October 1, 2010


so our stay in SF is nearly done. we fly out this afternoon at 4pm. or i should say that is what time we hope our flight leaves. after the 9 hour delay we endured last time, we're (understandably) lacking a little confidence in our air carrier.

this has been quite the trip. it's been surprisingly good and not nearly as stressful as i anticipated it would be. and it's been fun even though we haven't done much else besides spending copious amounts of time in doctor's offices. in fact, about the only time we left the hotel room was to go to doctor's appointments or to eat. we haven't done anything touristy. we definitely haven't done anything fun - unless you count a little shopping excursion as fun.
of course, that one is a matter of perspective. i'd say shopping is loads of fun. the boys do not share my enthusiasm. they would've preferred to stay holed up in our hotel but i "made" them go shopping. they needed shoes and shoe shopping requires the prospective feet be present.

and by need shoes, i mean NEED shoes. especially Parker.

how on earth that boy managed to wear out his shoes - and to this degree - when he has spent nearly every day of the past year in a wheelchair is beyond me. seriously. i cannot for the life of me figure this one out.

sparky's new shoes

i got shoes too. mine weren't much better off than parkers. they have holes in the toes and on the heels. i've creatively 'patched' them up several times. yes, money is very tight but no, i'm not so hard done by that i couldn't buy a new pair - it's just that these are the best shoes ever made. you know, they are "the" shoes. that magical pair that look good, are slightly unique, go with everything and are actually incredibly comfortable. shoes like that are near irreplaceable. one might even say, once in a lifetime. so i don't want new shoes - i want the same shoes. a new pair of the same ones. i've trolled ebay, i've searched the company website, i've tried googling them but to no avail - after 6 years, they appear to have gone extinct.

my oh so worn out but oh so wonderful shoes.

so finally, i have (begrudgingly) conceded defeat and bought a replacement pair. i like my new shoes. they are cute. they are spiffy. they go with everything in my wardrobe. they are super comfortable. and they were cheap. but they are not "the" shoes. maybe, just maybe, they will become "the" shoes. but i can't let go of my great affinity for my old shoes. they really should go in the garbage. but they won't. not yet. for now, i've packed them up and i'm taking them home.

we got taylor new shoes too.

um, yeah, okay, those are not shoes.

he didn't really need them but you just can't find bargain basement prices for size 13s too many places. he's picky to boot and has a very unique sneaker style.

so besides doc appts and the shoe shopping excursion, about the only other time we were able to coax the boys out of the hotel room was to eat. or more accurately, to eat at in-n-out burger. last time we were in SF, we were accompanied by avery - the world's pickiest eater ever. the boys really wanted to go to in-n-out burger. we weren't familiar with in-n-out burger establishments - nor with their clever, yet simplistic concept. they serve only burgers.

3 meal choices available:
cheese burger
double cheese burger

avery does not do burgers.

we literally were in and out of in-n-out in 3 seconds flat. the boys are still bitter about it. they figure the indignity of being THAT close but still denied from last time entitled them to more than one meal at in-n-out this time.

we ate there 3 times this week. THREE.

that is scandalously horrifying from a nutritional standpoint but it earned us big points in the parenting department - which was nice - feels more often than not our parenting decisions aren't too popular. and it doesn't hurt that parenting popularity only cost us $4.95 for a complete meal.

i guess we made up for those gastronomical atrocities by eating most of our meals in our hotel room. it's amazing what you can make, even when your room is only stocked with a coffee maker and fridge. had oatmeal every morning. made it in the coffee pot. we tried to clean up after our meals as best as possible - which meant flushing left overs down the toilet. what else do you do with a half eaten bowl of cereal? even with daily housekeeping, perishables in garbage cans smell up a room pretty fast. so, yeah, we used the toilet as a garberator. didn't work so well. we had to call for plunging services 3 times. ha ha. we felt only mildly bad about that. for the first half of our trip we were rather bitter about our hotel. we always use priceline.com to get a hotel. the clincher with priceline, is we never know what hotel we're getting til we pay for it. risky, yes. but superbly cheap. we have rarely paid more than $50 a nite and have gotten nice hotels.

the last three trips, we have actually fluked out and gotten the same hotel. a radisson. very nice. clean. comfortable. not stuffy. has some interesting 'night' life. has provided free entertainment in the form of 911 calls. police running down halls with guns ready. pounding on the door of the room beside us. but that only happened twice. and their response time was very fast. and i found out that putting a glass to the wall, really does allow you to hear through the walls. this time we weren't lucky enough to score another stay at the radisson. we bid every day for 3 weeks with our usual 50 dollar low ball offer. no luck. rejected. finally, 2 days before our trip, we had to acquiesce and up our bidding price by a couple of bucks. we ended up getting a marriot.

we thought cool. high end hotel for low end price. yeah. sure. until you check in and find out the parking is 18 dollars a day and the internet is 10 bucks a day. all of that is FREE at the radisson. harumph. our room was nice. pretty. but the tv was an old fashioned box with basic cable and the sheers were shredded. but the furniture was impeccably dust free.

anyhow, once we peeled ourselves off the ceiling and simmered down over the add-ons, cooler heads prevailed and we found away around them. i found parking on the street. for freeeee. and wi-fi in the lobby. for freeee. the toilet plunging issues were somewhat embarrassing but very entertaining. and that was free, too. oh, and let me not forget to mention that the shampoo, body lotion and soaps were from bath & body works. and if you "used" them up every day, they replenished them. for free. i have a nice supply stockpiled in my suitcase for when i get home.

so by mid week, i'd say the marriot and all it's inconveniently attainable freebies, had grown on us. we enjoyed our stay. the lobby was pretty - and at night they had candles lit everywhere. loved that.

and they had a really nice outdoor pool and deck area. graham and i were able to snag a bit of time by the pool on our first day. which was great as we managed to land smack dab in the middle of a massive heat wave - 101F! amazing. i love the heat. this was the first time ever that i have not been cold in SF.

speaking of heat wave, have you ever left a can of pop in a hot car all day long? we did. we forgot a can of pop in the trunk of our boat car on one of our all day outings to DR Hs. after a long day we arrived back at the hotel. while disembarking, the boys discovered the can of pop. the very, very, very hot, somewhat expanded, contents under pressure, can of pop.

graham told them not to open it because it would explode.
big time explode.
dumb thing to say to boys.
telling them that, was all the encouragement they needed.

go ahead, boys.
detonate the can.
(secretly, i wanted to see how massive an explosion we're talking here.)
as a precaution, i told taylor to open it far, far, far away from me.
so with bated breath, arms outstretched, body arched away, can pointed away, and head caulked to the side, taylor bravely detonated the can....

the stupid can did not explode
it released only the minutest, most pathetic dribble of fizz
massive let down

taylor was so choked, that he threw the can down. hard. really, really hard.
that did the trick.
rootbeer everywhere.
i mean everywhere.
it rained rootbeer.
taylor was drenched.
graham and parker got sprayed.
the car was spattered.
and i had multiple drops dotting my legs and arms - and i was standing 6 feet away.

it was just about the funniest thing ever. i'm not sure what was funnier - the unexpected explosion or taylor's glee over it - that boy was practically prancing in the fizzy droplets as they dropped from the sky.

taylor - just minutes after the rootbeer explosion.

so yeah, we didn't really do anything touristy or fun - but somehow we've managed to have a lot of fun. go figure. yesterday, taylor summed it up best when he said, "wow, we've had a lot of fun basically doing nothing."

i couldn't agree more.

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