Wednesday, February 27, 2013

San Francisco Part I: Getting There

One of our goals in going in to this globe-trotting world of ballet with our son, is to make sure that we include our daughters in the adventures.  I was supposed to bring our third child with me to Denver last year, but an extra plane ticket was just out of range.  We made a real effort this year to make it possible to bring her to San Francisco; it was her turn to fly, after all.

Being nine years old and having never flown in an airplane, it was terribly exciting.  I've always like flying, but being with a child who has never flown made it an even better experience.  Everything from the window shade to the traditional bag of peanuts was exhilarating.

I had my camera, but had left it in our meter-parked car some distance away.  I don't have pictures of the rest of this first day so I will describe it.

We arrived in the city at about 10:30 and our son wasn't to get in until 3:30.  We took advantage of the time.  We found a darling conglomeration of shops and restaurants not far from our hotel and decided on a Mediterranean restaurant.  I got some kind of pasta with goat cheese (if the menu says the item has goat cheese, I'm probably going to order that) and my sweet girl got lamb kabobs.  It was a little bit of a fancy restaurant, what with the leather seats and cloth napkins, though the lunch-time menu made it completely affordable.  We could see the chef in the kitchen and he was a flamboyant cook--large gestures, flames in the pan, a little dance with the music required it.  All of it was fun.

After lunch, we went to a bakery for dessert.  The moment we walked in, I knew we had discovered something special.  It was just like the bakery you would see in a picture book.  It had a large U-shaped glass case counter filled with every kind of doughnut, pastry, danish, cupcake and cookie.  Behind the case stood racks of fresh loaves of bread of every kind, rolls with cross-cuts, and freshly decorated cakes. 

I told my daughter she could choose anything.  Right next to the entrance was a small raspberry mousse.  It was SO fancy.  The actual mousse was pink, then it was covered in a beautiful pink glaze that dripped purposefully down the sides.  Centered on the top was an artistically arranged pile of carefully cut kiwi, raspberry and strawberry surrounded by a delicate chocolate swirl.  My, oh, my was she in heaven.  Here we were, on a gorgeous sunny day sitting at a sweet bistro table on the sidewalk of a darling street with a dream dessert and I didn't have my camera!  Well, my mind's eye will never forget it.

After our lunch, we went to the grocery store to pick up food for the rest of the weekend.  Eating out the whole time is not only expensive, but so unhealthy.  With the boy dancing, I wanted to make sure he was filling his body with helpful foods.  I'm proud to say we didn't have one hamburger!  We checked into the hotel then went to pick up the boy.

As soon as we met in the airport he said, "You'll never guess who was on my flight!  John McCain!"  I was proud of him for recognizing a politician and thought it was funny that that was his first celebrity sighting.

The rest of the day was spent settling in to our hotel, running a few random errands, preparing and eating dinner and watching hotel TV.  It was a good first day and we were all set for the events to come . . . about which I will tell you in the next post as this is running long.

Ooooh, suspense.  Well, now you feel just a tiny bit of my emotions for the weekend!  More coming soon.

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