Friday, November 7, 2008

A Photo Tour of Team Stimey's Trip to San Francisco

Alternatively titled: "I Hope All the Photos Don't (a) Crash Your Browser, or (b) Take Sixteen Years to Load." or "This Post Might Be More Fun If You're Related to Us."

You've already heard about the awesomeness that was our trip out to San Francisco. That was on a Saturday. Before we checked into our hotel, it seemed to be good form to coax Alex out of his nightmarish plane ride-induced bad mood, so we hit one of his favorite places.

It worked. Alex was sated, luggage was unloaded at our hotel, and because we had landed in the Bay Area before noon, we were left with many, many hours to hit as many tourist traps in the City as we could.

Quinn was in charge of the map.

We started by meeting my friend S, who I will refer to here as an old college chum because we spent a lot of time together back when we both went to school at Berkeley. She knows many of my secrets.

We figured the little dudes would enjoy Fisherman's Wharf, so we forced S to meet us there. Weirdly, even though she's lived in the Bay Area for many, many years, she had never been there. So we did it Team Stimey style.

After a false start wherein I nearly attacked a stranger on a bike calling her S, we met up and started wandering down the waterfront. Even though we had flown all the way across the country and were in an exciting new city, the little dudes were most excited to find a tiny playground on the waterfront.

This is where Jack started his cult.

I had forgotten that most of what you do at Fisherman's Wharf is spend money. And look at sea lions. We didn't do much of the first, but we did a lot of the latter.

After watching these sea lions intently for about five minutes, Jack turned around, looked at me, and in the most sincere tone of voice asked, "Can we have a sea lion for a pet?"

Then I died of cuteness and was only resurrected when S suggested we walk down to the little stretch of beach at the end of the road. Forgetting about little legs and their effect on distance, we all agreed that this sounded like a fabulous idea. We also forgot about the effect of water on children, but more on that later.

So we walked and we walked and we assured the kids that it was just past these buildings up ahead, and, hmmmmm, I guess it's farther than that, but it's gotta be just up here somewhere, and fuck if I'm going to even think about the walk back to the car, which we parked approximately 28 miles in the other direction.

Do you see Jack's little brain trying to figure out how
long it would take him to disassemble the bike?

We finally made it down to the beach. As I rolled their pants up, I extracted promises from all of my children to only go in as far as they could without getting their clothes wet.

They all agreed and then Quinn ran directly into the Bay, resulting in his complete soaking, as well as S's complete soaking when she ran in after him to save his life.

We eventually had to make our way back. We had to forcibly remove a shivering Quinn from the beach. He was practically blue, but had enjoyed his walk down the beach with S so much that he fought us tooth and nail when we tried to extract him from the sand.

I had brought enough spare clothes for Quinn to be warm, but Sam, who had disregarded my Wet Pants Warning, had to walk back to the car in soaking wet jeans.

It was a long walk, I tells ya.

But we did get to see an R2D2 mailbox. I embarrassed everybody in my group by squealing, jumping up and down, and making my children pose in front of it. And then Alex proved himself to be a true member of Team Stimey by making Jack hug it.

We adjourned back to our hotel, where we had an adjoining room with my mom. This was totally the best because all three children prefer to sleep with her. Alex and I each got our very own double bed.

The next day we got to see a lot of old friends, some of whom introduced Quinn to trail mix...

...and some of whom were women I met in my very first moms group mere weeks after Sam was born. Although I keep in touch with them now and then via email, I had not seen any of them for more than five years. Somehow their children, who were mere toddlers when I last saw them, had turned into Sam-sized kids who played with iPhones and were excited to see High School Musical 3. I'm still not sure how that happened.

Monday we met some friends for dinner, but we had the full day before then to take Team Stimey (and my mom) on a quick tour of the Bay Area. We did this by eating our way through the Bay Area. Over the course of our trip, we went to Fentons, Zachary's, Genova, Cole Coffee (nee Royal Coffee) and more, all of our old haunts, except we didn't get to hit Bongo Burger, which is one of my favorite places in the entire world.

My mom and I had some shopping to do, so we traveled to Emeryville, where there is one small circle of grass Astroturf to play on. And play the little dudes did.

It's funny how a little circle of Astroturf can make kids happy. They would have played for hours and hours.

But we dragged them away to feed them ice cream and to take them to an actual park, where Alex did a little bit of stalking.

Then we headed off to Lake Merritt to feed the birds. I used to run around Lake Merritt almost every day when I last lived in Oakland. I miss it a lot. Lake Merritt is also home to Oakland's urban goose population. The last time I had taken a child to feed birds there, Sam was one and half years old and pigeons tried to land on him to get to his bread.

The birds were even more unruly this time. One goose bit Jack on his butt, causing him to protect it by leaning against trees and benches. But he, and the rest of Team Stimey, loved it. We (and by "we," I mean "I") did a lot of jumping up and down and squealing.

I don't think we should overlook the possibility that the goose bit Jack because Jack was a threat to their food source:

At least my mother kept her dignity that day.

The next day (and this will wrap up soon, if you're still with me) was Tuesday, the day my sister got married. I covered that before, so I'll just show you photos of the trip Alex, the little dudes, and I took to the Golden Gate bridge between picking my sister and her family up at the airport, and going to City Hall

I'd like to pose a question here. Why do otherwise normal people (I'm not calling us normal, there were other people there too) insist on taking photos around statues? I don't know what the hell this statue represents or whom it portrays, but here we are, standing next to it.

I attempted to get some photos worthy of holiday cards with all three of my kids in it and the bridge in the background. FAIL.

Hey, wait, all three of them are here! But wait, it's the backs of their heads.

From here we went to the wedding, and a delicious dinner in the city. My mom transfered over to my sister's hotel that night to watch her kids, so we had to share our beds with our (oversize) children. Bummer.

But it wasn't that big of a deal because we had to get up at 4 a.m. anyway to put them on a plane and cross our fingers that no one would projectile vomit. And guess what? No one did. In fact, our first flight (the long one) had little TV screens in front of every seat. You were supposed to have to pay to use it, but for some reason, the movies, games, and TV were free.

Honestly, I was more relaxed during those five hours than I normally am.

Thanks to those of you (Mom? Ann? S?) who read all the way to the end here. I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that I don't have to document every. single. thing. I do here on my blog, but for some reason, I really wanted to get this down.

And now, I swear I'm done talking about Team Stimey's epic trip to California.



  1. I made it all the way through, lol. What can I say; it's 2:30am ET and I should be in bed, but I'm not, so there wasn't anything else to do. That, and your boys are so freakin' adorable that I can't not look at a bazillion photos of them. Glad you had a successful trip after such an auspicious start!

  2. I read it all girl. And I wished I was there with you!

    Too fun.

    Well that part anyway!

  3. Sounds like a great trip. Just substitute my girls in your pictures and it would have been a similar trip. Moe would have asked for a sea lion as well. Besides cows, they are her all time favorite animal. Oh and Einey, should would have tried stalking and jumping on one!

  4. Wow, you really packed a lot in a short time. Looks like a lot of fun, not counting projectile vomiting of course!

  5. I LOVE In-N-Out. Five Guys is an acceptable substitute, but it's not quite the same.

  6. It's been ages since I last dipped my toes in that particular part of the Pacific - if memory serves, my toes turned blue and fell off.

    And I totally would have taken the R2D2 mailbox's picture as well.

    Glad all went well.

    Congratulations again to your sister and SIL.

  7. The trip sounded wonderful!
    I have also taken a picture of an R2D2 mailbox!

  8. I joined Jack's Cult. Free kool-aid for everyone!

    And I couldn't get anyone to hug the R2D2 mailbox either when I was in Chicago last year.

  9. I love that you wrote it all down, since I am addicted to "The Days of Team Stimey's Lives". Some day, your kids will love looking back at all the wonderful things that happened in your lives.

  10. Whew, I made it through this epic! And I'm not even family. :) But I had wondered about the waterboarding incident which you *say* was your son's own fault for going in the bay but...well, let's just say I'm not sure I'm buying your version! ;-)

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  12. (redid comment since my 't's were missing?)

    great story. I felt like I was there! Except I didn't have to walk. Which was cool. And you seriously thought they wouldn't get their pants wet? Nah. I've read enough of your earlier stuff. You knew. But like me, you know how to play the game and what a fun one it is!

  13. I think you should use the picture of stalker Alex as your Christmas card. Or the last one of the boys. That one is pretty cute.

  14. Awesome! Sounds like you guys had a wild trip. I would expect no less from Team Stimey.

  15. Actually, I kind of like the pictures of the backs of the boys heads. Really, it's kind of cool.

  16. We have also tried the "don't get your clothes wet" and ended up with a drenched child at least once with all three kids. (We are slow learners.)

    Did I ever meet friend S?


  17. In n Out Burger, failed pictures of the kids faces while at the Bridge, and soaking wet children at the beach sounds suspiciously like the day husband and kids picked me up from BlogHer and we went to China Beach! The only things missing were sea lions, goose bites, and an R2D2 mailbox! Glad you had such a great time despite your difficult flight there!

  18. I made it to the end, and I just want to know, how on EARTH did you do so much stuff with 3 kids in such a short amount of time??!! Impressive!

  19. I read all of it! I particularly relate to not being able to get all three kids into one picture. I think my husband would have been the one hugging the R2D2 mailbox. I'll have to ask if he's seen that on one of his SF business trips.

  20. college chum S here with a mea culpa. it was i who said 'the beach is just up the street' or something to that effect. which it most certainly was if you are an adult by yourself on a bike... given the marathon day your gang had already had (as measured by vomit) they were quite the troopers. It was so great to see you all!

  21. We will never forget our first trip to San Fran to visit you. Vows in a deep wood, partyboat in the full moon beneath the Golden Gate. You guys make magic!


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