In July we celebrated the fifth anniversary of our Little Free Library. Here are its three locations.
Atchison in Pasadena (with the original LEGO door handle)
Mackay in Palo Alto
Louis in Palo Alto
This year it survived all of our rain and flooding as well as a broken window. It also got a geocache courtesy of some neighbors. LFL 2397 is still going strong!
On July 15th we decided to beat the heat by making a return visit to Half Moon Bay. The bike/pedestrian trail had been reopened in the spot that was closed when we were there two years ago, so we were looking forward to a longer ride. Well, Bruce and I were looking forward to the longer ride. The boys, not so much. But, we planned to bribe them with food which usually works.
Sadly, we were not the only people who decided the beach was a good plan that day. We sat in horrendous traffic on the way there (and the way back!) but we finally made it. I only have one good shot from our day as it’s pretty hard to take photos while riding a bike.
Here’s the one I took accidentally when I almost dropped my phone after taking the first picture.
At any rate, we had a lovely day. The scenic ride and delicious lunch were worth sitting in traffic.
June 24th was a good day for a ballgame. Perfect weather in San Francisco (you really never know how that’s going to go), a nice train ride up there, hotdogs, peanuts, and good seats.
Oh, and cotton candy, too.
The boys thought the between-inning raking of the infield was funny. I forget what they called it but it was something having to do with a Zamboni.
It was also bobblehead night, which kept everyone entertained for a few minutes on the ride home.
Shortly after returning from Big Basin, the boys and I went to Carmel for a couple of days with Christina, Henry, and Julia. It was fun to see their house there and discover how beautiful Carmel is. It was chilly, but that didn’t stop the kids from wanting to spend time at the beach (of course). There was the obligatory digging and building.
After that, we went on a nice walk through town. The reward was the candy store.
The next morning, Christina and I went on a moms-only walk and had breakfast at a little cafe. It was a great way to start the day.
After we got our acts together and dragged the kids off their devices, we went to the Aquarium. We didn’t stay very long but we had a good time.
We had another round of building on the beach before we headed home. Finn and Julia even braved the water … a little bit.
We kicked off the summer with a camping trip to Big Basin Redwoods State Park. We rode bikes, took hikes, whittled, relaxed at the campsite, made s’mores — all of the usual camping activities.
Ezra was beyond thrilled to discover that Base Fake Fake (as explained in my 2015 entry here) was still there.
Here are a few other shots from the trip. Ezra whittling:
Finn roasting a marshmallow:
Melting pennies on the fire:
I took a few shots on one of our hikes. We found a gazillion banana slugs.
It’s really something to be among the redwoods.
On May 20th, right after Finn’s piano recital, we headed down to SoCal for a sad purpose — the funeral of Bruce’s stepdad, Jay. Despite the circumstances, it was great to see all of Bruce’s siblings and get all the cousins together. I didn’t take enough pictures, but here’s one of some of the cousins. It was like a meeting of the minds at this table.
One of the tasks for the siblings was cleaning out the condo. Of course, treasures abounded. Here are a few.
The funeral was a lovely celebration of Jay’s life. We all enjoyed the eulogy his brother gave with stories we’d never heard. Next time we’re all together, though, we have to do a better job getting photos!
On May 17th, at my insistence, Bruce and I attended the U2 30th anniversary of the Joshua Tree show. That album was such a huge part of my teen years that I just knew I couldn’t miss the show. We did have a couple of logistical items to work out though — namely, how to get there (traffic in and out of Levi’s Stadium is notoriously awful) and what to do with the boys (we had some trouble finding a babysitter). So, after much deliberation, we decided to leave the boys home alone, which we’d been doing already but hadn’t done when we were going to be that far away and for that long. Luckily it worked out just fine. As for how to get there, we decided to drive part way, ride the last few miles, and park in the free bike valet parking lot that is put on by the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.
The biking worked out great! In fact, we would definitely consider biking the whole 11.5 miles if we do it again.
Once we worked our way through the crowd waiting to get in, we got ourselves a drink and settled into our seats. And, we took the obligatory selfie.
Unfortunately, we were way off to the side, so we missed some of the show that was going on on the giant screens behind the stage.
But, the band sounded fantastic and it was a thrilling show. Here’s a snippet of Sunday Bloody Sunday.
I’m so glad we got to go. From the NorCal show, U2 moved on to SoCal and did two shows in Pasadena. It was amusing how my Facebook timeline was filled with U2 for a few days as so many of my friends attended shows!
Finn got his turn to experience the magic of fourth grade Gold Rush Day on May 17th. He and the rest of his classmates had been preparing for this day for weeks and they were all very excited. His class was in charge of making this year’s town sign.
Finn’s work shift at the Assay Office wasn’t until right before lunch, so he spent the morning panning and mining for gold, buying stuff at the general store, and enjoying sarsaparilla at the Redwood Ridge Saloon.
Finally, his shift started and it was a doozy! He and his friend Satvik manned the scales during the busiest time when everyone was cashing out their gold for the day. Here’s a shot in the calm before the storm.
And here they are mid-transaction.
Once they were finally done, they enjoyed a miner lunch of chili and bread.
After lunch they had an auction, but I didn’t stick around for that so I don’t have any photos. I want to share a few of my other favorite shots from the day and you can see all of my photos here.
Here are Mrs. Johnson and Mr. Easton getting in some gambling time at the saloon.
A couple of girls from Finn’s class teaching school.
The opening gold rush.
It’s such a great day!
April 27th was Take Your Child to X (and Waymo) Day and this year all of us got to go. (Last year Ezra and I were at NASA on a field trip and missed it.) It was a good thing spouses were included this year because Bruce spent the entire day working on the Loon/FSOC display and was unable to show the boys around. Granted, the FSOC display was very cool — lasers, optical fiber spelling out Loon for All, more dry ice. I sneaked a picture.
The only other pictures I got (we weren’t supposed to take any) were of the sign-in wall.
On April 22nd we participated in the March for Science in San Jose. We were a little late in getting our act together for the sign but Bruce came up with a great idea to have a beaker that was spewing steam (via dry ice). Luckily we had a big cardboard box to start with. Of course, we had to wrestle it away from Emmy who was just sure she could get inside.
Bruce did have to make a trip to OSH for PVC supplies to make the dry ice tube, and then, of course, there was the trip to the party store for the dry ice itself. So, it was a little involved. Anyway, here are a few pictures of the sign building.
It was a challenge to get it to dry.
We waited until we got to San Jose to do the writing, just to give it a little longer to dry, so that happened in the back of the car.
It came out pretty good!
It was a huge hit with our fellow marchers. Lots of people snapped photos.
Here’s a quick video of the action.
And here’s an example of the impromptu photo shoots that happened. That’s my friend, Rosie, who we happened upon, hiding behind the giant Neil deGrasse Tyson. I don’t know who the other woman is; she just wanted her picture taken with our signs.
Post-march we continued to have fun with the leftover dry ice. Always a good way to liven up breakfast.