Back in November (better late than never, right?) Porter had just turned 10 weeks and we were suffering from some serious cabin fever. Zach had been working non-stop overtime for months and I was in a newborn/toddler rut. So when a break finally arrived we took off to California for our first non-extended-family-or-race-related trip in years. We learned quite a few lessons over the four days and will share our wisdom here:
1) There is a reason that people avoid taking trips with new babies. Unless you find a home-base of some kind nearby you will find yourself nursing in the wrong corner of a Chinatown parking garage and changing blow-outs on the side of the road. Next time we'll wait for more advanced eating habits.
2) The Jelly Belly Factory may SOUND like a great idea for a toddler (bright colors! machines! candy!), but unless you're prepared to buy every single item they want, there will be crying. Also, the tour is not even marginally interesting until they're at least 12.
3) Chinatown is fascinating and HUGE. Do not have a "We'll just wing it" attitude when coming with children of any age. Also, the food is delicious.
4) WORK THAT BABY. Our hotel in San Francisco was right off Lombard Street, and I felt like we had the only children for miles in any direction. The lovely gay manager that served us at the super trendy eatery we stopped at was so enthralled by our boys that he gave Eli free food and sent me off with some complimentary "Mommy Juice" for when the nights get long. According to our neighbors the brew was quite tasty. For a beer, you know.
5) Anything involving animals or fish is sure to be a hit. Eli loved the aquarium on the pier. Porter stared in a vacant, but pleased way.
6) Kids don't care how cool the Forest Gump-themed restaurant is as long as there are fries. We could have eaten at McDonalds the whole trip and Eli would've been in heaven.
7) Posing for too many pictures tends to bring out the ridiculous in people. For Zach, it's crazy good looks. In Eli's case: cheesiness. For Porter: grump face.
8) Toddlers do not care about structures of any kind unless they can play on them. It doesn't matter what their landmark status is or what historical or architectural significance they have.
The Nimbus Fish Hatchery was a highlight of the trip (see no. 5). It was amazing to see the salmon jump up the ladder to the breeding grounds. Eli could've sat there all day.