July? Already?

Well, June completely flew by in a haze of travel and anti-biotics (yes, I did indeed manage to get sick again. Sigh!)

Alexei started off the month by trying to use his M&M dispenser as a cereal bowl, leading to a pic which will apparently soon be an album cover for my very talented friend and trainer, Stacy.

Does not work!

Does not work!

Hadn’t been to the SB Zoo in a while so we made a special family trip to see these little guys before they are not so little anymore!

Baby Giraffes!

Baby Giraffes!

The major highlight of the month was my birthday trip to San Francisco! I haven’t been in I don’t know how long and we figured this was as good a time as any to introduce Alexei to the joys of air travel.

Sazerac making sure we don't forget anything

Sazerac making sure we don’t forget anything

Alexei did great! He LOVED the plane. He loved everything about the trip actually. Well, except getting sick and the wind. 🙁 But he enjoyed going through security (taking off his shoes is still fun for him!) He loved watching for the plane and of course climbing the ramp into the plane. He loved fastening the seat belt and making sure Mommy and Daddy buckled up properly. Playing with the window shade and seat tray was of course a blast and I’m just glad we had such a short trip or we would have been playing with the seat adjustment I am sure.

Waiting to board for SFO!

Waiting to board for SFO!

We planned on doing the full on tourist stuff, so we stayed in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. We also did everything by mass transit since cars are expensive to drive and park in that area. BTW: mass transit in San Francisco is relatively easy to navigate and at least during the times we were wanting to go places was regularly available. Seriously, they do pretty well, almost European well, with their system.

We took BART into the City and then the street car over to the Wharf. Bit of a long wait for the street car and of course it was crowded but Alexei enjoyed every little thing about it.  The trip took a bit longer than we’d expected but we still got in with plenty of time to do a little exploring.

Turning the Street Car

Turning the Street Car

View from our hotel room

View from our  hotel room

Carousel at Pier 39

Carousel at Pier 39

 

Bread sealife

Bread sealife

Sea lions!

Sea lions!

Alexei did NOT care for the pretty strong winds that were blowing that evening so it limited our time out. He was a little cranky at dinner but did ok and a warm bath at the hotel helped get him down for the night.

The next morning was my actual birthday and I got to wake up to the sound of my son’s laughter. It was pretty awesome. (A few weeks ago we got him a little alarm clock so he can know when it is alright to wake up Mommy and Daddy – yeah, he’s a morning person. The clock makes some funny animal noises which amuses Alexei to death. This is what caused the morning laughter.)

After I rousted Darren from bed (so much for a Father’s Day lie in!) we went over to the Hyde Street Pier to look at all the ships. It was pretty cool. A bit windy still but not nearly like the evening before and Alexei loved climbing up and down all the stairs and seeing all the different parts of the ships.

Checking out the ship

Checking out the rigging

We even got to see the rangers climbing about in the rigging and singing sea shanties to demonstrate the work sailors did on the big sailing vessels!

Rangers climbing in the rigging

Ranger working in the rigging

We didn’t try to go out to the Golden Gate but we did get to see it wreathed in the fog!

View of the Golden Gate

View of the Golden Gate

We did some awesome empanadas for lunch then decided to take the bus up to Chinatown. Sadly, we didn’t count on Alexei deciding to fall asleep on the bus! Lol! So we pretty much got off the bus and got right back on the other way and returned to the hotel. Where he promptly proceeded to wake up again. After trying unsuccessfully to get him back to sleep, we headed back out to do some more exploring!

Ghirardelli Square

Ghirardelli Square

Yes, we got chocolate, including getting chocolate shakes! Yum!

Then that evening we took another bus out to Nob Hill to get some fabulous Indonesian food. Yes, I was a very happy birthday girl!

Inspecting the sambal

Inspecting the sambal

My birthday dinner

My birthday dinner

Monday morning we headed over to the little aquarium on Pier 39. It was pretty neat and a good time.

Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo

Peek a boo

Peek a boo

Ordering food again

Ordering food again

After wandering about the aquarium for a while, decided to head up to Little Italy for some awesome Italian seafood! Then we walked over a ways so we could finally see a bit of Chinatown.  I love the sights and especially the smells of Chinatown. Reminds me of my childhood searching for Indonesian spices in various Chinatowns across the States. It’s also nice being closer to the average height of the crowd. LOL!

Chinatown

Chinatown

So as the last little hurrah in the City, we bought some really good gelato and then went to a little nearby park to let Alexei work off some energy before the long trip home.

Remember when you could swing all day?

Remember when you could swing all day?

Yep, he fell asleep on the way to the airport, just a little bit later than I expected.

Feel asleep two stops before SFO

Feel asleep two stops before SFO

Fortunately it worked out pretty well. He was able to sleep all the way through security. TSA sent us through the expedited lane due to having a sleeping child and as an added bonus I didn’t have to go through the Boondoggle Machine (aka the back scatter scanner.) Little man woke up just in time to eat a little dinner before we had to get back on the plane.

Boarding for home

Boarding for home

Making faces on the plane

Making faces on the plane

It was a very nice trip and even with a small mistake with the parking we got home at a reasonable-ish hour.

Sadly the little cough Alexei had developed over the weekend turned into a full on upper respiratory infection for him. Then of course into bronchitis for me. Which I am still fighting.

Ugh!

But I had to jump head long into getting prepped for the combined Queen’s/Altavia Equestrian Championship. Fortunately there was a manageable amount of work (having secured the site several weeks in advance and gotten most of those ducks in a row helped a lot!) And of course I had a helping hand er sword. 🙂

Helping test the heads for QEC

Helping test the heads for QEC

The week of the big event of course we got a heat wave and the day turned out to be Really Damn Hot. But it was still a nice event, even if convalescing kept me from being as much physical help as I had planned. We had a wonderful carriage and horse procession, courtesy of Lady Ariadne. Two excellent rounds run by my co-steward led to a Queen’s Champion and then a run off between the next two highest scorers determined our Altavia Champ. I was quite happy to hand the duty off to Lady Courtney!

Carriage at QEC

Carriage at QEC

Altavia's new Champ!

Altavia’s new Champ!

Made it home from clean up just in time to get a quick shower and then have dinner up in Ojai with the chosen family. Where Alexei learned the wonders of uncles with a lot of energy!

Airplane rides courtesy of Uncle Mikey

Airplane rides courtesy of Uncle Mikey

Had a busy week including a very pleasant homebody Fourth of July. Alexei was very excited about putting out our flag and counting all the other flags our neighbors put up! He was only a little interested in fireworks on the TV. Although now we ALL want to go do the Fourth in DC some day! And I guess next year we’ll have to find a live event to go to, maybe even attend one of the parades in the area. Sigh. The sacrifices we make for our kids.

Oh, and our menagerie has grown to include 3 fish now. Went and bought a bigger tank and all the accessories this week as well.

Fishy and her new friends

Fishy and her new friends

Alexei continues to grow like a weed. Given that I am still only employed part time and Alexei is very happy at his current daycare, we’ve opted to keep him there for now. He will be the oldest there and is already being a leader. Starting in the fall his caregiver will start more formal preschool lessons with him. I’m also going to talk to the school district about maybe getting some language support for him and look into the possibility of petitioning for him to enter K at 5 (he misses the new deadline by 1 DAY!) The other option is to let him go into Pre-K the year he turns 5 and petition to go straight into 1st grade at 6. My only concern with that is Pre-K is only at a few schools, neither of which is his “home” school nor the one we hope to send him to. But we shall see what we shall see.

In the meantime, he remains the happiest, most wonderful kid in the world. We are truly, truly blessed.

Donut!

Donut!

Can't lay across the stairs anymore!

Can’t lay across the stairs anymore!

As a side note, not sure we are going to survive the 7 weeks of summer blockout on our Disney passes. He’s been bugging me nearly every day to go! Argh!

Bright blessings all!

Janice

 

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