Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day was very different...first off, we were with the family in San Clemente; secondly, it was on a Sunday this year. As you can probably imagine, it doesn't allow for a lot of alone time, but we were able to take a half an hour drive together in Grandpa's Cadi, just exploring the city and sitting at Calafia Beach.

Again, beautiful weather!

Later that day, we went with Nancy, Max, April, and family to the San Juan Capistrano Mission. The mission turned out to be very lovely and picturesque. I'm sure I learned a lot during the audio tour, but all that remains with me is just how pretty it was there.

Speaking of beautiful sights, the best sight of all was the view from Grandpa Banks' backyard at sunset:

...again, some of us get a little carried away...

That sunset was the icing on my Valentine's Day cake!

Monday, April 19, 2010

San Clemente Continued

Before I get to Valentine's Day, I realized I forgot about some other fun San Clemente memories. That same Saturday, before the beach, the kids enjoyed a fun game of "find the golf balls!" Grandpa Banks pretty much lives right above a golf course...which means it's a perfect place to find stray golf balls. A whole stash of golf balls were found previously and hidden in the bushes in Grandpa's backyard. It was just like an Easter egg hunt...but without Easter...or the eggs for that matter...but you get the idea!

Clara, Karl, and Alli

Apparently Jason couldn't help himself from joining in on the hunt too...

April, Emily, Amy, Grandpa

The boys also got out the toy airplane to throw out over the green.

It actually turned out to be the perfect little spot to throw it from...it would just keep soaring forever...coasting off the hill.

Another fun memory was going to the clubhouse for breakfast each morning. Grandpa has his routine each morning, which includes breakfast at the clubhouse. He would go there every morning with Patsy and they would have the same server. Her name was Melanie, and it was so sweet to be able to meet her. She has been serving them for about TWENTY YEARS now!...so she knows them pretty well to say the least.

Eating at the clubhouse

Next up: Valentine's Day (for reals this time)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

California Weather in February...Ahhhh!

We hit a good weekend in February because the weather in California was perfect. Not too hot, but warm enough that you didn't have to wear a jacket. One of the first afternoons there, we went to Americana...a mall near Studio City. We had a blast just sitting there in the sun in the outdoor play area. The kids absolutely loved running wild on the grass.

Uncle Jason playing with Capri on the way to Americana

Max, Jamie, Emily, and Jason

I love the way Alex is holding Mya in this picture...so funny!

On Friday, we went to visit Steven and Annette Banks at their home in Glendale. They had the cutest house; Annette did a fantastic job decorating the place. I wish I took more pictures there.

Grandpa with the great-grandkids

While we were there, Uncle Steven invited us to visit his work place at Nickelodeon Studios. He works as one of the writers for Sponge Bob...I'm sure you've heard of it ;) I think the adults enjoyed it even more than the kids did.

We even got to hear the voice of Plankton from the true man himself!

Thanks to Uncle Steven for such a fun afternoon!

The rest of the day was spent driving to San Clemente (that is where Grandpa Banks lives) in fun California traffic. Nothing like a quick drive on the freeway on a Friday afternoon...literally, nothing like it.

San Clemente has now become one of my favorite places. It is so beautiful there! We were lucky enough to spend a couple hours at the beach on Saturday. Again, great weather! But I must say, the water was FREEZING!

WARNING! I got a little carried away with the camera (probably to avoid having to get into the water)...have fun!

Clara and Harlan

Grandpa Banks and Jason


April and Mya

Capri and Allison

Nancy and Clara

Jason taking Harlan for a ride

Alex running from the water...so cute!

Mr. Studly


Alex and Clara

Alex and Harlan

Capri and Nancy

Sand fight!

April and Grandpa Banks


Afterward, we went to the hotel that the Tuttles and Grubers were staying at for some pool time.

Still to come...Valentine's Day!