Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Burlingame is Small Town America

On an evening out to Burlingame for the ice-cream social of the Burlingame Mothers' Club with my friend Sue, I was given a taste of why Burlingame is increasingly popular with San Francisco real-estate-refugees.

It's got all the charms of a small town yet it's only minutes away from The City. With fog-less summers, tree-lined streets and mom & pop stores, what else could one desire? Since Sue got delayed at work, I started my wanderings by going into the first store that caught my eye on Burlingame avenue by El Camino Real, the incredible Plaza de Paws.

This is the ultimate store to spoil rotten any canine or feline specimen. And I mean rotten. Spa care products, bakery, clothes, miniature sofas, fancy collars and more. The pet strollers placed at the convenience of customers for their happy pet shopping surprised my girls as much as me. I wasn't aware that dogs needed strollers too. I'm still unsure why four legs aren't made for walking. That said, I'm sure my canine-lover mother would absolutely love that place. Anyhoo.

We kept walking down Burlingame Avenue and Baby Couture got our visit too, but my girls are now a bit too old for baby and toddler apparel, however fancy or exclusive. I had a hard time tearing them away from the play table, but the promise of a bookstore next door convinced them to abandon the Plan Toys mini garage.

I met Sue as I was perusing the Books, Inc. children's book section, finding inspiration for my November book review on bedtime stories. They have a great selection of children's books and a good choice of discounted discontinued picture books. I bought one called Mumbo Jumbo by Michael Roberts, a stunningly illustrated Halloween creepy ABC.

We then headed to Washington Park where supposedly we'd meet other Burlingame moms and eat ice cream. We never found the ice cream people (probably had the info wrong) but the three children had a blast running around the playground near the recreation center. Without ice creams, our tummies grew restless and dinner was soon on our mind. But where?

The Steelhead Brewery was stuffy and dark inside and outdoor seating was all taken. Il Fornaio looked too fancy for our rowdy troops.

Crepevine
made the cut because it was clean and roomy. Also the children each got a set of Wikki Stix, bendable sticky sticks to make shapes of all sorts, and that kept them all quiet.

After dinner and 'cuz the children really ate well, they finally got the much awaited ice cream. For that, Sue made us hike to an old-fashioned ice cream parlor that propelled my girls to Willy Wonka heaven.

Powell's Sweet Shoppe
is a crazy place, crazy for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory that is. As Sue said "they play Willy Wonka night and day."

Indeed as we stepped inside, I heard the last lines of The Candyman Can song. At the back of the shop there's a mini theatre with three red velvet theatre seats in front of a TV screen that plays the movie in a loop. Needless to say, the screen is surrounded by Willy Wonka paraphernalia and candy bars. What else?!

Our three children rushed there and stayed glued in their seats until we left, licking their ice-cream absent-mindedly as Charlie Bucket roamed the streets of the candy town.

As for me, I stared bewildered at the modern-day looks of Violet Beauregarde, Veruca Salt, Augustus Gloop, Mike Tee Vee and Charlie Bucket. It's so sad when children characters on screen grow up. You should never have to suffer that with your childhood memories.

Night was underway as we left the candy shop, the children's eyes full of Pez candy dispensers and Jelly Belly beans.

2 comments:

Book said...

Hi, lovely site - thanks for blogging. I'm always on the hunt for great children's books and have recently discovered Bayard and their series of StoryBoxBooks, AdventureBoxBooks and DiscoveryBoxBooks (which has a special focus on teeth!) They have work by acclaimed children's books illustrator Helen Oxenbury appearing in the Storybox series for September. In addition to this, they also have some great activities for rainy days: http://www.storyboxbooks.com/potatoprinting.php, http://www.adventureboxbooks.com/macaroni-picture-frames.php, http://www.discoveryboxbooks.com/skittles.php Enjoy!

Raziel said...

I enjoyed your post! I've linked to it on my site too - www.burlingamebuzz.com