Having survived yet another holiday season, my husband and I decided to break with family tradition and took our Rockem’ Sockem’ Robots (aka the kids) to San Francisco for a post-holiday vacation. Hubby is a die-hard Oakland Raiders football fan and he was hoping his illustrious team would be in the playoffs. Since he’d never seen whatever venue they play in, he was committed to going with Junior in tow. Diva and I, not content to stay in frigid New Jersey, insisted on tagging along.
For preparation purposes, I break trips into phases: I – getting there, II – being there, and III – getting home. Phase I entailed a 6-hour flight for which I packed snacks (we were told we would get a meal) and loaded my Kindle up with tons of books and games with which to amuse the 6-year old. Within the first five minutes of the flight, my little darling had somehow deleted four of the games I’d depended on to keep her amused. She also refused to do any of the workbooks I’d brought (apparently she learned “I hate homework” from her brother – thanks, Junior) and despite insisting on the window seat, pulled down the shades saying she didn’t want to see how high up we were. Add to that no free meal served plus a seatmate who had a raging cold (his kids were sitting behind my husband and my son, comparing the size of the mucus flying out of their noses) and you can see that Phase I of the trip was not fun.
The trip (Phase II) was. Hubby is a “go-go-go” kind of guy who likes to wring every moment out of a trip. With San Francisco being a great city to walk, he had us schlepping several miles a day so that I actually lost weight on vacation. What impressed me most about the city were the people. More than once someone who thought we might be lost gently inquired where we were going and guided us on how to get there. I’ll always the remember the lady who sat down next to us at lunch one day and asked if my daughter was adopted from China. Upon learning she was, the woman radiantly told us that she, too, had been adopted back in the 1950s (when it was less common than it is now) and shared her story. She ended by telling the Diva “always remember that you’re special because your parents chose to go to China to get you. Adoption is awesome!” Who says angels don’t walk among us?
On New Year’s Eve we celebrated – by watching the festivities in New York. Being the Party Animals that we are (NOT!), we were too pooped to stay up to see the fireworks explode over the Golden Gate Bridge. The next day, the Raiders lost their game but hubby and son got to see them in a place the duo had only watched on television. Our time in Muir Woods, Sausalito, and Pacifica more than made up for the loss. I think my kids are going to remember their trek to San Francisco fondly.
Phase III of the trip ended without incident since I was more prepared for the inhumanity of air travel. I’d packed sandwiches, snacks, and carefully monitored my little one so that no Kindle apps were deleted on the way home. The only shocker was leaving a state that was 60 degrees to land at Newark Airport where the ground temperature was 15. At the end of the day, Diva was looking forward to seeing her kindergarten friends while Junior was dreading the homework he’d have after missing one day of school.
And I was happy to be back in New Jersey, even with its Artic temperatures, with the holidays under my belt and the normalcy of our regular schedules ahead. Life goes on…
This is an original post for Jersey Moms Blog. We’re so glad she came back to us!