Boring Post Alert!!!!
we're in Santa Cruz (CA) right now for a week's vacation. so no photos (yet), no quilty stuff--just personal anecdotes that i'm sure will bore even close friends. so please come back next week--hopefully i'll have more progress to show on my Grandmother's Pop Garden.
Sunday started a little iffy. we woke up at around 9:00 a.m. & left home at around 2:30p.m. and basically packed the entire time in-between. i was so tired, and was thinking that i'm just lame--but then realized that i was a actually sick--started getting a little achy and my throat glands were swollen. took a nap on the way down, but still tired and out of sorts (i'm sure the kids didn't notice--they're so used to me yelling at them)
we got here, unpacked, and went down to Capitola--got a great parking space and played a little on the beach. the kids weren't in their swimsuits, but didn't care, they still got soaked. came home for dinner of soup & salad. the rental has a Sorry game--which paul taught them. alex LOVES the game--the twins were so-so--but max is a sore loser (luckily he won) and alex would try not to have to Sorry max. that game goes on forever! early bedtime for me (9:30) but poor paul had to stay up to start on his driving school lessons online. i'm still snoring (from being sick last week) so he slept with the kids. and good thing, 'cos max fell off the bed onto him (he was on the trundle, sophie on the floor in a sleeping bag)
felt much better today! we went up to Roaring Camp and took the narrow gauge steam train for an hour ride up to Bear Mountain. a little pricey ($80 for all of us) but the kids loved it and it was a beautiful ride in the redwoods. after lunch (we didn't pack so settled for 2 overpriced hamburgers for all of us --poor alex was soooo hungry) we walked over to the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park (right next door--if we ever go again to Roaring Camp, we should try to park there 'cos it's actually closer to the trains then their own parking lot) --they have a .8 mile trail (loop) that goes to their big redwoods, including one that you can actually crawl into. very cool. kids only got a little whiny/tired near the end. lots of morning fog, but the weather cleared up really nicely--so it was good to be in the shady redwoods.
of course they all fell asleep in the car on the way home. then on to the neighborhood beach (gated access). the tide was fairly high --by the time we left, the water was reaching where we originally put our stuff. there are quite a bit of stairs but having a private beach is pretty cool. the kids love playing in the water now (quite different from the 1st 2 years where they wouldn't even touch the ocean) which of course means we have to be extra diligent--no more reading on the beach.
1st thing, we saw a seal swim right by! didn't take a good pix--he had left by the time i got the camera. but how neat, to see one right there! the waves were pretty big, but when they receded, the beach has a good amount of shells. i had just picked a really big one, put it in the bucket that max was holding, when a huge wave knocked him down--he tumbled over a couple of times :-) alex saved him and grabbed his shirt! but we lost the shell. oh well. max didn't cry but was a little more wary of the water after that. then i found a starfish! i've never done that before!! not sure if it was dead or alive so took a bunch of pix and then threw it back in the ocean. paul found a half-dead crab--good-sized one--so also took pix and threw it back in. nature!
dinner was pulled pork on hawaiian rolls and spinach on the side. pretty good--especially when you're hungry :-) even the kids ate well. then a dessert/snack run to Trader Joe's; back home, started a game of Sorry--and now the kids are playing in bed.
we're staying in Madeline's Cottage which is a little cottage right behind someone's house. it's a mile out of downtown Capitola--hopefully i can wake up early enough to take a walk down. it's a tiny cottage but nicely furnished (the sheets are so luxurious) and the garden is beautiful. last year's rental had better access to a beach but this place is nicer. the 1st year's (this is our 3rd) rental was the nicest but it didn't have good beach access and was really not appropriate for young families (narrow, windy stairs)--plus my parents came and the in-law unit they stayed in was pretty crummy (we didn't know!) so this year is working out pretty well....
we really like santa cruz 'cos it's close to home (45 min away) so travelling isn't an issue--but still far enough way to feel like we're truly on vacation. plus i like cool weather, and the kids love playing in sand, and now the ocean. the 1st year we came, alex was 3 and the twins 1 (turning 4 and turning 2) and they wouldn't get close to the water at all--i remember one time, alex was just crying, "I hate the beach" :-) (that was the year Grace & her family went to Hawaii; we were jealous until we went to SC and realized a HI vacation would've been completely wasted on us!