Thursday, August 4, 2011

Falls Park and the Plazas

This post is actually from two weeks ago, but holy cow, I've been working a ridiculous number of overnights lately and I just haven't had the energy to visit parks and write about it. Plus, a friend introduced me to Pinterest and it's become a real problem in my life.

Anyway...On Thursday, July 20, we had the privilege of checking several destinations off of our list with Auntie Lindsey, Steph, Ashley, Jack, Great Aunt Jane, Great Aunt Elli, and Grandma Lou Lou. We met up at Falls Park a little before 10am (for free parking) and caught the Trolley straight away. As I was about to take pictures of everybody getting on the trolley, I noticed my battery light flashing, so I had to conserve power to be able to take pictures at the signs. Sorry for the lack of photographic evidence for such a fun-filled day.

Thankfully, the air conditioner was working on the trolley that day. Almost this same crew rode the trolley one day last summer and we were not so fortunate on the air conditioning. Have I mentioned that I'm extremely heat intolerant? It didn't help that I was 7 1/2 months pregnant on that day last summer either.

We requested a stop along Phillips Avenue and started out on foot to find three plazas that are listed on the SFPR page as parks. If they're on the list, we've got to visit!

We had to veer off of Phillips Avenue to find Fort Sod Plaza, but it's right down by the Great Outdoor Store. It was difficult not to want to cross the street and check Fawick Park off the list, but that was not on this day's agenda and I didn't want to tire anybody out before hitting all of the "required" stops. If my memory serves me correctly, Fort Sod Plaza is located at the site of the first fortified structure in the Dakotas.

Back to Phillips Avenue and headed north. Just past the Diner is the Phillips Avenue Plaza. We've been to this one tons of times because my kids always love to see the sculptures here and maybe they kind of like the water too.

The sun was a little bright, I guess.

Just a little sculpture stop.

Moving right along, we went north a couple more blocks and reached the Pioneer Plaza at 8th and Phillips. There wasn't a sign here, but we went to the fountain thinking that would be the most likely spot. I took a picture of the other side of the intersection just to be safe, but it was hot and the poor kiddos were tired. I wasn't about to drag them across another busy intersection for a picture. And, in the meantime, I have confirmed with SFPR that the corner with the fountain and the path leading down to the river is, in fact, Pioneer Plaza.

Rather conveniently, for all the tired little legs, Pioneer Plaza is a trolley stop. So we parked ourselves on the benches and only had to wait about 10 minutes for the trolley to come back around.

Back at the Falls, it was time for lunch so we decided to give the new cafe there, Utopia, a try. It was fine, but it definitely wasn't fabulous. It was a little overpriced for the kind of outing we were on and unlike the trolley, the air conditioning was not in top form. I might go there again for a cold drink, but probably not for lunch.

All in all, here were the stats for the day:
4 parks checked off the list
2 tired mamas
2 tired grandmas
2 tired aunties
6 tired (but happy) kidlets. : )

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