Monthly Archives: September 2014

A hectic day … by bike

This is what a hectic day looks like for the car-free family. I know it’s not nearly as hectic as a lot of peoples’ days, and that is partly by design and partly by luck. But for me, six trips in one day is hectic, even though I never traveled more than a mile and a half from my house.

6:35 a.m. Get up a little early because we are out of milk. Bike to Walgreens because it’s closer and smaller than the grocery store, and get home in time to put the kids’ breakfast on the table.

8:10 a.m. I leave the house for the kids’ school, on foot, several minutes behind the kids. After making sure my littlest made it to the kinder yard, I fill out a permission slip for the oldest, using my left hand as a writing surface, and hand it to her just as the bell rings and she’s walking into school. Phew. Continue reading

Ask Car-Free Mom: How do you get your kids to their activities?


OK, no one emailed in this question, but it is something that people ask when I say that we have three kids and no cars. It’s a given these days that kids have a lot of places to be and that it’s the parent’s job to drive them there.

Well, our kids are in some activities this year, but in general we tend to go easy on the extracurriculars. They are expensive, and I don’t like feeling rushed in the afternoons, for me or for the kids. When I do sign them up for something, my first preference is an activity based at their school, which they can get to on their own after dismissal. We’re lucky enough to have a number of these after-school programs available. Second choice is an activity that we can easily walk or bike to. Continue reading

CVS Abound winners

Congratulations to the following winners of my CVS Abound snack giveaway:

Maria (mariasimon1973@…)

Nicki (nickieisis3@…)

Leslie (lstanziani@…)

Winners, check your email and reply immediately with your mailing address so your prize can be sent out. If I don’t hear from these winners in a timely manner, I’ll have to choose someone else.

Congratulations to the winner, and more giveaways are coming soon!


Weekend adventures: Bike to base, BART to birthday

One of the old buildings on Alameda Point.

This weekend started with a touch of TCOB. Erik and the kids biked to Toy Safari downtown to buy a present for Sunday’s birthday boy while I did a little speed cleaning. I think I need a new vacuum cleaner, which I will order online, since biking to Target, though possible, is not super convenient.

After lunch, Erik checked everyone’s tire pressure and we hit the Bay path, heading west. Destination: Alameda Point, the old Navy base which is now a wonderland of concrete for biking, with indoor soccer fields and rock climbing, a distillery, a brewery and a winery. We were planning to hit all that. Continue reading

What I see when we walk

Pebbles shows us how to run like a girl while crossing the Oakland Estuary.

When I drive my kids somewhere, I am facing away from them. It’s kind of the law that I have to look at the road. The kids are strapped in place, often crammed into a position where they squabble like coach airline passengers. Then I scream at them and do that blind behind-the-seat swatting thing, trying to make them quit fighting but only succeeding in making them laugh at me.

When we walk somewhere together, it’s different. Continue reading

Thanks to Blogher ’14 sponsors

Games, device cases, tissues, hand lotion, reusable shopping bags, oh my!

This post is embarrassingly tardy, since Blogher 14 happened in July. But just today, like most days, I used some of the swag I was given at Blogher, and I thought this would be as good a time as any to sit down and thank those sponsors who rained the freebies down upon me. Or at least the ones I remember.*

Angel Soft handed out free tissue packs and coupons for free toilet paper at the store. I am so appreciative for a high-value coupon like that, that I am not even gonna complain about their #sheethappens campaign. (OK I admit I think it’s hilarious.)

Hasbro gave me a Scrabble set, and even better, they gave my friend Korilu a Trouble set and she gave it to me. Our family had not played Trouble before, and it turns out to be a really great game for us: It doesn’t take too long, the youngest can easily grasp the rules, and no reading required. We’ve played it dozens of times! Continue reading

Three-day weekend, three day trips

When people ask us how we get by without a car, my usual answer is that we just don’t range very far from home on most days. School is a two-block walk, shopping is a mile or less. Erik commutes to San Francisco every day for work, but I go weeks without leaving a 2-mile radius.

This weekend was different.

We ended up traveling more than a couple miles on each day of Labor Day weekend. Here’s how we did it:

Saturday: Jack London Square by bike

We have some friends who had an adorable new baby, and we hadn’t met him yet. So we made plans to meet them at the Jack London Square Farmer’s Market, where killer crepes and fish tacos are sold. Continue reading