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.