If there's one thing I love more than an apple orchard at 'pick your own' time (you might remember a September littered with posts about apple picking), it's a pumpkin patch. I totally get Linus, people. The great pumpkin IS coming. We found ourselves at the first one a few weeks back, but on Monday I chaperoned a field trip with Ethan's preschool to local pumpkin patch. There was much autumn-y rejoicing and hay ride happiness. I can only show you bits of it because our school, aside from forcing the kids to dress in shirts of the LEAST naturally-occuring-in-nature color for all field trips, has also splashed the name of the school across the front of the school. Totally harshing my picture-taking-blog-posting mellow, but whatever. Fortunately it got cool enough midway through the field trip that I could throw a sweatshirt over Ethan's green-screen hued shirt and get some post-able shots.
Later that day, we drove up to the airport to pick up some wonderful friends of ours from back home in DC, as they made their way through a whirl-wind tour of CA. We got to spend a little under 48 hours with Erin and Izzy and though it wasn't nearly enough time, it was so much fun. There is nothing quite like watching Ethan reconnect with an "old" friend. What he remembers and how he emotionally responds to people from his so very limited past is one of the unanticipated benefits of all of our moves--he is 4 years old and he has friends all over the country; it's pretty amazing. I think I was 12 when I got my first pen pal and that was the first friend I ever had who wasn't sitting in the same class room as me, Monday through Friday.
One of the best things about having out-of-town guests? Aside from the catching up and the feeling like you're home in a totally different way than you normally do while sitting in your living room, it's getting to be a tourist again. Yesterday Erin and I packed up the kids and headed to the tourist trap center of San Fran--Fisherman's Wharf.
Being an airplane really took it out of Izzy and she needed a speedy power nap. She's lucky no one stole her princess camera while she napped--and by "no one," I mean Ethan.
Then we headed to Boudin's sourdough shop and purchased a mini-turtle sourdough bread. Which I totally performed a serious vivisection on later on in an attempt to give each kiddo exactly half of the turtle, right down the middle. Just call me King Solomon.
one seagull per car, people. Please, just one seagull per car. Alternate caption, "this car is mine, mine, mine, mine." Ah, Finding Nemo, with the seagull jokes that just keep being funny.
Probably only to me.
Ethan and the quasi-dreamy street car ticket seller dude who is ALWAYS there; I think he is solely responsible for selling every ticket to every person who ever gets on a SF street car. And he's always got his guitar. And he always lets Ethan play it. I heart him for being such a good sport. And a little bit hot.
After adequate time for posing, we got on the street car, during which Ethan's tongue apparently came to life and declared war on the inside of his cheek. And Erin modeled our communal bottle of water. Who wants germs?! Germs!! We got 'em!
We got off the street car in China Town. Where we had a quick lunch, took a picture of this guy:
and then I was yelled at by a shop owner because I had a camera around my neck in his shop, and apparently he had state secrets scattered throughout his stash of Hello Kitty crap and paper lanterns. So, clearly I have no pictures of his stuff, damn it.
After being chased out of China town by angry spy shop owners, we hopped back on the street car and headed to our last stop:
I'll give you a minute...
Aaaand we're back. We got the kiddos some ice cream (um, yeah, and ourselves. whatever, it was vacation! someone else's vacation, but vacation nonetheless) and they made their best attempt at falling into the chocolate making magic machine and actually becoming part of the magic themselves:
I wish I could post a picture of both kids passed out cold in their car seats on the way home. But alas, they spent most of the 1+ hour drive home in rush hour traffic doing things like licking the bottoms of their naked feet and laughing like hyenas, then arguing over who got to sing the next line of each song they picked out--incessantly asking for adult intervention on their own behalf when the other sang the line "incorrectly" or "out of turn." It was a super fun ride. Note to self: invest in a sensory deprivation tank for preschooler-overload emergencies.
We bid our friends adieu this morning and I embarked on a journey called Operation Just Let Me Pay the Damn Ticket, which I will share in probably mind-crushing detail in another post at some point. But for now, let's keep the post in our happy place, shall we?