Monday, July 28, 2008

Trip to San Francisco--Day 1

California, here we come! We, in this instance, was Song, Anna, John and me. We cycle through the kids and take a couple at a time when John has conferences in interesting places. Last March we took the boys to Atlanta, last fall we took Vera and Emma to the Hill Country in Texas, and now it was the big girls' turn. I don't know who was the most excited, though, the girls or me! I hadn't been to San Fran in 13 years and I was ready to go back. Last time, I was pregnant with Luke and very nauseated the whole time. I felt sure this trip would be much more pleasant.

A few hours into the trip, however, I wasn't so sure. Our flight left at 6:30 a.m. and had a layover in LA and landed in San Jose, not San Fran. John decided to ask about transportation options at the information desk at the airport. Some helpful gentlemen told us to hop on a free bus to the train station and take the train to San Francisco, assuring us it wouldn't take longer than an hour. Well, even if the bus shows up right away--it didn't--and the train shows up right away--it really didn't--then you still have something like 450 stops between the Sans. Given our unerring instincts for making a bad situation worse, we got in the only non-airconditioned car on the whole train. About an hour into the trip, when we were all dripping sweat, the conductor came through to see our tickets and invited us to move over one car where it was nice and cool!

I am not a 'roughin' it kind of gal at all, and I think that's why John never actually sat by me on the train ride. He knew better.

Here are the darling girls, waiting for the train.

Here is the darling frugal husband, waiting for the train.
Here are my darling feet, waiting for a suggestion to walk over and grab a taxi. They were sorely disappointed.
Here are the girls' feet, waiting for a chance to step on San Franciscan soil.
Anna, in the boiler car. She's so sweet, she still wanted to sit by Mommy.
We finally made it to the San Francisco Marriott, strangely enough the same hotel we stayed in 13 years ago. It is in the next block over from Yerba Buena Gardens. More about that later.

We immediately set out for Chinatown, which was about 4-5 blocks from the hotel. Once again, I don't know who was more excited, me or the girls.

If you look closely, we can see John and the girls at the entrance to Chinatown.
As it was nearly 3 pm at home, we let a lady talk us into coming with her to a restaurant on a side street. One of the options on the menu John is holding was Chicken Feet. We politely declined but did order some Mongolian Chicken. When it didn't come out with the rest of the food, Song said perhaps they bring it later because it isn't Chinese.
Song had something like 5 servings of Chicken fried rice at this restaurant, and was hungry shortly thereafter. We don't know where it all goes in her body. We think she has a hollow leg! Anna's energy was getting a bit low by the time the food arrived, but she was then energized enough to shop some more! After Chinatown we went back to the hotel and CRASHED! OK, that was me, and while I slept John took the girls swimming at the hotel pool. Later that night, we took the girls to the top floor of the hotel where they have a lounge with a terrific view. We had appetizers and the girls had Shirley Temples and virgin pina coladas, which they thought were terrific. I managed to forget my camera, but trust me, the girls were precious and they had fun!

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