Tuesday, June 9, 2009

San Francisco 2009 (Part 1 of I don’t know how many)

*Note: I've added a few more pictures since I originally posted this.

Just about every year that Rob has worked for Wolfram, he has attended the WWDC in San Francisco. Last year, I came with him for the first time, and I loved it so much I decided to come back with him again this year. Besides, it will be our last trip that’s just the two of us. Even though Fig is with us now I suppose (well, one of us at least), and regularly makes his or her presence known with little kicks, jabs, somersaults, and in general pressing on mama’s bladder. It’s still a heck of a lot easier right now than traveling with a child, who I am told will require all sorts of cumbersome paraphernalia (please, refrain from reminding me how cumbersome my life is about to become).

We booked the ticket ages ago, and then just about a week before we came, I listened to a PregTASTIC podcast (one of my favorite pregnancy resources) while I was running (yes, I still run; get over it) that just happened to be about traveling while pregnant. They had an expert on who gave advice and one of the things that she seemed to stress was that you need to have a document from your doctor indicating it is safe for you to travel. Because apparently if you look “too pregnant” when going through security, you can be denied entrance onto the plane. Just like that. Unless you have a note from your doctor. If I wouldn’t have been outside when I heard that, I would have hit the roof.

Although I thought that this was quite possibly the most ridiculous thing I’d ever heard of, I’ll be damned if anyone is going to tell me I can’t get on a freaking plane because I’m pregnant, so I got a note from my “doctor” (who I have never actually seen—I just see the midwife). My name is misspelled. But whatever.

So we went to the airport on Sunday and I tried to wear something that made me look svelte (not a chance) and gave Rob explicit instructions to say (if asked) that I was only 25 weeks pregnant (as opposed to 29). But nobody asked or even seemed to care that I was hugely pregnant, and I got on the plane without incident. The flight was also without incident. I had been warned that I would have aches, pains, swelling, deep vein thrombosis, and premature labor. But none of that happened. In fact, I wasn’t even nauseated. Let me reiterate. I wasn’t even nauseated. I have been nauseated and/or vomiting since December 21. But put me on a plane—which is guaranteed to make me nauseated and/or vomit even when I’m not pregnant—and I’m suddenly fine. I credit Zofran.

After we got to San Francisco, we got settled in and walked around for a bit. I had forgotten how cold and windy this city is. We decided to get 7-day transportation passes and after that, we took the cable car up to Fisherman's Wharf and eventually found a place for dinner.

Monday morning started early. Rob got up around 5:30 and was gone on his bike as the sun rose. He got back in time to get in line for the Keynote by about 7:15. By that time, the line already had around 1400 people in it (and the Keynote wasn’t even going to start until 10am). It wasn’t long before I met up with my friend Laura, who had also come to WWDC with her husband. The two of us traversed every square inch of Chinatown and also did some shopping (mainly window shopping) at Union Square. After spending about 6 hours on our feet, we came back to the hotel to rest. I ended up being restless, knowing that there was a pool in the hotel. So I poured myself into my maternity swimsuit and went to “swim” a couple of laps. (I don’t really “swim.” It was just nice to get in the water and feel weightless for a little bit).

By the time Rob got done for the evening, I was exhausted and fighting off both nausea and hunger. Since I was beyond the point of forming thoughts or speaking, Rob got us to an Indian restaurant for dinner. After eating my weight and Fig’s combined in naan and chickpeas, I requested decidedly non-vegan ice cream for dessert, and I started feeling better.

Before we went to sleep, I showed Rob a few of the small purchases I had made during the day. One of the things I got was a book for Fig at the Paul Frank store. I had really wanted to get Fig a cute little outfit there, but they had nothing neutral for infants of unknown gender. So I settled for the book. In the long run, I’m sure that’s better, because a book will far outlast baby clothing. As I showed Rob the book, I started reading it to him. He pulled the covers up to his chin and was fast asleep by the time I finished. I think Fig liked the book too.

Tuesday was another early morning. For Rob at least. He got up and rode lord knows how many miles before the conference started for the day. Laura and I hung out near the hotel for a couple of hours in the morning and then ended up meeting up with Rob for lunch at Union Square, where we watched the 47th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest.

Then Laura and I went on a “walking tour” of Russian Hill that I had found in a guidebook I brought. The book described this walk as “strenuous,” and that was not an understatement. We went through Ina Coolbrith Park, was amazingly beautiful, but I think I may have gotten a little bit of altitude sickness just from the climb up there. The view from the top was worth it though. We saw Coit Tower, the Bay Bridge, and the skyscrapers of the city (including the Transamerica Pyramid). As our walk continued, we headed down Lombard Street—the crookedest street in the world. We modified the walk a bit at the end so that we could hit Swenson’s Ice Cream on the way back—the guide book called it “one of San Francisco’s tastiest landmarks.” It did not disappoint.

Coit Tower

Transamerica Pyramid and other buildings

Bay Bridge

Lombard Street

Our trip back to the hotel was prolonged because 2 completely full cables cars passed us by, telling us to wait for the next one. Finally, the 3rd completely full cable car took us on, but because no seats were available, we both ended up having to cling to the outside—holding on for dear life. This actually made me more than a little bit nervous, but eventually a seat opened up that I could take, and not too long afterwards we reached our destination.

There was a bit of resting before the guys got home and we all headed for dinner at a kind of fancy Mediterranean restaurant. Laura and I were still fortified from our late-afternoon Swensons, but we split an order of goat cheese ravioli (also non-vegan), which was quite good.

Who knows what adventures tomorrow will bring?!

Thanks for reading.


amypfan said...

You are the only pregnant lady I know who would attempt a hike through San Francisco (which had me winded when not pregnant)--which probably also means that you are in better shape than any other pregnant lady I have known. Something about running marathons, I guess. :) Anyway, I am now back in the blogging world and have enjoyed getting caught up on all your posts. Enjoy your trip, and I swear I'm coming to Urbana to visit you when you get back!

Anonymous said...

O WOW!!!!!!!!! What an exciting adventure the last few days have been!!!!! Thanks for sharing the sights, and sounds!!!!!. Loved the cable car bells!!! felt like I was right IN THE CROWD>>FUN!!!!!! Glad Laura and you are able to hit the fun spots together......... Loved the MONKEY book for FIG>>>>> It must be good if it put DAH DAH "nah nah"!!! o:) I can see the 3 of you traveling the highways of adventure with no problems,,,,,,,,, Fig will be a very good little traveler,, and won't require much baggage,I'm sure!!!!!! Have a WONDERFUL time in the days' left....... and keep the travelogue going.......... it's the closest to San Francisco I'll ever get, and you make me feel I'm right there with you, ( minus the puffing and huffing and tiring of the old body)!!!!! You really should WRITE a BOOK on SIGHTSEEING while 30 weeks pregnant!!!!! Take care and hugs to the 3 of you.. luv you foxymama

Jodi said...

FYI, I am traveling to SF vicariously through you.