Last day of resting my back and then I'll attempt another ~ 7 miles tomorrow. I did some really relaxing stretches today on the deck. It's very refreshing to be able to extend my legs and arms as far as I want without fear of hitting a wall / piece of furniture / human being! Our apartment in SF is very small for a family of four so I need to clear a path when I roll out my yoga mat.
I think I mentioned Croc is very into ponies and horses right now so I reserved a pony ride for him and breakfast for all of us!
Horseback riding wasn't something I did growing up and I'm always a little taken aback when I meet people in San Francisco who were raised riding horses. My knowledge of horses extends to the runners' rules I've read on proper etiquette (and how to stay safe!) when sharing a road with a horse. Bottom line:
We showed up at the equestrian center around 9am which in SF is nothing but on vacation felt very early :) The reward was a nice hot spread for breakfast served right next to the horses! I think I've mentioned before that our family LOVES BREAKFAST and we actually eat it much more than just in the morning. I'm talking breakfast for dinner at least 1-2 nights a week.
We had juice, coffee, eggs, pancakes and the boys had bacon and sausage. Pancakes are so good and these were nice and spongey -- perfect for soaking up all the syrup. Yum...look how excited to eat The Dude is here! I'm not sure Croc realized he was actually going to get on top of a pony because he kept saying, "we're going to buy my pony now. Just ONE pony." I'm pretty sure he thought he was getting a little toy so when they strapped on a helmet and put him on Casper the friendly pony, he was in hog heaven. I mean look at that face -- it's the face of a kid whose world has just been rocked by obtaining his ultimate dream. So good.
What was so sweet this morning was a woman we met when we checked in to the ponies and pancakes event. Her name was Amy. She was really kind to us and when I mentioned my older son was over the age limit to ride (he's 8 and they required kids 3-6) she phoned over to the staff to see if they could find a pony or horse that a 70-pound child could ride. They found one and I could see happiness creep into The Dude's face. It was a sweet moment.
Sometimes the kindness of strangers overwhelms me. This woman didn't know us from the man on the moon but she took quite a bit of time out of her day to make sure The Dude didn't feel left out. She also didn't bat an eye when I mentioned my son (yes a boy!) loves ponies (yes even purple ones!). I'm sometimes taken aback when folks make crude or sarcastic comments when my sons show interest in or wear anything traditionally associated with "girls". So Amy's kindness didn't go unnoticed.
One thing I miss about Ohio is the heart inside the people. It always takes me a few hours to adjust to the different people culture in Ohio versus San Francisco. In Ohio you have conversations with people when you check out at the grocery line, buy gas, and get coffee. Eye contact is made and stories are exchanged about the weather or kids or the high school each of you attended. It's sort of hard to explain unless you've spent a good deal of time there, but the tl;dr is there is something very special and sincere about the people in the Midwest :)
We stopped at The Village at Northstar since the day was still young, but within maybe three minutes of arriving Croc did a face plant on the sidewalk. Poor little buckaroo. He scraped up his face and had a little nosebleed which we immediately made better with lots of hugs and some wet paper towels from the public restroom.
Jon also thought some french fries might turn his frown upside down so we splurged on some Frites. This is not the same Frjtz from San Francisco but it's the same idea -- really really good fries. So I was shocked when The Dude said he didn't want any and Croc ate a few and then tried to escape. I have no idea how these are my children when there are piping hot french fries in front of them and they go untouched!
Sometimes I can't stand how trendy the simplest of pleasures have become... or is that part of living in the Bay Area where everything is bespoke and artisanal and infused with something extraordinary? Other times I wonder what my father would say if he were alive to see $16 fries. :)