i'm on vacation. i need to remind myself of this because traveling with very spirited, active, dramatic, emotional, needy yet head strong and independent children (age 2 and 4.5) is very, very exhausting. i've been gone since sunday and only have a couple days left before we head home and so much has happened that i wanted to chronicle daily but i wasn't able to borrow my husband or my sister's laptop and my ideals of putting children to bed and then breaking away to the hotel business center was replaced with just being glad i was able to crash with them around midnight. so in some ways it has been nice to still take the 100's of photos but not being feeling like i should be uploading them daily and writing about our journey. i'm not even sure i'm up for the highlights at this point but maybe i can just give you the itinerary and then fill in later...i do feel guilty that last month i blogged every day for NABLOPOMO and this month we are halfway through and this is my second post and i said i was going to devote more time to reading others' blogs...i wasn't even caught up with my daily life and then i hit the road...this is my first real "down time" since i left...so here is where we have been:
sunday march 7 3:30 p.m. drive 1.5 hours from my house in san diego to pick up my mom; get sandwiches and gas...down pouring rain and flooding = rush out without even getting coffee...drive north 6.5 hours and spend the night in santa nella (split pea soup place)
monday march 8 kids up early = hotel breakfast while my mom slept...slowly get ready, re-pack, semi-clean up the car and drive approximately 1 hour to san francisco...eat at lucky something or other vegetarian restaurant (found this on yelp...in china town...near our hotel)...check in to hotel...want desperately to nap but instead buy time doing nothing to feel like i'm somewhat relaxing before taking my mom to her lecture...eat at a restaurant a few blocks from there and meet up with an old friend while my mom is attending the lecture...this was definitely way idealized as the kids were climbing, escaping, running, yelling, trying to get other patrons attentions, succeeding in a bad way, hanging off their seats, teasing and hurting one another and generally not listening to anything i requested of them. dessert and lack thereof did not motivate any different behavior and my friend left early (said she had to put her dog out which i believe was only partly true)...so i put the kids in their car seats in the car and waited another hour for my mom to get out...they were exhausted but even driving around the block over and over and over and over (that is about all i had energy for at that point) did not work...oh wait, it DID work...they actually fell asleep that night which made me crazy because if i'd had my mom get a cab the few blocks back to the hotel like i'd wanted to i could have gone home early and gone to bed with the kids...instead once i picked her up and we went back to the hotel i had to strap story into the wrap on my back and carry sea's heavy dead weighted sleeping self in the front...i really wanted a photo of this...i kept them both asleep on the walk to the room but story woke up right at the end so that was just a nap for him and he was then up another 1.5 hours...
tuesday march 9 for whatever reason both kids were up EARLY (ok, for them...i know many small kids are up 5 or 6ish but they also don't go to bed close to midnight) before 7...so i hauled them both off to breakfast and let my mom sleep...we took way too long getting out of there and i now regret we never got to ride a cable car (i should mention we bought unlimited passes to do this and never even stepped on one)...instead took buses to the museums...my mom to see king tut and we went to the academy of sciences to see the rain forest and planets and aquarium and africa exhibit...with one a couple hours there this really meant we walked through the rain forest (sea was obsessed with having butterflies land on her...looking forward to posting these photos) and then quickly walked through the aquarium before the kids got excited about the play area and made friends...had to rush back to our car parked in the hotel before we got charged another day...then off to tiburon to have dinner with friends from college...their kids were of course well behaved and calm through the somewhat formal experience and mine were crazy and having fits...the little boy sea's age even came over and told his mom he couldn't sit by sea anymore because she was talking too much...but it was still nice to have the socialization and catch up with them even if this experience was very exhausting...we spent the night in novato between the city and napa valley
wednesday march 10 drove through sonoma area into napa valley...stopped at my favorite sandwich place ever in all my world travels (giunis in st. helena) and then off to my favorite bakery ever (model bakery a few doors down) and got pastries for our relatives...per my prediction i ran into someone i knew within 5 minutes of being in town...i love that about that small town...so they joined us for another chaotic lunch with kids going crazy, running, hiding, teasing, chasing, hurting one another, etc. then off to find a dear friend i haven't been able to reach for awhile...we came bearing photos from our last visit and sea was so excited to play with her little daughter (she is about a year older than sea)...so we went together to get some ice cream and then headed up valley and onto lakeport (near clearlake) to stay with our relatives who just moved here from michigan...it was nice catching up with them and we enjoyed a homemade dinner and then sea got to help build a fire, read their now grown children's books, play with puzzles, etc.
thursday march 11 sea and story were so excited about playing outside...they had a pool, big grassy area, play equipment and lots of dirt, grass, leaves, walnuts that had fallen out of the trees, trees to climb, etc. things to explore along with a tolerant and calm golden retriever...enjoyed breakfast and then a super treat of my aunt offering to watch the children while i took a bath in her whirlpool jacuzzi bath tub...i so wanted to take a photo of my legs propped up and bubbles everywhere and the wonderful sunlight streaming in but i just enjoyed and savored those experiences in the moment without capturing them...i hated to rush off but wanted to spend time with my sister-in-law and her husband and new baby...so we finally got everything together and packed up and drove another 2.5 hours to sacramento...missy had made homemade veggie burgers that were so yummy i need to put these on my weekly menu at our home...we ate, hung out and then went to a baby consignment show at the convention center...kids were so strung out and throwing themselves out of the stroller so i really couldn't look around much...this is fine as we really don't need any more "stuff"...went to california pizza kitchen for dinner...tried lots of different veggies (if you are vegetarian, go here and order "sides" of veggies...they assume they are being added to pizza or pasta and are only $1 for a large serving! like what normally would be more than $5 in other restaurants...i also tried a yummy asian salad that had miso dressing...asparagus soup...key lime pie...back to bed at the in-laws house...at this point story had been sick a couple of days and i didn't want to stay there and get them sick but they insisted and i'm so glad they did as this was the best sleep i got all week! maybe the kids were exhausted at that point but either way i was very grateful
friday, march 12...today, finally...oh wait, i was only going to "list"
story woke up...see you soon...