The end of May also signaled the end of Ezra’s Middle School years. He grew about a foot from 6th to 8th grade, and takes great delight in being taller than his mom. He says middle school was OK, but 7th grade was the worst.
The promotion ceremony was loooooong given that there were over 500 kids in his class. Here’s the video of them calling his name:
He must have been happy to be finishing up middle school — he actually let me take some photos of him.
For some reason, Bike to Work Day in Palo Alto falls under the purview of the Safe Routes to School team, so while I was planning three “Getting to High School” events for our middle schools, Rosie was knee-deep in BTWD and the end of day bash. I was set to work at the Wilkie Way station early in the morning of May 9th. I enlisted Bruce to make pancakes, taking over for cyclist extraordinaire, Rob Robinson, who’d done it in past years. It was a busy morning, so I don’t have a lot of photos, but he’s one of the early crew setting up.
The station saw tons of riders and we made batches and batches of pancakes. BTWD is no small event in Palo Alto! The Branches of Bryant folks had decorated their trees for the event and had their own station.
The Bike Away from Work Bash was a working party for me — I was charged with photographing the event. Here are a few of my photos of some of my biking friends and colleagues: Rosie and Rob, Cynthia, and Maylyn:
Ezra finished his bread-making ROPEs project with the big culmination night on May 2nd. All of his classmates presented their projects — it was quite an event with lots of interesting stories of successes, failures, and lessons learned. Ezra did a great job on his presentation, and he warmed everyone’s hearts (and stomachs) by serving samples of his bread.
And here’s a photo of his golden brown delicious (“GDB”) ciabatta.
Finn’s golden birthday fell on a Friday. He started the day with a few presents at breakfast while he ignored the fact that he had a cold.
We had a sleepover planned with three of his friends and he was determined that the sniffles were not going to ruin it. Against my better judgment, I said OK to going through with the party and bought some provisions for Bruce and me.
The party ended up to be fine. The kids were loud but nice and enjoyed a bunch of pizza, an ice cream cake, some time on the trampoline, the newest Spiderman movie and, of course, some Fortnite time.
In the morning, we all enjoyed a breakfast of fruit, bacon and sausage, and some of Ezra’s world famous cinnamon rolls.
This is the best I could do for a group shot; these boys would not stop shoving food into their mouths, which seems about right for 12.
We took a quick trip to Pasadena over the last weekend in March. We stayed in a super cute Airbnb in South Pas — a “mid-century modern retreat” as described by the owner. It was a very comfortable (but not fussy) place and a great location right on the border of Pasadena and South Pasadena. We enjoyed their cool bookshelf complete with a copy of Eat: Los Angeles from our friends at Prospect Park Books.
On Saturday we rode our bikes around town to check things out. Ezra commented on how pretty the streets are with all the trees. We rode by our old apartment on Bank Street and Bruce pined for a Hi Life burger and told the funny story about his haircut at Zen 2000.
We used up all the bike parking wherever we went.
We were pleased to see some actual bike lanes (and that Pasadena drivers were courteous passers).
And tried out the new (tiny) stretch of a dedicated bike path in South Pasadena. Hopefully it will be expanded because it was nicely done.
We met the Finley-Knockels for ice skating and chatted away the afternoon. We all agreed that the scenery at the Pasadena rink is much better than Redwood City.
We had a great Zankou Chicken dinner at the Bannings. Great, as always, to spend time with them.
The next morning I sneaked out for a short walk and enjoyed the gorgeous blue sky and the wildflowers at Arlington Garden. Fun to see Cottage Coop again too.
It was great to pop into town; we only wish we had time to see more friends.
When Cari was here over the weekend of March 23rd, she spotted a hummingbird nest in our oleander bush. We were all very excited to discover there were two eggs in the nest.
Little mama was doing a great job of guarding her babies.
But of course we were on pins and needles wondering if the babies would make it. We thought it wasn’t a great spot given the other wildlife around, including the gross rats we see on the fence behind that bush every now and then. We kept checking and everything seemed OK on March 28th.
But then the next day Finn went outside and noticed that things were decidedly not OK.
We don’t know what got to the nest. We do know that little mama survived because she kept coming back to this spot all day and into the next. It broke our hearts. Nature is harsh.
Ezra decided to add another bread to his repertoire in March when the opportunity came up to bring food for a party in his Spanish class. He made a test run on the weekend for the family. They were delicious but perhaps a little overbaked.
A couple of days later he made smaller versions to take to school. Judging from the crumbs that came back that afternoon, they were a big hit.
My generous friend Christina hosted our book club at her house in Carmel the weekend of March 17th and we had a fabulous time. We spent some time talking about the book (Bad Blood about Theranos — crazy story) but more time just hanging out, taking long walks, and eating delicious food. I don’t have any photos of us, but I do have a couple of the beautiful scenery.
The busy-ness of February continued with Finn’s band concert on the 13th. I no longer bother to shoot video at these events because it comes out terribly. But, here are a couple of still shots. In the first one, Finn is all the way in the back top right corner. In the second he’s in the small group playing in front.
On March 7th we took Ezra to SFO to meet his classmates for their overnight flight to Philadelphia. It felt very strange to just leave him at the airport! We kind of hung around for a bit with the other lost, awkward looking parents wondering what we were supposed to do. And then we left and he mingled with friends and played with his butterfly comb.
Early Friday morning I got a sunrise photo from him with the message “Kill me I’m so tired.”
He rallied though and enjoyed a trip to see the Liberty Bell and, even more so, his first Philly Cheesesteak.
They also went to Valley Forge that day and happened upon a film crew making a movie.
After the first day, I got fewer photos from Ezra but they were keeping the kids really busy sightseeing in DC. I think they saw every monument and museum in town, along with the Capitol and the Library of Congress.
They also hit a couple of souvenir shops.
And he got a giant quarter.
One funny story. Before he left I told him that the social media personality “God” had planned to have an anti-Trump billboard on a truck in DC during the time that he was there. He sent me a text on the last day with this photo and the message, “Holy shit.”
Finally, on the evening of March 12th they returned home safe and sound. Of course, he was most happy to be able to snuggle his cats again.