Prequel to The Giants Excitation

Previously I posted pics from our last San Francisco Giants game and alluded to the fact that R has difficulty attending sports events due to his PTSD. I forgot to post pics of his first attempt!

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It is a scenic two and a half hour drive to San Francisco. What trip to the city is complete without going to Fisherman’s Wharf?

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We splurged at a restaurant on the wharf.

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Then we went to the game! We had great seats from Operation Care and Comfort.

It was not until we were seated that I could truly see how uncomfortable R was by being there. The hordes of people trying to get into the game, the rush to get to our assigned section, his chronic nerve pain, and just being around hundreds of people all contributed to his anxiety. He declared then and there that he cannot attend a major league sports game ever again. However, upon reflection later that week, he understands that he needs to try periodically. How often can only be determined by R alone. Only time will tell.

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GO GIANTS!

The Marine Mammal Conservation, Part 2

In May we visited the Marine Mammal Center in the Bay Area where sick or injured marine mammals found along the California coast are sent to recover. Last week we visited again and brought along a special guest… Daddy!

Our son M decided that the two hour drive was too long so he stayed with grandma getting spoiled with her sole attention and endless amounts of cookies and chips. After all, that’s what grandmas are for, right?

Along the way, we stopped at Travis AFB to pick up tickets to {a secret destination to be revealed in a future post!}. We saw far more deer at the MMC than marine mammals which is bittersweet; on one hand we wanted to see and hear seals and sea lions yet on the other, this means that far more seals are healthier! This certainly won’t be our last visit. I am so happy that our children, especially A, are concerned for the well-being of our planet and its inhabitants.

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The USF Dons Declaration

I loved my time in San Francisco. I lived in the foggy city from my freshman year at USF in (gasp) 1992 clear up until I was a second year grad student in the School of Education in 1997.

When I go back to the city, it’s bittersweet. I’m reminded of a time when I had all the time in the world before the real world started. I can no longer hop on MUNI to go downtown for the afternoon. I can’t just wander into Golden Gate Park until I find a place to set up a picnic and read all day.

Suburban Mom Syndrome has taken over. I have an SUV in place of a couple bucks for MUNI. I have three kids who have no idea what traffic is or how to take public transportation for that matter. I no longer wish to look for parking, pay for parking, or wait for parking.

Maybe one day my children will have the privilege to go to school and live in that wonderful city. On a recent trip to San Francisco, we dropped by the campus but it was empty on a sunny summer Sunday. Hopefully these visits will encourage them to excel in academics and apply to USF when the time comes.

But I’m not paying for parking.

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Where the bar USED to be. The girls are hamming it up in front of the now sophisticated-looking bookstore.

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St. Ignatius Church

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On the way to Lone Mountain campus. Some semesters I had to climb those 104 steps twice a day. I even had a class on the third floor. I have nightmares still of trying to get to the top and not being able to find my class!

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One of the houses there is a small statue of an angel blowing a kiss. I looked forward to seeing it on the way to class and again afterward. After all these years, the angel is still there.

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The Fisherman’s Wharf Fallacy

I grew up in the Monterey Bay and was devastated when my move to Georgia meant the not only were we moving away from the Pacific, but away from THE OCEAN. it is no surprise that my thee kids absolutely love going to the beach.

We went to Fisherman’s Wharf after a Giants game. My second grader A loves seals, or pinnipeds as she refers to her ocean friends. Had I known we could have saved money by just sitting on the pier and watching the sunbathing sea lions, I wouldn’t have bought tickets to the aquarium!

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The Giants Expedition

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a baseball umpire. Never mind that I had never played baseball before and I didn’t know why my father glued himself to the TV whenever a game was on but I thought it would be awesome to have so much power to make people happy or angry.

We never had cable. There were no networks geared just for kids, no DVR’s, VCR tape rental was just starting to get popular. Most kids were able to watch the two hours of cartoons everyday after school because their parents weren’t cheap Filipinos. I didn’t mind. We still had Saturday morning cartoons.

We’re talking real vintage stuff here, kids. Smurfs were never on the big screen. I thought the “older kid” shows were so cool back when I was Team Zack (not Team Slater) and Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas was just Stacy Ferguson.

That is, until baseball season. My little brother and I would scream in horror when our cartoons were preempted by that damn sport. Who wanted to watch a boring game anyway?

My dad did! Back then there wasn’t a TV in every room. (Now we only have a TV in our family room and a small 12″ TV upstairs for kids’ movies.) If you wanted TV time, too bad. Dad was watching the San Francisco Giants or the Oakland A’s. I started watching out of boredom and it wasn’t until much later that I appreciated their… Ahem, uniforms.

One beautiful October afternoon, my brother and I sat down with our dad to watch the 1989 World Series– the Battle of the Bay— when lo and behold, Mother Nature had other plans. She sent a major earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale. As a child growing up near major fault lines in California, I remember experiencing them so often that I could guess how strong they were on the Richter scale with great accuracy. But this one? This one was greater than anything I had ever felt in my life. It was so strong that my husband said he felt it two states away!

It wasn’t until my first year of college that I went to a real professional sports game. I remember a long bus ride with a few friends to Candlestick Park. I was in awe of this amazing park and wondered how it would have felt sitting there when that earthquake hit, the earthquake that kept us out of school for at least two days. I loved taking in the smell of ballpark fare and beer not knowing that decades later my children would beg for $9 nachos at minor league games.

When Operation Care and Comfort offered tickets to soldiers in northern California, I jumped at the chance to take my kids to their first Giants game, totally understanding if tickets had run out or unavailable to us in our unique situation.

We got tickets to Opening Week, the final game against the Colorado Rockies.

Needless to say, we had an amazing time!

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20130414-230128.jpgOn the bridge near our parking lot. I almost cried having to pay $35 for parking!

20130414-230249.jpgWe stopped at Travis AFB to pick up lunch and snacks but mostly to save money from having to buy food and drinks in the park. Now I splurge on special occasions but no such occasion exists when it comes to a cup of ten-dollar-lemonade! A is eating octopus from the sushi bar.

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