Thursday, September 20, 2012

Labor Day Weekend: Celebrating 7 Years!

We went down to stay with Jon's parents in Orange County for the long Labor Day weekend, to celebrate our seventh anniversary and have one last fling with summer. We realized we'd never properly taken Alice to the beach, so that was my top priority! 

I love this dreaamy shot. This might have to go on a canvas in our living room...
She played with her toys in the sand for a bit before we decided to venture out to the water.

The surf was a bit rough that day, so we didn't venture too far. She wasn't super keen on the cold water frothing at her feet and she didn't like the little kelp bits that were strewn about. She was impressed with the few little sand castles I made, and was much happier about the kelp when I stuck it in the castles to make little flags. I carried her in, ankle-deep (my ankles) and when the waves came up, I dipped her legs in to wash of all the sand. She wasn't too pleased about that, and was even less pleased when I lost my balance and sat down in the water. So we retreated back to the blanket where she was happy to eat the picnic we'd brought and munch on snacks while we watched the waves and the Amtrak Surf Liners rumble by.

snacks are hilarious!
I can't say that she loves the beach the way her mama does just yet, but hopefully she'll learn and take after me instead of her dad in that regard. In the meantime, we'll just fake it with shots of the lifeguard tower in the background!

We were lounging on our blanket and eating cookies when a little girl ran up to her dad parked behind us. I heard her telling him about "an octopus and a shrimp and a bunch of starfish!" I shot a skeptical look at Jon, who told me that a bunch of kids were digging through a huge pile of kelp that had washed up on the beach. I said, "Surely they didn't actually find an octopus?" So I had to go look. Indeed, they had dug out a tiny little squid, some little things that looked like teeny tiny langoustine, and a few tiny starfish. They had them all in the soda cup you can see in the shot below, and were as thrilled as could be. They found another starfish while I was standing there and I told them they needed a bigger bucket. They replied, breathless with excitement, that they needed something else to put them in because the lobster was attacking the octopus. I left them to watch their sea creatures play out their mini-drama. 
Later, Jon's amazing parents gave us a lovely anniversary present by washing our car and hanging out with Alice so we could sneak away for a date.
Alice "helped" for about four seconds.
And we went for the early bird special at The Fisherman's Restaurant, right on the pier. We had a leisurely meal and conversation while the water lapped the shore below our feet. Afterward, we took a stroll to the end of pier and strained our eyes to see a dolphin who may or may not have been swimming around a nice bed of kelp in the distance. Alas, there is no decent ice cream sold on the pier, so we drove up the street a ways and indulged in a few scoops while we window shopped along the main drag. And we were even home before dark, and before Alice needed to go to bed! It was a lovely, low-key way to celebrate seven years (!!). Here's hoping for at least 7x7 more!!

On Monday, before we hit the road, Jon took advantage of his dad's power tools to make a few crucial cuts in his lumber so he could continue construction on his project back at our house.

His engineering was impeccable, and here's a little sneak peek at the "big girl bed" he's working on for Alice. We'll share more about that in another post - soon, I hope!

And here - for no reason at all, except that I thought it was adorable - is a photo of Alice securing her little stuffed puppy to the tie-downs that Jon's parents' use for their real-life yellow labs. She's getting an early start on obedience training!
I know this is more than a bit late, but I hope you all enjoyed one last long weekend of summer! Anyone else have a good day at the beach? A friend of mine recently let me in on a well-kept secret, Mother's Beach in Long Beach, known for it's shallow swim areas and and "gentle wave action." I want to go to there!

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