Tuesday, June 28, 2005

We have really been enjoying our time in California. For one thing, we can't stop exclaiming over the beautiful scenery (mountains, canyons, ocean, orange groves, palm trees, exotic flowers, etc...). E and Grayson have been having so much fun together (although sometimes they both need "alone time" to chill out). N has learned how to go down stairs backwards!! A major accomplishment that he has been working on since we arrived. Jay and Jess have 3 concrete steps outside their back door, and after 3 days of practice, N finally got it. Now he goes in and out with the big kids, very independent and proud of himself. Alice is so cute, and will play with N or the older kids, but mostly likes to walk around humming to herself and keeping herself amused.

Here is a little summary of what we have done each day, more so that I can remember than because I think anyone else will be interested in reading.

Thursday: Walk a little around downtown Ventura, visit the Patagonia flagship store, meet Jay for lunch at an authentic Mexican taco stand. Ed joins Jay for the afternoon and visits his worksites. After dinner, Jess and I go to the Camrillo Outlets and shop.

Friday: Go on a scenic drive that includes many orange groves where we were able to pick a couple of oranges, visit a rose farm, drive up a windy little mountain and down into a canyon, pass a horse farm where we see a mother horse and her leggy colt, finish off at a farmer's market where we buy an enormous amount of fruit. For dinner, our family goes and meets up with my bio-dad and his girlfriend at the Ventura Harbor. After which, we walk and shop and E gets to ride the carousel.

We all go to a birthday party at a playground for a friends' child. It is a blue's Clues themed party, and E enjoys the craft(decorating binoculars with stickers) and lunch, and a search for blue pawprints on the play ground equipment. Since then, E and Grayson love playing Blue's Clues around the house, writing down "clues" in their handy-dandy noteboooks that were party favors. Ed and Jay go surfing, Ed gets up 2 times!! Then Jess, Jay, Ed and I leave the kids with a sitter, and go see Batman and have dinner (fish and chips) at Eric Ericson's on the Ventura Pier.

Sunday: Ed and Jay go surfing again, this time on the Rincon, and take E and Grayson, who play on the rocks and in the water. We have dinner outside on the patio.

Monday: We go up to Santa Barbara, hit a few shops, and then have lunch at the whale-themed playground. We walk out on the beach before heading home. While the babies nap, Ed and I take Grayson and E to Marina Park that has a beach and a playground right next to each other. The kids enjoy playing in the water, almost too much. E is literally shivering and blue when I ask her if she wants to get out and warm up on the sand. She says to me through chattering teeth,"I like being cold!" and has to be dragged out of the water. Then Jess and I go for a walk with her friends along the ocean, while Ed and Jay watch the kids and give them dinner.

Tomorrow our family leaves for a little side trip up to King's Canyon Park to see the Sequoia trees. We will return either Wednesday or Thursday. More updates then.

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