Beach Time

Hubby surprised me with a weekend at the beach in San Simeon, our room just steps from the ocean, with rocking chairs on our balcony and a wood-burning fireplace for ambiance. Very nice.

We've spent the day reading, walking on the rainy beach collecting tiny shells for the little girls, and enjoying surprisingly good food (and pie!) at the family-owned restaurant attached to the hotel.

Tomorrow night we're taking an evening tour of Hearst Castle, something I've wanted to do for awhile. Then home on Monday, with stops at antique stores in Cambria and pastry shops in Solvang. I could get used to this life!



Happy Faux Birthday

Addy's birthday is November 22, but since she's visiting now, we decided Sunday would be her official celebration day. 
She nixed our planned beach day in favor of watching Trolls (not bad for adults; the little girls loved it) and a pizza party at Topper's. 
Oh, and taking lots (and lots) of pictures of JRo  
as she was rotated from relative to doting relative throughout the day and evening.
Not a bad way to spend the day at all! 
(I took the pizza picture. All others are by Rachel, who has an amazing eye!)



Addy's Week of Birthday

We collected the Colorado tribe from LAX Friday night and headed out first thing Saturday morning on our first adventure.

The back-seat drivers got to watch movies - in-car video system for the boys and a shared iPad for the girls - while Rach and I navigated our way to our first stop at Ostrichland, just outside Solvang.
Leia has been here several times but it was a first for Pop and me. 
It was silly fun and the girls loved it, which is all that really matters. 
Then it was on to Cayucos for lunch and a leisurely stroll down the pier
before heading north to rendezvous with this cutie at beautiful Hearst Castle. While we were on the pier, I told the girls we might see wild zebra on Hearst Ranch - Pop and I have seen one or two on previous trips - but they thought I was joking. 
Guess again!
We saw a small zeal*, with several babies, on the outskirts of San Simeon and a bigger harem right next to the road just before the turn into Hearst Castle.
Pretty sure this was the highlight of the day for both little girls. 
The Castle was gorgeous as always.
They've begun decorating for Christmas - two big trees were up in the main room, but my favorite poinsettia tower hadn't yet made its appearance.
We wandered the grounds for a bit after the tour
then headed back to Cambria for dinner and the long drive home. Stay tuned tomorrow for more birthday week adventures!



We took a drive south tonight to visit Mr. T (almost 5!) and his new baby brother.

Look how tiny - and handsome - Isaac is!

Travis adores his brother, but he wants Isaac to come play - now!

Give him a couple more months, big guy. He needs to do just a tiny bit more growing.



Happy Halloween

We didn't have many trick or treaters this year - maybe 30-35 spread out over the entire evening? But it was a fun day, starting with getting Leanne up and dressed for her school parade, volunteering for Leia's class party,

and having JacJac 'help' hand out candies while decked out in her flamingo costume (and fast asleep) . . . .

Princess Leanne Snow White (with make-up for evening treating only)

Leia and Leanne during the school parade of costumes

Mary and I helping in Leia's classroom -

Mary came up with most of the game ideas including pin the spider on the web; funny faces with cookies and candy corn bingo.

Gary and Shelly's pumpkins - Gary's made me laugh out loud. Also Go, Kings, Go!

And Master Isaac - who wasn't due to arrive for another 8 days - got to go trick or treating with his big brother a year ahead of schedule. Smart kid.

Hope y'all had a great night with more treats than tricks!



Planes, Not Planes

Since he retired almost 12 years ago, hubby has collected wood-working planes, usually Stanley's (American-made!), and the older the better.

Some, like the rare Stanley #1 I bought him last year, are kept all neat and tidy in his den. But others that he intends to use in his woodworking projects - like his 4th Stanley #4 - were piled on a shelf in the garage.

So this week he took down some shelves, cleaned off a section of wall,

and started building a home for his treasures,

complete with moveable shelves

and their own lighting system.

Now he can find what he wants, when he wants it. (In theory.)

And as a bonus - it looks great too. Not bad for a week's work.



Pumpkin Power

Last Sunday's pumpkin search was a bust, so Marie came to our rescue with a couple of giants that her store had on clearance ($5 each, whoohoo!)

The girls gloved up

before grabbing their Sharpies

and drawing faces (portraits??) on the punkin' of their choice.

These beauties were too thick for the safety knives the girls normally use,

so Pop broke out the big guns -

power tools to the rescue!

A bit of gut-scooping, a bit of cleaning,

and presto change-o! Halloween jack-o-lanterns are ready for business.

Happy almost Halloween, y'all.