Our weekend started with a Friday evening visit to our local park after dinner. Mr. Snarky got off work early, so we had a slightly early dinner, which gave us time to walk down to our park and play a bit before bathtime. The kids were delighted by the change in routine, and didn't even complain about the fact that we were walking to the park instead of driving.
Saturday morning, we took a trip to the new downtown San Diego Library, which was one of the things I'd put on our 2014 Family Fun List. It was indeed a very fun trip. My biggest complaint is that when I searched Google Maps for "parking near (the address of the library)" it didn't show me that there was parking actually AT the library. So we ended up walking a lot farther than we had to. That was not a huge deal, although the kids sort of ran out of steam on the way back to the car and I ended up carrying Petunia quite a bit. So, note to other San Diegans: there is parking at the library, and the first two hours are free with validation. We'll use that next time.
The library itself was nice. There is a good-sized children's room, with lots and lots of computers (which the kids loved) and a kids' non-fiction section. We often struggle to find non-fiction books for Pumpkin at out branch, because there the kids' non-fiction is mixed in with the grown up non-fiction, so you can't really browse.
After we checked out our books at the fancy self-checkout counter (which the kids also loved), we headed to the downtown location of the Broken Yolk for breakfast for lunch. We had a rare meal in which everyone liked what they ordered at ate without whining.
Saturday afternoon, I delivered on a promise to Pumpkin and took the kids to get a Hawaiian Shaved Ice. There is a place called Ice Blast that isn't too far from us. It was the first shaved ice any of us had tried, but we all liked it and agreed it was much nicer than a regular snowcone.
The shaved ice place is in one of the parts of town where Asian business cluster, so I was intrigued by the bakery in the same mall. I wondered if it might be a place with interesting Asian pastries, similar to 85°C. So after we finished our shaved ices, we went to check it out. The Big Joy Bakery turned out to be more about cakes and cookies (they also have sandwiches and coffee) than pastries, but it was still quite good! I let the kids each pick out a cookie, and I bought a slice of a passionfruit mousse cake to take home to Mr. Snarky. They also had some other interesting looking cakes, like a green tea cake with custard filling, so perhaps we'll go back as a family some time and sample more of their offerings.
Sunday, Mr. Snarky went for a long run, and the kids played nicely together for an entire hour while I wrote a post for my Tungsten Hippo site. It is a "read together" post, in which I recommend two short ebooks that I liked on their own but think complement each other to make an even better pairing, sort of like a wine and cheese pairing.
A little later, we went to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's. The kids had a blast, and I managed to stay pretty zen about the noise and chaos until the very end, when I had to restrain myself from yelling at the people who were creating extra chaos at the counter where you exchange your tickets for crappy plastic things and candy. This may be a new record for me, though, so perhaps I am finally learning how to get into the Chuck E. Cheese spirit.
We ended the day with a visit to some friends for a swim and BBQ. The swim was almost ruined by the fact that we forgot to bring the kids' googles, but luckily two of the adults who came had goggles and didn't mind sharing them. Thanks to the rescue goggles, the kids had a great time swimming. I am blown away watching Pumpkin swim. She is a strong swimmer now, and has a particularly beautiful butterfly stroke. I look at her swimming and flash back to her early days in swim lessons, when she essentially just sank if the teacher let go of her. Petunia is not quite as strong a swimmer as Pumpkin (yet!) but she has more body fat, so she floats a bit better. Also, she is fearless and loves to swim. After the swim, the kids, Mr. Snarky, and one of our friends went to the park in our friends' complex and had races with the crappy rocket launchers we had bought with our Chuck E. Cheese tickets earlier. Then we had a delicious BBQ followed by an even more delicious pavlova (our friends are Kiwis).
Since this is a three-day weekend, we got an extra day for fun. Pumpkin really wanted to go to Pelly's Mini Golf to show it to us- she'd gone there on a camp field trip. Our kids do best if they have something organized to do for at least part of the day, so we headed up to Del Mar this morning and played a round of golf. I have to hand it to Pumpkin. It is a really nice course and we all had fun.
|Not shown: the cool ocean breezes|
|Her stance is uncharacteristically normal in this shot. She often holds the club backwards.|
And she scored two holes in one, so perhaps I should ask her for advice instead of trying to fix her stance!
|I demonstrate my so-so golf skills|
So, I'm not sad to see summer end. If anything, I'm excited to be able to walk Pumpkin to school in the mornings again, instead of driving her down to the YMCA for her summer camp. Still, I'm glad we've seen the official summer off in such style. And really, we've still got more seeing off to do- Mr. Snarky and the kids are in the back yard having a water gun fight. I think I'll join them!