Thursday, March 19, 2015

No Snow in NoCal! Day 3...

Day 3 in Baghdad by the Bay (I'm not kidding. Who comes up with these?), and this time the girls were left to their own devices. I would love to tell you that it started off with a good, old-fashioned sleep-in...but unless you consider 6:45am sleeping in, I cannot.

It did, however, start with several rounds of Uno, most of which I won, and absolutely no coffee. The apartment we're renting doesn't have a coffee maker. I cannot emphasize enough how unsatisfactory I consider this to be. In fact, I rank it even more unsatisfactory than the 1-ply toilet paper. I mean, come on. 1-ply is for prisons. Period. But I digress.

After two solid days of sunshine and walking, I thought we'd take it a tad easier today by spending a bit of time lounging around and taking advantage of the myriad of public transit options. Instead, we enjoyed a solid day of sunshine and walking. Hey, if it ain't broke...

First stop: Coffee. Obviously. The Beanstalk Cafe is a lovely little spot that I can forgive for only having one (moderate) size of coffee, but not for being out of their two delicious sounding breakfast options: breakfast cups and cragels. In their defence, we'll try to get there before 10am tomorrow.

Second stop: Park. E has dutifully pounded the pavement for the past two days with more stamina and good humour than I could have imagined. And while there have been plenty of sights and tastes to amuse and delight her, there comes a point when every six year old decides that enough is enough. We've been lucky not to hit that mark yet, and to show our appreciation I unleashed her on the coolest park I could find in the neighbourhood. And I want it known that I dutifully played pretend (me: bad guy and/or prison guard, her: girl inmate/moth/butterfly/snitch/spy/honourary prison guard) the whole way. Where's my medal?

After wearing ourselves out at the park, we stopped for a quick lunch at Whole Foods before heading to mom's playground - aka Trader Joe's - where I put damn near everything they had in my cart. And it was good.

On the way home, loaded down with my booty, we stopped for another coffee and then popped into the salon next door to our apartment to see about a trim for the short one. Karen happened to have an opening right then and there, and proceeded to shampoo/massage/cut/style and blow-dry E until she looked like a newly-minted PR exec, and I died.

I had been looking forward to a little down time following the park/shopping excitement, but I guess E is just like any girl fresh from getting her hair did - she wanted to flaunt it! We sat on the step of our building for a few minutes while she decided what she was in the mood for. She settled on a picnic, so we packed up some Trader Joe's goodies and headed to Union Square. There we played a little, laid in the grass and ate a little, and I people-watched while E ran circles around me, literally and figuratively.

Then we headed to the Westin, which overlooks the square and boasts glass elevators that offer spectacular views from the 31st floor - as well as a stomach-flipping adventure for those of us with a fear of heights.

From there we would have headed straight home were it not for the irresistible underwear sale at Victoria's Secret (go ahead and try to resist 7 pairs for $27...I'll wait...). What started with an eyeroll and a "Mooooom...not underwear shopping!", ended with my daughter in a bra, admiring her "dress-up boobs" in the mirror. And I died for the second time.

It was another awesome day. It's spring, and I'm on vacation in a place where it actually feels like spring. It just doesn't get any better.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

No Snow in NoCal! Day 1

11:00am EST - Leave for the airport

11:30am EST - Actually leave for the airport

12:30pm EST - ...Aaaand, we're through ticketing about 2 minutes before check-in closes for our flight.

1:00pm EST - Board first flight to Chicago, IL. Consider, again, how much I hate flying into and out of Chicago. Manage to read 100 pages of new book while husband and daughter defeat zombies with garden vegetables. Visit airplane bathroom with child twice.

2:45pm EST - Land in Chicago with exactly enough time to grab a smoothie and pee before...

3:15pm EST - Boarding second flight to LA. Consider the likelihood of actually making next flight with a 33 minute layover. Enjoy another 100 pages of book while husband studied and daughter snoozed on my bladder. Visit airplane bathroom with child four times.

9:10pm EST/6:10pm PT - Land in LA 4 minutes before boarding begins for next flight.

9:20pm EST/6:20pm PT - Run from gate 50 to gate 53 as third flight is boarding. Be grateful for 3-gate commute. Visit airplane bathroom with child for the 7th, 8th and - thank god - final time. Finish second bottle of hand sanitizer.

11:10pm EST/8:10pm PT - Land in San Francisco, CA!

11:20pm EST/8:20pm PT - Walk length of airport several times with 6 pieces of luggage to secure 5 minute shuttle to hotel

11:45pm EST/8:45pm PT - Arrive, exhausted, at hotel. Convince offspring that constant snacking on last flight counts as dinner, wait 3 minutes for her to slip into unconsciousness and order some of the best Italian food this side of Italy. Let the gluttony begin!

Monday, March 16, 2015

No Snow in NoCal!

It's Cowger Family Vacation Time again! And where better for an Ottawa family to go in mid-March than...anywhere without snow?

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the American Academy of Dermatology for scheduling the 2015 annual meeting in San Francisco, California. I appreciate you having our backs like that. After hearing that we set a record this year for being the coldest capital in the WORLD, we are in desperate need of being talked off of the ledge.

Forecast for San Fran for the next week: highs of 17/18, lows of 10/12, lots of sun and absolutely no snow.

This is going to be awesome.

Look Ma! No boots!!!