Sunday, September 16, 2012

First Trip to San Francisco

Not counting the newborn photos taken a few weeks after they were born, James and Julia had never been to San Francisco. So at the end of January 2012 when they were 2 years and 1 month, Mark and I made a day of it. I packed a lot of toys and musical instruments for the car ride because I didn’t want them to be bored when it was dark.

First stop was Anzu, a restaurant in Union Square. Anzu was participating in Dine About Town, a promotion wherein upscale San Francisco restaurants offer discounted prix fixe meals. But first we had to park and in doing so we discovered that James HATED being inside a parking garage, and next we had to take an elevator and James HATED that too. (When we returned to the car, I waited with the twins outside the garage to avoid further trauma.) For the record, after lunch James also HATED getting going inside a public restroom for a diaper change. Judging from what he HATES, I’m thinking he has a bit of claustrophobia.

James and Julia see San Francisco for the first time, at Market & 5th.

There was an elevator to get to the restaurant (oh no, not again) but we decided escalators and stairs were a far superior option. And the babies loved crawling up the staircase. I just pretended not to think about them eating with their hands after that.

Julia and James wait in the lobby of the Hotel Nikko, home to Anzu.

Anzu, a swanky Asian fusion Sushi bar, was easily the nicest restaurant the twins had been to, and they were model diners! They loved the house bread and decorating the coloring book of San Francisco Anzu provided. I ordered them the $5 mac and cheese off the kid’s menu for them, and I ordered the truffled mac and cheese off the prix fixe menu for myself and we got the same exact thing! Portion size and everything! I wasn’t sure if I should be outraged that I paid so much for mine or excited that theirs was so cheap. (Note to self: Anzu’s kid’s menu is AWESOME. Can I convince Mark to look 12 on our next visit?) As it turns out, James and Julia preferred the cold Trader Joe’s mac and cheese I brought along, but I got some pretty sweet leftovers.

The babies enjoy fine dining at Anzu.

Julia daintily eats bread above her San Francisco coloring book.

James and his Truffle Mac N Cheese

The twins love the bubble sculpture at Anzu. Hope they don't mind toddlers pounding on it.

James talks to Ghost James.

We took a long long walk all the way from Union Square to the Mission Creek drawbridge by AT+T Park, hoping the twins would nap. In the end, only Julia did. James was literally on the edge of his seat in the stroller, not wanting to miss a thing.

Next we visited Yerba Buena Gardens Children’s Playground. The playground is pretty chaotic with tons of kids running up steep ramps and swishing down long flume-like covered slides. The twins stuck to the water area and were content playing there with sand toys. They also experimented with hitting the pipes to play different musical notes and ran with us up some of the lower ramps.

Julia and James play with their sand toys in the water.


Julia plays the pipes.

Afterwards we had a quick dinner at Frontera Fresco, Top Chef Masters winner Rick Bayless’s fast casual restaurant in Macy’s Cellar, with James quickly getting cranky due to not having a nap. Not surprisingly, he slept on the way home.

And that’s the end of the our first big toddler day trip. And any day trip you can walk away from (with your eardrums intact) is a good toddler day trip.

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