a cute little cupcake shop and have a snack. We needed a snack because we ate our complimentary breakfast when the hotel restaurant opened at 6:00 am, since we were all awake. We let Lily pick out the cupcake she wanted, we picked a vanilla cupcake for Jack (I figured the light colors would make for less mess), and Jim and I each ordered a cupcake. We all sat down outside.

As soon as we started to eat, Lily said her cupcake tasted bad and asked if she could trade. Jim gave her Jack's cupcake and tried to give Jack a piece of Lily's cupcake. Sadly, Jim was unaware of Jack's keen desire for independence. Jack is going through a stage where he wants to be given a regular portion of food and eat it himself. Once the cupcake was broken, he didn't want it and asked for Jim's whole cupcake. I told Jim to give him the whole cupcake, but I guess Jim didn't want Jack to make a mess with it, because he tried to offer Jack a bite of the cupcake. Jack had a major meltdown and grabbed the cupcake out of Jim's hand and smashed it into the table, saying "NO CAKE-ee!" He also grabbed a portion of the smashed cupcake and threw it on the ground. As a result, neither Jim nor Jack really got to enjoy their treat, and I had to clean up Jack's mess.

That was the only meltdown we had today, though, so I think we're pretty lucky. We went to a few stores in the square and got a free sample of chocolate. Then, Lily came up with a great idea for a secret art project that she plans to give to Jim for Christmas. She told me about it, but warned me not to tell any boys. We then walked down to the maritime museum and looked at the rehabbed boats. Both kids really enjoyed the museum, especially the house boat that we got to walk through. I was at my wit's end, though, because the railing along the wharf had gaps large enough for one of the kids to fall through and Jack made a beeline for the railing any time he was loose of our grasp.

Next, we walked over to In-n-Out Burger, Jim's favorite California eatery. Jack ate most of a burger by himself, and Jim got the opportunity to order something called "animal style" french fries. I tried them and thought they were gross, but he loved them! Apparently you can order things that are not on the menu if you're "in the know."

After lunch, we walked over to the Musee Mecanique. It's a huge building filled with old mechanical games. We made Laughing Jill laugh, got fortunes from a couple of animated fortune tellers, made an entire amusement park go, road on a mechanical horse and learned how to pick up bubble gum balls with a mechanical crane under the kind tutelage of the proprietor. Jim was only able to get one, so he kindly scooped out about 10 for us! I took some hilarious pictures. Jack's face as he watched Laughing Jill was priceless. He had a look of fascination mixed with terror!

After the Musee, we checked out the submarine display and then walked over to visit the sea lions. Both kids loved the sea lions, and I was relieved to find that the railing along that wharf was child-friendly. We even saw a guy out swimming. I can't imagine how cold he was -- it was only about 60 degrees out!

By that time, everyone was tired, so we headed back to the car. I thought I could see the wharf across from where we parked, so I encouraged everyone to walk. Needless to say, I was looking at the wrong wharf! After about half an hour, Jim convinced me to pay the $3.00 it cost to go on the trolley, because he said we'd only walked about half way. We got on the trolley and went 1 stop! I guess we were both wrong.

Getting home was a little hairy. It was almost 4 o'clock by the time we picked up the car (which we parked for a mere $29.50), and Jim left the map in the back of the car. He assured me we could just drive back the way we came. Of course, half way back we came to a road that was one way only! He said he knew how to get around that problem and directed me to make a few turns...and we ended up back at the parking lot! After a few more mistakes, we made it to the 101 and headed home.

I took so many great pictures today, but I left my camera in my coat pocket, and my coat is down in the Great Gold Behemoth, so I haven't downloaded them yet. Tomorrow, we are headed out to Sausolito where we will meet Marcy and her kids at a children's museum.

I just noticed Lily has fallen asleep on the floor. She was going to tell everyone a story, but we'll have to do it another time.

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