Field Trip, Part Three, or, Molly Takes a Personal Day

When Maya calls and invites you to San Francisco for the day, accept her invitation. This is a rare opportunity to spend the day with Maya, without any children, and to meet the spirit of Squam, Elizabeth, and her lovely niece, Lauren, who are in town to explore.

Start calling your relatives to see if they can watch your kids for the day.

When the relatives are unavailable, start calling your neighbors. Hire a babysitter for the first time in years (and the second time ever). Make a mental note that you are seriously ill equipped in the childcare department.

Drive to Maya's and eat breakfast with her boys while she gets ready. Giggle and make jokes and enjoy spending time with children who aren't your own.

Talk, talk, talk, talk all the way to the city.

Pick up Elizabeth and Lauren at their incredibly cool vacation rental (found via vrbo.com), and head to the Mission District. First stop: Curiosity Shoppe.

curiosity shoppe

Meet Derek and buy your kiddos some curiously cool knick-knacks (3-D drawing pad for Aidan and chocolate chip cookie wallet for Avery).

gracias madre

Eat lunch at Gracias Madres. Serious vegan goodness. Go ahead and order a pint of beer to go with your tacos. You don't get out much - you deserve to splurge.


Go to Japantown and experience it Maya-style. She grew up here and knows all the good shops. Buy some printed tape for your kiddos (Lego tape for Aidan and tiny hearts for Avery). Take a picture of the UPS man. Resist buying a stack of Japanese craft books. They're beautiful and inspiring, and you could look at them all day, but you can't read them, and you don't have all day to look at them anyways.


Go back to Elizabeth and Lauren's vacation pad and take some pictures while they put on their hiking boots.

view from mt. tamalpais

Drive across the Golden Gate bridge and hike up Mount Tamalpais.

coyotes on mt. tamalpais!

Turn around and hike back down when you see two coyotes up ahead on the trail. Make a mental note to come back here with the kids - after all, Mt. Tamalpais is the hotbed for monsters in the Percy Jackson books. This is also the place where Atlas holds up the sky.


Take a blurry picture as you run across the street in Sausalito. Head back to the city, drop off Elizabeth and Lauren at the most visually appealing grocery store you've ever seen, grab a Coke and fries with Maya. Call it dinner. Drive home. Try not to fall asleep. Hug your husband and kids who have waited up for you. Be grateful that they missed you, and that you've had such a great day, you won't need another personal day for months.

Your husband is right, you live a charmed life.


  1. Oh I miss living in San Francisco! Thank you for the glimpse of your superfun day!

  2. That is an awesome personal day. lucky you. That curiosity shoppe looks like a great place to spend some time. Charmed life maybe but very deserving of it, I believe.

  3. LOL childcare department. Not alone there.
    Sounds like a wonderful day... You deserve it... Charmed life or not! ;)

  4. so fun! We didn't go to Japantown for the first time ever when we were in SF 2 weeks ago.

    On the childcare dept - with Avery being as old as she is, you won't need to worry about that issue for long.

  5. sounds like a really good day!

  6. sounds like a wonderful time.
    good for you for making it happen.

  7. Sounds like a really great day! I love Frisco and oh my gosh there is so much to see and do there! Next time we are up that way I will definitely check out the hiking area, looks great, nice pics.

  8. Love the pic of the dude in brown! Sounded like a lovely,lovely day!

  9. Looks like a truly fabulous day! Haven't been to SF for years and now I'm dying to go. Loved your photos!

  10. Never been, hope to get there. Thanks for the visual tour!

  11. Beer and tacos and printed tape and friends and fries. Charmed indeed.

  12. So nice to spend the day with a friend. Glad you had a moment to yourself. I have been to SF once with my husband pre-children. We were there for a quick visit. I would love to visit again and really savor the town.

  13. Echoing Jessa's comment:
    I miss living in SF sometimes and your post reminded me of all the fun to be had! Thanks for sharing!



email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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