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MUNI Heritage Day 2022

Back in 2019, Adam and I attended MUNI Heritage Weekend. He was just 9 months old, and we took BART to San Francisco to enjoy a morning of bus rides and photo opportunities. MJ joined us later for brunch on the Embarcadero.

The pandemic hit in 2020, and that put a pause on MUNI Heritage celebrations. When they announced that they’d be hosting a MUNI Heritage Day in June of 2022, I was excited! But apprehensive. My first reaction was to skip it, since we’ve continued to avoid events. Then I applied our standard threat analysis. It’s all outdoors except for rides on transit themselves. We could just go visit the plaza and climb on the vehicles there that are fully open. The biggest risk was probably the BART train ride to San Francisco and back, and if we eat lunch there in the city. As cases and hospitalizations climbed, and Alameda county took the additional step of putting back an indoor mask mandate, I got a little more nervous. But this is where the real challenge comes in. I love this event, and I thought Adam would too. As the day approached, we decided that MJ and Aaron would stay home, but Adam and I would head up together to enjoy the event for the morning.

And enjoy it, we did!

The BART ride was the first bit of excitement, it was the first time he’d been on BART since the pandemic began. But we watch the trains from our family room window all day long, and walk by the station often, so he was familiar with the concept. Getting to ride on the train was kind of a big deal.

It was also my first time bringing Adam on a big adventure without a stroller in tow, and I just brought some supplies in my own mini-backpack. That meant we walked to the BART station from our house (just a couple blocks), then walked from Embarcadero station in San Francisco over to the plaza where festivities were taking place. It wasn’t a lot of walking, but it is quite the adventure for a three year old!

We explored the plaza and visited some booths. Adam got to climb up on an old fire truck and a “cable car” that had been brought to the plaza for the event.

He even donned his mask and climbed up inside the #042 bus for a photo opp.

We decided against taking any of the loops in the buses, since they were crowded. We did get the chance to take the Zurich streetcar around the block, getting on at the museum and off at Ferry Building, where we then had lunch.

We then got to enjoy lunch outdoors at Gott’s. I was on the fence about lunch in the city because of COVID concerns, but they have redone their outdoor patio there, and in spite of the crowds for the farmers market, we felt pretty safe having lunch there.

After lunch, we made our way back to the plaza for some last minute booth visiting. The railway museum itself was too crowded for us to be comfortable with, it would have been nice if they could have brought some of the unusual merchandise out to the plaza instead of keeping it close to the crowded museum, but I guess that’s where their cash register lives! It also turns out that I already have plenty of collectible MUNI stuff, and I probably didn’t need any more this year.

In all, I was incredibly glad we went. I was also glad that we’re all feeling fine and I had a negative COVID test today. We’re not out of the woods yet.