October 12, 2009

San Francisco Days

 If you’ve ever traveled with a child you’ll know there are certain magical moments that come when you find a place that causes them to fully engage and leaves them wonderstruck. It’s in sharp contrast to those other moments, the ones when they are hungry, thirsty, tired, bored, cold, hot, have sore feet or want to buy that tacky souvenir and that one too.

As parents, we kind of aim for those sublime moments of fascination, but the trick comes in knowing where to find them and what will leave them awed (which I guess is why Disneyland was invented). The whole thing gets even more fraught when you want to show them a place you’ve been and that you loved. Because if you loved it, they probably won’t enjoy it.

The thing is, despite the fact we raise her and influence her heavily we still don’t really understand Maia. She doesn’t quite see the world the way either Evan or I do. She’s constantly surprising me by being fascinated by things that confuse me,  by being bored by the things that enthrall me and by being left cold by the things that move me. And she likes Brussel Sprouts...
 So when we got to San Francisco and started choosing what to do and where to go, Maia had her own ideas – and a chocolate factory (which I pointed out didn’t actually give tours and only had a retail store selling regular priced chocolate) was inexplicably at the top of her list. Riding on the cable cars barely rated, she didn’t like the hills. And the other options only got a shrug.
 The thing with kids though, is even if they don’t like the stuff you like, it's easy to learn to love the things they are fascinated by. There is something about that moment, when time slows down and every thought they are thinking is pure and clear on their face, that lets you know you’ve been privy to a moment of enchantment.
 It’s worth searching for – even if it takes you to places you never meant to go. And makes you speed through the places you really thought you would linger.

For those wondering about our rig, we moved to a dock in Alameda this morning. We're really pleased to have arranged for Glenn Hansen to be our rigger (and equally thrilled that our dollar is doing so well for when it comes time to pay him!) Glenn will be taking apart the cap shroud that failed and will let us know what happened to the damn thing. Then we'll get to be a sailboat again!!


boatbaby said...

Maia is a girl after my own heart! Who wants to rumble up and down hills all day when there's the smell of chocolate in the air?

Sarah said...

I have been following you guys for a few months. We live on our boat in Alameda at Grand Marina. We would love to have you over for coffee while you are here, or just offer ideas of things to do in the rain. What marina are you at?

Diane, Evan, Maia and Charlie the cat said...

Hi Sarah,
Thanks for the note! We're at Park Street. I'm heading off tomorrow for a conference in Arizona. Feeling quite ready for that today... Evan and Maia will be here, helping with the rigging though - so any tips on the area would be appreciated.

Sarah said...

I will try and stop by when I am near there. We are only a mile away. We love the Little House Cafe right there on Blanding.

If you have a dinghy it is fun to head up to Jack London Square on the Oakland side. There are public docks to tie up to for free. On Sunday there is a craft and farmers market. On Fridays there is a better priced and more varied farmers market at 8th and Broadway which you could walk to from Jack London as well.

Our favorite Pirate night is at Quinn's Lighthouse on Thursday night. They are on the Oakland side of Coast Guard Island. They have a dinghy dock (but you have to use the buzzer for them to let you off the dock.) There is a band that plays sea shanties and you can throw your peanut shells on the floor.

I hardly ever go, but Lucky Ju Ju pinball museum (you can play all the games for the price of admisssion) is open Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. 713 Santa Clara.

Jeanna said...

You have a very beautiful daughter and she sure love traveling as much as you do. I never had been to San Francisco Sounds like you had a wonderful time there. I would also love to visit that place someday.