Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Festive Fourth


I promised details about Washington, DC were next.  But I forgot that I have some fourth of July pictures that needed to be shared.  But it’s still a travel story, so there is that.

As of one week before the fourth of July, I fully thought we were going to be staying home by ourselves.  No grilling, maybe some fireworks downtown if we got our act together.  Then one of A.’s college roommates said he was coming to Chicago and wondered if he could drive up.

Bubbles and Badminton

Then a day or two later, the parents of one of the boys’ other roommates called to ask whether we wanted to come over.  Before we knew it, we were signed up for just the kind of laid-back, family-and-friends kind of fourth of our dreams.

And it was lovely.  Despite A.’s short memory when it came to transmitting some messages from our hosts, we all got to go swimming, I got some emergency strawberry shortcake supplies out, and a good time was had by all.

Until the fireworks.  The night of the third, our across the street neighbors were setting off some ground-based fireworks.  Peter and I went over to watch, and he was intrigued by the light and sound.  Our hosts for the fourth had a box of bottle rockets.  We were only able to launch two before the sheer terror exhibited by Peter overtook the pyrophiles’ fun.  Maybe next year.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

California on my mind

I’m going to play a quick catch up.  Peter and I have been on the road, having lots of adventures, and I want to get some of the memories down before they spill out of my mind.  First up, a Father’s Day visit to Father’s family in CA.

I think I’ve mentioned before our unfortunate life-planning in having a baby (the first grandchild on either side) immediately after moving far away from both of our families.  And while Peter has not lacked in the familial love department, it was high time to get ourselves out to visit A.’s side of the family in sunny southern California.

Baby on a Plane

The first set of plane trips were made without too much ordeal.  Peter, like his mother, loved the Biscoff cookies that Delta served.  But there was more excellent food to come!

My little Cuban boy

Cuban black beans, pork, and yucca!

Snoozing through his first beach trip

First trip to the beach.  My sweet mother-in-law found a cute lightweight stroller on Craigslist.  As you see, Peter is not riding in it.  We got to the beach and put him in the stroller, heading for a restaurant for some food.  He screamed.  We walked for several blocks like that, me assuring the family that he would settle in.  He did not.  Maybe he was just hungry.  Nope, did the same thing on the way out of the restaurant toward the beach.  Maybe he was just tired.  Nope, later in the week we tried during morning happy time.  No go.  I still have no idea why.

I suppose it’s another lesson about the best laid plans.  I was all set to at least take a dip in the water—I even asked the lifeguard who taught our Parent-Child swim class whether there was anything special we needed to know for ocean swimming.  And then he slept almost the whole time we were there (after the stroller fiasco, that is).  But it was still lovely and breezy, and Peter did wake up for long enough to watch the ocean for several minutes.

Our Morning outing

Morning happy time in California.  Probably around 5:30 or 6, which is not normally *my* morning happy time.  But we decided that it was easier to just stay on Eastern time rather than switching.  Peter was happy to oblige.  Until the last two days, when he switched to Pacific Time in one fell swoop.  Notice the super-stylish shorts, high socks, and sweater combination.

Other highlights/firsts?  Meeting his paternal great-grandparents.  Meeting the giant dog (my in-laws have an English Mastiff).  Meeting the tortoise (likewise, they also have a tortoise).  Spending quality time with grandparents and aunt/godmother.

Next up, Washington, DC!