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Location: Northern California

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

Friday, October 12, 2007


The revolt of all captive balloons

24th and York Street Mini Park
Originally uploaded by marytsao
Yesterday I took the kids on a fun San Francisco fieldtrip. First we hit Clement Street and had lunch at a little dim sum place on 6th Ave. and Clement, Wing Lee Bakery. The food is cheap and yummy. For $4.60 we got three steamed pork buns, two pot stickers, and three har gao (shrimp dumplings).

After lunch we checked out Green Apple Books and splurged on some new titles. Emily picked out a Power Puff Girls book and Thomas picked out a Where's Waldo book. I got Eric Clapton's new autobiography. I also bought A. Lamorisse's The Red Balloon, a children's book. The book is based on a movie I remember seeing when I was little. The title of this post is a quote from the book. Here's another quote I like: "People with dogs walk. People with packages take taxis. People with balloons leave them behind."

Now that's profound.

After our book buying spree we had ice cream (kids) and a peach smoothie (me) at Toy Boat Dessert Cafe. This place features San Francisco's own Double Rainbow Ice Cream and lots of kitschy toys. The kids didn't want to leave, but our parking meter (.25 cents for 10 minutes with a 60 minute limit -- I want to remember this for when I refer to these as "the good 'ol days.") was about to expire.

Saying good-bye to the Inner Richmond, we got back on 19th Ave. (Park Presidio in this part of The City) and made our way north to the Marina and the Exploratorium. The kids ran around the Exploratorium for a couple of hours while I desperately tried to take a photo worth posting on the Internet. The kids are a little young to really understand many of the Exploratorium's exhibits and their attention spans are definitely too short for much interactive play. They basically run from display to display and twist knobs and touch things. I know they're absorbing tons of information and that being there is a good thing, but it does get a little weary chasing two preschoolers around a crowded place, especially when they're running in different directions. After ninety minutes I was ready to go. On our way out we hit the gift shop to get a present for Emily's friend who is turning four this weekend.

We still had some time before we had to be home for dinner so we swung by the Mission and a playground on 24th and York Streets that I've been meaning to visit. It's a mini park that features lots of great murals and a Quetzalcoatl mosaic snake sculpture. The kids had a good time running around with another little girl about Thomas's age. She was cute.

The 24th and York Street Mini Park is just down the street from El Farolito so of course I had to pick up burritos and quesadillas for dinner. Another inexpensive meal -- I think I spent $12 for a steak burrito, a chicken burrito, and a cheese quesadilla. The cheapness of our eats helped offset the cost of the Exploratorium (about $23. plus an astonishing $6.78 for two bottled juices at the snack bar.)

All in all, a fine day in a beautiful city. I love visiting San Francisco. Having lived there the longest of any city I've ever lived in, I will always consider it home. I'm glad we live close enough to go there regularly.

Pictures of our latest adventure are up on Flickr.