Family Fun Day: Escape to Santa Barbara

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Friday, August 30, 2013 1:57 PM

Some days, you have to run away from home.

On a day when it's 104 degrees at home, for example.

Especially when that 104 degree day coincides with a rare day off for your adjunct professor husband/daddy.

And if you're going to run away - and since it's one of your options - you probably want to end up in Santa Barbara.

At least we do.  It's one of our very favorite places to "end up", and since we'd never been with Vianne, we decided to end up there yesterday, and she loved it, too!

First we explored the beach, to the extreme delight of our water & sand lovin' baby girl...

 A little lunch before we get wet and (any more) sandy...
 If Go Go Squeez wants a spokesmodel, we'd be happy to talk.
 Watched the pelicans while we ate our picnic
 The view

  V's first sand castle

 She was very busy with her beach toys (birthday gifts from the Fialas)

I was going to change her into her swimsuit but she was headed to the water (with Daddy running behind) faster than we could grab her.  This girl is (terrifyingly) fearless in the water!!  She kept trying to go further in or purposely fall down into the water, and was even pushing Patrick's hands away so we had to keep a tight grip!  I'm still trying to erase the flashbacks of one ocean face-plant/full-body dunk while I was on watch...yikes!

 "Let's play in the sand for a bit so Mama's heart rate can go back down to normal!"

 This guy was stalking us

 "Mama, I got you something!  (It's kinda smelly!)"

 Then we headed to Stearns Wharf, where we got a closer look at a pelican.

 We sat for awhile & enjoyed the pier ambiance...
 ...while V entertained herself (okay, us too) by making silly faces.

And then before heading home, we enjoyed dinner at Moby Dick's, our favorite place on the wharf.  Patrick & I have eaten here every time we've been in Santa Barbara together - including before we were even officially a couple :-).  A bit surreal to now be eating here 4 1/2 years into marriage and with our 16 1/2 month old daughter!  Always great food and pleasant atmosphere.

Family Fun Day: La Verne & Irvine

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Sunday, August 25, 2013 8:12 PM

A Family Fun Day in Two Parts:

A low-key trip to check out the revamped Lordsburg Taphouse & Grill (formerly T. Phillips) in La Verne for lunch and air conditioning, and a shady plaza frolic afterwards on Friday...(didn't have the camera along, so snapped a few shots with my phone.)

Then Saturday, we made our way south to Irvine, where it was much cooler - to meet up with Granma, Grandpa, & Uncle Jon...stopped at the Fullerton Botanical Garden on the way down.  Watching the ducks...

 ...and the turtle...
 Found a banyan tree, which I'd heard of but (I don't think) had ever seen.
 Enjoyed some gorgeous flower varieties

 Daddy's Little Sweetheart :-)

 Delighted to find a walking stick
 An educational as well as aesthetic adventure...

 "They don't mind if I pick a few, right?"
 (She chose to stand right here.)

 "Mama won't mind if I get a little dirty..."

After we were plenty dirty and rather hot, we continued on to Irvine with a quick stop at Target to buy a skirt off the clearance rack since apparently I am still new at this motherhood gig and don't think to pack extra clothes.  We had a fun lunch with the family at Ruby's Diner and then explored the park a bit.
 Instead of feeding the ducks, she ate the food and gave them a lecture.

 "I'm not sure but I think Uncle Jon might be copying me..."
 Especially love this one...