A few more photos from Coronado. This was lunch on our last day. We were all tired and hungry and hot.
Back to the Magical Island
We are so lucky to have great friends who let us come along on their summer vacation. This year was more fun than last, mostly because the kids are getting so much cooler, and we spent almost a whole week in Coronado.
Seriously, look at these cool kids.
Yes, I understand that not all of them are looking at the camera, but you can almost see all their faces, and they are all under six.
We get to stay at our friend’s dad’s house, and it’s an incredible house. So incredible that people tend to look into the yard as they pass by. My favorite part of this is that it’s an amazing house that looks like a daycare center when we’re there. We have a bounce house set up, a working Mini Cooper, a multitude of balls and toys, and six noisy and active children. It cracks me up to think about what people must think.
This year we had grand plans of going to the zoo, or a baseball game, or something. We did none of these things. We did meet some great friends from Peace Corps for lunch, and my cousin and his sweet family came down for a day at the beach. Other than that we just stuck close to home.
When Michael, Michelle and Avalon were here, we got to take all the girls to the beach. Michael took to older girls to build castles and play in the water when Michelle and I hung out on some chairs. Harriet did this amazing thing where she seriously conked out the second we got to the beach – she did this every time we went to the ocean. She never sleeps in my arms, so I enjoyed every second of holding her sweet sleepy self.
We also walked to a cafe for lunch while Harriet took another nap back at the house. I love seeing Alma and Avalon together. They are sweet friends and sweet cousins. My girls are also lucky that Avalon outgrows her princess dresses and hands them down!We spent a lot of time outdoors. The kids took turns jumping, driving, running, making mischief, and having mini meltdowns.
We ate all our meals on the front porch.
One night we had just finished dinner when I noticed that the sun was starting to go down. I said, “Let’s go take pictures with the sunset!” Oh my gosh, you won’t believe how fast we mobilized our 6 kids and got out the door and across the street. The light was perfect.
I love so much that we are building memories for our children where they get to play and interact with these other families. These friendships are important as they grow up. It gives them a sense of where they come from and a confidence in where they’re going.
And I love that we are building memories with these families. The kids are all fantastic and hilarious. Their parents are beautiful, wonderful people I’m happy to have as my co-parents.
Some memories I want to make sure to remember, but might not make sense to the average reader of my blog: forgetting that I was the saboteur, and “The slime’s de flickin!”
Jesse’s beloved grandmother passed away in January, so we headed down to the bay area for her funeral. We decided to extend our trip a night and take in some of the sights in San Francisco. We didn’t really know what to do in the city with two small kids, but we ended up having a pretty amazing day!
We stayed at the Argonaut Hotel which was, quite frankly, incredible. When we arrived, the bellhop instantly became Alma’s and Harriet’s best friend. He told them all about the area, and showed them a treasure chest. The lobby of the hotel had a treasure chest full of toys that the girls got to dig through and choose a toy. We don’t travel much, so maybe this is normal, but I was totally blown away. After we were settled in, we headed out to fishman’s wharf (but first got the girls complementary hot chocolate in the hotel lobby).
It was an incredible day in San Francisco. On our way into the city we stopped and bought some sun block. These Oregonians weren’t prepared for a gorgeous blue sky day in the bay.
Our first stop was the Musée Mécanique. What a fun, cool place! It is full of old arcade games and other coin operated mechanical things. We didn’t have any quarters, but just looking at the machines was fun.
We walked down the museum’s pier and saw some big ships and a submarine and Rosie the Riveter (whom we love dearly thanks to Rosie Revere, Engineer).
We kept walking around, saw live lobsters, crabs, street performers, and lots of boats.
On Pier 39, Alma and I rode the carousel.
Halfway through, Alma asked me to let go so she could do it herself. Her independence is increasing these days. I love it in moments like this – I hate it in moments when she decides to run away from me. Luckily her dress is easy to spot, and she still doesn’t go far.
We had lunch at Boudin, and went through their factory tour. We got free admission since we ate at the restaurant, and figured we might as well go in. It ended up being really, really cool! I love watching things being made. Factories are pretty amazing.
After lunch we went to ride the cable car. The station is literally across the street from the Argonaut, right new Ghirardelli Square. We had to wait for about an hour. But it was an hour in the sunshine, with live music, great company in the line. No complaints from me, and the kids did a really good job, too!
Alma was excited to ride Trolley. I understand the difference, but with Alma’s affection for Daniel Tiger, we just called the cable car Trolley. We rode across the city.
Harriet fell asleep (seriously? It was so loud and so much was happening…) and stayed asleep when we got off the cable car, got back in line, and rode the cable car back to Ghirardelli. Then we waited in another line to get ice cream sundaes to share.
We walked down to the beach for the sunset in the sand. After dinner we walked around the wharf some more. Does this even sound like a January day?
New Dresses for the Girls
As part of my resolution to sew from my stash, I decided to make new dresses for the girls. I used Shwin and Shwin’s Holiday Dress pattern for the bodices, and made some amazingly twirly skirts using my own mind.
A day in San Francisco seemed like the perfect time for the girls to wear the dresses. They were perfect – short sleeved, colorful, twirly, and fun. They had the added bonus of making the girls super easy to spot in a crowd. I was able to use some of the more random fabrics that I didn’t have any ideas for – ahem scissors – and also some of my cherished favorites. Both dresses have the purple flowers and matyroshka dolls, but the rest are unique. I love Alma’s mashallahs and Hattie’s bee sleeves. Alma’s dress has two big sparkly blue bottons. Harriet’s dress has the one leftover sparkly button, and a cute pink bubbly button. I loved making these dresses. They were really quick to sew, and really fun to wear. I’m planning on making a couple like it for an upcoming silent auction at Alma’s school, and maybe a few for the Etsy shop.
Also, check back tomorrow for more photos of our time in San Francisco!
Coronado, the Enchanted Vacation
We got to spend a couple days in Coronado with some of our favorite friends. Tyler and Leia were amazing to invite us to spend some time at Tyler’s dad’s house. We thought it would be fun, but had no idea how wonderfully beautiful it would be. The house is literally across the street from an incredible beach.
And down the street from the beautiful Hotel Del Corondo.
Did I mention we were there for the Super Moon?
We spent two nights, and just spent our time relaxing. We had grand plans of seeing the pandas, but didn’t. We spent our time on the beach, in the yard, having drinks, eating amazing cheese sauce, playing, and just enjoying everything. Thank you Leia and Tyler! And Mark and Jenny! Let’s do it again!
More Fun at Avalon’s House
Alma really loved spending time playing at Avalon’s house. We all really enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of Michael and Michelle. They are such a lovely little family. We love them all.
We were also happy to get to spend some time with our dear friend Elvin. We met him in Azerbaijan when he was a teenager. Now he’s a brilliant young man studying in California. It’s been so great having him on the West Coast this year. He loves our girls so much, and honestly, the feeling is mutual.
First Stop – Huntington Beach
Our first stop on our California Adventure was Huntington Beach to visit with my cousins and aunt. We are so lucky that we have such fun, generous, funny, and wonderful family in such a beautiful town. We got in pretty late on Friday, and my cousin Michael, his wife Michelle, and their daughter Avalon had pizza and salad waiting for us. It was nice to have such a sweet welcome after our day of travel.
Alma got right to work playing in Avalon’s amazing playroom. I think she felt right at home, and Avalon did an amazing job sharing all her toys and helping Alma figure out how to use them. It was great to see the second-cousins getting along right away. They are almost exactly a year apart.
The next morning we went down to the pier to have smoothies and bagels. The kids got to run around in the grass, then we walked to the end of the pier. It was a cloudy, warm, humid day. There were lots of surfers to watch from the pier.
Before we went to California, we had grand plans of going to Disneyland and the San Diego Zoo and a baseball game. We ended up just hanging around and playing and it was amazing. We got to relax, catch up, and play.
It was great seeing the two A’s play together, and I can’t wait until Harriet can run around with them. She tried… but isn’t quite big enough yet.
When we were done playing at the pier we went and got our first In-N-Out of the trip.
Friday Gratitudes 31 & 32
Saturday the 2nd: Swimming
Sunday the 3rd: Edison
Monday the 4th: Parks
Tuesday the 5th: Dad
Wednesday the 6th: Friends
Thursday the 7th: Parents
Friday the 8th: Vacation
Saturday the 9th: Family
Sunday the 10th: Beach
Monday the 11th: Beach
Tuesday the 12th: Sleep.
Wednesday the 13th: Mom
Thursday the 14th: Pedicures