And this is just a tech failure. I had scheduled this to run on Tuesday while I was on a business trip. Have absolutely no idea why it didn’t, but here we go…


No rest for the wicked this morning, as we had Plans.

Plans, that is, to ride Caltrain into The City (San Francisco to you and me) and visit the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.

Caltrain is the choice because we all predicted that parking anywhere would be an expensive pain, so we opted to take an hour and a half train ride each way and then Uber/Lyft around to our various stops.

Caltrain is a good choice. We have to get up early to catch the right train, but other than that it is quick, clean, not crowded (because it’s not dawn yet) and efficient. With the exception of a poorly-received ‘that’s what she said’ joke, the trip passes without incident.

(I think ‘that’s what she said’ jokes are hilarious. So sue me.)

We arrive in The City, grab some coffee, and get a Lyft. A strongly vanilla-scented Lyft, to be exact, which almost drives me to my knees. Twenty-three years ago I had a bad run-in with vanilla during a pregnancy and it takes everything I have to avoid having throwback morning sickness in the front seat of the car.

I make it. Just barely. But the ride was worth it, because I love Golden Gate Park, and now I love the California Academy of Sciences.

The academy has everything I love: an Imax kind of experience talking about earthquakes, a rainforest with hitchhiking butterflies, an aquarium, a roof that looks like it’s from the forest moon of Endor, and penguins.

Day 4California academy interior

Not an Ewok skeleton.

Day 4 CAS penguins

Not an Ewok.

Day 4 CAS roof

Not an Ewok.

We have yet another wonderful meal at The Grove SF and now I’m actively worrying about my ability to fit into a plane seat the next day. We walk a mile or so back to Caltrain and get another pleasant hour and a half ride back to Sunnyvale, with the minor exception of a couple thoroughly enjoying videos minus the annoying distraction of headphones, so we all got to enjoy them, too.


We collect the Granddog from day care, take him to yet ANOTHER wonderful meal at a place called The Lazy Dog, where Goose is welcome to lounge lazily, naturally, on the patio.

I am now seriously worried about fitting into my pants at this point.

We head back to DI’s apartment where we watch Arizona State get smacked around by USC and Goose shows us his Halloween costume:

Day 4 Goose

Not an Ewok.

And then we’re done. Our plane is pretty early the next morning, so we bid the lovely Daughter, Interrupted a fond farewell and call another Uber or Lyft or something and waddle back to our flop.

Absolutely a wonderful trip, visiting a wonderful woman and her wonderful family. It only took me a week to recover from how much fun we had.