After getting out of bed too late to make it to Alice’s gymnastics class, I thought about what fun outing I wanted to do today. An entire free day during the week with both girls is full of possibilities. The Randall Museum in San Francisco sounds interesting whenever I heard an ad about it on public radio, so I packed up a lunch and off we went…I figured that if it sucked then we could go somewhere else in the city.
Well the museum was okay – it’s free, and has a bunch of animals, including a bee hive (which are always AWESOME). I personally love looking at birds in a cage that I can see out my window, but Maddy wasn’t as enthused. We spent about half an hour there, then sat outside and ate our lunch. It was a bit brisk but not too bad, and the view is pretty great. I got a picture of the two goofballs in front of it:
Then we headed toward Golden Gate Park. “Big garden or big playground?” I asked. Big playground it is.
Driving around San Francisco is like traveling through time. I always get sad and a little homesick for San Francisco, but my husband has no desire to live there, and our jobs are on the peninsula. Besides, the negatives FAR outweigh any romantic, sentimental ideas of going back. But almost everywhere I go I have memories, from the tiny neighborhood library in the Haight I used to walk to with mom when I was three (I totally remember it, and drove by it today), to the exact spot in front of the Conservatory of Flowers where I ran my face into the pavement at the age of six, to going to playgroups when Maddy was an infant.
We got to Children’s Playground, and Maddy immediately remembered the big carousel. How could you forget? It’s old, beautiful, and probably haunted. And it was our first stop.
Alice, for some reason, refused to go on any animal I offered. We sat on the bench behind Maddy. During the ride she squeezed my neck and told me “you my bess friend.” Twice. When she is sweet, she is sweet.
The playground has been renovated recently, otherwise I would have complete memory meltdown. Anyone remember the chicken coop? Oh, and the giraffe slide? Good times. They do still have the concrete slides. I swear there used to be more than two, but I’m probably wrong. Last time we came, Maddy wanted to try going down, but freaked out and I had to manage getting her back down the steep steps. This time she flew down on her own three times while Alice and I watched.
Alice also had a good time, although every time she attempted a rather scary climb, a big kid would get right behind her and breathe down her neck. It pissed her off a little.
Then a swing…
with a view of my beloved Sutro Tower…
And we were off, because Alice was beginning to melt down.
But wait! Didn’t I say something earlier about getting hot chocolate? Okay, I thought, if we drive out of the park down Ninth Ave, and there is a spot to park, then we will get some. Otherwise it’s being made at home. But there was a spot open, on the same block as the Beanery Cafe, so we stopped. And of course they drank them so so fast because they tasted so so good.
And before we were even out of the city…
And flipping though my old baby photos, I found some snapshots of me a toddler at Children’s Playground: