The American Academy of Pediatrics has a national conference every year that rotates through a few major cities, and this year it was in San Francisco. To get education credits for our medical licenses we try to go about every other year, especially if it's in a place we want to visit anyway. Two years ago we had a great time when it was in Boston. Since my best friends in the whole world live right outside of San Francisco, we didn't have to think twice about heading for the west coast.
5 hours on a plane with a 3 year old heading into a 3 hour time change....not so much of a problem with a portable dvd player. Joe Joe is a seasoned traveler. Never had 1 complaint about him on an airplane. (Yet.)
After our friend Rodney was sweet enough to pick us up at the airport and chauffeur us to the hotel, we headed over the welcome reception. They set up an entire "kid's camp" that was simply incredible - full-on kid food buffet, moon bounce, giant blow up slides, tons of craft activities, and free Build-a-Bears (which you saw Joseph sleeping with in the last post)!
Our gentle giant needs a little work on his upper body strength. He just could not get himself over this wall to go up the slide, so we befriended Declan, who was all too happy to repeatedly hurl Joseph up and over. Joseph kept saying "Let's do MORE!"
The next night the AAP hosted a reception at the California Academy of Sciences which houses a rain forest, planetarium, living coral reef, and swamp (with a huge albino alligator) under a plant covered "living" roof. We loved the walkway over the sharks and stingrays as well as the tunnel though the aquarium. Those fish were H.U.G.E.
But we also did actually attend the conference! We stayed at the fabulous Hotel Nikko near Union square which was a short walk to the convention center. While one of us would go to a lecture, the other would entertain Joseph. We spent a lot of time in their indoor pool, which we generally had to ourselves. The majority of it was less than 3 feet deep, just perfect for his height.
There was also surprisingly a ton to do in, on, and around the convention center itself. The was a rooftop complex encompassing green spaces, a playground, a skating rink, and a bowling alley (we skipped the latter 2).
An overhead walkway led over to Yerba Buena Gardens, wide open spaces where Joseph could just run around. The East Garden also had a memorial to MLK Jr with a giant water feature.
And almost daily we took a few spins on the historic Looff carousel which was right at the entrance to the conference center. Fun way to spend a few minutes while waiting to trade off kid duty between lectures.
Can you believe there was all this, and I haven't even begun to cover any of the typical tourist attractions yet? There's so much more to show you!