Hazel has reached the developmental milestone Rob and I are calling “Spookyfish”. For those of you who don’t watch South Park – one of the characters, Stan, gets this pet goldfish which turns out to be evil and kills people. No – that’s not Hazel’s new trick 🙂 In one scene Stan is trying to go to sleep and watching the evil goldfish in its bowl over on the dresser. He shuts his eyes and opens them and the goldfish (in its bowl) is CLOSER. He shuts his eyes again and when he opens them the goldfish is at the FOOT OF HIS BED! The next time IT’S ON HIS BED! He jumps out of bed and runs screaming for his mom… Anyway – Hazel’s trick is she’s learned to roll the other way from her tummy to her back. She’s been giving herself quite a bit of tummy time, now sometimes she can get back over herself. There is a bit of screaming involved here – from Hazel when she gets frustrated and the parents while they realize the kid is getting mobile. We’ll put her down on the floor on her playmat or blanket and look away – and when we look back she’s a foot closer… then 2 feet. I was sitting here at the computer with her behind me and the next time she made a sound it was 2 feet to my right. Spooky!
Sunday, Sept. 30th
Hazel and I made a relatively uneventful flight back down to San Francisco. Everyone was happy to help the mommy with the little baby. Even the TSA folks set up the stroller and car seat and wheeled it over to a quiet area where I could get everything put back together without rushing.
The flight was only 50% full so we had 3 seats to ourselves and Hazel slept the entire flight. Rob rented a car to come pick us up because it was much cheaper than a taxi and on the way home we hit an In-and-Out burger for dinner. That nite no one got much sleep as Rob got hit with the flu and Hazel and I were re-adjusting to sleeping in beds not our own.
Sunday, Oct 1st
We went out to find a good bowl of chicken noodle soup to soothe everyone and ended up at the Citrus Club in the upper Haight neighborhood. Finding parking was enough to get Rob practically chanting “This better be worth it!” but when we finally got there, got ordered and started eating I personally thought it did turn out to be worth it. We estimate the bowl size to be approx. 1/2 gallon of tasty asian-style chicken soup – so if you go you really need to be in the mood for soup!
After the soup we quickly hit the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library book sale at Ft. Mason. It’s exactly like the Friends of the Seattle Library sale that happens at Magnuson Park on Sand Point. We found a few “Little Golden books” to add to Hazel’s collection and were on our way.
The last stop was Lombard St. – the Crookedest street in the America. Since we had a car we -had- to drive it – like every other tourist in the area – at least those that weren’t standing in the intersection gawking and taking pictures. Check – been there, done that. Wheee!
Monday, Oct 2nd
Rob called in a sick day to spend the day on the couch nursing his aches and pains and tummy so I returned the rental car and went to check out the Musee Mechanique after a quick lunch at Boudin’s bakery cafe. Their sandwiches are a bit dry but the chocolate croisanntes are the Bestest! MMmmmm!
The Musee Mechanique is free but each of the amusements are a quarter to a dollar. I think that’s fair since the money is applied to the upkeep of the machines. I had fun checking out the fortune telling machines and found the ‘execution peepshows’ quite amusing. Some of the displays were things that made you go “Huh.” – Not much action – like the “End of the Trail”. I expected mechanical coyotes or prairie dogs or something popping up but the only motion was from a fan hidden in a ‘cave’ to the left that turned on and made the tattered wagon cover move.
There were also your musical machines, flip movie machines and a collection of older ‘modern’ arcade games many of which I hadn’t seen in years! Guess if you’re going to advertise yourself as a ‘trip down memory lane’ for many folks you have to start including some of those for my generation…
As Hazel was budgeting much Fuss I decided to cut the visit short and find a place to do a diaper check. Whoo Boy! Good thing we invested in that rubber mat for the car seat. New diaper, new outfit and 1/2 a bag of wipes and we headed back to the condo. On the way back I saw a sight more expected in LA than San Francisco. A skinny blonde pony-tailed gal in hot pink hot pants and roller skates (not roller blades) zipping down the street. I expected to hear music from Xanadu as she went by…
Tuesday, Oct 3rd
On the last episode of Ham on the Street they were here in San Francisco at a place called Yank Sing to do dim sum stuffed with things you wouldn’t normally stuff dim sum with like apple dumpling filling, knish and pulled pork and folks had to guess the filling. I love the show. So of course I had to look up this place to see about the dim sum. Turns out they have a to-go store next to the restaurant. That made much more sense than sitting around for the carts – ’cause Hazel’s not much into dim sum, yet. So we packed up the stroller and headed for the Financial District. We managed to catch an F-train that wasn’t full to the gills with other tourists and the new smaller stroller made it easy for me to get on and off. The restaurant is in an office tower food court that surrounds a large atrium. I ordered the Seafood Supreme which included several steamed dumplings, a couple fried cheese won tons and a whole load of chowmein noodles. All-in-all a pretty good meal. They even had ala carte egg tarts so I ordered one for dessert… mmmmmm. Egg Tart! After Mom was full it was time to feed the baby so we just moved off to a more secluded corner of the atrium and finished lunch.
With everyone fed it was back in the stroller to check out the newly remodled Westfield Mall. Rob went to the mall shortly after the Grand ReOpening and found a mexican restaurant in the food court that had actually ran out of cheese. Is it really mexican food anymore when it doesn’t include cheese?
The highlite of the new mall (for Hazel and I) is the Family Lounge. A big comfortable lounge dedicated to kids and their parents. A large row of changing stations, 3 nursing rooms lots of toys and a large screen TV for the parents. It’s very nice. They even had complementary rattles and binkies for the babies. Unfortunately it appears that they are having to dedicate folks from Security to patrol the premises regularly to make sure it’s being used by families and not everyone else and their dogs. According to the plans for the Southcenter remodel there will be a similar Family Lounge near the new foodcourt.
I wanted to see how hard it would be to take a bus back to the condo and found a line that runs right past Linden Lab and stops a 2 blocks from our place. After having to wait over 40 mintues for a bus that is -supposed- to run every 15 I’ve decided that the F-train is still easier. San Francisco busses seem to run on a schedule that goes “We’ll be there when we are there.” And according to Rob (who I called to see if he could figure out why the bus was taking so long) their website sucks for looking up schedules.
Rob had a late nite outing so Hazel and I spent a quiet evening watching the SciFi channel.
Wednesday, Oct 4th thru Friday Oct 6th
Since I’ve waited so long to finish this post I’ve lost track of what we’ve been up to for a few days. We weren’t too adventurous. There was another walk down to Boudin’s bakery on a quest for chocolate rolls and we wandered around the Musee Mechanique a little bit more. On the way Hazel managed to kick off one of her socks so I had to track back 2 blocks to find it. No one wanted the little white baby sock that was being kicked around by crowds of people on the sidewalk. Thursday was the first practice day for the Blue Angels who were in town for Fleet Week. Their flight path seemed to buzz right over our heads here. Hazel was unfazed and even managed to nap through the noise.
Saturday, Oct. 7th and Sunday, Oct 8th
Rob being the sweet guy that he is let me pick the weekend activities. So Saturday we went down to the waterfront to see the Blue Angels (a.k.a ‘blangels’ or ‘#%$@%blueangels’) The area was crazy-mad with tourists but we found a spot on top of a parking garage to see part of the show. I’d seen the show before and just wanted to see enough to get a thrill and to say, Yes I saw the blangels. After that they became the ‘#%$@%blueangels’ because they seemed to buzz by every time Hazel had just fallen asleep in her car seat.
We did lunch at a place that advertised a california roll special but they didn’t have any california rolls left. hrmph! But they did do a passable beef and asparagus stir fry. The other thing I wanted to do was check out the wax museum. We had to thread our way thru the crowd standing outside the museum and I figured that meant it would be crowded inside. No, everyone was just standing there to look at the few figures on a rotating display out front. The museum itself was practically empty. There were few figures that we considered good likenesses. Some were just way off – in color and shape. Probably due to having to work from a photograph rather than a live model. And of course we had to take pictures of the Last Supper. Rob was tempted to put a bottle of water on the table – but they had beepers on the railings to discourage any messing with the displays.
Since Hazel was being such a premium baby we decided to take our chances and walk up to Coit Tower. I’d thought we’d done the tour before but turns out we hadn’t. It was quite a walk! We had to haul Hazel, the carseat and the stroller up 37 steps after the elevator ride, but the view was worth it. We had a few minutes to get pictures before Hazel let us know we’d pushed a few too many buttons with her and she’d had enough. Back down the stairs and the elevator to find a place to check the diaper and feed. Even that didn’t help much so we put her back into the carrier pack. Aha! Happier baby! Turns out she really likes being able to see things going on and the pack carrier on Daddy’s tummy is a great place to be! We took the stairs (hundreds) down the hill which put us just down the street from our condo and a quick walk home.
Sunday we went back out to Yank Sing to do their way-more-expensive-than-expected Sunday Dim Sum brunch. All the other stores in the food court are closed on Sunday so Yank Sing takes over the atrium and fills it with tables and dim sum carts. We sampled a variety of steamed and fried dumplings and even got some peking duck with steamed buns to put it in. I was expecting a bill close to what we’d normally pay in Seattle – but it was closer to what we’d pay in Seattle for Salty’s Sunday brunch on Alki. Wheee!!
After that treat we went to the Westfield Mall ’cause Rob hadn’t seen the Family Lounge. They had a security guard at the door of the restrooms either to keep folks from using the restrooms because there was a plumbing problem or to keep folks out that might use the Family Lounge that shouldn’t. Either way they were letting ‘families’ through so we got to use the lounge. Hazel and I got settled for her lunch in one of the nursing rooms and Rob got out to wander around. While he was gone Hazel had time to visit with another little girl just a couple weeks older who was being bottle fed by her mommy out in the play area. It was really cute the 2 little girls standing across from one another. Hazel was more interested in what the little girl’s older sister was doing – playing with toys than with looking at the other baby. She’s a shy one our Hazel.
Since it was such a nice day out we thought about going to a park and decided to check out the Yerba Buena gardens nearby. As we got there the #%$@%blueangels started another show so we quickly transferred a fussy Hazel from her carry pack to the car seat and ducked into Zeum. While Hazel’s still a little young to enjoy the kid’s museum we did get to take a 10 minute tour of the place. In a few years if we’re still coming down to the San Francisco area on occasion I imagine we’ll spend some time there. We saw but didn’t ride the carosel that was at Luna Park in 1907 before the big fire. There’s also a large outside play area that’s got a spongey recycled rubber surface, a huge slide, water features and a musical xylophone made out of pipe to bang around on.
On the way home we passed by a Beard Papa. I’d never heard of the place but Rob said they’re the Japanese equivalent to Krispy Cream. There was a line so Hazel and I waited outside for a fresh chocolate eclair. Rob got the Strawberry cream puff. Both were quite good and I think better than a krispy cream gooey-glazed air-puffed donut. Hopefully they’ll expand to Seattle.
We caught the F-Train home which was an adventure in itself. The driver was determined to get as many people on the train as possible so we were packed in like sardines by the time we got to Lombard St.
Hazel had a relatively easy time getting to sleep after all the fresh air and excercise her little neck muscles got riding around in the carry pack so Rob and I had a few hours to ourselves to eat and watch Cast Away on TV.
Monday, Oct 8th to Thursday, Oct 12th
Things are winding down as I’ve run out of things I really want to see and I’ve been feeling less adventureous and more ready to go HOME!
Monday we went out to Fisherman’s Wharf for dinner ’cause I had a jonesing for Fried Clams. I don’t know why – I just did… No no no – don’t be thinking ‘Uh oh, she’s having cravings…” nothing like that. So where are you going to find fried food? Where all the tourists are, of course! Tho’ we had to tour around the pier and found out that Bubba Gumps is a place to avoid at all hours (an Hour wait? What?) we found a place that 1. had fried clams and 2. had a TV so Rob could see the end of the Bronco’s game. Hazel stayed in a reasonable mood and got attention from the waitstaff, dish-folks and diners alike. She’s still waffling between being really shy and freaking out or just accepting the attention like the darling little cutie she knows she is. She has even freaked out a couple times when Rob has come out of the shower and talks to her with his hair wet. Could be she’s critiquing the fact that he really needs a haircut.
Taylor Jessen, Rob’s partner in crime from Doo Doo Radio days, is in town for a couple days. We’ve invited him to crash on the couch here. Good thing we opted for the 1-bedroom rather than the studio rental. Taylor, being exceptionally tall, is actually sleeping on the -floor- on the couch cushions. Between that and the baby screeching at nite I hope he doesn’t regret not getting a hotel room. Rob and Taylor haven’t seen each other for years (I think it’s years) so it’s great that they can get together for the visit.