Riding the train sounds like a good idea. It sounds like lots of fun, and it sounds like something the kids would really like to do. So this morning, we all got up, went to the train station, and hopped on a commuter to go to the City. ( In northern California, the “City” is always San Francisco, and it is NEVER referred to as “Frisco” by anyone who lives here) Anyway, both my kids, my mother, my 22 year-old brother, my friend and her two kids all headed to the City.
The problems is, Eric seemed to think the train was an airplane, and acted accordingly. He began to scream just like he does on a flight. I am very grateful for my brother, because he had the energy and the wherewithal to walk from car to car with Eric, keeping him somewhat calm. And, I am very grateful for my friend, because she is a very laid-back parent and doesn’t stress when kids are kids in public. That helped. Then, for some reason, today was the day that my mom ran out of patience with my kids. I guess it’s about right; we have been here for almost a week.
So we got to the City and it was very hot and I cannot stress how unusual this is for San Francisco in August. Usually the summers in the City are cold and foggy; you can almost bet on it. But not today. We walked about 8 blocks to get to the California Academy of Sciences and Steinhart Aquarium, which is an easy walk if you are a big person, but no so, if you are barely just four, and your legs are very short. Jeffrey was not too happy about half way to the Aquarium, but I rather thought he did well. My brother again came to the rescue, and offered a piggy-back ride. I think that helped morale a bit. Anyway, Steinhart is being remodeled, and the Academy of Sciences is as well, but the temporary digs downtown are pretty nice for a part-time gig. The kids had fun, and except for a couple of incidences of my mom over-reacting, which I will omit for the sake of domestic tranquility, all went well.
We stopped in the China Basin (an area that used to be a lot of run down warehouses but is now a trendy hot-spot) Whole Foods for lunch, and paid $12 for a burrito, and $9.50 for some enchiladas. Seriously. Eric fell asleep in the stroller (finally), and my mom waited outside while the rest of us ate inside. (Whole Foods and my mom are like water and oil) I am not sure how or why, but the decision was made to head back early, and we went back to the train station. My friend decided to head over to PacBell Park with her kids and watch the Giants game through the right-field fence, which I think would have been fun too; but I am not making waves this trip, remember? So, mom, my brother, and the kids and I caught the earlier train, and mercifully, Eric slept almost all of the way back down the peninsula.
So, to recap the day: we spent 3 hours on a train, with an often screaming, cross toddler, to go back and forth from a sweltering, crowded city, to spend 2 hours in an Aquarium, and pay too much for lunch, with a mother who was nursing some silent hostility. How. Fun. Anyone for tomorrow?