Thursday, February 13, 2014

Last but Definitely NOT Least...

To wrap up the story of our big California trip last month, I thought I'd post a few more pictures.  First, the rest of Disneyland -- the part that wasn't Skyler's birthday...

Wyatt is the only one of my kids who was not only not terrified of Giant Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Piglet, and all the rest of the characters around Disneyland, he actually really liked them!

I miss my kids having friends, you know? Real, good friends.
 That has been THE HARDEST (!!) part of this move.  It's taken forever to make friends.  Just hearing them laugh until they cried with someone who isn't a part of our nuclear family... it was so nice.


Here are the requisite portraits of fear, from Hollywood Tower of Terror (for the record, my eyes weren't closed, I was just blinking)
to Splash Mountain.

And pure fun on the Radiator Springs Racers.
Here are Matt and I with our special "Disneyland smiles".

From Disneyland, we drove to Santa Clarita and spent the night with my mom and sister.
It was so great to see my sister's family.  We spent the afternoon at a park and then we had Indian food take-out at my sisters's house.  It wasn't nearly long enough, but it was all perfect.  The big girl cousins put on a really funny little skit.
 They're pretty clever -- and cute!

This is me with my sister.
What do you think, do we look alike???

And from there we went to Monterey and Pacific Grove, where we lived for a year-and-a-half.  This was our super cute little house.

This is Lovers' Point,
by the trail I used to walk every morning with my friend Lynn.
I got to see her and walk again with her, and I also saw a couple other very sweet, wonderful friends.  But stupid me, I didn't get our picture!!  UGH!!

Then my sister-in-law came down for one more day together, (and my other sister-in-law, who lives there, got back from a business trip)
and more cuddles with my nephew Tommy...
And from there, we went to San Francisco.  (We'd decided not to risk getting delayed on our way home, so we bought one-way tickets.)
 It was a lovely flight, and we landed on the most gorgeous day.  Once again the flight attendant complemented my kids, which (once again) was sort of icing on the cake.

So... yeah.  It was wonderful.  All of it.
But it's good to be home.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Fun Times in the Wine Country

Okay, as awesome as our vacation was, our first week back was almost equally bad. I guess you could call it a vacation hangover, but it was just rough.  It felt miserable.  So I took last week to re- everything -- regroup, replan, rethink.  But I'll get to that later.

Anyway, for now I'm back to photo dump some more.

As I said, our first week was in the wine country.  And while that sounds a bit grown-up, all ages of my family had a great time.  It was due largely to the good company, but there is some great family-friendly to be had in that region of California too.  

One day we went to Armstrong Woods (not too far from where this story happened).  We had a nice stroll through the huge trees.



The day we left to head east and then south, we stopped at Train Town in Sonoma. It was the one rainy day of our whole trip (which, I just have to say, was depressingly unusual for Northern California this time of year -- there is a very scary drought going on!).  In spite of the cold and wet, we had a great time!
Here are my pilot guys, after landing:
There are lots of little rides and a train that wraps through the grounds.
It stops in this cute little miniature town that also has a petting zoo.
Check out this enormous sheep!!
Wyatt couldn't decide just what it was, and he went through several animals and his full repertoire of animal sounds before we agreed it was (probably) a sheep.

He liked it all.
But especially the train.
Okay, here is one of the many, MANY reasons I adore Skyler. We saw this little privy, and I said, "Ooh! Sit down for a picture!" And without a moment's hesitation, she did -- and then laughed hysterically with me about the resulting shot.
So can anyone have fun in the wine country?  Even sans le vin?  

Well, I think my kids would unanimously say, "Absolutely!"

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Blades of... Something

So here's another thing I hate to say, but it's true: until our trip to California, it had been twenty years since I'd last gone ice-skating.  Twenty.  Years.  Because I was only five last time... (I wish).

Seriously, though.  It's funny how these things happen.  I always had fun ice-skating, but I just hadn't done it in that long.  My kids had never tried it.  Suddenly we all thought, why have we never done this?  Or for me, Why has it been so long?

So, while we were in Santa Rosa, we went ice-skating at the Redwood Ice Arena  (a.k.a. Snoopy's Home Ice).
It was tons of fun for all of us!
Yes, even Wyatt ice-skated.  Or rather, ice-wobbled.
I was so glad to have my niece with me.  I needed an extra set of hands to hold people up!
Here I am with Skyler, representing our island home while on the ice.

There was all kinds of Snoopy-esque decor,
and the snack bar had these Snoopy cookies and "Charlie Brownies."  So clever!
I was really grateful because I never fell all the way onto my bum.  I guess I let this minor success go to my head because then, the next week, while we were in Yosemite, I did something I'd always wanted to do: I went ice-skating at the outdoor arena there.

Again, it was tons of fun.
And best of all, almost every song they played was from my sophomore year of high school through first years of college.  It was awesome -- like the soundtrack to my late teens.

So I'm not headed for Sochi or anything, and no one else in my family is either.  But we didn't have to go to the Emergency Room, and everyone had a great time.  That made it a winner to me!