Every year my friend Haleema and I gaze longingly from our window in City Hall at the gluhwein guzzling patrons of the Christkindlmarket. It's a wonderful event that consumes Daley Plaza with potato pancakes, marzipan and other German Christmas traditions.
The first night we got to San Francisco it was really beautiful. I think even when the sun went down it was 45 degrees. Earlier in the day the temperature had been near 60. While everyone around us was complaining about the chill, we were shedding our coats and putting on short sleeves. Mike even turned on the air conditioning in our room. (This is of particular note since we spend a lot of time at home wrestling the thermostat up and down. I turn it to 66 and he turns it to 72.) I tried to explain to someone that when you spend winter in Chicago, 45 degrees in December is an absolute heat wave.
It was just so strange and unnatural to see Christmas trees everywhere when its warm outside. I just couldnt get used to it. I thought it was some kind of Christmas in July marketing ploy.
We walked to the wharf a lot since we were staying right there, as you can see from Syd standing in the middle of the hotel lobby. !sydhotel.jpg!
. . .and from the glorious picture of Mike and his cousins in front of what I still believe to be some insincere attempt to create Christmas in a place where Christmas cannot possibly happen. I mean, where is the frozen rain? (As I sit close enough to my kitchen window to hear and see it pelting the glass.) Where are the sodden mittens and frostbitten ears? (As a kid, I played outside so long past the time I was supposed to come in that I ended up with frostbitten ears a lot.) Where for Santa Claus' sake is the SNOW?! Forget it. I could never move to California for that reason alone. Well, that and the property taxes, the high cost of living, the inflated property values and the natural disasters. Actually, the tree is quite beautiful even though the photographer didn't quite center the shot. If I titled this one, I would call it, "The Cones of San Francisco".
Our first trip with our 1.5 year old Sydney was a lot like SNAKES ON A PLANE! only noisier. How exactly do you confine a very active toddler to a space the size of a phone booth for 5 hours? You don't. You let said toddler terrorize all the passengers on the plane by popping in to visit at the end of their row and shouting "BAH!" or "DA-DAH!" at the top of her lungs. Or, you let her carry your cell phone (off, of course) up the aisle of the plane pretending she's doing business with a very important client. Actually, she didn't really terrorize anyone but us. Everyone else thought she was the cutest thing ever. Well, at least until the last ½ hour of the flight when she began screaming because she hadn't slept since 6 am.
She did spend quite a bit of time in the row with us. Thank heavens there were 30 open seats on the plane. We played quite a few different games in those five hours, none of which involved sleeping or reading. We played a rousing game of "Put the Tray Table Up and Down". Then we managed to play the "Shut and Open the Window Shades". I recommend that one highly. My favorite, though, was "Play Supermodel with the Air Vents". (Daddy invented that one.) There were a few others like "Shove the Snacks in Quick, Daddy" and "Mommy, Pick Up What I Threw," but those were short lived. We made it (by we, I of course, mean daddy and me) in tact to San Francisco.
This is the story of one woman and her quest to be as active as her wonderfully crazy toddler. The story will be told over the months with photos taken with Sony equipment and tracked with their new GPS system.