Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fun Day Thanks to Mamapedia!

2011 SF Ocean Film Festival

 I'm a little behind on posting due to the flu bug hitting our house (or shall I say, my husband) at the end of last week. Last week I got free tickets for my whole family from Mamapedia for the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival. We were so excited because first of all...Yeah! I won free tickets!...and it was a great excuse for us as a family to spend some time in the city at Pier 39. There was a "family program" on Saturday morning, with 6 family appropriate films ranging from 2-44 minutes. The purpose of film festival was to bring about awareness of the ocean as a vital ecosystem. My Monkey is obsessed with the beach and the ocean, and plus with a number of films in varying lengths I was hoping it would keep his interest. Plus, the plan was for all 4 of us to go, so we could take turns handling the Buddha as needed.

Well, Chip was bedridden and there was NO way he was going to make it, but we had been talking up this day with the kids and I decided to suck it up and make it happen. We needed to get out of the house so he could get some rest. Plus, I saw it as sort of a challenge. Hell, in my 20's I traveled all over Europe for 2 months with no reservations and nothing but a backpack. I could DO THIS, right? We got ready, I packed food for the kids because they are absolute nightmares if they are hungry, and we hit the road. We had an awesome, sunny drive up to SF which took over an hour. Parking was conveniently located, and we crossed the skyway from the parking garage to the Pier and easily reached the theater.

We saw a great film about surfing, and short film with a young boy not much older than Monkey talking about saving the whales, and part of a film about killer whales. Monkey was so enthralled and mesmerized by these films. I was so proud of him that he was behaving so well, and very happy that he seemed to enjoy them so much. Buddha, on the other hand started getting antsy about 15 minutes in. I tried to keep him mellow as long as I could with snacks, but that didn't last. Once he started to walk around and paid no attention to me when I kept asking him to come back to me and sit down, I knew our time was up. I prepped Monkey and told him his brother wasn't minding me and that we were going to have to leave. On the count of three we got up, grabbed the Buddha (who didn't go quietly) grabbed the stroller and out we went.

Gorgeous day in SF

There could have had something to do with the tsunami, and people afraid to be near the ocean, because I was surprised that Pier 39 wasn't swarming with people on a sunny day. But I was glad. We walked around, got some food for me - an AMAZING crab cake sandwich for $6.99. Found a coffee vendor who sold me some milk for the Buddha in a coffee cup with a lid, for the price of a small coffee. I must add, in case you forget your sippy cup and your child can drink from a straw - the coffee cups with the lids like Starbuck's uses work excellent as the opening is small enough to grip the straw pretty well for minimal spillage. We strolled over to the water so I could show the boys Alcatraz.
Enjoying some cotton candy and milk

And, we saw a leprechaun!

Pretty cool, he took pictures with any one who asked. My kids were not interested!
We rode a double decker carousel, which was $8 (pricey) for the three of us. It was kind of a short ride, but both kids really enjoyed it. Monkey asked to go on it again, and of course the answer was no!

We also went to Aquarium of the Bay, which I am embarrassed to say I never even knew existed. Our Film Fest tickets also gave us free admission to the aquarium. It's not terribly large, but as something to do for part of your day it is great. My kids LOVE starting at fish tanks...and the Buddha had never been to an aquarium before. It was awesome.

They found Nemo, Dorrie and Bubbles in this tank!
My kids ran back to this small tank several times
They also had a few tanks with Jellyfish, which are my favorite to look at.
I don't think I've ever seen sand dollar jellyfish before

This is not a painting next to Monkey! It is a tank of jellies!

The best part is we got to walk through a tube that went "under the bay" and got up close to many of the bay inhabitants. Because it wasn't crowded, the moving walkway wasn't on so we got to hang out and watch the fish for as long as we wanted!

Buddha thought it was awesome, watching fish and eating a pb sandwich
Heading back to the car, one last photo spot!
Parking was $7 per hour. There were restaurants that would validate your parking, reducing the cost by 1 hour. However, you had to purchase $15 worth of food. I couldn't eat that much food, and it wouldn't have helped me that much since we were only there for 4 hours. I spent $28 on parking but kind of expected it. With the milk, cotton candy, carousel, my sandwich, 3 FREE film fest tickets and 3 FREE aquarium tickets, we spent about $48 plus gas. That's about $16 per person which is not bad considering all we did and that most of that money was spent on parking.

I must say that 2/3 of us we really enjoyed the SF Ocean Film Fest. Now that I am aware of it, we will make plans to attend next year. Thanks again Mamapedia for turning us on to such a great event! We had a fun time!


  1. That is a cool link. Thank you for sharing. And seriously? Your day sounds awesome.

  2. Hi! I am a new follower of your blog thru GFC on the Sunday Blog Hop! Your blog looks really good. I am new with about 3 months under my belt so I am still learning. I would love a follow back when you get a chance. Thanks!


  3. Wow, what a fun-filled day! Thanks for stopping by 3MomsIn1 this week. So glad to see your blog too!


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