Time flies when you’re having fun I guess! I am now 7 months into my pregnancy and can’t believe how quickly it’s gone. I’ve had plenty of folks tell me these last two months will be the most uncomfortable so I hope these weeks zip by too! And while a bit of nervousness may weave its way into our excitement, my husband and I are both very eager to actually meet the little person who has taken over my body these past months. We are also trying to bank our sleep now and enjoy some quiet time together before our household gains another member in April. We decided a few months ago that we needed one final vacation before I got too big to move around comfortably and that an escape from the frigid Wisconsin winter might be nice. San Francisco here we come!
We got super lucky with the weather and sun and mid 60s were in the forecast. I was a bit nervous on how much walking and hiking I’d be able to handle as I’m not quite as nimble and light as I used to be! We rented a great little apartment in the Mission District of the city and enjoyed walking around the neighborhood on our first afternoon as well as going for a Bay Cruise down at the Wharf. The next day we drove across the famous Golden Gate Bridge to head up the coast to Muir Woods for some hiking in the Redwoods.
We decided we wanted more than just the standard pavement hike and opted for a steeper 5 mile loop. I wasn’t sure this hike was really recommended for a nearly 7 month pregnant woman but hey, I’m game. Dave led the way while I slowly (but steadily!) made my way up the switchbacks and up to the top of the ridge. You definitely feel the extra 20 pounds when you’re hiking uphill but it was great to be out in the woods surrounded by giant trees with the sun filtering through. Our map didn’t have much detail and we made a few questionable turns hoping that we were on the right path. We found ourselves out of the trees and into a prairie with some views of the ocean through the grass covered valleys. We decided to be even more adventurous and continue walking on the trail despite a “Bridge Out – Detour Recommended” sign. We had crossed the creek earlier and knew it wasn’t more than ankle deep and figured it would be character building. The icy water was a shock to the feet but, with the help of a walking stick Dave found me, I made it across safely to the other side.
It was a great hike but admittedly I was ready to sit and read in the sun while he went for a trail run at our next stop at the Point Reyes Visitor Center. Lunch at a café in Point Reyes Station did taste especially good though!
With the warm weather I was itching for a bike ride as the only riding I’ve done since November has been in my basement. We took a bus down to the Haight-Ashbury district and rented a couple of bikes to ride around in Golden Gate Park. They were standard hybrid comfort bikes and although I’m used to something with more aggressive positioning I did appreciate being so upright. Pedaling through the park felt awesome and we ended up at the ocean and got to see the huge waves break as they came ashore.
We opted for a hilly route to an overlook of the Bridge and I gladly used the smallest gear offered on the bike. Whew – it’s amazing how easily I find myself short of breath but the ride and view were totally worth it and testing the brakes down some of SF’s famous hills was pretty fun. We spend the rest of the afternoon in the park and visited the California Academy of Sciences and, despite my best efforts to stay awake, the comfortable seats of the Planetarium proved a great spot to catch a quick nap. (It was an awesome show, I swear! I was just feeling particularly narcoleptic – must be the pregnancy!)
Plenty of walking and being typical tourists filled our last two days. We took a bus downtown and walked Lombard St. (the crookedest street in San Fran), rode the famed cable cars, visited the MoMA, and walked through Chinatown, Union Square, and the Embarcadero. We also hung out in a sports bar and watched our Green Bay Packers earn a trip to the Superbowl which was pretty fun. Our final day included a morning trip to the Presidio and Crissy Field for some awesome views of the Golden Gate Bridge and watching brave surfers catch the waves surrounding the rocky waters at the base of the bridge. We then drove across the Bay Bridge to Berkeley where we walked their beautiful campus and drove up the ridge for some hazy views across the Bay of San Fransisco. Some quiet time reading in a local park before we had an early dinner at the famous Chez Pannise.
It was a great trip and we felt like we got to see and do so many things. I admit all of the walking throughout our stay took its toll though and I was looking forward to some time spent sitting down! I was so glad that I was able to hike, bike, and walk with little or no complaints though and it felt so good to be outside without gloves, hat, and a winter jacket. We generally take trips that revolve around our bicycles and include riding 3-6 hours a day so this was definitely a change of pace from our “vacation.” But it was good to do something different and we still did plenty of active exercise throughout the trip – perhaps just at a slower pace than normal!
Back home in Madison we’re once again embracing the cold weather as best we can and the infamous Blizzard of 2011 left us with 20 inches of snow last week. I did some light shoveling while Dave did the majority of the snow removal. All the white stuff meant area ski trails are in great condition and I got out both days this last weekend for a total of 25K of skate skiing.
It felt so good to be outside gliding on the snow and I felt so much more stable than I thought I might – I had a goofy grin on my face the whole first lap! I’m still managing my morning trainer sessions a few days a week and have been continuing to feel pretty good despite my expanding belly. Sleep can sometimes be difficult but I’ve learned to be a side sleeper and the baby hasn’t been waking me up quite as often with its squirming and kicking. I just think of it as meaning that baby is already training to be an active little adventurer! Thanks for reading!
Category: Reader Stories