I spent the last few days off the radio and in San Francisco where my wife and friend attended a writer's conference downtown.
Gingy, our 3-year-old, and I filled our days with adventures during the hours they were gone. This gave us usually a 12 hour window to set out and do as we pleased.
One of my favorite things to do is walk. It's great exercise and it revitalizes the senses as well. It's no wonder that doctors recommend walking as a stress reliever!! It works as advertised!!
So I pulled out the stroller and we were ready.
We parked in Chinatown and walked from the start of Chinatown (Grant and Bush) and walked all the way through it to North Beach, the Italian section of San Francisco.
Then we turned down famous Columbus and made it all the way to the wharf. Since Gingy was in her stroller and I was 40 pounds lighter after my weigh loss goal, I hadn't felt that energized in a LONG TIME.
It felt WONDERFUL.
Then it started to rain on the way back to the car, which was still parked a good several miles away.
Gingy was as excited as her Daddy to see all the hustle and bustle in Chinatown. The New Year's Parade was over the weekend and the neighborhood was in full swing and even more alive than usual.
The rain didn't deter us from the fun of it all. Sometimes I think Gingy is even thicker skinned than I am and leaned forward in her stroller, ready for anything that came our way.
The next day it rained ALL DAY. Literally didn't stop from morning until night, so we spent that day with my father strolling her around the recently revamped Academy of Sciences.
My mother used to take me there, it seemed, every week. I never got tired of the aquarium or the majestic "stuffed" animals that adorned the African Exhibit.
I was saddened and downright infuriated that most of the place was full of doom and gloom hysteria about the sky falling, climate change, and how man is destroying the planet.
It used to be about FUN and EXCITEMENT when I was a kid.
Comforted with the knowledge that OUR children would not be seduced by the big lie of this nonsense, we headed out where I bought a couple of magic tricks from really the only TRUE neighborhood magic store left in the City, Misdirections.
The next day FINALLY brought sunshine and another LONG walk for Gingy and me. In fact, inspired by our previous adventures, I undertook walking WITH her up some of the steepest and longest staircases in San Francisco. These lead us through cozy and sheltered little homes and apartments not easily seen from far below on the streets of San Francisco.
Back through North Beach via Russian Hill. And back down one end of Chinatown to the other. Stopping by the oldest bakery in Chinatown for the best almond cookies we've ever tasted.
It was a fun few days off. They were filled with awesome company, exciting adventures, and memories to last a lifetime. I walked past some of my old stomping grounds and felt the bittersweet tug between comforting nostalgia and the sadness which comes with knowing most things will never be the same.
It made me miss a lot of people and places and happy moments. But it also cleansed the senses, revitalized my spirits, and got my heart and soul and mind pumping.
What else could you possibly ask for from a few days off, after all?