Weeks of April 17-May 1

I haven’t posted in a couple weeks. We were getting ready for a trip and then on said trip. We are home now and I’m back to my regularly scheduled blogging.

We spent a week in California. This was Charlie’s first plane ride and he was a champ. No crying, took a decent nap on the plane, and (other than playing peekaboo and trying to hand out stickers) didn’t bother other people on the plane. Amanda packed lots of activities for him and we didn’t even need to break out the videos on the iPad.

We’ve been talking up airplanes to Charlie all week, so he was super excited to see some in real life. Lots of excited pointing and exclaiming “Airpane!” (sic).

First up was a wedding in Monterey. The San Carlos Cathedral is beautiful and I love that they left some sections of the original wall paintings when they remodeled. The reception was at a venue right on the bay, which was also beautiful. It was nice to catch up with some old friends at the reception.

We stayed with our friends Marieke and Brent, who are consummate hosts. Some highlights:

  • Fresh squeezed orange juice from their orange tree every morning
  • A Sicilian-themed dinner party they hosted while we were there
  • Watching Charlie while Amanda and I were at the wedding
  • Charlie had a lot of fun climbing at their local playground
  • Charlie and Evie (Marieke and Brent’s daughter) had some classic toddler rivalry, but had some instances of sweet collaborative play.
  • Visiting the Earthbound Farm farmstand. The cinnamon rolls are wonderful.
  • Excellent food in Salinas, particularly breakfast burritos
  • Albion strawberries, a very sweet variety that doesn’t ship well, so must be consumed locally. Marieke got a text about them and rushed out the door to pick up a whole flat, and they were delicious.
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium. Charlie liked the fish and loved the aquatic birds. I liked the Mackerel and sardines.
  • Seeing Doc’s Laboratory on Cannery Row. I read Steinbeck’s novel of that name on the flight out.
  • A pastry tour of the region led by Marieke.
  • 17 Mile Drive at Pebble Beach and CA 1 to Big Sur
  • Marieke found a book, Trashy Town, that became an instant favorite for Charlie.

Next up was visiting our friends William and Jenna in Walnut Creek, CA. Charlie had fun playing with their boys and going for a long wagon ride. They made dinner for us and we chatted into the evening, then it was off to the airport for us the next morning.

Charlie also did well on the flight home, though the airplane novelty wasn’t there on the second go-around and he loudly protested naptime and we had to pull out the iPad to keep him busy for a while. Still, better than we expected, so we are calling it a win. He loved all of the busses around the airport.

Charlie had an easy time adjusting to California time. He didn’t go to bed until around 9pm California time, which is midnight Eastern. He slept until 8:30 the next day and then was pretty much on California time. Coming home was a bit longer transition, but not awful. We didn’t get home until midnight, then he slept until noon the next day. We skipped our nap that day and went to bed at our normal time, and woke up at our normal time the next day.

Back home it was time to mow, plant potatoes, clean up the yard a bit, do laundry, and grocery shop. Mostly getting our lives back together. We also visited the garden center and bought some flowers to plant: Coneflowers, Bee balm, Black-eyed Susan vines, and Lemon Slice Superbells.

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