Monday, April 25, 2011

Driving Home

The middle of April and time for Toby, Tulip and me to drive back to Rhode Island.

But first, with our old friends John and Betsy Blue, we visited the brand new wing of the Nixon Library: The Watergate Wing. We all remembered so well the slow unraveling of the Nixon presidency as Woodward and Bernstein published incriminating story after story in the Washington Post. John gleefully discovered this license plate in the parking lot: Nixon knew all along about the break-in and the cover-up.

Then a Sunday morning brunch in the back yard with the Burbank gang and Sam's cousin Spencer. (Impossible for me to take a photo without people eating.)

It was a hot day and a great idea to bring the ladybug sprinkler over from Burbank. Kids a bit hesitant to run through it, but the parents showed them how.

Then time to say goodbye to our wonderful California kids and grand kids. We've loved our sojourn in LA: seeing old friends, having a respite from the harsh weather back east, loved incredibly being near Sam and family.

It was breath-taking to drive through the canyons of Utah--helped not feel so sad to leave S&J, M&M.

Tulip was a good traveler--luckily she loves to drowse.

She revived a lot when we stopped at the Green River in Utah, where Sam went on an Outward Bound camping trip when he was a teenager.

But then back to sleep again as Toby and I barely made it over the snowy Vail Pass in Colorado, dodged tornadoes in Missouri (we didn't see any--we were ahead of the storms by a day or two), drove through the endless plains of eastern Colorado and Kansas, and eased into Pittsburgh to stay the night with our ever-hospitable friends the Woodwards in their home there. The next night we stayed with the Harrises near Princeton, then, on Easter Sunday, arrived back home to Barrington--and to a spring just starting, small green shoots and daffodils and forsythia blooming--my favorite time of year--and to the anticipation of soon seeing our Panama gang--and meeting Simon Orion!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Our Last Week in LA!

Jess and Theo and the kids went to Peekaboo Playland in Eagle Rock, a great indoor space full of toys and equipment for kids to play with and on. Maddie and Max loved this slide attached to a bounce house.

The only rule was "no shoes!"--but Max was so in love with his new shoes that he carried them around with him from activity to activity.

Wednesday night Sam and Jess took us out to a fabulous restaurant in downtown LA which served Spanish/South American cuisine. We all had the tasting menu--so for about 3 wonderful hours we were brought plates and plates of tiny amounts of delicious and different food with wines on the side--gazpacho in small glasses to begin with, lamb, pork, chick peas, Peruvian potatoes, a huge scallop each, much more and then three different flans for dessert. Thank you so much Sam and Jess!

Last night Toby and Tulip and I babysat the kids to give the tired parents one more night away. Maddie built high towers with her lego-like blocks.

No one thought about eating tangerines until Toby started peeling one, then they became an instant hit.

And, of course, the star babysitter is Tulip--who endured many pats and excruciating near encounters with food she would have liked to eat, and finally, being put to bed like a baby and covered all up. She didn't go to sleep then but now, back at the Woodward's, she's is sleeping it off--just like a wise, old baby.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Weekend Activities

Over the weekend, Maddie helped make pie crust,

while Max seemed to enjoy

silly faces made by Taisie.

Sam and Toby preparing to go on a hike in the Burbank mountains.
Toby expecting rain--Sam not?

Afterwards, there was time for backyard basketball Sam-style
with Maddie high in the air and Max ready for the rebound.

Well-maybe not quite ready enough.
(He didn't get hit, this time).

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Back in sunny LA...

The women cook in the Woodward's kitchen,

and took the kids to have pony rides in Griffith Park.
Maddie loved it--notice her non-nonchalance in the saddle.

Max preferred the railroad train.

Pretty exciting to ride the rails.

And guess who are good enough friends now to share a bed--Tulip and Jack!!