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Bay Explorers

My vision is to inspire families of all backgrounds to explore, be present, and have fun with their children in the Bay Area.

5 Events, 3 Cities, 1 Day

5 events, 3 cities, 1 day, 2 kids, & 1 crazy mom! Last Saturday was sort of a nonstop event roller coaster ride! I knew there was a lot of events happening Saturday the 7th, but the only plans I had for sure made were to hang out with my friends and the kids in San Francisco. My plans that Saturday went from one plan to three plans, to four, to one more stop won't hurt. Lol, I don't know how we did it, but we did and had so much fun the whole way!

I knew I had to meet my friends around noon at the Bart station, I thought maybe we can squeeze in a visit with Santa and the free day at Museum of Children's Art along the way. After a struggle getting out the door (as two kids always are) I had resigned to the fact that it was gonna be an either or situation. Either go see Santa or go do some art at MOCHA's free day. Satya opted for pictures with Santa, which was great as this was the closest stop to our house it was at The Source Chiropractic on MacArthur in Oakland. I thought there would be a line but the pictures didn't take long. Santa was really sweet and won over an incredulous Ayala who was not sure about taking pictures on some strange man's lap. I think Santa is the owner (so I heard and puts it on every year) really nice guy plus free donuts!

Since the Santa flicks took shorter than I expected we still had time to spare before we had to meet my friends at West Oakland Bart. I decided we would just swing by the Museum of Children's Art and see if there were any close parking spots so that we could run in for a minute. Ta-da there was a spot right in front. We ended up staying for a good 45 minutes. In that time the kids painted rocks, did salad spinner art, tye dye, and got more free snacks. All these free events kept offering up free snacks- bonus for hungry active kids! The art they did will be used in MOCHA's new art installation in their studio.

We left with just enough time to meet my friends at the Bart. What we were surprised to see was that Santa Con was in full effect and Santas in every race, shape, and form were hopping on Bart to get to the city. We could tell then it was gonna be crazy! When we got to SF all that could be seen was a flurry of red and white everywhere! We made our way to the Westin in Union Square home of the gigantic gingerbread house. Took some pictures in there, oogled at the giant castles made of sugar, then headed into the thick of it at Union Square for some pictures by the towering Christmas tree and to be completely engulfed in Santas. After we had had enough caroling and drunk Santas we went and had lunch in the mall food court. I love Loving Hut a vegan slightly fast food chain down there. Ate casually and said our goodbyes.

We were off back to Oakland where I intended to catch the tail end of the Social Justice Book fair happening at the 510 Make Believe department in downtown Oakland. The book fair was crowded! Much more so than I had anticipated it being. We got a book or two, met the authors, saw some friends that we know, passed out some flyers, and played in their giant sandbox. After that I thought our night was over. We were gonna go have dinner with my mom at her house.

Driving from Oakland to Berkeley near the Marina I suddenly remembered another event that I had wanted to go to that day Winterfest at the Berkeley Marina. With everything else going on I decided that this was probably an event that we were never gonna make it to. But in the description it sounded so fun - boat light parade with fireworks. We swung by the event and decided to get out for a little walk. I am glad we did because we saw the boat light parade but we also caught the fireworks which was a pretty nice display for such a small event. Ayala was captivated by them.

When everything was over we drove down 4th Street for one final look at the glowing lights that light up that block. Tired, hungry, and a little overwhelmed by our busy day we headed to my mom's house for some much needed down time and some dinner.

It was a crazy day: 5 events, 3 cities, 2 kids, and 1 tired crazy mom, lol but it's a day that we all will remember affectionately in our hearts for a very long time.

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