Category Archives: I Left Home for Awhile

Great Orange Ball

Local to us is a park that has an orange balloon.  It’s been there for years on the old military base.  The balloon goes up and down 400 feet for certain hours of the day, weather permitting, giving lots of people a great view of the county.  Up until recently it was free, but we missed out on that by a couple of days.  We’ve been meaning to get over there and check it out for awhile now.  Like for years now.  Honestly, we’re pretty good about checking out the things in our own backyard, so to speak, but this place, as huge as it is, is kind of a pain to find if you’re just blindly exploring.

So there we were one day, William hadn’t been able to fall asleep for his nap, and we needed to go to Costco, so we called it a nap fail and set out.  He was fine, so we thought.  We went to Costco, he was as wide awake as he could be.  Might as well go see if we can find the place.  We’re driving along and I glanced at the clock, 4pm.  I glanced in the rearview mirror and William had nodded off to sleep.  Do I wake him or let him sleep, was the question. Knowing that from the point he wakes, he will not be able to sleep again for 5 hours, minimum.  We decided to let him sleep.

Photos from that outing:  LINK 

So we got to the park and scoped it out, and decided to schedule a day to go back when William would be awake.

This past Saturday was the day.  The place is enormous with lots of space to roam.  They have more than just the balloon, too.  There is a carousel, a garden area, a playground and the old hangars are used as exhibit areas, and the open outside space is used for a Farmer’s Market every Sunday.  I commented to Tony what a fun outing this was, it would be perfect for a simple and easy first date… and it’s also an easy outing for a family if you want to spend the day at a park without worrying about it being crowded.

Here are some photos from this weekend’s outing:  LINK

So that’s what we did this weekend.  What’d you do ?

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Filed under I did something Special, I Left Home for Awhile, Our Kid is Cute

Queen Mary’s Chill

For the holidays, I like to do something special, something out of the ordinary, something that is IN YOUR FACE “Christmasy” every year.  One year we saw a handbell choir, gosh, that was so beautiful.  Unfortunately, it appears that we saw them the last year they were performing and handbell choirs, apparently, are as rare as a Hawaiian surfing in Alaska!  Our standby Christmas thing has always been the local historical city park.  They have two events every year — a candlelight tour one weekend and a Victorian Christmas celebration the next — but our calendars just didn’t match up with theirs this year.

I was blessed to be able to participate in my company’s holiday party this year.  The first year I worked here, they didn’t have a holiday event.  The 2nd year I was here, I was out on maternity leave.  This year, they rented a yacht and we floated out and toured the harbor while eating our lunch.  They even accommodated me with a special room on the yacht, with its own bathroom (you know how I love bathrooms!) to pump milk for my son so I could participate comfortably!

But I was still looking for something special to do with my family.  So when a special deal came across LivingSocial to go to the Queen Mary for the holidays, The Queen Mary Chill event, they called it, well, I was ALL over that!  Beyond thrilled, actually, because they had an ice sculpture display and I was extremely disappointed that the state fair didn’t have their Ice Museum this year.  But a holiday themed ice sculpture display?  Even better.  Made up for the state fair’s epic fail 1,000 times over.

queenmaryseawalk

It was an amazing day.  I left our home early this past Saturday morning to drop my car off for the last free oil change of the year (huzzah for free — remember that coupon I talked about awhile back?).  Then, I timed it just right, and walked out to the main street (saving us 5 minutes of driving time) and hitched a ride with Tony in his car as he was zooming to the freeway and off we went to have breakfast with my friend, Grace, and her family.  Such a blessing (always) to see her!  (Love you, Grace!)

After that we headed up to the Queen Mary!  To see her decked out in her holiday finery was a sight to behold.

queenmary

The Queen Mary also has a village that they “dress” for the appropriate holiday season, and it was fun to mosey around the village and reminisce about the last time we were there… for Halloween last year.  William got a visit in with Santa (another post is in the works for that story), and then we headed into the dome to view the ice sculptures. Everything you see in the picture below, the wreath, the sign, it’s all ice.  Amazing.

icesign

William’s nap was the only hangnail in this whole story, one which I’m still suffering from mommy guilt about.  He fell asleep at the appropriate time, but when I attempted to transfer him to the stroller he woke up.  Tony resorted to our standby of wearing him and, after much protesting, William went to sleep and ended up sleeping through our foray through the ice.  Maybe for the best, since it was really, really cold in there.  Tony got a talking to by one of the employees because of his lack of appropriate footwear.  Yes, seriously.  This man, who wears flip flops in 6′ snow banks, was duly informed that he was causing a liability and that it was a health hazard.  So he was asked to leave the exhibit.  Kind of silly, given that we were just a few displays away from the exit door, but, you know, whatever.

Of all the displays in the exhibit, the best and most beautiful one, I think, was the nativity scene.  I’m a sucker for nativity scenes, anyway, and particularly the glass or crystal ones.  And this one was huge and stunning…. and was the last one to see in the display.  Despite the coldness, it left me feeling warm and happy inside.

icenativity

This is an event that I would definitely attend again sometime in the future.  If you’re interested, more pictures from our adventure can be seen here:  LINK

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Home for the Holidays.

We would like to announce the arrival of our son.

He burst forth into this world on Thursday, December 8th, 2011 at 10:53 AM.

We named him William John, in honor of my father and both of our grandfathers (respectively).

He tilted the scales at 10 lbs 11 ounces, and measured 21 inches in length.

Our son is healthy and came out with the most incredible, perfect nursing latch, with a piranha like suction and ravenous appetite.

My husband is the most amazing labor coach and baby support person I could have ever asked for. He did and is doing an absolutely amazing job. I am so, so proud of him and so humbled to be able to share this new little person with him every day.

My doula was absolutely perfect with me, with us, and was a great guide through the entire process. She is also a lactation consultant and is continuing to guide me. I am so grateful that I found her.

My labor started at 4:11 AM, I called my doula at 6:00 AM, we left for the hospital around 7:15 AM. We had an incredible team in the room to help deliver him, from the labor & delivery nurse who had had her two children in home births and therefore completely supported my desire for a natural childbirth and assisted in getting this kid’s enormous shoulders out of me, to my doctor who did an incredible job making sure she followed my birth plan to every detail possible.

I am sore in my breasts due to our son’s aforementioned appetite, and in my forearms due to the labor position I used, but otherwise completely fine and “injury” free. Yes, that means what you think it means.

I’ve been told I am the talk of the hospital since I delivered such a large baby completely drug, epidural and intervention free. Truth be told, I’m pretty proud of myself, too. I worked really, really hard to be as healthy and strong as I could be — eating healthy, preparing and researching for natural childbirth in a hospital setting, lap swimming every day for an hour, even the night before I went into labor! I was even at work on the 7th, the day before I delivered.

Oh, who am I kidding? No one really cares about all that crap. So… on to the fun stuff. Pictures!

Going home from the hospital…

I don’t suppose it needs to be said, but I’ll say it anyway. We are completely, over the moon in love with this little boy.

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Filed under Best Husband, I have Family, I have Friends, I Left Home for Awhile, Our Kid is Cute

Pair of Perfect Weekends.

Old Miner’s Day Parade was occurring the weekend we went to the mountains two weeks ago, but we didn’t know about until it was happening. We heard the military jets fly over to kick it off and we saw remnants of it afterwards as we walked through town. But we were enjoying our delicious “regular” breakfasts while it was parading through town. Everybody loves a parade, they say, but I think it’s safe to say that we love our breakfasts more! Priorities!

Tony’s…

Mine…

… and we both had enough leftovers for 3 or 4 breakfasts during the week. Nothing like having a tangible reminder of one of our favorite restaurants (and people) for a week after the original meal.

The tiny carnival was in town, too, and we strolled through the local vendors mixed in with the “carnies.” Tony visited the vendor who was popping and bagging kettle corn, and I visited the vendor who was selling shave ice. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it really was shave ice, and it neared the quality found in Hawaii and wasn’t that snow cone stuff. (What’s the difference? See here: Link)

We also saw llamas, people fishing, baby ducklings following their momma in the lake, people camping, speed boating and hiking with their dogs.

We stopped and visited the donkey, who was really interested in me until she discovered I had no treats for her!

She came trotting up to me…

She waited for me while I went to the car, and then came back…

Look how sad she is because I have no treats…

How bewildered I am…

We BBQ’d hamburgers and toasted marshmallows, had popcorn and watched movies on DVD. Oh, and took naps in the afternoon and had a nice, relaxing bath in the evening when the temperature cooled off.

(Sorry, Photobucket is being weird about these photos… you’ll just have to tilt your head…)

This weekend we headed down to Sea World, the planned highlight being Breakfast with Shamu. We were so excited when they brought back the Dining with Shamu experiences a couple months ago!

We left the rest of the day unplanned and spontaneously had our picture taken with Sea World characters (Shamu, Polar Bear, the Penguins and Sea Turtle).

We also happened to be walking by the Dolphin Show and the Pets Rule show just as they were starting and managed to score really good seats.

Dolphin finale…

Cat on high wire. Must be some good treats at the other end!

Doggy jumping rope in tandem with human…

While in the dolphin show, the sun suddenly burst through the clouds, which heated up the stadium immediately. We both spotted a vendor offering lemonade that was so cold it had beads of sweat falling off the cups, we looked at each other and were all, “LEMONADE!” Which is where we bought our companions for the day — The Psychedelic Dolphins!

They walked around with us the rest of the day, they drove home in our cup holder with us, and when Tony went to a movie that evening, I sent him a picture message of them with text that said, “You left your friends behind! They miss you!”

This morning, we had an unexpected rain storm. It was chore day, so I was up and at ‘em early, but when it started raining, I went upstairs and crawled back into bed, into my husband’s arms, pulled the covers up to my chin, and listened to the rain as he snoozed waiting for his alarm.

It’s moments like that, and experiences like these, that make weekends perfect. I hope yours was, too.

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Along for the Ride.

One of the things I appreciate about Tony is that he pulls me out of my routine and worries, and encourages me to do things spontaneously. Respectful, of course, of my needs or things I need to do… thus the word “encourages.”

Saturday morning he suggested going to the swap meet. It’s one of those things I love to do, just walk around and see what’s what, but just never take the time to do. I decided to go… and despite some physical discomfort, given what I’d done the day before, I enjoyed myself more than I thought I would. Although, I have to say, a post-adventure afternoon nap was definitely on the agenda after that!

Today was all about chores and planning ahead, boring but necessary.

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Weather Tricksters!

It was last Friday evening and I was gathering my stuff to go to the gym, debating in my mind whether I’d do an easy work out that night and a heavy work out in the morning, or just do a normal work out and wait until Saturday evening to go again.

Tony walked in the door and said, “It’s raining outside. They’re forecasting thunder and heavy rain for tonight.” I turned to him and replied flippantly, “Huh. Maybe we should go to the mountains…”

His eyes lit up and, a few phone calls later, miraculously, everything we were scheduled to do that weekend was able to be rescheduled and completed that Friday night.

You see, we never go to the mountains when it’s already raining (which means snow up there), but always when there’s snow in the forecast and then 99% of the time, it wimps out on us and we just go up and see dirty snow. Or no snow at all. Also known as sunshine at a higher elevation.

So it was that last Friday, it was raining heavily and halfway up our drive on the twisty mountain road, the rain that was loudly splattering on our windshield, turned to snow which gently, quietly settled for a moment before being whisked away by the windshield wipers. We were the ones making the noise at that point, shouting giddily at each other, “We tricked it! We tricked the weather!”

It was around 2am that we settled in the cabin and finally went to bed. We awakened the next morning to a world blanketed in white. I love fresh snow. When it lands in the night, it’s as if it makes nature pause — everything is so still and quiet. Before it’s touched by humans, the pure white, drifting mounds seem to go on and on. It’s so beautiful. This is the first snow we’ve seen this season, so we were reveling in the magical quality of it.

On our way to breakfast, we drove past our neighborhood donkey, she was contentedly under cover munching on her breakfast. The wicker couch on a porch, which not that long ago held a woman basking in the last rays of sunshine while reading a book, is now covered by a blue, plastic tarp. Dogs reveling in the snow were out with their humans who were alternately shoveling and laughing at their pet’s antics. People wearing snowshoes and winter clothing were briskly heading to mountain trails, replacing bicycles that were not long ago being idly pedaled down the road. Instead of people fishing alongside the bridge, birds were standing opportunistically in their place, waiting for the ice to break just enough…

Our favorite restaurant was pleasantly busy. One of the waitresses was just back from maternity leave, and it was so good to see her. We sat at the counter, as we usually do, and partook in the camaraderie that is such a part of the place.

While eating at the counter, the lady next to me took a phone call. In a low, discreet voice, she asked her caller a few questions and then left her seat for a more private spot. I asked her husband if she was a bail bond agent, he gave me an assessing look, and replied in the affirmative.

Knowing I have a magnetism for strangers telling me most anything and everything about themselves, I mentally shrugged and asked him what he did. He replied, “I’m a criminal lawyer, but I also do Federal Marshall work…” and the conversation continued on to discuss his work, his hopes for his future career, the economy, long-time restaurants in Los Angeles, and continued for another 15-20 minutes, when his wife returned to finish her meal, she joined in the conversation.

After we left, Tony said to me, “Did you find out if they’re on LinkedIn? Maybe you should network with them.” I blinked a couple times, laughed, and replied, “Nooooo?” I’m still trying to figure out if Tony thinks we’ll maybe need a bail bond agent and a criminal lawyer in our future?

After making our rounds in town, it was back to the cabin for movies and peaceful afternoon naps. Relaxing and rejuvenating.

Someone once made the statement that we move at such a fast pace in this world, we need to stop and let our soul catch up with our body.

That’s what the mountains do for us — the beauty and peace, devoid of everyday obligations, allows our souls to catch up with our bodies.

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Filed under I did something Special, I Left Home for Awhile, Life Encompasses Me, Sometimes I Sleep

How It Came In.

A few months ago, the good Samaritan in the house (aka Tony) jumped his co-worker’s car for him. The guy, in an off-hand manner (everything this guy says sounds kind of off-hand, actually) told him, “Thanks, man, I owe you one.” And, as cool guys do, Tony said, “No problem.”

Fast forward to last Thursday, and I received a text message from Tony saying, “We have tickets to the Lakers game for New Years Eve.” My first thought was, “… and you’re taking me??? Yay!” My second thought was, “Are they real?” Ha! My thoughts are funny. Turns out, that was the guy’s way of paying back a favor. Which is how we ended up in Staples Center on New Years Eve, 7 rows up from the floor, center court, above the score tables.

Love the intense look on Kobe’s face. This was one second before he stole the ball, ran it down court and scored.

Pau Gasol is awesome. This series of pictures I took of him taking off his warm-up suit and running onto the court cracked me up… like he’s some supermodel or something, flinging his hair back…

You tell ‘em, Fish!

Men In Yellow

Luuuuuuuuuuke!

Gotta say, nice biceps, KB.

We recorded the game, and I was glad we did because I’d forgotten how much I rely on being able to rewind stuff to understand exactly what happened and why the refs sometimes make the calls they make. Things happen so very fast during basketball games!

It was a close game… closer than it should have been. I don’t know what’s going on this season, but the Lakers just aren’t playing that well. But, for that game at least, the Lakers won (yay!) with over 100 points, and managed to keep the other team under 100 points. This is noteworthy because, since it was a home game, it meant that everyone who was there got coupons for two free Jack-in-the-Box tacos. Hooray for free food!

The next day, we were watching the recorded game and Tony goes, “Hey, there we are!!”

What? You don’t see us? Let me help you… that red spot is my jacket which I had just put on. To the left of the red spot is Tony’s purple jersey and beige shorts.

There we are! In the spotlight! We’d just been told that Staples Center was closed and we needed to exit the facility, so we turned around to gather our belongings and that there is our behinds. We definitely made the most of our 15 seconds of fame for the year.

Coming home after the game, we were traversing the opposite direction of massive amounts of traffic (imagine that, everyone going into LA to party for New Year’s?) and made it home just in time to watch the replay of the ball dropping in New York for the west coast.

And that’s how we brought in the new year. Oh, and they gave everyone those fun hats when we entered Staples Center.

Of course, I did other fun stuff over my four day weekend — highlights included a family dinner, organizing our tax book for 2010, sorting my vitamins for the next 4 weeks, water changes in the fish tanks (always), and weeding through the 500 pictures I took at the Lakers game (I discovered the rapid shutter feature on my camera a couple months ago).

With exciting stuff like that (and that’s just a small sampling), now you know why I don’t write more about the mundanities of my life every day.

(Love and Loathe is in the works, plan to post it Saturday-ish, but wanted to get this written and posted before it’s February. I would have had it up sooner, but instead I called my mom to wish her a Happy New Year’s. I knew you’d understand!)

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Up & Down the Hill.

While you were here wishing us a Happy Anniversary, we were in San Francisco having dinner, riding the cable car and walking.

We’ve been to San Francisco a half dozen times together and we’ve never had the time to ride the cable car. Thus, our main goal this visit: Ride the freakin’ cable car, already!

We walked over to the Cable Car Museum from our hotel, and caught a ride on the cable car down to Union Square. They emptied the cars of all passengers there and reloaded them. We’d been shooting the breeze with the brake guy, so he told us to walk a block up and catch it there to ride it back. Except all the cars were full. So we shrugged and just kept walking, following the cable car route, walking, all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf, walking. If you’ve ever been to San Francisco, you can start smiling in amusement at us here. I’ll cue you at the appropriate time later for the laughter.

We got to Fisherman’s Wharf, and there were all the cable cars and the cable car guys taking their lunch breaks. The guy we’d been chatting with exclaimed, “Hey!” With a wave, he pointed at us, and then, “You didn’t WALK all the way from Union Square, did you?” We replied with much chirpyness, “Yep, it was great!” He was mightily impressed and we were pretty pleased with ourselves and our athletic prowess.

We walked over to Pier 39 and decided to grab a bite to eat for our own lunch. We were quite hungry given we’d just walked from Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf. And then… we made the mistake of sitting down while we ate… (cue for laughter here) and all our muscles froze in place. After lunch, we barely made a standing position, and then limped and gimped and hobbled (note I did NOT say “walked”) back to our hotel, where we proceeded to take a two hour nap. I guess you could say we drowned the loss of our athletic prowess in sleep?

I would normally declare a two hour nap on a Saturday afternoon decadent, however, given the state of our muscles, this nap was downgraded to the status of necessary. In fact, we could happily have made it into a 10 hour nap, except that would have smacked of admitting our age (one of us had a birthday this week, not naming names, but I’m pointing at him). No one our age wants to say truthfully that they went to bed for the night at 4pm because San Francisco kicked their a**.

After our nap, we managed to make it out to the Golden Gate Bridge for the sunset. If possible, I think one should always see the sunset from the Golden Gate Bridge. If not there, then definitely from Alcatraz island.

Truly, though, we really had the best time. San Francisco is such a fun and beautiful place, and while our home was experiencing a summertime heatwave, the weather where we were was a perfect 70°F. Some drizzle/fog in the evenings, but warmed up right nice during the day. Awesome.

We also had a bit of warm reminiscent memories, for we stayed at the same hotel where we stayed the very first time we went to San Francisco together back in 2004. We enjoyed it just as much this time as we did then. They charge a bit more now than they did then and, personally, I think they charge more now than they should. Thing is, they have a great central location and they know it.

I guess I should also mention that I’ve never been to Chinatown there. Now, I don’t know what exactly I thought Chinatown was, so my ignorance (or lack of aforethought), and Tony’s desire to please attributed to yet another long walk on already stressed leg muscles. So, we get to Chinatown and we’re “walking” along slowly, feeling all the while that we’re about a second and a half from being pick-pocketed and I turn to Tony and say, “I guess I’m not much in the mood for shopping?” And he’s all, “That’s pretty much what Chinatown is, babe, shopping.” To which I responded with a grunt. I put the venture to good use, though, because I was on the lookout for Thee Dried Plums. While there were dried plums aplenty, and I didn’t find Thee Dried Plums, there were the scariest looking dried WHOLE FISH and dried WHOLE other stuff that smelled really nasty. I’m still shuddering over those dried whole fish. After that experience, we came the conclusion that Thee Dried Plums must have been homemade — they were simply too good to have been purchased somewhere.

The flights were fairly non-eventful, memories bountiful and enjoyment of each other top on the list — just the way we like it.

P.S.1 — I didn’t even mention the most delicious strawberry cheesecake we were given for free for our anniversary, did I?
P.S.2 — Or that we saw Tony’s twin (everyone has a twin, right?) playing hoops Saturday morning. Tony even said the guy looked like him, which really means there was a similarity. So weird.
P.S.3 — There is a store called Chocolate Heaven at Pier 39 — it really is. They even have chocolate pasta in there.

P.S.4 — We walked past several enclosed fern gardens (glorious!) and a 20′ tall wall of wild blackberries (unbelievable!).

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Ping Pong, Fairies, Balloons, Bikes & Pirates

With a title like that, why bother writing anything else?

Right?

The month of June is over, marking the fact that a whole bunch of kids are now a year older!

Nephew Milo has had a love of ping pongs and ping pong paddles since, well … I remember him just learning to walk, wobbling around with a ping pong paddle. Not doing anything but holding it. Then when he started talking, he would say, “Ping pong paddle!” clear as day. Just one of those things where everything lined up in the universe when he first saw them and he fell in love with ping pongs and ping pong paddles.

Given that love, his mother decided the theme for his 2nd birthday party would be ping pong. All the food was in the shape of a ping pong — even the cake. Mini pita bread on popsicle sticks were the ping pong paddles and every adult had to play in the “tournament,” with the winner being judged by the kids — and bribing of the judges was encouraged.

Somehow Uncle Tony “won” the tournament. We were all so surprised.

The next birthday party was for my friend, Grace’s daughter, Mia, who turned 4. (Can someone tell me how all the commas are supposed to go in that sentence? Nina?) For the most part, Mia has had an undying love for all things that are bug related. Snails, roly-polys, ants, flowers, spiders… they’re all her friends. Much to her mother’s chagrin. This past year or so, she’s also developed an affection for Tinkerbell. Who knew Tinkerbell also loved Mia?

And the balloon artist? This guy was really good. Not only with his balloon creations, but with the kids. I found myself entertained by him, and could have watched him create balloon creatures for hours.


After Mia’s party, we headed over to get gas, and on a whim, decided to stroll through the strip mall in which the gas station was located. As we rounded the corner, we spotted Tony’s brother, who was hanging out with a bunch of bikes. Also known as working (for him). We had nothing on our calendar, so we decided to sit and visit with him.

This is actually Tony in the picture, but trust me when I tell you, all those bikes are NOT Tony’s…

Who should stroll by, but Captain Jack Sparrow! And the balloon guy had a gig down at the end, so we went to get the nephews some balloon swords and surreptitiously watched Sparrow pose with random kids. It was weird; we felt like it was just a continuation of Mia’s birthday party, except Mia wasn’t there and our nephews were. Weird.

This weekend, we get a holiday from birthday parties (don’t worry, we have two next weekend to make up for the time off). To kick the weekend off, we went yesterday and saw Eclipse. Something always goes wonky when we go to movie premieres and yesterday was no exception. The movie started, but the sound died and switched to playing the radio, and the curtains in front of the screen didn’t open all the way. They couldn’t fix it, so they upgraded us all into the IMAX theater. Oh my, IMAX. Can you say LARGE SCREEN with dizzying proportions? I can now say with certainty that even vampires have pores and nose hairs… and Taylor Lautner has very nice abs.

How big does a screen need to be anyway? See that guy way down there? That’s actually a concession stand.

Today was a relaxing, but busy day. We were on the go from the moment we got up. But it was relaxing because it was stuff we wanted to do… you know, like swimming (for me), basketball (for him). A deep tissue massage (for me), and another movie (for him). A drive in my convertible and working on a garden (both of us). Gaming (for him) and blogging (for me).

Just a nice day of freedom. Happy 4th of July.

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Just Big Kids!

We all know that June is the month for weddings, but who knew it’s also birthday party month for kids? I’m looking at our calendar, and we have a party to attend every weekend of the month. Gives a whole new meaning to September being a hot month. Yeah, think about that last sentence for a second.

To kick off the month of birthday parties, our Parallel Lives Neighbors invited us to their kids’ birthday party. Their oldest turned 4 the end of May (for the record, she was actually supposed to have been born in June), and the youngest turns 1 next week. So they had a party for both of them this past weekend.

They hold their birthday parties at a nearby park that’s well-hidden, and owned by the company where they both work. It’s kind of this place that you want to ensure you’re with someone you know and trust, because otherwise you’re driving and driving, and you turn off the main road and you’d swear the person you’re with is gonna take you out and shoot you.

When we get to the parking lot, we’re greeted with this sign…

And then we noticed a bunch of turkey vultures circling above us. Like I said, you really wanna know the person you’re with.

There’s a clearing with picnic tables and a cement slab, on which the bouncy house was placed. I mean, what else would you do with a cement slab in the middle of nowhere?

We didn’t know everyone there, but we knew a few. Enough to feel comfortable visiting or just making small talk with those we didn’t. Tony was envious of all the fun the kids were having in the bouncy house, so he was kind of hanging out there… and if you know Tony, you know that kids just kind of flock to him. It wasn’t long before the kids involved him in some sort of monster-roaring, fake punch throwing kind of game.

Tony playing with some random, unknown boy child.

Tony kept a close eye on things, and when the kids gathered around the pinata and cake…

The big kids took over the Tweety Bird bouncy house!

On Sunday, we managed a kidnapping of my friend, Grace, and off we went to CaliforniaLand. It was a warm day, and I’ve never gone on the Grizzly River Rapids ride. There were warnings everywhere that we would get wet.

Oh my, did we get soaked!

No trip to Disney theme parks is complete without a visit to one of their bakeries for their chocolate drizzled macaroons. I took this picture because it struck me as amusing… one shelf of healthy apples, and the rest of the display cases were full of sugar laden goodies guaranteed to put you in a sugar coma for the rest of the day.

Believe it or not, I only bought one macaroon at that store. I did get a rocky road cup and a chocolate covered strawberry (sort of healthy, right?) at the candy store. I promise they’ll last me all week!

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