12 Things from Our Visit with Paige

by - Tuesday, January 21, 2014

1. Holden Caufield- Apparently this year, I will just read all of the things most people get to in high school. It matches my general sense of angst, right? I wasn't blown away by the Great Gatsby, but I can already see that I should have read this one long ago.
2. Texting when you get to the airport- you know what is always a bummer? People text you when they get to the airport, but if you are by yourself in the car, you just can't respond. You have to leave them hanging. There should be some kind of signal you can send.
3. This sign at the Musee Mechanique- It looks like the Musee Mechanique has hired my Grampa to write their signs. This business is dark. Also, hilarious.
4. Dessert First- If you can't decide where to have lunch, it is obviously time to have ice cream. Also, does anything in the world smell better than a waffle cone?
5. That all of the sea lions came out for Paige- Pier 39 is always kind of crazy, but on a beautiful day in January, the crowds were there in full force. Also, all the sea lions showed up! They apparently migrate in the summer to have their babies, but they are all back for a big reunion in December and January. They covered everything and made a ton of noise. I loved it.
6. The Rotoscope photographs from The Disney Family Museum- I felt ambivalent about the museum as a whole, because it told such a one-sided story of the man, but you can't deny the inspirational potential of a lot of the early concept art and model. I especially loved the photographs they had posted of the actors performing for Peter Pan to be rotoscoped later. It was neat to see how the whole thing was lit., posed, etc.
7. The Grand Princess-  This cruise ship was parked right on the the pier the entire day. I have never seen a larger boat. We enjoyed watching people in line to board the ship, and we had lots of theories about where it could be going (we looked it up later- they were off to Hawaii!). Finally, we drove by and the Grand Princess was gone. Until we headed up to see the Golden Gate Bridge, and there they were again! We never wanted to say good-bye.
8. The Audio tour at Alcatraz-Honestly, I thought I would hate the whole Alcatraz experience, and we had intentionally avoided it for 5+ years. It actually had beautiful views, a much smaller jail than what we expected, and an exceptionally well-done audio tour (another thing I generally hate). The tour utilized the narration of multiple guards and inmates, creating a pretty varied and interesting oral history of the place. It refused to pander to expectations of constant drama (we had to create our own ghost-sighting) and was honest and open about issues of race that became problematic there. Plus, all the inmates played Bridge! My kind of guys.

9. Watching the sun set over the Golden Gate Bridge (and the Grand Princess)- Just when you think you are over this stupid postcard of a site, you see it again from another angle, and you can't deny the hype is entirely deserved. This view, from the hills in Marin, took my breath away and actually brought tears to my eyes. The reflection gets you.
10. The first half of Moonrise Kingdom- Eh, the second half doesn't completely work (minus the Schwartzman cameo), but the first half of this film is pure Wes Anderson magic. Applying his style to these open-hearted kids (instead of jaded, crabby adults) really made the whole thing feel so joyous and playful and odd. It also made me laugh out loud multiple times, when I think Anderson mostly aims for a knowing smirk or something.
11. Accidentally taking my cousin to a beach full of naked people- Oops! Well, apparently you need to look out for Bonny Doon Beach on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, because there is a group of old dudes that celebrate there in a very particular way. Lesson learned.
12. Fog- People get so excited for these sunny days in California, but I think no weather looks more beautiful than the fog when it is thick and spooky in the Bay Area. Just makes everything feel important and strange.

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