Even though the Sprout has logged a lot of air miles in her three short years, I still wig out a little bit every time we plan a trip. I have great dread of being the mom of That Child on the airplane who screams the entire flight. Fortunately, my fears are unfounded (so far). The Sprout is a good little traveller who is thrilled to go the the "Hairport" and fly on a "Hairplane". As long as we keep her stocked in snacks and water and supplied with plenty of videos downloaded to the Ipad, she is a cheery seatmate. She does like to turn up the volume extra loud on the Wonder Pets theme song, but hopefully the engine noise drowned that out for the passengers around us.
Travelling with a three-year-old definitely changes the way we travel. She is so excited to see new things: cars, boats, trains, cable cars--all forms of transportation delight her. Museums, historical sites, shopping--not so much. We spent a lot of time finding playgrounds and researching ways to get around San Francisco that never required walking for more than a mile at at time. The Sprout will trot along happily for a good 3/4ths of a mile, then suddenly her entire body will go limp, her jaw will slacken and she will say "Mama, my legs don't work any more." Then we use a combination of cajoling, carrying and bribery to get her the last hundred yards or so to our destination. I suppose we could have brought a stroller, but we never use one at home so I didn't even think of trucking it along.
The first two days we were in San Francisco, the Wise and Bearded One was down with a hellacious cold. We slept in every morning, and he was happy to take afternoon nap duty in our hotel room with the Sprout. She still a devout napper, generally out for two or three hours. In between naps and bedtimes we rode the cable cars and scouted out the parks. The photos above of the carousel and concrete slide are at the Golden Gate Park. We also enjoyed the Yerba Buena playground downtown.
Other than the cable cars, San Francisco feels a lot like Seattle to me. It has the same west coast vibe--- the hippy leftovers, the hills, the older homes, the newer hipsters, and the emphasis on local sustainable food. Plus it has the beautiful Bay and bridges that remind me of Puget Sound. I almost expected to see Mt. Rainier on the horizon. The fact that it was overcast and grey the first days we were in San Francisco only strengthened the comparison.
That's quite alright with me because Seattle is one of my favorite cities and I'll happily add San Francisco to that list. We only scratched the merest surface of the city and have left much to explore for a future trip.