de Young Fine Art Museum: Chihuly Extravaganza

Today we made the trek up to San Francisco proper to see de Young Fine Art Museum’s Chihuly installation exhibit. Dale Chihuly is a Tacoma, Washington glass blower who makes the most whimsically beautiful glass pieces I’ve ever seen. His work makes me think of something akin to a Dr. Seuss book, only better!

First we stopped at the Metreon to partake in my favorite wood-fired pizza at Firewood Cafe. I know the Metreon location is kindof a tourist destination, but I love their pizza, and the atmosphere is very kid friendly. The Castro location is also very kid friendly! Anyway, we ordered two Italian sausage pizzas, one pepperoni, and my sister ordered the turkey sandwich. We all were very pleased with our selections, but for me, the spicy olives are the best part.

Then we set off to de Young. We weren’t too smart with our planing. If I were to do it over again, I’ve have ordered tickets ahead of time using WillCall via Ticketmaster, but the show itself was fantastic! My older son (7) really enjoyed all the different ways the glass was molded into things he recognized (shells, flowers, etc), and my toddler liked all the brilliant colors. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to bring strollers into the exhibit. They had a free coat check, and I was thankful I remembered to bring my ring sling.


Swanton Farm Organic Strawberry Picking

Yesterday we made our way to Swanton Berry Farm along the coast right outside Santa Cruz. A friend informed me to call ahead before we made the trek down since the weekend crowd can clear out the strawberries pretty fast. Swanton had an updated voice message explaining exactly what the crop was like, how many were ripe, etc. Since we were only planning to gather a few pints before the babies got tired it turned out to be a perfect day for us to go. The farm was easy to miss since my GPS directions took us in the back-way, and it didn’t look like much from the outside...just a little farm building amidst a big barn surrounded by tractors and backhoes. But the kids and the moms all had TONS of fun! We went on a Tuesday so there was next to no one there (not even a person to man the cash register!). The bigger kids (5 and 7) had a lot of fun hunting, and the little ones had a lot of fun eating. The whole farm runs on the honor system...and Alexander had evidence all over him. We left a few extra dollars to compensate for our ill gotten gains, and then we headed to Zachary’s for brunch.

I’ve been to Zachary’s Restaurant a few times, and it is an awesome diner to take kids. Friendly staff, inexpensive kid-friendly meals, and lots of character. We bustled in with 5 kids and 3 strollers, were promptly seated, and the waitress was very sweet and helpful. All in all...it was a great day!