Plan A: 5-day road trip to visit cousins in Santa Barbara and Long Beach. The kids play, the adults talk books and art, we all curtsy to the Queen Mary and enjoy the warm weather. Canceled due to illness.
Plan B: Ride Amtrak for a day trip to the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. The kids play, the adults enjoy the scenic train ride, we all enjoy the warm weather. But, we get to the train station bright and early, our bags packed with camera, picnic and coloring books, only to discover that the trains aren’t running due to an accident on the line.
Plan C: It’s 9 AM Monday morning, a day when most of the Bay Area kids’ museums are closed (why, why all on the same day?), all our Berkeley friends had spring break last week so they’re in school, and it’s a little too early and too chilly to go to a playground.
But we’re near Berkeley, and I spent long enough there to know a couple things to do. So, we visit the T-Rex in the Berkeley Paleontology Museum; we go to the Campanile, hoping to ride to the top (but it’s closed on Mondays, natch) and then we go to the Lawrence Hall of Science, where there’s an exhibit involving build-your-own Lego race cars (did they know we were coming?)
After a picnic lunch, we call an old friend from the city who’s moved to Berkeley. School’s out for the day and the family is free! The big kids make scenery and rehearse scenes from The Magic Flute (somehow, both of their kindergarten classes have recently learned the story) and the littler kids play trains. The moms catch up and drink tea. After a couple hours, we’re treated to a short and well-rehearsed performance of excerpts from The Magic Flute. We head out for Chinese food, follow it up with some gelato, and finally head home after the evening rush hour’s over.
Thank goodness for Plan C.