ESCAPE to San Francisco 2016

ESCAPE to San Francisco

From San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin. Six stops on a rainy Saturday in December…

We knew it was going to rain, but we were hopeful for a reprieve at some point during the day, as we had our usual list of destinations to hit:

  • Lombard Street
  • Palace of Fine Arts
  • Fort Point
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Marine Mammal Center
  • Battery Spencer

Though it didn’t work out exactly the way we’d hoped, we had a great day, and dodged the raindrops as best we could.  We did get to see the wild parrots at Lombard Street, which was a special treat.  The Palace of Fine Arts was glorious as always, but without much shelter, we didn’t stay long.  The torrents continued while we were at Fort Point, but at least we could avoid the rain if we chose.

But the rain continued, and we thought it best to skip the walk on the Golden Gate Bridge.  The Marine Mammal Center generously allowed us to eat lunch in their classroom, and then gave us an introduction to all that goes on there.  They had just brought in a juvenile elephant seal an hour earlier, which was fortunate for us.  It was the only animal we could actually see.  In recent years, we’ve seen many, many more animals, but we’ve gone in March, much later in the season.

The kids (and chaperones) persevered, and to buy time in the rain, we visited the Marin Headlands Visitor Center.  It’s actually a nice visitor center, and they graciously hosted us for close to an hour.  By then, the rain finally gave way to heavy fog.  We decided we could try going to Battery Spencer.  Though we were just a few hundred yards from the Golden Gate Bridge, we couldn’t see a thing.  It did give us a chance to burn off a little energy, running around among the old buildings.  By that time though, most of us were pretty cold and damp, and ready for a warm shower and dry clothes.

We decided to call it a day, and returned to Richmond an hour early. But we were pleased with the attitude and the adventurous spirit of the kids.  Most of them felt like this was still a major upgrade from sitting by themselves at home on the couch!  We’re grateful for a nice group of kids we have this year, and for teacher/chaperones that are supportive, attentive and flexible.  And we got to wear our new shirts! Don’t we look good in them?

We filmed a “mannequin challenge” at the Marin Headlands Visitor Center to pass the time in the rain.  You can see it at the end of our slideshow video below.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours from all of us at the ESCAPE Club!

Click above to see the video.  Our mannequin challenge is at the end.


ESCAPE to Slide Ranch 2016

ESCAPE to Slide Ranch

Goat milking, a trip through the chicken pen, baking from the organic garden, and lots more…

We have come to love our annual trip to Slide Ranch.  The students are exposed to so many new experiences, that it’s a bit overwhelming for us to try to document the day.  
Our group of 35 kids was broken into four groups, each led by one of the talented Slide Ranch staff.  They take the time to learn kids’ names, and really interact personally with them the entire time we’re there.  We can’t say enough about their program, and their generosity to us.  You can find more about them at

We ended the program sharing a feast of all the things we made: bread, butter, vegetable stir fry, and rhubarb crisp, all on nasturtium leaf plates.  So tasty, and we made it all ourselves!

The last part of a full day was a walk down to the beach for a little tide-pooling, some selfies, and an incredible sunset.

Click above to see the video!  
(on DropBox since YouTube had copyright issues.  
If you prefer, a higher resolution version is here.)