San Francisco Day 1 (Cold Grips Hearty Midwesterners by Throat)

July 29th, 2008

Before we left the house, Drew wanted to make sure the house sitter (my mom) had ample instructions.

We lunched on April’s Veranda en route to the airport.

Who are these boys watching the airplanes take off and land???  Are these my boys?  My boys that think they are soooooo big?  My boys who think they are so grown up and know everything already?  

This was Jack’s first flight.  I let his big brother Drew do all the explaining.  

Like how you are supposed to grip your ears throughout the entire flight…

Or at least until the snacks arrived…

Here is  CDW travel tip #1.  When flying Southwest Airlines AKA The Gypsy Wagon of the Skies, you must always request a whole can of whatever beverage you order.  Go ahead.  Just ask for the full can.  Then you will not have to try and subsist on a meager half can for the entire flight. 
I learned this tip from my mom.  
Thanks mom.  
And please hug the cats for Drew.
Oh and trust me – my family is a big part of the gypsy problem.  We did not bring a crate of live chickens on board, but one of my sons contributed greatly to the stench by farting until his insides were on the outside.   Which brings me to CDW travel tip #2 – Do not feed your sons baked beans the day before a flight.   

CDW Travel Tip #3.  If the internet tells you on your blog to bring warm clothes.  Do not scoff.  They are right.  San Francisco is perhaps the coldest place on earth.  And also very bleak.  Cold and bleak, this is San Francisco.  If you are a hearty Midwesterner, you may find this idea hard to wrap your mind around.   It was hard for me.  How can California be cold and bleak? How is that possible?  But it is.  So bring your long underwear.  

CDW Travel Tip #4 –  Get the tourist traps out of the way first.  

We continued our battle against the cold by switching to jeans.  Then we huddled together and tried to create friction to keep warm.  It is not very hard to create friction in our family.

You will buy hot fried food in an attempt to keep warm….

Your youngest, wisest son will choose a corn dog…..

Then you will purchase hot beverages to try and keep warm.  Your youngest son will drop his hot beverage in a store forcing your entire family to have to slink out of the store unnoticed… which yes, brings us to CDW Travel Trip #5 - Practice your slinking skills before traveling with children.  

CDW Trave Tip #6 - Beware the clowns at Fisherman’s Wharf.  


  • noble pig:

    My boys hold their ears too and then yell blast off or we’re going to explode…it usually doesn’t go well with the other travelers.Yes, it’s cold there, hard to imagine…it’s a little pocket of cold…cause just a few miles away I sweat at 95!Glad you’re having fun!

  • cactus petunia:

    As a former San Franciscan, I can assure you that there are lovely pockets of sunshine all over town…Go for burritos on Mission and 25th at La Taqueria in the Mission District, and you’ll find lotsa warmth and the true culture of SF as well. (Just don’t do it the night before your flight!) Also, hike up to Bernal Heights and walk around the top of the hill for fabulous views and no tourists. You might even be able to take off your sweatshirts!

  • Literarysnob:

    Great Tips!!! I so wish I was there! I just got back inside from running errands and its 95 degrees!! Needles to say I’m now striped down to my skivies and socks!I wish I was cold!!!

  • alison:

    i’m still in s.f. and yes, you must go to the mission for some sun – i’m looking out the window just now and today is a little better with weatherman promising it will improve a little each day! you must take the boys to the rainforest cafe…..and if you’re here on saturday you must check out the ferry building (or today – farmer’s market day!)

  • Living on the Spit:

    I am glad that you all are having a fun time. Your pictures are great and really make me feel as if I am there with you, which I wish I was because it is 95 degrees here today. Triple H-hazy, hot, and humid. Can’t wait to live more vicariously through your vacation!

  • Whosyergurl:

    Many years ago, on a trip to L.A., I thought that it would be very warm and only took a pair of jeans and a pair of dress pants, which were white. The Santa Anna winds were a blowing and I had to wear my long pants the entire week. And wrap myself in a towel to try and keep warm – ON THE BEACH. Yes, it was cold! Cheryl

  • Jamie @ Baldwin Bungalow:

    I tend to be grateful for the half can of a beverage on flights. It means I don’t have to get up and use the cramped, nasty restroom mid-flight. But that’s just me :)

  • Rachel:

    I love San Francisco! My great Aunt used to live there and my family would visit her. One of my favorite cities! (And yes, can be cold…that’s from someone who lives in the Pacific NW…)

  • Nanc in Ashland:

    I swear when I lived in San Jose and would take out-of-town friends and family to SF I should have demanded a kick back from the sweat shirt vendors. I’d bundle up, the OOTFAF would pooh pooh the need for long sleeves, let alone sweat shirts, jackets, scarves and hats and without fail, the first stop after stepping off BART was anywhere that sold sweat shirts! At least you came prepared and changed. Now, enjoy the rest of the unique wonder that is San Francisco.

  • Lori:

    I love the name you have for Southwest Airlines. We’ve always called them cattle car airlines since there is no assigned seating and it’s like herding cattle down a chute until they find their place in the trailer. But darn their prices are so darn good compared to other airlines.

  • Miss Alissa:

    Eeek! Clowns are scary, especially when you aren’t sure who is behind the costume!

  • foofeee:

    The only time I was in San Francisco was during February a few years ago. It was surprisingly warm, for winter. I guess the ocean keeps the temps constant.

  • Egghead:

    Yes many trips to SF with my daughter for treatments at the hospital. So I know about cold SF. Did I mention cold SF? The wind was crazy so many time while there but there are some fun sites to see. Have a delightful time. Perhaps the stinky son can generate a little “natural heat”. Ha! Ha!

  • Monica:

    YES it is cold out here in SF! I went to my daughters soccer practice last night and it was freezing!I hope you enjoy your stay! It will be cold all week!

  • Jess to the Lo:


  • Katy:

    You are a wise, funny lady. Glad to have found you!

  • Mia:

    Love the corn dog shot.. can’t remember who led me to your blog – but I like :)

  • Flash Stitcher:

    Hope that you all were not rocked by the quake.Have a great time and we will do a weather dance so you all get warmer weather.

  • Renovation Therapy:

    but have you had the sour dough bread?!??!

  • Krissi:

    Why do I spend HOURS reading blogs of total strangers. Because you run across mom’s like you, who keep it real and make you laugh at the reality we all have to face daily. I love the fart nonsense because as a mother I know it is the truth.

  • Darlene:

    I love all the talk about being cold …it was 102 here today but after reading your blog i feel a lil cooler like it is 95 hehehe….have fun !!!!

  • Brian, Mason and Cortni:

    That’s it…I can no longer read your blog. All of your children in JAYHAWK sweatshirts? All I have to say to that is….GO WILDCATS! Oh, and have a nice rest of your vacation.

  • Jenni:

    The comments here are both helpful and confusing. I have to pack for Los Gatos today, which I’m told is closer to San Jose. Someone has said that they had to bundle up when driving from San Jose to San Francisco, so I should be okay in my capris and short sleeved shirts I think. I will pack a jacket and some jeans, too. But I am so confused by this whole cold pocket phenomena! How can it be so different from San Jose? They’re just “this” far from each other on the map! California must be a very confusing place.

  • melissa:

    I’ve never been to California. Idaho is the closest we have come. Maine has funky weather. It’s always chilly on the coast but come inland 10 minutes and you’ll be sweatin bullets. We always keep extra sweatshirts and pants in the car.We like SW air also. My girls just said they don’t like sitting by farting boys though. Or farting moms. Huh, imagine that…

  • Nancy:

    I’d say it’s obvious that you’re experiencing a picture perfect vacation in the Bay City. maybe? maybe not?

  • kbbryant:

    I live 1 hour inland from San Francisco. It was 100 here Saturday, 88 today. Yes indeed Cal. has funky weather. But out heat is dry, not humid.Kathy b


    Okay – fart humor just kills me. Thanks for starting my day with a laugh.

  • eclecticdeb:

    The Bay Area has “micro-climates”, meaning the weather can vary widely in 10 miles. It took me a while to get this into my head. Coming from the East Coast, if it was 90 where you lived, it would be 90 degrees 100 miles down the road.I live in San Jose and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS carry a jacket and scarf with me when heading up to The City (don’t you dare call it “Frisco”), no matter what the temp is outside my house. Also, going to the beach (Santa Cruz) means cooling off. If it’s 95 where I live, it’s a good bet that it’s 70 and foggy at the beach.Have Fun!

  • eclecticdeb:

    Jenni,Make sure you have something long sleeve for the evenings. It cools off here pretty quickly at night. Thankfully the smoke has cleared out and the weather is really nice, so you should have a great time!

  • Anonymous:

    San Francisco can indeed be chilly this time of year, and unfortunately you seem to have chosen the most chilly of all the days to go!On another note, I am so happy to see that your kids are Jayhawks. I assumed you guys would be K-State fans being apparently so close to Manhattan.

  • Dejoni:

    I thought my kids were the only ones to fart on vacation…I don’t feel so lonely now.

  • Annemarie:

    I hate clowns. Your boy is the bravest thing I have ever seen. That one is worse than normal.

  • sarala:

    I just thought I’d pass on an, alleged, comment by another Midwesterner in San Francisco.”The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco.”- This quote has been attributed to Mark Twain.SF is one of my favorite cities too. I wouldn’t mind some chilly fog here in 90 degrees/90% humidity Chicago.

  • Nikki:

    I thought SWA was not providing snacks any more. Did y’all take your own?I would like to be somewhere cool. And that corn dog with whatever looked really yummy.

  • Serendipity:

    Okay – I can’t pass this one up…So, HOW COLD WAS IT????

  • Janelle:

    on the airplane- my mom always told me NEVER to pass on a drink and ALWAYS take the whole can! our mothers must think a like!