William really is becoming quite the seasoned traveler. He and I tagged along with David last week when he went to San Francisco for a medical conference. And while William is becoming a veteran road (and air) warrior, David and I are becoming experts on Packing With Baby (PWB). We stuffed the Accord to the very brim with toys, baby food, the Bumbo seat, a stroller, clothes, extra clothes, more extra clothes, and so forth, and we set out for a long (very long, but that's a story for another, much more boring day) drive upstate to the Bay Area.
While David studied sports medicine in a big hotel in Japantown, William and I went sightseeing. We shopped in Union Square, ate lunch at a sidewalk cafe, tromped up and down the hills of Chinatown, narrowly avoided being hit by a cable car, rode the bus, and gawked at the massive Christmas tree in the middle of Union Square. I also rescued William's shoes about a hundred times, since he seemed to be determined to leave a souvenir somewhere around the city.
Here is William, kicking up his heels (and going for those shoes) in Chinatown:
I also got really ambitious and took the BART to Berkeley one day. BART is the Bay Area's version of the Metro or subway. It's actually much easier to navigate than the bus system, plus you don't have to fold up the stroller. Of course, it's also indirectly responsible for William's first exposure to drugs. We exited the train at the downtown Berkeley station and searched for the elevator to take us to the street. When the doors slid open, we both got a faceful of marijuana-scented air. Nice. Breathe in, kiddo. This is what the counterculture smells like! Is that the Grateful Dead I hear?
By the way, I plan to put this on my Parent of the Year application. Took child to Berkeley, check. Exposed child to marijuana at very young age, check. Took child to wineries the very next day, check.
We also lost one of my favorite hats at the University of California. When we got off the train, William was wearing his navy blue hat with the frog on it. By the time I huffed and puffed my way through the main part of the campus (from walking uphill, thanks!), he had managed to take it off and fling it somewhere. To paraphrase the old song, William left his hat in San Francisco. (Har. Thank you. Thank you. I'll be here all week.) No way was this out-of-shape body going to retrace my steps, so we detoured into the Cal bookstore to buy a hat. So now my child has a Berkeley hat. I think it made up for the fact that I was wearing a bright red--Stanford red--sweater on campus on the day of the huge Cal-Stanford game. Maybe. Maybe William's new hat cancelled out my rather poor (given the circumstances) fashion choice.
The funny thing is, it was the one day that I didn't pull the Mom Executive Fashion Privilege and subject him to wearing something that would surely make people go "awwww." All the other days, he wore his Santa Claus hat. It generated lots of comments from people. The good people, that is. I have little respect for people who are so tragically hip and wear ironic clothes in a painfully earnest way that they don't have time to smile at a baby in a Santa hat who's directing a gummy smile up at them. I mean, sure, I'm biased and I think William is practically edible. But really. Can you really resist this face?
It was a good trip. But oh, we were tired when we got home on Monday night. William is much more fun these days, certainly, but he also doesn't sleep very well at night away from home. We were up and down several times at night with him, and when added to all the walking we did, we managed to wear ourselves out. And the drive home through the Central Valley and the LA area was loooong. Long and boring. But at least we didn't have to deal with the airport. Thank God for small favors.