Sunday, October 27, 2013

Double Digits

 Yesterday was Owen's 10th birthday.

He requested purple balloons.

And footie pajamas.
 (Sally's ensemble is unrelated)

He got some fun gifts.

And chose Mountain Mike's (pizza) for lunch.

Well, really he wanted Chuck E Cheese.
But that's in scary Salinas, so I bribed him into MM's.

There were lots of free community events going on for Halloween.
We chose Science Saturday at the PG Natural History Museum.
 All the kids held that tarantula fearlessly.

This could've been Drew's birthday for how happy he was to hold snakes.
 (a snake is #1 on his Christmas list and I'm really hoping that changes)

That night was the trunk or treat at church.
So nice of them to have a party in Owen's honor.
 I offered all the kids $10 if they wore a costume we already had.
Owen was the only one who took the deal.
Didn't realize how tattered his Scream costume from last year was but he was fine with it.

I was sewing up until it was time to go to get Auggie's costume ready.
So happy it turned out.
The mummy I attempted for myself most definitely did not.

Justin did Drew's creepy make-up.
It looked awesome while it lasted.

After inhaling a bunch of candy, Owen didn't want any cake.
So we stuck 10 candles in a burnt cornbread muffin just so we could sing.

 What a little sweetie.

August was so tired that when Owen hugged him good-night, he just stayed like this.

Ended his day with a little TV.

He always gets bummed when his birthday is over,
so it was nice to have his real cake (ice cream cake - no picture) today to draw it out.

Love Owen!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Break with Errin

We fit a LOT into 3 1/2 days.

Day 1

(I'm really good at distorting people in panoramic pictures)

First stop was Wagon Wheel for my all-time favorite breakfast.
We shared oatmeal pancakes and avocado turkey eggs benedict
(that came w/biscuits and gravy).

Right next door is Hacienda Hay & Feed.
It's a cute little farm stand/farm that has a hay tunnel.
And now, here are 50 pictures of the kids gearing up to go in that tunnel,
then happiness coming out.

 I think they went in and out 15 times before Errin finally agreed to go with them.

 Just a little proud of themselves.
Then they did it over and over.
I went through it, too, which was brave since 3 years ago I swear I saw a rat in there.

Next, we learned how turtle babies are made.
 The kids thought they were fighting.
I just casually corrected them that they were mating.
But that mating was anything but casual.
Sally said it looked like she was giving him a ride.

Our next stop was just next door at Earthbound Farms.
Their yummy soft serve ice cream is always good for a brain freeze.

Carving those little guys was the one thing on our list that never happened.

After mandatory quiet time watching ET, we went to the high school.
 That track is one of Owen/Drew/Sally's favorite places.
They love to spray each-other w/the football drinking hose,
race the track,
tackle the football dummies,
and play hand ball.

Ellis and Auggie were great fans.

Day 2
We made San Francisco happen (thanks to Justin staying home w/August).

Chinatown was first.

As soon as the elevator door opened into the Chinatown courtyard,
we felt like we were in another world.
And at first the kids weren't sure it was a world they really wanted to be in.

There were so many people, smells, and buildings.
Even I was a little overwhelmed.

It didn't help that the first store we went in was this grocery store.
 I don't even know how to describe the smell.
So overwhelmingly powerful.
But it was bright, colorful, and mysterious.
I wanted a tour to learn what every single thing was, but the kids weren't having it.
And neither were the workers.
They didn't appreciate our pinched noses and picture taking.

No idea what these are:

 But those nasty things in the background are dried sea cucumbers.

Walking around, I was keeping a look out for Halloween costumes,
so when we passed by this display:
 I had to take a closer look.

As I was exclaiming over the $3 price tags,
a customer informed me we were in a funeral store.
And those boxed (paper) clothes are burned at funerals so the deceased having something to wear in the after life.
Learn something new every day.
Felt bad about that stop because that customer was probably shopping for a funeral.
Once again we were insensitive tourists.

But then we made it to our main destination: the fortune cookie factory.
Which was literally this tiny room that had 2 ladies making cookies.
And yes, we did pay the 50 cents to take a picture.
There was an older man who handed out free warm, unfolded cookies.
Warm fortune cookies are better than not warm ones.
We bought a bag of regular and chocolate ones for cheap.
Fortunes for days.
Or hours.
They were gone by the time we left Chinatown.

The factory was located in an alley and even though it was small, it was cool to see.

This man was serenading our fortune cookie experience from the building next door.
 One of his tunes was "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."
In October.

Moving on to the souvenir shops...
 Sally found happiness in the bracelet bins.

Wooden snakes were their souvenir of choice.

Mine was one of those metal head tickler thingies for the bargain price of $1.29.
Of course the next store had them for .99.

And then Drew ate half a fortune along with his cookie.

We found a couple more bargains then it was time to move on.

Koret's Children's Playground in Golden Gate Park was literally a breath of fresh air.

 Super cute park with this fun (fast) cement slide.
Most of the time they slid down on brown paper bags which made them go even faster.

 I had seen this play sculpture in pictures and really didn't know what it was.
Then Drew started surfing the wave.

After we were done at the park it was dinner time.
Instead of eating in any one of the amazing San Fran restaurants, we drove halfway home to eat at Betty Burgers in Santa Cruz.
My shake was delicious and the burgers were fine but I don't need to go back.
 (yes, another horrible panorama)

Day 3
 The Pacific Grove Natural History Museum.

 It's such a small museum but there's something about that place.
Oh, maybe that it's free.

Then we had some Pinkberry.

 And ended at Del Monte Beach for sand dollar hunting.

 They weren't big and white, but they were all over.
Even August was randomly walking around with one.
When we got home we realized some of them were still alive....which was sad and gross.

Someone needs to change that diaper.

Day 4
 Pavel's for huge donuts and pastries.

And always the aquarium.

 My favorite photo spot.

Errin had never been to Dennis the Menace Park so we had to squeeze that in real fast.

And then they were gone.

It was the best weather (my family had gotten some cold days the week before)
and such a fun time.