As I mentioned yesterday, one of my best friends came with her two tween-aged daughters. Last year they came to visit me in Los Angeles and this year they made their winter-break vacation plans to come to the San Fran area to see us again. Given all the places there are to go in this wide world and all the things there are to see, I'm always pretty humbled and grateful when they choose to spend their vacation time with me and my family. And because of that, I always want to show them an awesome time and make sure they go home with memories that will motivate them to come back again next year.
I definitely get a little twitchy turning on the Julie McCoy action as social director and usually plan too much. You know, because they are tween-agers. Just like when I was teaching, I used to plan 75 minutes worth of stuff for a 55 minute class because oh-my-god-what-if-this-idea-totally-flops-and-there's-silence-and-rolling-eyeballs-and-they-hate-me. I care more about the 'what if they hate me' aspect of it since they are my friend's children. My students could hate me if they wanted to--as long as they did their work. But I was a classic over-planner because the idea of being caught with five or ten minutes at the end of class as dead-air was enough to make my ass sweat with anxiety.
So overplan, I did. Our day exploring Fisherman's Wharf and China Town left us catatonic on our drive home. Our day in Golden Gate Park was over-planned to the point that we were parked for five and a half hours in a four-hour parking space (thank goodness for lax enforcement) and still missed the playground and carousel, the arboretum and the botanical gardens. Luckily, we did see the windmill, the buffaloes, the tea garden, the Academy of Science and the pedal boats at Stowe pond.
They arrived on Friday afternoon. By Tuesday morning, I was informed by Miss Ten Year Old (the other being Miss Eleven Year Old) that she had no intention of doing anything whatsoever or of moving from the couch for the entire day (until it was time to head back to the city to see Wicked). Perhaps an indication that I *might* have run them a bit ragged? (or, worse, deargod, what if I bored them so much that she just wanted to forget the agony of Sarah's vacation planning by watching four hours of the Wizards of Waverly Place on Disney??!! GAH!!!)
Anyway, some highlights, in pictures...
for the record, I did in fact take many lovely pictures of my BFF and her girls, but she doesn't post pictures on her blog so I wanted to maintain that on my blog. So you just get lots of Ethan!