Their first Saturday here were did the drive up to Napa and Sonoma Valleys because they are just so gorgeous. The vineyards are stunning with grapevines traipsing in meticulous rows over hill after hill. We always stop in the little town of St. Helena to eat at Gott's Roadside (best shakes anywhere - hands down, no competition) and do a little shopping on their little main street. The wine train passed by while we were eating lunch (it is an old fashioned looking passenger train that goes up and down the valley) and Clara thought that was pretty neat.
Bob generously offered to help with any house projects we were thinking of starting and so he and Paul went to work on installing a sprinkler system in the planter bed that lines the front walkway. They got it all set up in no-time and so while Paul was working during the week, the rest of us went to the nursery so I could pick out more plants for more landscaping. Clara loved having Bob and Donna come with us because they let her play in all the fountains until she was dripping wet (something I don't let her do, but hey, grandparents apparently have all kinds of exemptions). There is SO much more work to be done in the front yard yet, but at least a section of it looks nice now. Bob and Donna also weeded part of another front bed while I was getting fingerprinted (part of the yearly adoption paperwork updating that has to be done) and Clara was napping, so maybe Paul and I will be able to finish another section here too and then I will post pictures of that.
On Tuesday Clara and I took Grandpa and Grandma Nash to Emma Prusch Farm Park (an awesome, FREE farm and park about fifteen minutes away), which they had never heard of even though Bob was raised here and they raised their four boys here. We saw chickens, goats, pigs, bunnies, ducks, geese, cows, and a turkey. I love that place.
Clara loves the big kid swings. She will literally sit on a swing for 30 minutes if someone will push her the entire time. Whenever she gets going too low and needs another push she pleads "more! more!".
Wednesday through Friday Bob and Donna went down to Carmel so Clara and I did our normal thing - gym, errands, park, art - but Friday night we all went out to dinner at Andale (a favorite mexican restaurant in Los Gatos) and then stopped at Powell's sweet shop for old fashioned banana taffy (for me) and a butter rum hard candy stick (for Clara). We spent Saturday morning playing tennis. Clara liked when I helped her hold the racket and hit balls that Paul tossed to us underhand, then she happily ran back and forth across the front of the court acting as "ball girl" picking up the tennis balls that had rolled into the net and then dropping them to the other side while Paul and I played doubles with his parents. I have forgotten how much I enjoy tennis and Paul and I decided that we are going to have to go more often if Clara is content to play on the court with us like she was on Saturday.
After some adjusting of sprinklers and shopping for presents for Clara, we drove to Santa Cruz for ice cream at Marianne's before heading up the coast toward Half Moon Bay. The drive is lovely and we stopped along the way at a beach that was crammed with kite surfers. It must be the windiest beach along the coast because there were probably 20 to 30 kite surfers out there. The day was pleasantly warm with the sun but it felt much, much colder right down by the water where the wind was really gusting. Clara was the only one of us who didn't seem to notice the temperature. She ran up and down the beach as fast as her wee legs would carry her (which is surprisingly fast) and was super angry with me when I finally had to carry her bodily back to the car while she thrashed and wriggled to be free to go back to playing at the edge of the waves.
This is a good shot of quite a few of the kite surfers. Clara was fascinated and kept shouting "kite! kite!"
Donna found a bunch of sand dollars.
It was fun having Bob and Donna out for a visit and Clara keeps saying "Bompa? Dram-ma? Doe?" (she is having a hard time with her "g" sounds). I guess they will just have to come back again soon!