The crew In August Abbie braved two flights and a layover with Owen and Stella to come visit us in California. They arrived the day after we returned from our pack trip in Yosemite and stayed nearly a week. I took two days off and had so much fun adventuring to kid-friendly places with the crew. In retrospect we probably packed too much in, but we had a really great visit. Ab's kids are rock stars.
The Friday they were with us we hit the road right after breakfast and drove up to meet Joy and Mila at the San Francisco Zoo. (A first for me.) Stella enjoyed the penguins and Owen enjoyed all the animals. He just didn't stay very long at any of them. As soon as we arrived at the giraffes he'd be ready to go see the zebras and after the zebras he wanted to see the hippos (Gloria) and then "another animal". Checking out the tiger And so it went, "let's go see another animal!" Seeing the three kiddos interact with each other was probably the highlight. Such cute little stinks. We also made sure to ride the train and had wished time would have allowed for Owen and Mila to play at the "arctic park". But the kids were crumping and it was nap time so we took everyone back to Joy's house and everyone got in a good rest. Lee and Collin joined us late afternoon and we walked to Dolores Park (Owen was fascinated by everything he saw!) and kids were super disappointed when it was time to leave. It's such a great park! We got take out from a Burmese place relatively close to Joy and Collin's, the kids bathed together and we got them all ready for bed and at 9pm we made the trip home. Owen was wide awake the entire trip home and was my best companion. He talked with me the whole way! He was curious about the moon, about the bridge, about the shipyards, pretty much everything. Oh how I love that little boy!
Cave Tour Ride We took it a little slower on Saturday. Lee watched the kids while Abbie and I got in a trot and then after lunch we loaded up and headed to Santa Cruz to meet Joy and Collin. It was a beautiful day and towards the end of summer and we weren't the only ones who thought it would be a great thing to do. That place was PACKED. Stella was SUCH a trooper. We didn't feel comfortable letting that little girl roam so she was trapped in a stroller or in our arms most of the afternoon. But Owen had a blast. There are so many great rides for kids and he loved all of them. Abbie even took him on his first roller coaster! There were also a couple that he and Mila could ride together and it was fun to see them being such good friends. We were there long enough for a dinner and then after we all got soaked on the log ride, called it a day. But before driving home we of course had to stop at Marianne's for ice cream. It was a really fun summer day.
Sunday was a rest day. Lee and I went to church and when we came back we all just hung out at our house and enjoyed the down time. Both Stella and Owen LOVED our backyard and were happy just hanging out. We played a lot of sharks and minnows, every last one of us got a nap and we just enjoyed being together. It was a really nice day. We probably should have just repeated that on Monday. Instead, we drove down to Monterey so Owen could go to the aquarium. He's fascinated with ocean life and I was dying to take him there. Taking in the Leopard Sharks While I think he enjoyed it, we're pretty sure he had such seen and done too much during their short time in California. He loved seeing the turtle and the garden eels and loved the children's play areas. He got to see sharks but really wished he could see whales. We had to explain to him whales are too big for aquariums and they live in the wide open sea. So then he wanted to go out to the wide open sea. Too bad they weren't migrating by that day! Stella on the other hand surprised us with how much she loved the aquarium. She was fascinated by the jelly fish and anything else in the tank. She was brave and touched all sorts of seaweed and starfish and played in the water. We'll have to go back when they are a little older and can get more out of it/remember it. But as an auntie, I loved being able to take them.
We spent Monday evening at home with Uncle Lee and Ab got all packed up. They had an early departure Tuesday morning and what ended up being a VERY long travel day with mechanical issues, canceled flights, reroutings and long layovers. After that I was especially grateful Abbie was willing to come and visit and brave all the flying unknowns with those two. We loved having them at our house and can't wait for the next trip, whenever that is.
Pictures of cute Stella and Owen are here.