Today we attempted to escape the soul-crushing heat by venturing into San Francisco--the city is notorious for almost always being 20 degrees cooler than all other locales of the Bay Area and generally shrouded in with fog, at least in the earlier hours of the day. So friends of ours arrived at 10am and we carpooled up to Golden Gate Park. To relief! To cooler weather! To a protective "marine layer" that would shield us from the unforgiving glare of the sun!! Yay!!!
Except it was almost 90 degrees at 11am in Golden Gate Park. And there wasn't a cloud in the sky. And we decided to go to the Conservatory of Flowers without it occurring to either of us that we were actually paying admission to go into a...wait for it...HOT HOUSE of tropical plants and flowers on one of the hottest days in San Francisco's recorded weather history. And because we're talking tropical plants, we're talking "specially controlled environments to preserve the habitats of the plant life," which means--humid. Super hot and super humid. Special.
I wish I had thought to take a fabulously flattering picture of myself upon exiting the Conservatory, but in my weak-from-the-heat-someone-bring-me-my-fainting-couch frame of mind, I was remiss, and did not. But go ahead and picture what you would look like if you'd decided to either go for a run in 100 degree heat and 85% humidity or sit in a steam room for 20 minutes, both after applying a full face of make up. Pretty, no?
The kids, with their ability to be impervious to the elements, loved it and ran from room to room inside the conservatory with all kinds of "look at this!" and "ooooh, pretty!"'s, especially when we got to the carnivorous plant room. We were lucky that it seems the rest of the world was smart enough to stay away from the HOTTEST SPOT IN THE CITY ON THE HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR, so we had the place pretty much to ourselves.
When we couldn't take any more of the plants (none of which ate one damn bug while we were there) or the heat, we headed out to the shore-end of the park and were gloriously relieved to find the temperature dropped almost 20 whole degrees in the span of our 2-3 mile drive. Oh, magical sea breeze--thank you for keeping me from melting into a pile of unsightly goo. We ran around by the windmills (and by "we," I clearly mean the kids) and then headed up to the Sutro baths, which is the coolest thing I've seen in San Francisco yet.
We tried to discourage the kids from wanting to hike down to the baths, but they were insistent in their promises that they would not beg to be carried back up the stairs afterwards (it was cooler, but please--not carry-your-kid-up-150-steps cooler). So we walked a little way down towards the ruins (which sounds so weird to say about a place that existed in the last century, but it really does look like ruins) and Ethan kept exclaiming gleefully, "A Zach and Cody boat! A Zach and Cody boat!" as he pointed out at the ocean, towards a gigantic cruise ship belching black exhaust up into the air. It took me a few minutes to realize that he was referring to a show on Disney about two spoiled rich kids who live on a boat, named--you guessed it, Zach and Cody. He has seen this show, in bits and pieces, perhaps twice in his life. And yet. Sigh. Disney, you sneaky conglomerate, what subliminal messages do you put in your shows to get our children to worship you so?! Because we're not really talking about super high quality programming. Just a consistent laugh reel and a lot of jokes my kid doesn't get. And yet.
Anyway, we ended our tour of San Francisco by driving through the Presidio and past Chrissy Field on our way to the Palace of Fine Arts, which is supposed to be all idyllic and swan-y but was more like the Palace of Fine Construction and the mood was more tourist and sea gull-y. But it was lovely none the less; the kids looked for treasure (read: bits of trash. Super!), supported the dandelion population in the park with copious amounts of picking and blowing the seeds to the winds, and chasing pigeons. A pretty perfect day, in spite of the epic heat wave.
We can't wait to sweat inside the big white building full of windows and moisture-controlled environments!!! I'll race ya!
Really, kids? You sure you want to walk down there? Oooookay. (note: we did not go anywhere near the "cliff and surf" death zone. Don't call CPS).