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September 12, 2010

9/11 {my birthday}

My birthday was this weekend and, as usual, my kids were more excited about it than I was.  My birthday treat was a gourmet cupcake from Kara's Cupcakes in Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco. 

We each picked our own flavor:  I picked lemon, Daddy picked chocolate with caramel filling, Maddy picked carrot cake and Gwen picked pure decadent chocolate.  I think she has an animal attraction to Chocolate.  I can relate to this because this is precisely how I eat chocolate when nobody is looking. 

Gwen kara cupcake 50 ambrosia

I stopped getting excited about birthdays a very long time ago but my kids can't comprehend why I'd want to do that so they continue to insist that we hold an annual celebration of my graceful but steady descent into old age. 

Getting older sucks but I sure do love those homemade cards, big squeezy hugs and 800 calorie desserts!

This year, my present was a three hour Bay Cruise with my two favorite talk radio hosts and about 200 of their most loyal local listeners.    I've listened to these guys for four hours per day for the last five years so it was exciting to get to finally meet them in person even though it felt really weird to encounter them outside of my radio!

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While we were on the Bay Cruise, Michael and Kelsey were watching the kids at a nearby hotel.  I told the girls that Mommy and Daddy were going on a date and Michael and Kelsey would babysit them at the hotel and Maddy remembered that we did this one time before.  She has an excellent memory and she was quick to recite details of that previous instance - casually including that, last time, she and her sister and her big brother and his girlfriend watched porno while Mommy and Daddy were away.  Yeah, that's what she said. 

Obviously it made me blink a few times while I tried to wrap my mind around this tidbit of information. I knew what I heard was impossible so I reverse-translated it into the language of a 6 year old child with a repaired cleft palate and a slight speech impediment and came up with the 'correct' pronunciation of porno:  Ponyo. 

They watched Ponyo while Mommy and Daddy were away.   

The whole thing took about 5 seconds and I burst into laughter and grabbed my cell phone and called Michael to share the joke with him.  Maddy had no idea what we all thought was so funny and there really was no way to explain the joke to her.  :)

After the Bay Cruise, we walked back to our Embarcadero hotel and the next morning we all walked from the hotel to Fisherman's Wharf.  The girls were on their bikes and Andrew and I were walking.  We weren't sure how successful we'd be but the girls did really great!  They're able to ride in heavy pedestrian traffic and remain steady and upright even at a semi-slow walking pace.  When it got really tight, we held onto their arm to steady them but most of the time, they were biking along at a comfortable speed and were very skilled at not running into anyone. 

Here's Gwen on Fisherman's Wharf posing with a big (new?) sculpture of a macaroni. 

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We locked up the bikes and strolled through Fisherman's Wharf - pausing to check out the sea lions (there weren't many of them) then went into the Aquarium Of The Bay.  It's been at least three years since we did this so it was all new again for the girls.  Man, do they love this place!  It was really awesome and we even got a 50% discount with our SF Zoo membership.

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No trip to the aquarium is complete without the jellyfish.

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The girls loved touching these colorful starfish and other squishy sea creatures.

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I know this one is weird looking!   I'm so glad he was willing to stop and pose for this pic!

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Maddy and Daddy in front of a HUGE school of little fish!

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We ate some amazingly awesome little mini donuts.  Oh gosh, these were good!  They were fresh and hot from the fryer and sprinkled with sugar and impossible to resist once you started popping them into your mouth!  At only 50 calories per doughnut, they weren't the worst thing we could eat on Fisherman's Wharf but since they let you refill the empty bag for just $2.50, we did some major damage anyway!   Thank goodness we can't get these closer to home! 

Next stop was Musee Mecanique, a collection of antique arcade machines that were almost as fascinating as they were freaky.  

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Maddy was seriously horrified by this one.  And when you deposited a quarter and pushed the button, the six foot tall monstrosity did a terrifying dance.   We all might need therapy.

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Daddy had to arm wrestle this red faced guy to win our release!

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About five hours after we started, we finally turned around and headed for the hotel.  All in all, we walked (kids rode bikes) all the way from the Ferry Building at the Embarcadero to Ghirardelli Square and back again (a four mile round trip).  They did great and we had a wonderful weekend!

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