Friday, August 26, 2011

Home Video/ Lake Nacimento

Big rolling clouds and wheat colored northern hills + Baby Rex feeding deer, Arlo & Leon at the Paso Robles Olive Oil festival and lake community clubhouse + an extra friendly roadside cow = Steinbeck inspired day dreams.

And my favorite version of my all time favorite song. (Quality is a little weak when uploaded to blogger. Not sure how to escape that?)

Road Trip: Part 2/The Lake House

From the time I was about 14 on, Lake Nacimento would be the highlight of my summer vacation. Every year as soon as school was through my best friend and I would pack up and head out, trying to squeeze in as much time as possible up north, holed up in her family's cabin, splayed out on the wood deck that sits frightfully high above that big shining lake or sleeping below, on rusted old iron framed beds lining the length of the lower deck, settled, typically, beneath a blanket of wildly scattered stars.

It was here, during these dreadfully hot (and seemingly endless) summers, that I learned about farm raised/local produce, tried polenta stew, snuck cheap beer from well guarded "adult" coolers, fished, drove aimlessly around the wheat fields looking for a sporadic party in the hills, boated, flirted, and everything else glorified in those dreamy visions of what all teenage summers should entail. It was here that we got hopelessly bored and longed for home, but once we got home, only talked about when (and how) we were going to get back. It was here we laughed so hard we cried, walked so long our bones ached, and fell asleep in the sun, tucked in oversized plastic tubes tied to the dock when every one else had retired to the deck, to make lunch or tidy up the place. It was pure and simple bliss.

Taking my family there for the first time this summer was a delight in itself. Seeing the lake through the eyes of the boys was possibly the best part of my summer so far. Arlo played catch with dad for hours (till he got hit in the eye, as the picture below shows) baby Rex fed a family of deer and Leon charmed everyone he came in contact with him when he wasn't standing hypnotized at the railing, watching the water ripples from the ski boats roll below his feet. On the way home, Arlo, exhausted from 5 days off our regular "rountine" sat up from a restless road slumber and asked "So when can we go back there, Mom? I like that place, a lot."

"Next Summer. Hopefully, Arlo"

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Road Trip: Part One

Location: Santa Barbara

The first night of our trip we spent in Santa Barbara. Set up by a friend who apparently has some serious hook-ups in the city seeing that I had spent an entire afternoon on the phone, on the web, pulling my hair out trying to book us a last minute room for the following evening. When I contacted Sara, hoping for some insight as to why it was next to impossible to stay there on a Friday (turns out all the chaos was due to a celebrity wedding in the area) she got back to me, almost immediately, with news of a free suite overlooking the beach, ready and waiting, for our traveling circus to fill. We were beyond excited and more than grateful. To top it off, we were greeted upon arrival with a bucket of champagne and dinner tickets to a great fish house downtown. I can't remember the last time we ate out as a family, so our dinner was my favorite part of our stay. Now I am determined to get out to meet this girl, to thank her (and her ManFriend) in person.  

Side Note
( Even though I consider Sara a friend, and genuinely feel like I "know" her, we've actually never met. We are old "bed rest" buddies --  introduced on an Internet support  group for high risk pregnant woman (with Leon I had multiple complications) and went on to keep in contact with each other over the years, but have yet to ever set up a proper meet-up!)

The following day we introduced the boys to the joys of Continental Breakfast, ice cream cones, State St window shopping, and even managed some brief thrifting. Naturally it got rougher as the hours passed and the boys got cranky, so we piled back in the car, up the coast, headed for the Country, where time slows down and stars light the night sky.

Next post I have a fun video that sums up our wonderful weekend on the lake.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Back from our little road trip.

Exhausted & overwhelmed by loads of laundry, pictures, homework and bare cupboards begging to be filled in time for Kindergarten lunch needs. Hopefully today my energy will keep up, I'll get some stuff done and then be able to sit down to share some of the fun photos we took while away.

It was a gorgeous drive.
A perfect 4 day vacation.
But good to be home
Back on routine.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On The Road

It has long been my belief that in times of great stress, such as a 4-day vacation, the thin veneer of family wears off almost at once, and we are revealed in our true personalities.”
- Shirley Jackson 

So our family, and a couple friends are gearing up for a short trip up north - "God's Country" as Mr. Blair commonly referred to it, to enjoy my BF's family cabin overlooking the lake. 

Fingers crossed the weekend is a relaxing one, that my boys behave themselves and that we get to sit around the deck, like damp rags in the sun, snacking, drinking, and scrabbling like those big wooden decks are made for. Wish us luck. Rex isn't the best backseat baby. So 6 hours sailing down the Pacific Coast Highway might be a little less than divine for the rest of us. 
Like I said, fingers crossed. . .

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Reunions Never Get Old

This weekend our summer reunion tour continued with a meet-up between some of my old high school friends and their children at a local cheese & wine stop. A perfect Saturday afternoon picnic, complete with live country music (which had a couple of my boys in a full fledged table stomp) and big, shady oak trees. 

To top if all off, Elizabeth was kind enough to unearth a couple priceless high school photo albums for the occasion. And, well, let's just say some things are maybe better left forgotten? 

To the old days. To bad hair cuts and awkward outfit choices. 

Shoes of His Own

When you are the 3rd boy, born within 4 years, there isn't much that belongs to you, and you alone. If your parents are practical, fairly frugal people, then hand-me-downs account for nearly everything you acquire. Well worn or outgrown by your bigger brothers, and set aside for you, to naturally inherit. Which is the reason pulling baby Rex's first "official" walking shoes from our mailbox yesterday felt like such a treat. Not only does he look completely handsome in his new leather sandals, but I know in years to come, when I run across them tossed in piles of the old, I will remember buckling his fat little feet and watching them run wild around the house. His. And his alone.