Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Every Mom's dream and other musings in San Francisco

"I am totally going to be a fortune cookie maker when I grow up," is what Holden exclaimed as we were leaving the fortune cookie factory that we found down a tiny alley in the middle of Chinatown. As long as it makes you Happy Hold! I love that in the eyes of child anything and everything is possible. Finding the fortune cookie factory was somewhat paramount for us as 2 years ago in Beijing Holden searched high and low for a fortune cookie, this tradition is clearly an American one so we have come full circle and hopefully someday will have a family business. Maybe Holden could introduce the fortune cookie to the Chinese IN China. :)

Finnley was thrilled in Chinatown he smiled at everyone and was very gregarious and excited as we ate dumplings. Dumplings which for the first time Holden tried. How is it that we have had the best dumplings in their country of origin and yet he waits until Chinatown San Francisco style to decide that yeah, they are alright? As we were parked by the window of the hotel waiting for Nate and Holden to return from a errand Finnley found his yaya! She passed by the window and boy did he holler for her. " YAYA YAYA!" She didn't stop, she didn't hear his cry for help and he was a little crushed as he kept banging at the window with his sippy cup. Ah, someone to rescue me from these people that drag me through the rainy city is what he was thinking I am sure. Heaven help us if we have to leave the Philippines for good.

We bummed around the city today amazed at how much it reminds us of other places all over the world. Enthralled by the things that all tourists are amazed by. Wishing it wasn't raining so that we could play in the park or bike across THE bridge. The jet lag has passed by now (knock on wood) and Finnley slept through the night. Nate has left us today and will again tomorrow for meetings and survive we will as long as we find a toy store soon. "What am I going to do all day today?" I asked him. "I thought you were going to go shopping." he said. "Ok, but what am I going to do tomorrow?" He scoffed "Surely you won't be able to shop two days in a row will you?" Ah, to find a man who knows you so well...bliss

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I left my heart in San Francisco and my toothbrush in Manila

San Francisco is our first stop on our homes leave this winter and it's cold oh so cold and rainy. The city seems expansive and open and uncrowded even for having over 800,000 residents. The crisp air is nice, but I find myself longing for the warmth of the tropics.

So far this trip to the States has made me feel like a foreigner in my own country.

I think Asian hotels have officially spoiled us. I packed nothing in the form of toiletries forgetting that hotels in the US don't provide toothbrushes and paste, razors and toiletries for children. When we walked into Starbucks (and there is literally one on every corner in SF) we look like we have never seen a coffee shop before. There are different things on the menu and cooler and on the shelves and we just stand there looking a little shocked. I am sure the barrista assumes we have just fallen off the turnip truck and have never been to a "big city," yet Manila is 10 times the size. I keep waiting for someone to open the darn door for me and I asking where the CR is and saying things like "no need" and "for a while." Maybe I can blame this all on the long flight with a 14 month old.

After a rather uneventful flight (always good when travelling with kids) jet lag officially reared it's ugly head lastnight and I am certain everyone on the 25th floor of the Marriott knows it! Finnley had a rough night but the rest of us were so tired we pretty much slept through his all-night-tantrum. He cried "YayaYaya" throughout the night and to be honest I was kind of hoping one of the hotel staff (hopefully Filipino and understanding of the word) would hear him and come running. No such luck. Luckily everyone slept in and we started our day fairly refreshed.

Rainy weather calls for bowls of soup in fresh sourdough bread bowls so we headed for Fishermans Wharf and Pier 39. The cold rain seemed to have kept most of the sealions away but there were enough for the boys to get the point and we had glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Holden is pretty intrigued by the concept of the prison. Hopefully, for the right reasons! Afterwards we headed to Ghiradelli square for a little persuasion of the chocolate kind.

We still have a few more days here to explore and then off we head to the frozen tundra where at least I know there are fireplaces...and grandparents!