Live from San Francisco

Monday Sept 4th

Hazel and the guidebookSo we made it down here uneventfully and even lucked out and were able to take Hazel’s car seat on the plane even tho’ we didn’t pay for an extra seat – it wasn’t a full flight! She slept until right before landing and Rob was able to calm her down enough that she fell asleep again before we were on the ground. The only bad part of the flight was the kid in front of me spilling his sippy cup of apple juice into our diaper bag that was under his seat. Thankfully I’d tried something new this trip and packed things in ziplock bags to make it easier to organize and the only thing that got soaked was a bill I’d tucked in there last minute. JCPenneys will get an apple juice-scented bill this time. Too bad it’s not Macy’s – their practice of including perfume samples in their bills drives me nuts.
Despite having about an hour of sleep last the nite before we went out and toured around the Embarcadero and found food. Have to say In-and-out burgers are much much better than Steak-and-shake.
While Rob is busy with business, Hazel and I will have to keep ourselves entertained. Shouldn’t be hard with so many entertaining shops and characters around here.

Tuesday Sept 5th

Hazel and I spent our first full day exploring San Fran. We wandered all around Chinatown – found a tea tasting shop and had some samples before we decided to buy some “Blue tea” which is a mild tasting green tea. Word of warning – don’t get to Chinatown by going up Broadway because unless you’re looking for Adult Shops there’s nothing much else of interest.
We also found the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory and got a bag of fresh flat cookies – the pre-folded sans-fortune kind. They threw in some fresh ones right off the line – mmm warm cookies!
The San Francisco Chinatown is a whole lot busier than the one in Seattle. For one I don’t think they have an Uwajimaia’s where everyone can do their grocery shopping so there are tons of little Mom & Pop markets that get very very crowded around 4:00 when folks shop for dinner. Pushing the stroller thru a sea of little-old-Chinese ladies and avoiding all the delivery folks with hand-trucks full of eggs and other interesting fruits and veggies was quite an adventure. Hazel slept thru it all 🙂
There are a few places I wanted to go but were unable to due to having the SUV stroller. City Lights bookstore looks interesting and if I go back I’ll have to ask if I can leave the stroller at the front desk somewhere.
We managed to find a quiet spot for Hazel’s 2:00 feeding in St. Mary’s Square. They have a circular shaded play area for kids with swings and benches and a spongey rubberized surface (recycled tires) that is quite cushy and apparently popular with the drunk/homeless crowd. I was there first and the guy who showed up later seemed quite agitated that I was in the space. He after pacing back and forth and grumbling a bit he must have decided messing with a nursing mom was not worth the trouble he’d get into and he settled down on the far side of the play area. Don’t mess with the Momma!
China gate Of course we had to walk down to the end of Grant Street and get the obligitory photo of the China Gate. Along the way we didn’t accosted by folks asking for money – but there were lots of folks with menus and flyers for restaurants in the area advertising Dim Sum lunches with coupons for Free Potstickers. We may just have to go back later in the week!
We avoided Telegraph Hill by walking back up Stockton to Bay St. and stopped by the Safeway there to get stuff for dinner (mmm tacos!). Hazel did her best to provide entertainment and distractions by waking up as we were walking into the store and giving me a beautiful beaming smile then screaming until she was coughing and sputtering by the time we were going thru the checkout line. Needless to say I -forgot- to buy the tortillas and beans so Rob had to stop by the Amazingly Expensive deli/market up the street to get those.

Wednesday Sept 6th

Hazel and I spent a relatively quiet morning feeding, sleeping, fussing, sleeping etc. Rob brought home sandwiches from Freddies – which has very tasty sandwiches but not so great service during lunch. You have to be very specific and check your bag before leaving the door during the lunch rush – or it’s No Soup for You!
Alcatraz We got out the door in the late afternoon and walked over to Pier 39 on Fishermans Wharf. Typical touristy shops so I -had- to buy Hazel a souvenir outfit. Also got a photo of her with Alcatraz in the distance.
We walked down the Embarcadero to Boudin’s bakery to watch them make the famous San Francisco Sourdough – which if you ask me isn’t ask good as Seattle’s. And we stopped at the “Escape from Alcatraz” store – which was selling – what else – more souvenir prison outfits (black and white stripes) with “Escape from Alcatraz” logos. Hazel has joined the “Alcatraz Health Club – Swim for your life”.
We went out to the Financial District for food via Little Italy – ended up eating at the same Chinese restaurant Rob had lunch at Tuesday. It’s very popular and has very good food. Met a couple across the aisle who have grown children but remember loving the ‘blank slate’ that a baby is. She was getting a lot of attention as Rob moved her car-seat up and down (arm curls) in the very crowded eating area trying to get her to go to sleep. After a quick tour of the Financial District we caught the F Train back up to the Embarcadero and headed for home.

Thursday Sept 7th
Heads up! After a lazy morning and afternoon of sleeping, nursing, watching some TV about Beekeepers in Russia and getting in some Quality Tummy time where Hazel did her first official several-minute mini-pushup where she looked all around the room holding her head up we decided to hit the The Historic Ferry Building Night Farmers Market.
I got distracted walking thru Embarcadero center shopping complex and ended up spending way too much on cute baby outfits at Baby Gap – even with some of them being on the clearance rack. I think now Hazel is an official Baby Gap baby – the lady in the checkout line noticed she was wearing Baby Gap socks (Thanks Auntie Jill!)
At the market we picked up an heirloom tomato and some certified organic sweet corn (organic enough that when we shucked it we found a little green crawly friend enjoying one end of the ear – we cut that off and ate the other end). Our friend in the cornThere must have been a ‘Iron Chef’ type contest going on in the Market because I saw several teams of folks in white chefs hats running around with shopping lists looking for things like cheese and olive oil. (Both of which we tasted at the various storefronts.)
Rob met us down in the area and we had an adventure taking the BART close to Moscone Center to hit the Food Court. Rob has been to enough conventions down here that he’s pretty sure he’s eaten at every restaurant in the court. We toured around Union Square and then caught the F Train home again.

Friday Sept 8th
Cornflake chicken - mmm! Spent the day doing domesticky type stuff. Shopping at Trader Joes (just a few blocks away – kickass!) and laundry. Cornflake chicken for dinner prepared me for the long night of Hazel not wanting to go to sleep and sleeping fitfully. Ah – a great start to the weekend. Luckily Daddy will be around to help entertain the baby!

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