What A Wonderful San Francisco Trip
August 19, 2021
I’m storing up the memories still. Between my little sister’s visit with our nephew and niece for the first time in almost 2 years, and then our road trip to the Bay Area, our family is storing up those memories. We are back a day earlier than expected and I still have two day of vacation and two days of a weekend off, and now I realize that time is mine and does not belong to the HMO. I’m going to give that time to my climate work and getting the kids ready for the new school year. Our daughter wants to refresh her room, hang up some new posters and swap out some furniture. Our son doesn’t want to do anything with his room, but I need to venture in to dust and declutter.
San Francisco this time was a wonderful trip, it truly was. It was serendipitous. We had no preplanned agenda other than staying in the Hilton at Union Square. It’s kind of our hotel and we usually stay there. It doesn’t come cheap and we got the bigger suite. But between driving rather than flying, and our otherwise frugal ways – we enjoy that hotel so much we spend the money there. The kids were usually still asleep in the morning. I still awoke naturally at 6am or so, but didn’t feel the emotional need to blog. That’s actually a growth stage for me, not needing to dump my jumbled thoughts on this page. But when I got up early, Mr. Plastic Picker and I would usually take an early morning walk about downtown San Francisco and discovery little squares and corners and views that we had not known before. I love those early mornings. Rather than discovering something about myself in the early morning blogging, we learned something about each other. We would also visit the nearby Walgreens to buy something who manufactured that we needed. We used to do that in our Boston/Cambridge days. We’d wonder around the streets and stop by Brooks Pharmacy or CVS, whether it was Brookline or Cambridge, and buy something we needed. Mr. Plastic Picker and I love stopping by thoes little pharmacies and browsing, despite all the plastic things. This time we mostly just looked and bought what we needed.
We’ve been with the kids once to San Francisco before, and that time we stayed up near Fisherman’s Wharf. That was over four years ago. Mr. Plastic Picker and I had gone ourselves for a weekend about three years ago. That was also a lovely weekend just us. After COVID is over or becomes whatever COVID is supposed to become, we should do that more. Having studies and trained in Boston and then Mr. Plastic Picker being a New Jersey transplant with his love of New York City, we forget what a wonderful city San Francisco really is.
This trip, we did a little bit of everything. Surprisingly we went to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and we all loved it. I think it’s because of my trashart, but I enjoyed the exhibits quite a bit. We did the requisite walk from Pier 39 to Fisherman’s Wharf and ate at tourist trap places for clam chowder. The next day, we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County and visited the Muir Woods which is a National Park Monument. It was one of the best hikes Mr. Plastic Picker has ever been on. It was just a wonderful hike through the coastal redwoods and quiet. I climate friend had suggested the ferry ride from the Ferry Building to Saulsalito, which we did not have time. But his comment did inspire us to stop to eat in Saulsalito. Since for us money isn’t really an issue although I’m still usually super frugal, we decided to splurge on a fancy crab place. It was really really really good. That’s where we ate the best soroughdough bread I’ve ever had.
We also had a surprisingly fun time driving through Berkley. Our son will be applying to colleges soon and we wanted him to see another University of California campus to get a feel for a large public university versus small private liberal arts college. We’re proud of how he has done and he will go to college – somewhere. Of course his college savings account is fully funded as is his sisters. The first financial thing we did, despite the standard financial bloggers advise to save for retirement before saving for college, was that we started each child’s 529 account when we were still residents. Before we took fancy vacations or lived the life of prosperous physicians, we had begun saving for their college. For both Mr. Plastic Picker and I, it’s always been about our children. I’ve never understood financial bloggers who don’t save for their children’s college. To retire early and not have fully funded their children’s education? That always seemed to me the ultimate in selfishness. Yes, have them pay for some of graduate school or some of college. But if you still have the ability to work, isn’t it a parent’s job? We chose to bring these children into the world.
But that’s just us, that’s how we think about life. The San Francisco vacation was wonderful, without much of an agenda. But we had lovely walks in the morning just my husband and I. We walked around San Francisco just like we used to walk around during college, meandering together and chatting. Before we was the father of my children and Assistant Boss of Specialty HMO department, Mr. Plastic Picker was the cute college junior boy that was my boyfriend. That’s still how I think of him. We did an museum visit that really made us think, and it was nice to wander around the climate-controlled walls. The SF MOMA was in easy walking distance from our hotel also which made it really nice. But I think we’ll always remember the hike the most and the lunch in Saulsalito. And here is the view from where we ate. I felt like I was in Capeside (Dawson’s Creek reference). And I was sitting next to my own real life Pacey Witter.
I hope you take time to be with your family this summer.