November 27, 2006

Would you mind if I get specifically random?

All hail the Unordered List, the Roman god of Blogging.*

  • I meant to post about this after the Boston trip, when I discovered a nifty set of travel guides that I now swear by. Earlier this year, I had bought a Frommers for San Francisco, but then unloaded if after the trip. For the recent trip to SF, I decided to get something simpler and decided to get a guide from DK's Top 10 series since I had such good luck with the Boston version. This guide is awesome, folks and I highly recommend it. In particular, it is handy for those places that you are familiar with, but just need a little something extra. It is compact, easily stuffed into a bag and contains just about every map you would need, including municipal transportation. I've used the San Francisco and the Boston versions with great satisfaction. I will still buy Frommers for "new" spots, but this "quick n' dirty" travel guide is SO convenient, it's being added as a "must have" for future travels as well.
  • The first trip to SF, I found the Haight area by accident while driving around, but couldn't actually stop and look around. I knew that I MUST go there if I ever made it back to town. I took the bus to Masonic and Haight, then walked the length of Haight all the way to the Golden State Park. I loved Haight and I think what struck me the most was how much it reminded me of Lawrence, Kansas. In fact, as I wandered through a head shop (they always have the best incense, for obvious reasons), I saw the guy at the counter kind of eying me - he must have wondered why a tourist with a baby would enter a head shop. But in Lawrence, I go in head shops all the time looking for cool stuff, so I didn't even think twice of it. Anyway, walking through Haight was one of my favorite parts of the SF trip.
  • Another favorite part of my trip was walking from the marina district to the Union street shopping district - the shops there were really cool. I wasn't in the mood for buying, though and I regret that because it would have made for some nice Christmas gifts. Then, walking towards a busline on Van Ness, I happened upon the Haas-Lilienthal house (at Franklin and Washington). Only one other person was on the tour with me and since he knew the tour guide personally, the tour guide let us see parts of the house usually inaccessible to the general public. I love touring old houses anyway, but this tour really gave an insight into how life was in San Francisco a hundred yeas ago.
  • If you ever go to San Francisco and decide to do Chinatown, take it from me - yes, walk down Grant St first - it's pretty with beautiful decorations and such, but do NOT neglect to walk BACK down Stockton St (the street just west of Grant). That's the REAL Chinatown in my book. X and I were total minorities as we fought our way through a sea of Asians all buying their produce and meat that Saturday afternoon. In a word? Chaotic. Yeah, the smells did a number on my pregnant stomach but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.
  • Overall, this past trip was one of the simplest yet packing wise - I took the Eddie Bauer diaper backpack, a carry-on sized suitcuse, and the travel stroller (I threw a very SMALL bag in the suitcase for carrying diapers while actually out and about in SF because the backpack is too big for everyday carrying). Yep, that's IT. We didn't take a carseat this time because we rented one from the rental car agency. I was pretty nervous about doing this, but it ended up being great and made getting through the airport easy smeasy. I can't stress ENOUGH my packing mantra of "Less is More". I try to pack as little as possible - I didn't even take any sippy cups- we used straws where ever we went. Years of traveling and watching harried parent after harried parent schlep tons of crap with crying, cranky kids in tow SCARRED ME FOR LIFE. Since my hands are relatively free, they are available for doing things with Arun and keeping him entertained.
  • You know your eating habits have hit the crapper when you are stuffing the evidence from your last Meal of Shame in the wastebasket and covering it up so your beloved doesn't see the carnage. Even worse, if he knew that I had been handfeeding McDonald's cheeseburger to his precious prince.....shudder.......
  • Amazing Race: I am SO tired of the Bama Mamas. They greedily plan to yield the Blondies, but then cry foul when the Blondies yield THEM instead? Whatever.
  • Arun finally, FINALLY got his first cold. All these past posts of my crying wolf finally panned out. Ha! I think at one point I had convinced myself I was such a terrible mother because surely he had had a cold already and I just had not noticed. How stupid am I? Very, because there is no way you can NOT notice your kid has a cold when Masks of Mucus worthy of Jason are taking over his face.
  • Open Letter to all my Real Life friends: I hope you can find it in my heart that for the month of November I chose to entertain the masses rather than reply to all of your kind, thoughtful emails. Will bribery work? I've got a line out for the best ever peppermint bark.
  • Arun is definitely on his way to his first word. He repeats "Daddy" and "Bye-Bye" but doesn't really say them in context on his own, so I wouldn't count them yet. However, he knows what they mean. Particularly, "Bye-Bye" because wherever we are, he will head to the door to leave when I say those words - be it at home, my mom's house or even the hotel room. I can report that "Kitty" and "Elmo" are also in contention for First Word. Sadly, "Mama" is not.
  • Overall, this whole "receptive language" thing is fuh-reaky - meaning, the little stinker knows what we are saying. So, I can't even say the word "nurse" around him or he starts grabbing at my chest and I can't say the word "park" because he gets crazy excited. However, "Brush your teeth" is mighty convenient because he will immediately head up the stairs and to the bathroom when I say that. I wonder how long it will last before he realizes that brushing his teeth is supposed to be a CHORE.

*Known in Greek mythology as "Bullets".


Leah said...

Yeah, colds suck. But the Potential First Word is so exciting!

Anonymous said...

I was so excited when Zach started actually being able to understand what I said to him. It sure made life easier, until he started learning how to purposely ignore me anyway.

Anonymous said...

Even though I am not a real life friend can I get a line on that peppermint bark? I love it desparately and have even tried and failed many many times to make my own.

I want to take your SF trip - I went for work a couple of years ago and my boss and I stayed over and did the total touristy thing which was fun but I want to go back and do a more local trip. Thanks for the tip on the travel book!

Diana said...

I love your bullet posts.

The only time we travelled with our 2 kids, we had rented a car along with 2 car seats. Sadly, everything was all messed up (the company did this bait-and-switch thing) and they claimed to have no carseats left. (They also claimed to have no minivan, only a sports car.) Right. Like we could take an infant and a 4-yr-old in a car without a carseat. Finally, they honored our contract, including carseats (which all magically appeared) but left us with a very bad taste for Avis. The one in Portland, a couple of miles from the airport, with no competition in proximity.

I'm very glad your trip went swimmingly!

Anonymous said...

the footer note had me laughing and laughing.

Anonymous said...

Team Bama is highly irritating, I agree. They are a couple of royal whiners and I'm amazed they got this far.

I didn't know you could rent car seats-thanks for the tip! We are taking Ashok on his first plane trip over New Year's. I am terrified of all the crap we will have to haul around.

Anonymous said...

I know. It's like having a little spy in your house! Our little guy only really starting to speak in ernest about a month ago, a couple months shy of his second birthday, though he's been able to point to named things (eyes, nose, mouth, cats, etc.) for almost a year now. We really started to worry about delicate wiring up there. Little stinker had us worried for nothing!

Oh, and very good to know about the rentable car seats. Brilliant idea!

Anonymous said...

I love *all* DK/Eyewitness books. They totally rock. The layout is so visually appealing and even though they're very image-centered, there always seems to be just enough text to deliver the info you need to know.

Anonymous said...

I want to visit San Fran!

/end completely random and useless comment.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Regarding the rental carseats - what Diana said is a risk that we weighed. We ultimately decided to take the risk because if there were no carseats available, we could buy one in an emergency - easy to say because we will need one eventually for NewKid. However, Diana raises the good point that it IS a risk. Also, ironically, we rented through Avis with no problem. Yikes!