Friday, July 10, 2009


What I Did On My Summer Vacation, Part II

Late afternoon on last Thursday, the three of us--Georgia, Allison, and I--headed to the airport, bound for San Francisco. Georgia had flown a lot as an infant (travelling to San Diego, Boston, Washington, DC., Tempe, and Birmingham before she was 18 months old), but she doesn't remember any of it. As far as she was concerned, this was her first plane trip. She loved it.

Our lovely friends Alan and Jude (of Borderland Books fame) put us up for the weekend, and Liza Groen Trombi (of Locus fame) and her husband Matt had us over for a backyard bbq with their friends on the afternoon of the Fourth.

This being our first proper family vacation with just the three of us, where we weren't visiting relatives or attending a convention or something, we quickly had to strike a balance between the things that Allison and I wanted to do, and the things that would appeal to Georgia.

Essentially that meant stopping frequently for food and drinks in our favorite restaurants for the grownups, and things involving animals and stuffed toys for Georgia.

Here we are, waiting on food at our favorite restaurant on the planet, House of Nanking (we had coffee and wine across the street at Cafe Zoetrope while Georgia ate a pizza, as there was nothing on the menu she would touch, sadly).

Here's me and Georgia outside the gates of Chinatown. As we had come in from the Columbus Ave side, though, we were on our way out, and exhausted. (I always overestimate the stamina of my travelling companions for walking, and underestimate the distance from one spot to another in SF--a side-effect of living there for two years without a car and getting too used to walking everywhere--and as a result I spent a lot of time carrying Georgia on my shoulders that first day. On day two and further, we put the rental car to more use.)

Here's the three of us looking at sea lions on Pier 39 the next morning. Georgia is hiding in part because she's being shy in the face of the helpful young lady who offered to take our picture, and because sea lions well and truly stink.

Here's the ladies at the "little" aquarium on Pier 39 (Georgia is carrying the panda she got in Chinatown, one of only nine animal toys she got over the course of four days).

And here's Georgia the next day upstairs from the "big" aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences, riding a brass Galapagos Tortoise. (She is carrying the plastic rat that she got in Noe Valley at breakfast--it's red with white hearts, naturally--and wearing the Hello Kitty hoodie she got at the Sanrio store the first day.)

And here's Georgia entranced by the "upsidedown jellyfish" (my hand to god, that's what the sign said), in the aquarium downstairs.

We flew back crazy early on Monday morning, by which point all of us were pretty well exhausted. We'd brought loads of DVDs and books to distract Georgia, but we were flying JetBlue with their little TVs built into the chairs. There was a Spongebob marathon on which kept her occupied for most of the flight, with visits to Cartoon Network for Chowder for variety. (On the traytable in front of her, along with the reading I was doing for the WFAs, is the rubber lizard she got at the California Academy of Sciences.)

We took along our new Flip UltraHD camera (which is awesome), so I may load little video clips later on when I figure out how to upload them. But for now, that's the highlights. Not featured are all of the other meals we didn't document in photos, including the best Thai I've had in ages at a joint at Castro & 19th, our trip to Berkeley, the fireworks, the two stops in at Borderlands to load up on books, etc. Great trip, great fun, and exhausting as all get out. I need a week off now to recover from the vacation...

Seem like you had good fun, and I already put some these restaurants and places for my upcoming November SF visit, but still waiting for more recommendations from you.

Jet Blue are great even for adults, or at least child like adults like me. When I took them to Denver last year (for Worldcon) they had a Star Trek marathon on the SF channel, and so I spent the whole 4 hrs flight watching old episodes of TNG. It was one rare time when I actually wished the flight would be longer.
Have no fear, Rani! We'll put together a complete dining, drinking, and shopping guide to San Francisco before you get there!
Not really worried :-)
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