We spent the day exploring the Mission District in San Francisco on Sunday. We were also hoping to escape some of the heat in Palo Alto.
“Go on the Caltrain and go to San Francisco?!” Sam exclaimed in that high pitched excited voice toddlers do so well. He loves taking the train.
We took the Caltrain to the end of the line in SF. From there, we intended to take the KT Muni to the Mission. However, the line was under construction. After a little bit of confusion, a helpful guide suggested we take the N Judah to Embarcadero station, then transfer to the K. This was more transfers than we were expecting, but the wait times were short and overall wasn’t too bad.
[In case this is helpful for anyone out there: strollers are a bit difficult on transit in San Francisco. The Caltrain requires it folded up in the luggage carts or in a seat – which both are usually fairly full. They are not allowed in the bike car. The Muni lines are very crowded and many have steps, which also makes lugging a stroller around difficult. However, the BART is usually pretty stroller-friendly as long as it isn’t too crowded. You will need to take elevators to get to/from the platforms though. This all said, we typically leave the stroller at home and bring our toddler carrier along to keep Sam contained when needed and for naps.]
We eventually made it to the Mission and started walking and taking in the architecture of the neighborhood.
The temperature was slightly lower than Palo Alto, but it was still hot and we were ready for lunch. We stopped at Clare’s Delicatessen to pick up a picnic lunch which we ate at Mission Dolores Park.
We found a spot in the shade among the crowd to eat our lunch and take in the view.
Shortly afterwards, we headed to the playground. It was very hot and there was minimal shade.
Of course, Sam didn’t mind and immediately ran for this giant slide.
He went down it! Not without using his foot as a stopper to ensure taking it slow.
He must have liked it. Sam immediately ran back up to do it again. The view is nice up here.
We did more wandering and came across this toy store.
Paxton Gate’s Curiosities for Kids was full of European style toys and little to none had batteries.
They also had a children’s play table with assorted toys such as a doll house style rocket ship, blocks, and instruments.
After more strolling down the streets with the most shade, Sam fell asleep in the carrier. He was very hot on my back and we came across a restaurant/bar called Nostra Spaghetteria/Bar Mia. It looked fairly empty as it was around 3 pm and it had comfortable looking booths. A good place to sit and rest in air conditioning.
We were feeling ambitious and thought we could transfer Sam from my back to the booth. It was unsuccessful and resulted in a fully awake 2 year old. The waiter came by to ask what we would like to order. Sam sleepily says “I want a strawberry mango smoothie.” They do not serve smoothies, but they gave him his request anyway. He must have liked it as he drank all of it. The waiter mentioned he previously worked at Jamba Juice and he had fun coming up with something for him.
The things you can get away with when you are 2.
They were not serving food yet besides small bites and drinks. So we got ourselves something to drink, too, before heading back to Palo Alto via BART and Caltrain.