What I Did on Summer Vacation

August 12, 2005

I just spent a marvelous 10 days in San Francisco with the family. It was a lovely 64º (versus 114º in Phoenix), and I never kind of hardly mostly didn't touch a computer the whole time.

Here are a few tips I gathered from the trip:

  • The family sleeper couch on Amtrak is a fantastic way to travel. Just prepare your kids for the possibility of delays.
  • If delayed at the Los Angeles train station for 8 hours with two small children, there is an electrical outlet on the north-west wall where you can plug in a DVD player. If they are making a film in the lobby and ask your kids to be extras, this can occupy up to 90 minutes before extreme boredom and fidgeting set in. Then you can play tag in the courtyard.
  • If you have the complexion of a person who sits indoors in front of a computer for 16 hours a day, bring a hat or use sunscreen on the part in your hair.
  • When you are five, the best part about the Aquarium of the Bay is the revolving door on the second floor.
  • If you plan on "not touching that damned computer this whole vacation," give it up. I caved at day 5.
  • Two small children can easily consume ½ lb of shrimp on their own. Just don't let them ride the spinning teacup on the Fisherman's Wharf carousel afterwards.
  • To tour Alcatraz, get tickets at least three days in advance...or learn to scuba dive.
  • Seagulls actually can fly and poop at the same time.
  • When you return from vacation, an unbelievable number of emails, phone calls, urgent projects and emergencies will be waiting. In addition, you will have (a) suitcases crammed with dirty clothes, (b) children starting school and needing clothes/haircuts/school supplies, (c) an empty refrigerator or (d) all of the above. You will have to work like a mad woman to catch up, leaving you more exhausted than before you left on vacation.