Greg and I took more than 900 photos of our trip. I've been slowly sloshing through them, culling the duds. I think I've got the cream of the crop here, and I think the best way for me to do this is to post the photos and add captions, so just mouse over the photos for details.
We flew to San Francisco on Friday the 13th, which was awesome. We're really not superstitious, so it didn't bother us so much, but my mother hates to fly and my sister had never flown before, so they were understandably apprehensive. However, the flight out was uneventful, other than Ethan doing what toddlers do, and fussing part of the way. Still, he and Laurel were real traveling champs!
We arrived in sunny (ahem) San Francisco right on schedule but then had to stand in line for our pre-reserved rental car for at least 45 minutes. At last, keys in hand, we made our tired and hungry way down to the rental house where we stayed. Once we arrived, we met Joker — the resident cat. Like all of his ilk, he was instantly drawn to Greg, who claims to dislike cats.
As I mentioned, we were tired and hungry, so off we went in search of food. I'm happy to report that it was under these circumstances that I had my first meltdown of the trip. Nobody seemed able to decide where we should eat, so I finally just lost it in the middle of the street and demanded that we go purchase food from the nearby market, take it home, and eat it there. My tone was such that it brooked no argument, and we did just that — followed by general shopping, etc. to prepare for the remainder of our stay. I'd just like to point out that once I had some food in my belly and my blood sugar was back to an appropriate level, I was much nicer. 😉
We awoke with the ambitious idea of visiting Chinatown before driving to Los Altos to celebrate my aunt's birthday. We ventured down to the Glen Park BART station, featured in Pursuit of Happyness (it's the station Chris Gardner and his son lived in for a time). We disembarked at the Powell station in order to transfer to the cable cars, but OH MY GOD the line. We thought it might work to walk up the hill a bit to another cable car stop, but we soon realized that was fruitless. Dejected in our failure, we rode back to the house so we could head out to my aunt's house.
We had such fun at Aunt Ann's. We celebrated her 78th birthday. Laurel picked oranges and lemons from trees and splashed in the pool. Ethan ran back and forth, back and forth, Greg following all the way. We had wonderful food and even more importantly, a wonderful visit.
On the return trip we were pleasantly tired, but we stopped at a vista point anyway. We took some gorgeous pictures:
On our way back to the parking lot, I noticed a rather frightening, nondescript white van with two occupants I thought must be dead. They were seated in the front seats with their heads lolling back and their mouths agape. I hurriedly put the kids in the car and frantically tried to signal Greg in as hushed a voice I could manage in an effort to get him to quit taking photos and scurry on back to the car. I asked everyone if they thought the van people were dead, but they saw the van people move, so they were 'probably on something.' Well, I guess at least they weren't dead. But sheeeeeeeeesh. Go to the back of a convenience store for that or something, huh? Not to a family-friendly vista point (which here in Missouri we call 'scenic overlooks').
That sums up our first couple of days in San Francisco. More to follow as I get the time!