Sunday, July 31, 2011

California dreamin...

Yep, you guessed it, we are on vacation... woo hoo! California has been treating us extremely well, with lots of pretty weather, the very best company and loads of fun! We finally made it up to Tree House, which is a pretty amazing place to stay...
thank you thank you Val and family! We had a more than fantastic time! Most of our days we were greeted by this fantastic moth (or its kin after we found this guy in a nearby spider web.) Monday we headed into BML to see where Mom and Dad used to work and to check out all of their friends and the displays. It was pretty awesome! We even got to meander a bit around horseshoe cove do a little tidepooling and exploring around Bodega Bay. We headed back to Inverness after lunch for some naps and play time. The sun had come out so we spent loads of time playing on the deck, looking for lizards and huckleberries.

We finished up our day with nachos at the house
and a quick run around some of the nearby paths. We finished up the evening by making some crispy treats, fun for everyone and some yummy snacks for the rest of the week.
Tree House is not only in a wonderful location, but they also have a piano,
which we all enjoyed immensely.
Tuesday we headed North one more time to hit all of Mom, Dad and Randall's favorite haunts and places they missed from before. First, we stopped at freestone, which... to their great great chagrin was closed. AAACK!
No most delicious scones, fougasse, this trip, but we did get a nice treat and I got to meet Mom and Owen's friends, Suzanne and Sally who worked there. They were caring for the beautiful garden that serves the bakery and spent a nice few minutes catching-up and exploring. We met back up at Suzanne O's house to spend the rest of the day with her and Nate.
For lunch we went to the Russian River brewery, which made Daddy very very happy.
On our way back we stopped at Screaming Mimis and walked briefly around Sebastopol. After regrouping with James, Lilli and Randall, we headed back towards the coast through their old stomping grounds, Occidental.
Grabbed some Union Pizzas to enjoy back at the house and visited Owen's first home.
No visit to the area would have been complete
without a drive down Coleman valley Road
nor without a visit to Gourmet au Bay!
I think the folks really enjoyed getting back to the winebar and seeing all of their friends!
Kristen, Nature and Susan from the lab were there, as well as their winebar buddies and friends Tammi, Grady and Steve!
Grady showed us all of his impressive artistic skills (that's a nivlac v. shark)
All the kids had a great time coloring and chatting,
and getting reacquainted
while the adults got to relax on the
beautiful deck with good wine, great views and wonderful company. Pshew, can you believe it's only Tuesday!
Well we mellowed out a bit the rest of the week, spent time relaxing at the house, and spending as much time as we could at the beaches around the area and entertaining a few visitors. Wed we headed to north-beach in Pt Reyes. Its a great sandy beach... too rough for getting in the water, but perfect for digging around and for whale watching!
James and I actually saw a few whales out in the Ocean!
Later Owen and James did some pretty cool beetle races
(dig a deep hole)
(Drop two carefully chosen beetles in the bottom and see who gets out first!)while Mom, Randall and I played in the sand.
That afternoon, Owen headed into town with the Dads to get provisions and to visit Lagunitas brewery. Later that afternoon we met some pretty fun kids who came to visit with some friends from Davis.
We all ran around a bunch and read some books (but really, mostly ran around).
Randall made some great avocado enchiladas (reminder to get her recipe) for dinner and we all crashed and slept the sleep of busy busy kids. Thursday, Mom and Randall escaped for a morning of Yoga with Suzi, David got some field work in while... hmm, lets count the grown-ups... yep Dad managed the four of us for the morning.
Everything went extremely smoothly! After running around and exploring a bit,
we watched Mary Poppins while Dad baked some pumpkin cake! Amazing! On their way back, Randall picked up some Oysters from Hog Island. YUMMY!
Well, okay the Dads and Mom thought they were Yummy, I didn't try but Owen did!
I'm not sure he will again soon, but he ate a whole one without too much complaint (just that it was salty and chewy!).
We all spent some time together coloring,
mostly cards for Randall's birthday and cards for other friends.
Most of us went down for a nap, while Owen and Dad went exploring again.
This time they caught a cool lizard!
After I woke up, we headed down to Shell Beach for some awesome water fun.
For the first time, I think I enjoyed being in the Ocean!
It took a while, but once I was in,
I had a blast and even out-lasted Owen who took a break to sun on some rocks.
Owen was pretty excited to find limpets (like from Sally and the Limpet) .
After they woke up from their naps,
James, Lilli, Randall and David also joined us for a little bit of time in the water, though I suspect it was a bit colder than they were used to.
After we dried off a bit, we played plenty on the beach.
Randall showed us some seagrass seeds (Owen always loves seeds),
we played in/on the rocks
and enjoyed Tomales as much as possible.
As even began to approach, we got a fun surprise,
Ted found us at Shell beach and stopped by for a visit!
He even brought beers for the adults!
It was a beautiful evening, and a great way to round off our last night in Inverness.
We had a nice pasta dinner and
celebrated summer birthdays with some pumpkin cake!
Happy Birthday Randall! Man, I love pumpkin cake.
We have had such a wonderful week with our friends.
We miss you guys and love that we got to spend time together.
Friday the kids headed out with the Dads while Mom and Randall cleaned up the house for a little bit.
We headed back to north beach and had a great time before saying farewell. I hope we don't wait too long before we all get to play again, we had a blast! Our adventure continues... but I think that we'll stick with the Inverness chapter for this post. More soon... can you guess where we went next?