I do like San Francisco. It's a city whose air feels cleaner, its pace more sane. They certainly take their dining seriously, as evidenced by the seemingly epic lines and waits at any reputable restaurant. We ate well though. I also enjoy it for its proximity to places I love: Point Reyes, Inverness, Sebastopol. I like to think that someday I will spend more of my life up there, perhaps in my waning years when I want to be surrounded by redwoods and cleaner air.
For an LA kid, SF is a great place to get a first taste of another big city. The trolley cars, the vintage streetcars, all those double-decker buses, they were almost enough entertainment for my boys. We could have spent hours at The Exploratorium–one of the best museums I've ever encountered. Our visit also coincided with the city's Chinese New Year parade which we were able to watch from our hotel windows. Thousands of fire crackers pop-pop popped through the night. We wrapped it up with a visit with some of Matt's family to the Adventure Playground in Berkeley where every play structure is kid-made. It's impressive until you realize that if you want to build on to any part of it, you must first find 10 rusty nails that are scattered all over the yard. Mateo found almost double that in our first 15 minutes. Must be why they make you sign a release form before you go in. But we were up for the adventure.