This week Mom, Dad, and I traveled to New Jersey to memorialize Grammy.
She passed away at home on September 21 surrounded by Grampy, Uncle Cris, Aunt Felicia, Dad, and Mom.
To say Grammy was a special lady is like saying the Grand Canyon is big. I will miss her terribly and remember her always.
I love you, Grammy!
On Thursday, Mom decreed “we’re riding bikes!”, and Dad and I were squarely included in the “we”.
Even though he went for a jog early that morning, Dad rallied. It was a bit of a tough sell given he had the trailer adapter to pull yours truly (~70# all told!) and Mom, with her new bike, conveniently did not.
The route was to take us into Montecito via Mountain Road with 800 feet of climbing. The elevation gain didn’t sound like much, but Mom and Dad don’t ride like they used to…
Thankfully there were several sights to see along the way. Mapped out by the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, our favorite was the “Book House” that looked like a stack of books. In the backyard were decorated VW Beetles and a giant Rubik’s Cube. The servants’ entry mailbox was a cartoon-ish cyclist whose backside served as the mailbox opening.
After our descent, we picked up sandwiches at the Village Wine and Cheese Shop, and then headed to Manning Park to rest and refuel. You’ll notice from the pics that some of us were perkier than others!
On Wednesday, we ventured outside Santa Barbara to the charming Danish village of Solvang.
First stop as we rolled into town? Mortensen’s Danish Bakery! The flakey-fresh pastries gave us more than ample sustenance to stroll picturesque Copenhagen Drive and then some.
We also made sure to visit the grounds of the Santa Ines Mission, the Hans Christian Andersen Museum and Bookstore, and the Solvang Festival Theater. Whew!
Good thing Dad hooked me up with some chocolate at Ingeborg’s!
Tuesday night after the zoo, we did as the Santa Barbarans do: we hit up the farmers’ market!
On the shopping list: veg to go with our lamb. What did we walk away with? That and much more: cheese curds, hummus, and lemons for lemonade (Dad’s idea). While I had my lemonade on the rocks, Mom indulged in a Lemon Drop.
Our farm-fresh dinner was made complete with Nagy-pa’s homemade coconut cream pie topped with — what else? — toasted coconut! Nom!
It was a feast for the eyes and the belly!
After fresh donuts, Mom, Dad, and I hopped on bikes for a ride along the beach. We charged ahead to the eastern end to see the bird sanctuary. En route we saw kids at soccer and football practice (full gear!) as well as the skate park. People sure are active here! Once at the sanctuary, we parked our rides to experience nature close-up. Not many birds and a lot if stink, so we bounced!
Naturally, we had to ride all the way to the western end where we snacked on fruit, string cheese, and my fave, goldfish.
Fast-forward several hours and one Battle Royale to get me down for a nap, and we rallied for dinner near the wharf. Enterprise Fish Company hooked us up, as did McConnell’s ice cream shop. Dad had churros-con-leche and oaxachan chocolate. Get down, Dad!
Me likely Santa Barbara!
Summer may be waning, but this two-year-old is still partying!
Last Sunday, Mom, Dad, and I cruised south to Arroyo Grande en route to Santa Barbara to visit Terry and Randy, long-time family friends from NJ, DC, and now CA.
They live atop a hill and practically own the whole canyon below. Can you say deer, birds, critters, and at times, mountain lions? I was in my element! Wild Things!
They have domesticated animals as well, namely a cat. Terry said I was the first kiddo the cat had met. Let it be known I set the standard!
After ham and cheese grilled sandwiches, I explored the outdoor space, turning over rocks, garden adornments, and to Terry’s chagrin, flowers.
Alas, we had to push on to Santa Barbara to meet Pop-Pop and Nagypa. I’m such a lucky girl!
Once I realized I’d be moving to a new classroom (Hello, Twos!), I knew I had to say “Thank You!” to my Infant/Toddler teachers in a very special way. But what to do?
I considered getting a toy for the classroom, but that seemed too kiddie-centric. Mani and pedi gift card? Nice, but just didn’t feel right.
How about a poem to express my deep gratitude? Yes!
With Mom and Dad’s help, I had the following poem written in calligraphy on colored paper. Miss Mika is definitely “a purple”. In fact, she wore purple the day I gave her the gift. Miss Maria — Yellow! Bright, sunny and beautiful. Miss Stella is pink with her easy laugh and rosy cheeks. And Miss Gurbash is green with her earthy spirit and welcoming arms.
Day Care Provider Poem
Although you’re not my mother,
You care for me each day
You cuddle, sing, and read to me
And watch me as I play.
You see each new accomplishment
You help me grown and learn
You understand my language
And you listen with concern.
I come to you for comfort
And you kiss away my tears
I proudly show my work to you
You give the loudest cheers!
No, you are not my mother
But your role is just as strong
You nurture me and keep me safe
Though maybe not for long
You know someday the time will come
When you will have to part
But you know each child you’ve cared for
Is forever in your heart!
I love you, Miss Mika, Miss Maria, Miss Stella, and Miss Gurbash!
My typical Sunday morning ensemble, friends.
This dress is my entree into the world of Disney princesses. I thoughtfully chose Belle for the following reasons:
1. She’s a reader, and so am I
2. She dreams of adventure, and I’ve been known to get into the mix
3. She sees the good in people (and Beasts!), and I am a hugger who feels people’s goodness
And who were the givers of such a fashionable birthday gift? Pop-Pop and Nagypa! (“A child cannot subsist on hockey alone!”)
Last month, Mom, Dad, and I made a pilgrimage to Oakland for…Pedal Fest!
Stretched across several blocks of Jack London Square (Rectangle?), Pedal Fest’ers celebrated the noble Bicycle in all of its forms: great and small, old and new, classic and wackadoo.
My fave part? Trials riding! That’s when brave souls balance and hop on obstacles. It’s wild! Mom had to hold me back from getting in on the action.
Dad’s favorite part was Curbside Creamery, an ice cream shop in Oakland that regularly sells from its trike bike. What an awesome job!
Mom favorite part is the pedal-powered music venue where the audience hops on bikes to power the amps. They even arrive with all their gear by bike!
Randomly, we saw new friends Nici and Mike working the Bay Area Bike Share table. What a way to get around town! Bike Share is all over the US, so I look forward to getting my “fix” when we travel.
Post-Fest, we went to — where else — Bicycle Coffee! Made a cup at a time, Mom and Dad enjoyed their brew while I explored the space.
Until next year, Pedal Fest!