despite being one of the most touristy parts of san francisco, fisherman's wharf is a great and entertaining place to take a toddler (or at least one that you have to carry). it almost felt as though we were in another country as we walked through the throngs of people crowding the narrow alleyway, all waiting for their crab or lobster sandwiches that the vendors cooked right there on the street. we didn't try any of the food, just stopped at each vendor to watch them steam and serve the crabs. i'm pretty sure we could have spent hours sitting in front of a bucket of crabs on ice as holden seemed to be fascinated with them. just out back, you can walk along the harbor and check out all of the fishing boats that bring in the fresh fish, crab, and lobster daily. holden is obsessed with boats at the moment, so visiting boats just so happens to be a favorite past time these days. we met a friendly sea lion who was waiting patiently behind one of the fishing boats that had just come in, hoping for a few scraps, and spoke with a fisherman about his catch for the day. we laughed at the seagulls that refused to get out of the street and held up traffic, listened to a band playing on the corner, and stumbled into a museum filled with old arcade games. this was one of the last cast adventures that we went on and something we probably wouldn't have done if holden wasn't in the cast , thinking it to be too touristy of a place for locals, but a spot we are happy to have seen.
despite living in the city for over three years, i never really took the time to explore china town of san francisco. however, on our quest to keep our cast-ridden boy happy, we thought we would take an hour or two to walk through this unique part of the city and see what we could find. we parked in one of the garages and headed out on the streets with no real agenda in mind. we didn't arrive until the early evening so a lot of the food shops were closing down, and although we were initially disappointed, we found it to be perfect timing as we were able to watch the shop owners shovel ice from the window fronts and cart fish, mussels, and other unsold items from the day through the streets. we bought a sesame seed cookie that holden devoured within a few minutes and a box of poppers that we tossed into the street while holden shouted "pop!" and scared a few tourists passing by. the lanterns hanging across the streets, lucky cats in every window, and secret alleys around every corner completely captivated holden and we found ourselves wondering why we had never taken the time to explore china town before this evening adventure.
there are so many places to explore in san francisco that you could spend two weeks in the city and still not discover all there that it has to offer. with holden's cast, it's easiest to spend our hours in places that have a lot to see and so we have been spending our afternoons in various parts of the city to keep him entertained. on this day last week we decided to spend the late afternoon and evening hours (right after our ice cream adventure) at aquatic park. we happened to pick a particularly warm day in the city to picnic and draw by the water, the highlight being holden getting to watch a crab climb up and down the wall before jumping with a big splash into the water (it's the little things, right?). we perused the street vendors, saw some (crazy) swimmers swim back and forth across the bay, watched the trolleys roll up and down the hill (holden refused to actually jump aboard one preferring to watch from a distance instead), and didn't do anything particularly exciting, but it was a completely free and fun evening as a family. sometimes the best thing about city life is the fact that you can do nothing in particular and yet it can still result in hours of free entertainment.
mama is wearing: h&m blazer, w118 by walter baker top & skirt, charlotte russe wedges
little man is wearing: baby gap blazer, h&m button-up, crewcuts shorts
last week, during a particularly warm afternoon by the bay, holden experienced his very first ice cream cone. he has had a taste of ice cream here and there, but never seemed that interested - he wouldn't ask for more and it didn't seem like it was anything special to him (now fruit popsicles are a completely different story!) however, this time was different. the three of us shared one vanilla and one chocolate ice cream cone, expecting that he would take a bite and then let us consume the rest, but i never did get my cone back. his eyes were so wide and he was so serious the entire time, repeating mmmmm, ice cream, cone, mmmmm. it seems as though he may have changed his mind on ice cream.
mama wore: oscar de la renta top and skirt
little man wore: oscar de la renta button-up, h&m shorts
one of the things that i love most about the bay area is that you can be in the middle of a bustling city surrounded by thousands of people at one moment and in 30 minutes or less, you can be in the middle of nowhere, a place so quiet that you can hear yourself breath with not a single person in sight. pair that with a 30 degree temperature difference and the juxtaposition is almost shocking. this is exactly what happened on this day, when we spent the pre-nap hours in the city (see more on our morning adventure here) and the post-nap hours in the hills. there are so many open spaces and national parks in the bay area and they are the perfect place for little boys to explore so we often find ourselves in these secret spots. it has become somewhat of a nightly tradition for our family to head up into the hills in the late evening hours to say goodnight to the parting sun. we hunt for crickets as they sing their summer lullaby into the dusk and scout for the hooting owl and the howling coyote announcing night's arrival. and once the glowing orange sun has disappeared behind the mountain top, we jump in the car and head home, finally ready for sleep, happy and satisfied to have made the most of every last drop of light.
photos from a hike in the hills a few weeks ago
two weeks ago, while we were on a mini vacay in san diego visiting friends and family, holden had a huge accident. in a grand attempt at kicking a goal between two posts in the grandparents backyard, holden's foot got stuck on the ball and he fell onto his knee twisting his leg in an extremely awkward position and ended up breaking the femur in his left leg. to say that we were heartbroken and devastated upon arriving in the er and learning that his leg was broken and that he would have to be in a spica cast for 8 weeks is a huge understatement. i don't think i will ever be able to find the words to describe how much my heart hurt at seeing holden in pain and unable to run around. he is an explorer at heart, incredibly independent, and barely stands still for more than a few seconds so to have to tell him he was unable to do the activities that he loved pained me more than i would have ever expected. the first week was unbearable and i really didn't think that we were going to survive. i didn't want to tell anyone, i didn't want any pictures of him in the cast, i didn't want any documentation of this difficult time in our lives because it seemed all too painful to ever look back on. but then, the pain subsided and holden realized that he could get around by crawling and rolling and eventually half-walking on his one good leg, and he quickly returned to his happy little self. we found that taking him out to explore new places and visiting every museum, exhibit, aquarium, farm, zoo, etc. in the area that can entertain him while he is being carried has taken some of the frustration away. he still yearns to do things on his own, often pointing to himself and saying "holden do it" as we hold him up on his bike or help him hop on one leg desperate to be able to do things on his own (my heart weeps silently when he says this) and we gently explain that for now, we have to help him, but he will be able to do everything on his own soon enough. we keep reminding him that the cast will be off soon and we ask him, what are you going to do when you get the cast off? and then we all scream ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuun! i just can't wait to see those little legs in action again. we were given good news last week that he will be out of the cast at 5 weeks instead of 8 weeks (just another short 3 weeks to go) and we are already planning the celebrations that will ensue following the cast removal. this has been such a life changing experience for all of us, making us realize that we should never take our health for granted and how incredibly lucky we truly are.