|Waiting for our turn on the street car.|
|Lunch at Boudin|
|Boat tour under the Golden Gate.|
I have two sisters. One lives in L.A., the other in Oakland. I get to see them maybe once every two years. This time around (in November, remember? haha i made a rhyme!), we--and by 'we' I mean: a very pregnant me, my hubs, our two kiddos, my parents, my older sister and her hubs--converged spectacularly on the Oakland home of my little sister Andrea and her boyfriend Connolly. The latter had not met most of us before and, it must be said, exercised heretofore unheard of levels of patience with our family's standard dysfunctional mode of cray-cray. Thank you, Connolly.
We spent a week crashing at their home by night, and back-and-forth bay-hopping by day, diving head-first into San Francisco (and a little Oakland) tourist culture. Street cars, Fisherman's Wharf, and Lombard Street, SFMOMA, Aquarium of the Bay, and the Academy of Science. We walked and bussed and rode trains and boats, we ate sourdough bread with almost every meal. We carried extra jackets and sweaters for San Francisco's famously unpredictable weather, and basically spent seven days building family memories, teaching our children, and reminding ourselves, how to let go and immerse ourselves in a travel experience that helps shape our view of the world.
You see, we have these philosophies, Brian and I, by which we try to live, and, more to the point try to parent. One is a commitment to value experiences over possessions--we don't own a house, or even much furniture; our income is modest, but we manage it in a way that allows us to partake in every good learning experience that comes our way (ie: rock climbing lessons or a video game system? the choice, for us, is obvious). Another is that knowledge and relationships are the only things we take with us when we leave this world, so shouldn't our knowledge be wide and our family bonds deep? We think so. And that only comes with time spent together, discovering life.
|The Palace of Fine Arts, which houses the Exploratorium.|
|Science at Exploratorium.|
|The Museum of Modern Art.|
|Creating at MOMA.|
|Laurelei deemed this piece her favorite at MOMA.|
|Quidditch goggles for SF exploring- gift from Uncle and Auntie.|
|In Oakland, at Children's Fairyland.|
|Alice's rabbit hole at Fairyland.|
|Air garden at Academy of Science.|
So we left the City by the Bay with hundreds of new memories, at least as many photographs, if not more (I am married to this guy, after all) and very few souvenirs. Most of what we bought we either did (tickets, admissions, etc.), or ate (food = gooood). And we talked about those seven days and all they brought us again and again, letting the memories warm the rest of our chilly November back home.
What are your goals when you travel as a family? What places have you loved visiting? I hope many, and many more to come.