Monday, August 27, 2018

Back to School and the Tail End of Summer

My kids went back to school today. Pumpkin is a middle schooler now (!!!!) and rolled her eyes at us for taking a couple of pictures before she ran off with her friends. Petunia (a 3rd grader this year) still wanted us to wait at her line with her, though. She is always a little shy at the start of a new year, even though by now she is guaranteed to have several friends in her class.  So we waited until she met her teacher, and then we gave her a good-bye hug and walked home.

Both kids are very excited to be back at school, and came home eager to tell us all about their day, their new teachers, and their classroom rules.

They also brought home the usual stack of papers to fill out. When I went to my "kid notebook" to look up some info for one of the forms, I happened to open to the first few pages. My kid notebook was a pregnancy notebook first, and the first few pages are a weight log from my first pregnancy. I noticed that I currently weigh about what I weighed when I was 23 weeks pregnant with Pumpkin. Ugh. I guess I should get back to calorie counting and see if I can drop a few more pounds!

In other back to school news... I decided on a bit of a whim to run a back to school sale on ebooks. If you've been interested in one of the Annorlunda releases and haven't picked up a copy yet, now is an excellent time!

In still other back to school news, I have committed to coaching Petunia's Lego team again this year. I am hoping that coaching is easier the second time! Petunia really, really loved doing Lego team, though, so I feel like it is worth some hassle for me. I've ordered our mission kit and am looking forward to seeing the details when it arrives.

The title of this post also promises an update on the last bits of summer. Of course, summer isn't really over. It is still warm, and we have at least another month of prime beach weather ahead. I am hoping to get a Sunday afternoon beach trip in sometime in September. The crowds thin out in September, so we can drive down one a Sunday afternoon and find parking, spend a couple of hours at the beach, and then stop in for Rubios for dinner. It is a great way to end the weekend when it works out. Of course, Lego team meetings are usually Sunday afternoons... but I'm starting earlier so I think we can take one week off in September. We'll see.

But even though summer technically continues, the start of school always marks the end of "summer," and we managed to squeeze a couple more fun outings in before school started.  We met up with one of Petunia's best friends from preschool (and still a best friend!) for a visit to the Zoo at Night. We had a blast but got really lousy pictures. I am really amused by the demon koala picture Mr. Snarky took, though:

Sure, I could fix the red eye, but where's the fun in that?

We also made it to the Balboa Park Summer Nights. That started with dinner from food trucks - every Friday through September, there are Food Trucks parked along the Prado in Balboa Park. The kids had waffles and Mr. Snarky, my sister, and I all had "burgers" from The Thai Burger Company. This was sauteed meat with sauce between two sticky rice "buns," served wrapped in foil so you could eat it like a burger. There was a long wait at this truck, and I can see why. It was really great!

I won't be quitting my job and taking up food photography as a career anytime soon...
but trust me, this was delicious!
I'm not usually big on crowds and waiting in lines to get food... but I have to say, the Balboa Park Food Truck Fridays scene is pretty cool.

After our food truck meal, we went to the Natural History Museum.

Several museums had evening hours and reduced price admission after 5 p.m. We chose the Nat because it also had a roof top bar which was supposedly kid-friendly. The museum itself did not disappoint, but we couldn't get into the bar until after their trivia session finished and by that time the food service had ended. The kid-friendly drink menu turned out to be standard mixers (sodas, OJ, cranberry juice, and grapefruit juice). Luckily, I had some snacks in my bag.

Still, the view from the bar was nice enough.

And earlier, Petunia had found a quiet little reading nook that she really loved.

Not shown: the old books, including one from the 1500s, that I spent my time looking at while Petunia read in the nook.

All in all, we had a good "end of summer" and a great first day of school, and are looking ahead to more summery fun in September and maybe even October. We sometimes forget to take advantage of the fun things to do in San Diego (hence the Family Fun List... the Summer Nights outing satisfies the "special event at Balboa Park" item on the list), but I'm always glad when we get out and enjoy our city.


  1. I've been following your blog for ages, and I really respect how you go about thinking about politics and activism in this era. I've based a lot of my own actions on the things you are doing. (I live in a smaller, but still very blue state.) Thank you for being such a considered voice in these crazy times! That part of my comment isn't actually relevant to this post, but I wanted to preface with that because hopefully it makes the rest of my comment almost more normal. I'm a random stranger on the internet! I'm going to talk about weight loss! Silence me now! I respect your critical thinking skills so much that it makes me sad when you talk about counting calories. Our bodies are more complicated than combustion engines (the calories in vs calories out model). If you have time in your reading schedule, The Obesity Code by Jason Fung explains the current science behind weight loss, and it is very applicable to real life. It's not just all about hormones and macro-nutrients, but it also covers how and when to eat for weight loss. I sound like an infomercial! I'm a random stranger on the internet! Please don't be offended by my comment.

    1. I'm not offended! But the reason I'll go back to calorie counting is it worked for me. I dropped 8 pounds in January and February. Snacking is my biggest diet downfall, and calorie counting helps me reign it in.


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