Monthly Archives: February 2011


Bags are getting packed…toys are being rounded up…a the last of the sand is being shaken out of our things.

We head back to California in the morning. Will post some tales later. Until then, pop on over to that Flickr thingamajig to see some gems of our time here.

Ps: “Papa-sickles” refers to Annika’s way of pronouncing the word Popsicles. She’s had a fee here and loved their sticky wonderfulness.



Day 4 in Paradise: In lieu of enjoying a trip to Hilo to visit with Tom, Jill and Evan, we enjoyed the ER in Waimea for poor Miss Cough-a-Lot.

Good News is that she has a cold that she will eventually get over…how many weeks has it been now?

Bad News is that she has a nasty ear infection in both ears. Guess the cold bugs took shelter in her ears.

In any event, she’s a champ. She endured being confined in the oddest contraption for her chest xrays. In exchange, she got meds and some stickers.

We got peace of mind and a copy of the xrays! How’s *that* for a souvenir?

Family and monkeys and art…oh my!

So, last Saturday. What better way to spend it than with waffles, monkeys and LEDs?

My dad, Nick (a.k.a. G’Pa) flew up for the weekend. He hadn’t seen us since our last visit over a year ago and it was high time that he set his new bionic eyes on Little Miss Thang.

Breakfast = Ole’s Waffle Shop. Not only an entry on our While We’re In The Bay Area list, but a new destination for my dad. They might as well call it Ole’s Strawberry and Bacon Shop as that’s all Annika was interested in eating.

Airport. Check.

Waffles. Check.

Next stop…Oakland Zoo. Now back in my day, it was the Knowland Park Zoo. Also, back in my day, the zoo was a bit hoopdie. At some point it got a kick in the pants and infusion of cash. A zillion years later the rounded concrete animal habitats are showing signs of age but gracefully doing so. The greenery of the park has matured greatly. A once bare and tidy landscape is now thick and lush. Together, with the aging buildings, some sections look almost post apocalyptic. As though the animals moved into a long forgotten place. It’s really very cool.

Oh and the animals? Annika was all laughter and giggles. This was her first zoo visit afterall. Though we did find it odd, that upon walking up to the zebras, she acknowledged them with “Zebras….next” and walked off almost as quickly as she walked up.

The famous Sky Ride was a huge hit. Who doesn’t love looking down on all those animals?

Faced with staying to visit the Children’s area or leaving to get some lunch, we recited my friend Julie’s advice on parenting, “Leave when they’re happy”. And we did.

Lunch (is the guy at Genova going to keep letting us in??) and a bit more visiting later, it was time to get G’Pa on BART and over to Hayward for a visit with my grandfather and uncle.

And because we just didn’t have enough to enjoy in one day, we had a party to attend. Our visit west coincided with the annual Sun Brothers open house. Introducing Annika not only to a bevvy of folks from our Burning Man past, but also some amazing art was a treat. If only we could’ve stayed late enough to show her the fire sculptures.


In the last two weeks we have enjoyed…

  • A visit with Nana2Too (my nana/Annika’s great-nana)
  • Visiting my mom’s local library.  Annika squealed with delight upon seeing their copy of Jamberry.  It was promptly checked out and has been read about a zillion times.
  • Annika’s lessons in running Bill’s N scale (?) train.  We’ll wait a while until she can run the controls for the helicopter.
  • Meeting Baby Tristan
  • My “grown-up” dinner with Lisa.  Grown-up = no kiddo and the rare opportunity to have a conversation that includes complete sentences!
  • Joining my childhood friend Aimee and her son Josh at their weekly playdate.  Their group met that week at a brand-spanking-new park in San Ramon.  Annika’s eyes almost busted out of her skull when she saw all the equipment she could climb, slide and swing from. 
  • Enjoying Genova Delicatessen not once, but twice…so far.
  • Visiting our friend’s Michael and Amy and their daughter Ava in Petaluma on a gorgeous Saturday morning, complete with bubbles, tea sets, building blocks AND homemade pizza.  I can’t wait to try Michael’s crust recipe!
  • Installing the swing at mom and Bill’s house.  And then indulging Annika in her first-thing-in-the-morning requests for some swinging…still in her pj’s and sometime with her princess shoes on.
  • Enjoying mexican food….
  • Enjoying Sunday Brunch with MariAnn, Ed, Aimee, Ken, Josh, Annika and my mom.  Great food, great company and a wonderfully short (good thing for the kiddos) walk over to Blackhawk Plaza to feed the ducks and the geese. Oh and playing on the climbing structure.
  • Our morning with Trish and Baby Molly.  Our walk to lunch and cupcakes.  Not sure what Annika loved more; the cupcakes or the play area at the cupcake store!  Annika was so enamored with Molly that she shared her beloved Douglas with her new little friend.  Annika also made sure that she had a chance to show us that she could climb into Molly’s crib a few times.
  • Our evening with Bethannee, Ray, Ian and Baby Zoe (two new babies in one day!…Annika was very impressed). Between their climbing structure, swings and trampoline…I think Annika would’ve been happy to stay behind.  I’m not sure how B and Ray would’ve felt though! 🙂
  • Annika’s exploration of the rickshaw at Rickshaw Bagworks.
  • Our afternoon at Yerba Buena Gardens. We had a bit of time to kill before picking Chris up at the airport. Since we were in the SF (and have I mentioned the sunshine?) we made our way to YBG.  Was it the huge expanse of grass? The foot bridge over Harrison, complete with a fire engine sighting?  Two rides on the famous and beautifully restored Playland Carousel? Or the Zeum Playground and the GIANT slide that impressed Annika so?  It’s anyone’s guess…but all I know is that this was the one and only time that Annika wasn’t exactly thrilled at hearing it was time to go to the airport and “pick up daddy”. 
  • Ah, the airport.  Chris’ arrival was met with a “Daddy” squeal that brought tears to our eyes and a maybe a bit of envy to a few solo travelers at baggage claim.
  • Enjoying more mexican food…
  • Our stop at The Crucible;  our visit with my friend Kristy and Chris enjoying running into old friends.
  • A reunion with my college friend Julie, husband Gus and their family in Pacifica. Though 10 years have passed, it’s like we had just seen each other yesterday.  Annika made herself at home at the beach, quickly communing with the sand and water.  Some snacks and clandestine beers later, we made our way back to our friend’s house so that kids could bathe and we would enjoy dinner.  Annika was quite fond of Jack and really enjoyed Simone’s dolls…not to mention the robe she got to borrow after her bath!
  • A quick trip to Telegraph Ave. to sell some cd’s at Amoeba. My how times change.  Not that many years ago we were there, spending hours flipping through music, without a care in the world…and now we are their with our daughter…spending more time in the Children’s section…who even knew that Amoeba had a children’s section!
  • More mexican food. 
  • A visit with Nancy and her girls.  Annika again was enamored with the big girls and their toys. 

One could say that our dance card has been a bit full. It has, and we are doing our best to finish getting over our colds AND make the most of our visit our here in the 415/510/650/925.

Tomorrow is a visit with my dad and a trip to the zoo.  Annika’s never been.  This should be interesting.

3333 miles, 3 time zones and 1 box of tissues

Several clues that we have arrived in the Bay Area:

  • KFOG’s 10@10 celebrated Chinese New Year with songs featuring animals of the zodiac.  My favorite, Iggy Pop’s, “I Wanna Be You Dog”.
  • Driving a healthy freeway speed and being passed….on the right.
  • Hearing a bundled up mom at a park complain about the cold weather while watching a barefoot Annika skid down the slide. It was 60 by the way.

Yes…sunshine, great food, semi-clogged freeways and a steady stream of visits with family and friends. 

 If only we hadn’t travelled with The Cold.  No sooner did we arrive and being to thaw our winter bones up than we were suddenly coughing and sneezing. The good news is that we are in the helpful hands of family who made sure we had steady streams of tea and tissues.  Also helpful, enoying unseasonably warm weather at local parks AND playdates with kiddo friends who are also recovering from The Cold.  Never thought I’d love hearing “We’d love to see you, [name of friend’s child] is getting over that too!” so much. 

Happily, we’re on the mend and enjoying every minute of it. 

[hint to my family: don’t forget to check out the Flickr feed to see photos of our shenanigans. the More Photos link takes you to the site]