We took Bunny and Wallie to the Lawrence Hall of Science to see the dinosaur exhibit. (Or, as J. puts it, "Let's think of another reason to go to Berkeley!") If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and you have a dino fanatic in your family, you have to go! It was wonderful, and the girls had a lovely time. There was a break in the terrible weather so we were able to go outside and enjoy the outdoor exhibits as well.
We took a two hour detour on our way home so we could check out more North Berkeley neighborhoods (the area surrounding Solano/Colusa Avenues) and the Berkeley Hills. The views of the bay and San Francisco from the hills were breathtaking, but man, those houses are literally perched on the side of a mountain. I dunno. With all the rain we've having, that makes me extremely nervous. I don't ever think I could ever feel comfortable living on stilts. (I could be happy in a sweet, little Arts and Crafts bungalow, though.)
Compared to San Francisco and Portland, Berkeley seems small. Well, it is small, but it seems to have everything. If it doesn't San Francisco is just a nightmarish drive over the Bay Bridge away. By the way, thanks for all your emails, Berkeleyphiles. Your input has been so helpful. I've printed our your comments and suggestions and we've taken them with us on our sightseeing tours.
For those interested in Berkeley, the RookieMoms site has been a great resource as well. Plus, it's just a cool site in general, full of helpful baby tips. And, anyone interested in real estate should check out Zillow. Type in your address and see what pops up. Type in your friends', too. (You know you're gonna.)
The one burning question I have left is if we do move to the East Bay, can anyone recommend a good Berkeley preschool? (And by "good" I mean: 1) close to home wherever that may be, probably North Berkeley 2) not Christian and 3) not a co-op [can't do it].)
Just thought of another burning question: that FasTrak thingy that has fucked up the bridge drive so much (Center lanes all FasTrak? WTF?)—is it a necessity? Seems like the electronic tag for your car plus a fugly hybrid vehicle with some "clean air" stickers slapped on it (they get to use the carpool lane) would cut down on a lot of headaches when driving into the city. I'm probably getting ahead of myself...
We made the mistake of stopping off at the Berkeley Bowl on a weekend (so crowded you couldn't move your cart) to pick up some groceries. I'm convinced that it's one of the best supermarkets in the country. You can find every kind of fruit and vegetable there and the bulk section is legendary.
In all, it was a fun-filled, Berkeley-filled weekend. The more time I spend there, the more I can see us living there. And, that's making happy right now despite the crap weather.