30 June 2006

On the road again (not me this time...)

My niece is moving to San Francisco. In July, just days after she turns 19. For a year only - she'll be working as an au pair - and her recent "acquisition" of a boyfriend here brings at least a hope she'll return next July. But still...

She was so tiny, making me an aunt for the first time. I was 19. (Don't even think to comment on my hair..)
Before she was born, I was sometimes wondering that my aunts made such a fuss over our birthdays and stuff - even those who lived far away - aunts were really very distant relatives, I thought. Then I became one, and I felt as if she'd been attached to me physically at birth. We've always been really close.

Now, the family she's going to in SF sound and look really nice. They want this year to be special for her, as well as her being special for their newborn son. I know she will be - she's always had a special knack with babies...

But for keeping her well - anything she ought to do and see in San Francisco, anyone? Or for that matter, something she really shouldn't do..? (She'll also be spending 3 days in NYC before moving to the West Coast. Going to classes, but having the afternoons or evenings off. In only 3 days - what's a must?)

I'll see if I can't talk her into starting a blog of her own to keep us (me) updated!

To Moncrief and anyone else wondering - she'll be staying in the actual city of SF, Buena Vista area I think we decided after a quick visit via Google earth...


"D" said...

good luck to her! NYC - she should just walk around the city and see the windows and maybe catch a show just so she can say she did it. San Fran is very very beautiful and I'm sure her family there will tell her the cool places to go... I too am amazed at how much I love my neices and nephews, nearly as much as my own kidlets.

Moncrief Speaks said...

Do you know if she'll be in San Francisco proper or in a suburban area outside of it? My hunch would be the latter, but that's not necessarily the case I suppose.

There's plenty to see there... what does she like to do specifically? If she's interested in outdoorsy stuff, she's especially in luck as there are loads of hiking trails, biking trails and hills and mountains in the area.

Of course she'll want to see the usaul tourist sites, at least once.

She'll probably really appreciate the (non-existent... only rainy and a bit cool) winter after living in Norway.

I grew up mostly in the Bay Area and lived there again for six years until last year so if she has any questions she's welcome to email me via my blog. Though of course her au pair family will give her plenty of ideas/help once she arrives, I'm sure.

I did ask about the location because, in the U.S. if not in Europe, most people well-off to be able to hire an au pair wouldn't live in the city proper. That isn't necessarily true in the case of San Francicso, because a lot of "hip"-type parents actually live in the city, but she might find herself 30 or 40km from San Francisco. Not that's awful, but keep in mind that there are many fewer transportation options, so if she doesn't drive she could be a long way from SF proper.

Speaking of au pairs and their brief time in New York before going to their assignments, it reminded me of this blog post I wrote in early May. Not that that will help your relative at all, but it's a coincidence of sorts.

Moncrief Speaks said...

I also meant to answer the "three days in NYC - what's a must" question of your post:

*Take a Circle Line boat trip around the island. I finally did this on my most recent trip to NYC and it was SO worth it. I loved going around the entire island on a boat -- it's a great way to see the whole of Manhattan.

*Go to the top of the Empire State Building.

*Walk, walk, walk everywhere. NYC is constant street theater and people watching. Just choose a destination and start walking and don't stop.

*East Village/Greenwich Village. I love just meandering in these neighborhoods. Lots of little shops and restaurants and cafes.

*Go to Katz Deli on the Lower East Side. Just the classic and perfect New York deli. The food is amazing.

*Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, built in 1883. If there's time, continue walking down to the Brooklyn Promenade. The walk will give her just the slightest sense of "another borough" (there are five, not just Manhattan) and has great views back to the Manhattan skyline.

*A long meander through Central Park.

I suppose that's enough right there but I could think of at least ten more!

Man, what a great city New York is.

Christine said...

I'd add that a long meander through central park shouldn't happen at evening/night while alone...best for her to go with some other au pairs.