A Week with Ava

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably caught sight of me on some seriously fun adventures this past week with a certain adorable 8-year old. That would be my little niece, Ava, who you may recall meeting a few times in the past. Ava is my sister’s daughter, and lives about six hours drive south of San Francisco so it was a pretty big deal for her to come visit all on her own for a whole week. Well, and it was a pretty big deal for Kevin and I too, since it was the longest stretch we’d had “babysitting” on our own, but I’m happy to say we passed the test (and with flying colors, if I do say so myself).




Admittedly, it did take us a couple days to get in our groove, mostly because I had to work on Monday & Tuesday so Ava had to go to a day camp. But after that, I took Wednesday through Friday off of work, and it was fun central from there on out.


Camp was a bit of a roller coaster…not in the sense that they actually got to go on roller coasters, but in the sense that day one was a little rough, since Ava didn’t know any of the kids there. By day two though, there were definitely smiles at the end of the day. She had made 4 new friends that day, and made some pretty cool crafts as well. I sent her to Steve & Kate’s Camp, which I found online.  They have a really efficient, easy to use website that allows you to purchase day passes, and you can drop your kids at any of their locations without having to make a reservation.




Ok, so let me break down Ava’s primary objectives for the week…basically, it was how and when I can get (a) access to a playground, and (b) an ice cream cone in my hand. There were other kinds of important things like playing with Uncle Kevin’s iPad, eating Nutella, or reading her One Direction book, but mostly there was always an angle for playgrounds and ice cream. It didn’t take much to get us softies on board, and we pretty much cooperated with her mission to the fullest extent.


There are a couple epic playgrounds that we love in San Francisco. For starters, we always have to make a stop at the Koret Children’s Playground in Golden Gate Park for some spinny cup action.




But we also discovered the awesomely huge slide in Dolores Park, which was a big hit. It even got the official Ava seal of approval, “THIS IS AWSOOOOOME!!!” as she went flying down the slide. Anything dubbed “awesome” was officially vetted as cool, per Ava.




Equally awesome was the reclining swing at Dolores Park, which not only got a “this is awesome”, but also got an “I could get used to this” so, yeah, it was pretty major.




We also spent an afternoon at the new, gorgeous Exploratorium on the Embarcadero. That  place is like heaven for kids. There are endless interactive exhibits to try out, and many are fun for grown-ups too. The whole space is very impressive and a great addition to the waterfront. We only spent about 3 hours there, but could have probably used at least one more. I was also pleasantly surprised to find out Bay Area residents get special rates everyday!




Another highlight of the day was the pedicab we took home from the Exploratorium. If you’ve ever spent any time on the Embarcadero, you’ve probably seen these guys cycling around. What I didn’t realize is that they don’t only stay on the Embarcadero. Since we live downtown, we were able to get pedaled all the way home. It was a pretty fun experience riding along in the pedicab amidst rush hour traffic. Our driver said they can take you pretty far throughout the city so long as the roads are flat. Oh, and those guys take credit card btw! God bless the Square.




At one point when I was cooking something, Ava says to me “do you want me to take pictures for Serving Seconds?”  Haha, I didn’t even realize that she fully grasped that my blog exists, but she said her mom shows it to her. And then she said “are you like famous or something?” Haha, if only.




She loves to take pictures, and managed to snap a couple pretty artistic shots all on her own (the next two are hers). She’s allowed to take supervised photos with my camera, but ONLY with the strap around her neck. No ifs, ands, or buts!





And, of course, no visit is complete without some serious QT with the best uncle ever. These two…like peas and carrots.




So that was our little week of adventure with Miss Ava Mae. It’s true what people say, kids are a ton of work, and you really don’t get much of a break. But I have to say, there’s definitely been a void around here since her departure. I miss her little voice in the morning saying “can I have toast and Nutella?” or “Can we watch Hey Jesse?”  We can’t wait for her to come visit again!




  1. HOW FUN!!! I cannot wait until my godson is old enough to come and stay with us for a few days! I definitely want to spoil the heck out of him!
    Glad you all had a fun week!

    • Melissa says:

      Yeah, I love it when my sis comes too, but there’s something special about having them all to yourself and for such an extended period of time. What did you think of the Disney Museum visit btw? I didn’t end up taking her. It looked a little “mature” for her, but I want to go check it out soon!

      • LOVED the Disney Museum, but it’s definitely not for kids. I would say ages 12+ would be a good age group. We spent about 4 hours in the museum and there was a lot to take in!

  2. Loks like you guys had an amazing week! Ava is so lucky to have such a fun Aunt!!!

    • Melissa says:

      Yeah, it was so fun! Definitely like parent boot camp. Good training for us and a look at what we can expect (someday). 🙂

  3. Sandy says:

    My favorite blog yet! She had such a fun time and I’m happy for that! I’ve had plenty of fun times with her myself and also know that what she wants, she gets! <3

  4. Sandy says:

    PS: I want to be your niece!


  1. […] of rather heated texts from my niece, Ava, yesterday. As some of you may recall, I posted a little recap on Tuesday about the week that Ava just spent with Kevin and I. Much to my surprise, she was not […]

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