Open Road

Open Road

Monday, July 7, 2014

Oh UBER, why weren't you in Yosemite OR Gotta love brightly colored fog

As I was saying, San Francisco was our destination for relaxation. Ironically, after the Harvey parking escapade, I had a hard time settling in. That first night in the hotel that I had been dreaming about for three weeks ended up being not such a great night of sleep. Could it be that I had become so accustomed to the bed in Harvey that I was missing it? Crazy thought.

Since the laundry was still in Toad, Grandma and I headed to the laundromat. We received a few funny looks as we carted in big duffle bags and laundry baskets. A very nice man carrying a brown grocery bag full of orange juice and vodka told us all about how global warming was a real threat and that he learned a lot studying environmental science at Berkley. Then, he took off his socks and threw them in the washer. We helped a German family figure out how to decipher the dryer instructions. I love San Francisco for so many reasons - the interesting people certainly being one.

When we began our trip planning, we had hoped to attend a few MLB games. The Twins? Away game. The Brewers? Away game. The Giants? HOME! Off we went for a wonderful afternoon game. They lost but who cares. Grandpa spent most of the game waiting in lines to buy the kids goodies. Peanuts, lemonade, hot dogs, garlic fries, Dibs, the list goes on and on. Met some great people at the game - lifelong Giants fans that despised their manager. Totally hilarious to listen to them rant on.

Jack was in heaven and not because he's a baseball fan. Jack discovered UBER. In case you didn't know, UBER is a cool app that allows you to request limos and SUVs and it's super easy to use. Also, more expensive than taxis. Jack wasn't paying so he didn't care. He must have asked twenty times "Can we UBER? I know it's only two blocks to walk, but can we get a limo?" The boy was still so tired from Yosemite, but come on already!

That night, Jason and I had a night on the town all to ourselves. Kids hung out with the grandparents on Fisherman's Wharf and Jason and I celebrated our 19th anniversary one week late. Am happy to report that we laughed and talked and thoroughly enjoyed being together. Pretty lucky. I even wore makeup. What a big night!

The next day, we were back to complete chaos. Our concierge (remember him???) had told us that even though Alcatraz tickets were sold out online, you could get same day tickets if you showed up when their ticket office opened at 7 am. All good and fine except for the fact that if you weren't in line by 6 am, you had no hope of getting a ticket. Jason left at 5:45 am only to find out that he wasn't allowed in line unless everyone in your party was there. So, I'm flying around trying to get everyone ready to go as Jason's calling us in a panic. Katie's refusing to get out of bed and Jack is yelling "WE GOTTA UBER!!!!"

We make it down there by 6:30 but then have to wait. That was the theme for the day - Hurry up and wait. Got the tickets for the 10:00 boat and tour and we're off to find this fab breakfast place that's apparently famous. Only there, it opens at 8:00 am, but if you're not in line by 7:30, forget it. They routinely have two hour long wait times. We get there by 7:30 and there's only 60 people in front of us. No sweat. We'll make it back to the Alcatraz boat by 10:00. Then, we look inside. This restaurant has like 5 tables and can seat maybe 20 people. We ended up standing in line until 9:30 and then getting our breakfast to go. Again, Jack's yelling "UBER!!!!!" We were the last ones on the boat and inhaled our breakfast during the 12 minute ride to the island.

But what a great time we had at Alcatraz. The kids have been reading books about Al Capone and studying the island's history so it was amazing to see them so excited about the visit. Was also a great teachable moment for us - "Hey guys. If you think these cells are bad, you should know that the prisons that exist today are no better. In fact, they're 100 times worse. So, don't screw up your life." Hope they believed us. If you've never been, it's an eery place. Your mind easily imagines what life must have been like there, both for the inmates and the guards and their families that lived on the island. We also learned a lot about the Native American takeover of the island from 1969-1971. Kids were fascinated by that, too. After the tour which ends in the gift shop, go figure, we met Deirdre Capone. She's the great niece of Al Capone and was there for a book signing, so of course we had to buy her book and chat with her. Jack is nearly finished with it and Katie's anxiously waiting to read it.

It was actually Independence Day when we were at Alcatraz, so of course the irony was not lost on me. Spending Independence Day in a prison. Only us, right? After some much needed naps, we grabbed a quick dinner and headed down to Ghiradelli Square to watch the fireworks. Our friends who have lived in San Francisco all told us we were crazy to try to watch them because the famous San Fran fog would block most of it. Well, they were pretty close to being right, but it was a beautiful night, we were in an amazing city and we were together.

As we finish up our 4th week of the trip, we're blown away by how fast it is going. We're still having a blast. We're still laughing every day. The kids continue to amaze us by how much they are learning and showing interest in what we're doing. Jason and I have spent more time talking in the past four weeks than we probably have in the last 6 months, considering his travel schedule. Overall, it has reminded me that we made a good decision when we decided to make this trip. It hasn't been easy and we have SO MUCH MORE to see and do. But, I'm feeling confident that we can do it and come out just fine on the other side.

Before I sign off, a big shout out to our newest readers, thanks to the ABC talk show THE CHEW. They recorded a segment about our family and the trip the day after we left and it was televised on July 1st, while we were still in Yosemite, with no electricity to watch it. We've had 1000 new hits to our blog since then and still can't believe that anyone cares about our crazy life and crazier trip. Well, welcome to 10 weeks in a tin can! We would love to hear from you and am happy to answer any questions you might have. If you haven't seen the clip, go to THE CHEW's website and watch the episode from July 1st. Our segment is near the beginning, I think.

Am still working on downloading pictures. This wifi isn't the strongest but that might also be because the kids are streaming YouTube videos like crazy! Til next time!

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