Tuesday, November 23, 2010

San Francisco

San Francisco was amazing! I visited 10 years ago, when in grad school, for the same conference. We stayed in a lovely hotel in Union Square, within striking distance of almost everything! We were a little nervous about flying with Raf, though, and before we departed I spent countless hours trying to work out how to download episodes of Peppa Pig so that Raf could be distracted on the lengthy flight. Hours and hundreds of dollars later (portable DVD players are pricey) we felt somewhat prepared to handle almost anything - and enjoyed a pretty easy flight to SF, with a shirtish layover in Newark. Really, Raf was amazing, and Peppa Pig truly did save our sanity.

Raf shows off his impressive tummy whilst watching Peppa...

I love this photo of Raf looking out the window as we arrived.

We were treated to some fabulous weather for much of our stay, so as soon as we arrived we got ready to head out. Because of jetlagged Raf, we usually got takeout food for dinner and stayed in - but we had some fun times visiting diners for breakfast and lunch.

Raf watches Peppa Pig with daddy as I get ready.

Out to lunch

We spent a lot of Thursday exploring SF. We headed towards the Wharf through China Town. As we were about to cross over the road to walk through the gates which take you into China Town, Raf made friends with two very nice homeless guys who were doing a nice job making Raf laugh.

At the Wharf

It's all a bit much for the poor poppet.

There's a really lovely place for the seals. Apparently the docks are usually covered in seals... there were just a few when we visited.

We left the Wharf and hopped on a tram and made our way to the Ferry Building where we met an old school friend, Matthew, who lives in Sacramento. It must have been at least 12 or so years since I've seen him, and it was lovely to catch up.

Chasing Raf through the Ferry Building...

Eventually I caught the little guy.

One of the highlights of the trip was seeing my former PhD advisor at the conference. ben kindly came to see my paper and afterward we headed out for brunch. Raf and Rich joined us toward the end.

I also got to meet a friend from an online running group I belong to. jen and I planned to meet in Golden Gate Park for a 3 mile run. because I wanted to run farther, I planned to run the 3.6 miles from our hotel. Well, Rich's nickname for me is 'the demented homing pigeon' so it was no surprise that I got hopelessly lost. I was sad to see the Ferry Building (meaning that I'd run in precisely the wrong direction) and then the skies opened and torrential rain ensued.... Rich directed me back to where I needed to be via cell phone and I eventually found my way to the park - only a few minutes late, though thoroughly drenched. It was a lovely run with Jen, though, and afterward we went out for breakfast in Union Square with Raf and Rich.

Since we had to check out at midday we ended up walking around SF for most of the day. Unfortunately the weather was just awful. Really, really awful... downpours and thunder and lightening, which we managed to get caught in a few times. Trying to find a cab to take us to the airport was quite a feat, but luckily the hotel guy got us a towncar to take us. Raf had resisted napping ALL day, which meant that he was very tired. Peppa Pig turned out to be a good friend as we waited for our slightly delayed flight, and as soon as we boarded the plane and I was able to nurse Raf, he fell asleep... for the entire journey. it was quite a risk getting the red-eye, but it really worked out for us. We actually had to wake him at Newark. We popped him in the stroller and he promptly fell asleep for the entire lay over.

The flight from Newark to Portland (Raf's tenth flight in 16 months!) was equally as uneventful. A cuddle, some playing, some milk, some Peppa, and finally, right at the end, more napping. We couldn't have been luckier with the flight! A wonderful trip, for sure.


  1. Oh, wonderful post! Wonderful photos!!! I love the ones of him sleeping the best. What an adorable little poppet he is. I'm also--snort--so glad that Peppa Pig--snort--worked out for you. :-)

    So wasn't the Ferry Building just over the top??? I'm glad Raf got to see some sea lions and Chinatown, too. And I bet he is just advancing by leaps and bounds now, with all of that new stimulation for his mind. Perhaps most of all, I'm happy for you that he slept during the entire red eye!!! And glad you're all home safely.

  2. i love you all! I'm so glad you got to catch up with some old friends. I remember you talking of Ben. I want to read your paper, please!

  3. What a fantastic trip! San Francisco is a great diverse city, not to mention the sun and warmth (for the most part) in November! It was great to meet-up with Matthew, Ben and Jenn - and we'll be back at some point for longer, and I'm sure Rafi will be just as easy going next time.