Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bus is the New Train

After searching out and riding every narrow gauge and standard train in the Bay Area (and beyond!), we've nearly exhausted our "train" options for the boys to enjoy. And, when trains are gone, what's left? Well, it turns out that there is another form of mass transit that the boys enjoy: the bus. It's been a while since we've been on a bus with Rai and Ko, but we took the bus last weekend and they loved it! With so many bus, trolley, and streetcar routes in the city, we may just have found weekend entertainment for the next four years! And, if we're stuck in the house, there's always the make-believe bus that runs right through our kitchen!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

We just returned from four days at the cabin. It all began with an amazing Thanksgiving dinner prepared by Grandma and Grandpa, included some great walks, a couple visits to the hot springs, and endless hours or relaxation at the cabin. Yes, we do have so much to be thankful for. Lucky for us, Christmas Break is coming very soon...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Focaccia Time!

It doesn't come often, but when it does, the craving must be met. Every so often, I wake up on a Sunday morning thinking about nothing but a large, rectangular slab of greasy, doughy bread covered in thinly sliced mushrooms. Yes, I'm thinking of Liguria Bakery's famous focaccia bread. On those rare Sundays, I put the boys in the car and we make the drive to North Beach. While driving, we are hoping the entire way that they haven't yet sold out of that morning's load of bread. As soon as they sell out (which could be 11 am, or 10 am, or even 9 am) they shut their doors for the day and put the "Closed" sign on the door. Business is brisk and consistent at the Liguria Bakery and for good reason.  We made it just in time last Sunday morning but had to settle for some olive focaccia instead of our usual mushroom.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bike Ride in the Presidio

We don't take it out enough but, when we do, our rides with the Burley bike trailer are great! We took it out last weekend and the boys had a great time! We can't wait for our next ride on the Presidio trails!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kotaru is 25 Months Old!

With the big 2 now behind him, we can again count Ko's age in months. This week, he hit the big 25 month milestone!  Happy birthday to our quarter century boy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Puzzle Master

If Uncle Jacek lived here year-round, the boys would have their very own "puzzle master" to teach them how to solve even the most impossible of mind-bending puzzles or conundrums. For now, we'll just have to enjoy our time with Jacek the few times per year that he is able to make it to San Francisco!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Crazy Days

Some days, some weekends are so crazy with our two boys, that there is that odd day when we find ourselves just waiting for the sun to set so that everything can just go to sleep when the darkness comes. Running around naked in the house, running around from playdate to playdate, dinners with friends with kids, and late afternoons at Grandma's and Grandpa's. Wasn't there a time when life was calmer and simpler? That's parenthood, though, isn't it? It never stops and madness is just part of the game. We may be tired, but we're loving every minute of it. We'll take madness with Rai and Ko over the most perfect tranquility without them any day.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Date Night 2012

Once a year (or so), we have the chance to take a "date night". That night was last night, a slightly belated celebration of Ashe's birthday. We left work at 2pm, drove north across the Golden Gate Bridge, and kept driving until we got to the town of Boyes Springs near Sonoma. There, we enjoyed a two hour "bathing ritual" at the luxurious Fairmont Springs Hotel, one of only a handful of spa resorts tapped into its own mineral water supply. The source is 1100 feet underground, sending water to the surface at 135 degrees. As if the warm, mineral water wasn't enough, there were also scented steam rooms, warm outdoor pools with underwater music (really!), and all the strawberries we could eat! It was a bit hard to revive ourselves after the bathing, but we did enough to be able to enjoy a romantic dinner in Petaluma. Following that, we enjoyed an amazing set by Martin Sexton in Petaluma's legendary Mystic Theater. What a night!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ashe (but, Stay Behind the Berm) !

Following the big success that camping on my birthday was, we decided to take a weekend camping trip for Ashe's birthday, too. To make it different, we chose the coast over the redwoods this time. We found a great State Park campground at Wright's Beach which is along the Sonoma Coast between Bodega Bay and Jenner. On the State Park website an unmissable warning told us that this particular beach is one of California's deadliest, with an undertow that claims several lives every year. At the beach, several signs were posted with the same warning and a list of seven rules.
Rai was particularly interested in the diagram of a person being sucked into the waters, unable to escape the undertow. We had to return to the one of the signs on multiple occasions just so that he could ask me to read all the details and so that he could memorize the seven rules. Whenever we were on the beach, Rai (who also loves rules) would shout the rules out at Ashe and I. "Stay behind the berm!" "Watch for sleeper waves!" "Don't turn your back to the ocean!" "Don't play tag with the surf!" "Excuse me folks, the tide is coming in, you'd better move back." Ooops, that last one wasn't Rai. It was a State Park Ranger who had driven his pick up truck across the beach to tell us just how dangerous this beach was.
We had a wonderful weekend for Ashe's birthday. The Sonoma Coast is incredibly beautiful and we even got to spend an afternoon at one of our favorite spots: the Bodega Head Trail. We were, however, left wondering why a State Park campground would be set up at such a deadly beach. Luckily, all four of us made it home.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Calm After the Storm

Hallowe'en was great, but all the preparation and excitement made it a hectic week, especially for Ashe as she co-ordinated that great teacher zombie dance. What she really needed was some relaxing yoga at home but what she got wasn't exactly the most relaxing session of yoga. The boys just love to get involved but they just haven't yet figured out that yoga is not really a team sport.