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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Friday, October 20, 2006


When a parking space seals your fate

Rosa couldn't make it today so instead of spending the day researching and writing like a good work-at-home-mom, I piled the kids in the car and we headed to San Francisco to eat lunch and see what we could see. I felt a small twinge of guilt at ditching my responsibilities, but I don't have a deadline looming right at this moment. Plus, on our way out of town we dropped off my Mothers Club's newsletter at the printer and hey, I deserve a day off after getting that project done, right?

Our first stop was the Long Life Noodle Company in the Sony Metreon. I dream about this restaurant; I could eat there every day. Because I'm on a quasi low carb diet (Quasi because I don't count wine or champagne in my carb count. Nor do I actually count carbs. Nor am I on a diet.), I got the minced chicken "tacos." It's minced chicken seasoned with chilis and mushrooms and I dunno... exotic spices... served with whole leaves of iceberg lettuce that you use as a tortilla with the chicken as the filling. Really good. Oh, and the kids had chow fun, their standard fare.

After lunch we meandered over to my new favorite upscale mall, the Westfield San Francisco Centre to check out their bathroom facilities and exchange some pants I bought for Emily at H&M.

My friend Jennie had told me that the Westfield had a Family Lounge and--lo and behold--she was right! All of you locals and those who are visiting with small kids: this is the place to go. It's a huge room with a play area for toddlers, three nursing rooms with curtains, and a whole row of changing tables with mobiles hung to distract the babies. I also saw baskets of complimentary rattles that read "Westfield." Get those babies thinking about shopping, people! The family lounge contains a family bathroom with both a toddler-sized toilet AND an adult-sized toilet. (So many family bathrooms neglect to provide for the larger members of the family. Ahem. But not the Westfield!) The Family Lounge is located next to the bathrooms on the concourse level. It's swell.

BTW, Bloomingdales, also located in the Westfield, has a semi-private children's lounge in their children's department. They run cartoons and have games available, too. I guess you're supposed to leave your children there while you spend $200 on designer onesies, but it also would be a nice place to breastfeed or just to chill.

Look at me, Mrs. Mall-with-Kids Factoid Lady!

Anyway, after checking out the pee pee place, we went up to H&M. I'm not sure if Emily is a wee little thing or if the European-based H&M thinks American children are gigantic, but their sizing for kids runs really big. I got her some pants in size 2-3 years and I had to exchange them for ones in size 1-1.5 years. And Emily is over three! I don't really care what the size on the tag reads except the fact that they didn't fit her meant I had to take them back.

At the store Thomas was content in the stroller since they play super loud techno music (he was in a trance), but Emily was running around like a kid in a candy store. And I am totally going to blame her for the fact I left my purse lying on a table by the pants and then totally spacing on it until I was at the counter and realized I didn't have it. The woman behind me (bless her soul) asked me calmly, "Where have you been?" in an effort to get me to re-trace my steps. And you know what? I honestly couldn't remember the last place I had been and I had just been to that fabulouso pee pee palace. This is your brain on kids, people.

When the clerk handed me back the bag with my returns in it so that I could go frantically try and hunt down my purse, I remembered that I had taken the bag OUT OF MY PURSE, which meant that my purse was in the store and ... BY THE PANTS! Where I had left it. And there it was, sitting open. Luckily, my wallet and money were obscured by a sticky, greasy juice cup so I guess that's why nobody bothered to take them.

As nice as the Westfield's Family Lounge is, I'd still rather go to that mall when I'm by myself and I'm free to meander the hallowed halls without constantly yelling, "Emily, follow mommy!"

On our way out of town there was an accident on 101 so I decided to detour to the Great Highway and take the scenic route home. What the hay, it's Friday. On our way through Golden Gate Park, Emily and I practiced the days of the week and I tried to teach her what TGIF meant. It was hard because she's still so excited about school she doesn't understand why anybody would look forward to a day when they didn't have to go to school. My sweet girl.

When we got to Ocean Beach, I realized that it was too beautiful of a day to waste it being in the car. Plus, Emily kept saying, "Mommy, I want to go there!" and pointing to the beach. So I made a deal with myself;I pulled into the parking lot at Ocean Beach and thought: if there's a parking space, we'll stay. And there was! This was our lucky day as the place was packed with others wanting to take advantage of the beautiful October weather, October being the only time of the year in San Francisco that it's nice enough to enjoy the beach without being bundled up in fleece and down.

A spontaneous couple of hours at the beach was a perfect ending to a pretty good day with the kids. Work stuff seems ridiculously inconsequential when you're watching your kids play in the ocean for the first time, doesn't it?

Beautiful Day at Ocean Beach
Click on the photo to see the whole set.

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