Archive for August, 2013

Our Morro Bay Vacation

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So we are settling back into a routine again after the ah-mazing Morro Bay vacation. Before I show you some pictures of our vacation, let me just update you on a couple of things.



Rose has pink eye and I am treating it with a natural remedy called colloidal silver. Sounds like hippie mumbo jumbo to me, but like most hippie mumbo jumbo that I actually give a chance, it seems to be working. Egg on my face.



I am coming to realize that Violet does not ignore me on purpose when I am trying to talk to her. It infuriates me when she doesn’t respond but I think I have her figured out. She is just in her own little world, and it takes extra volume and effort to break into that world. She is much like I used to be as a child, and ok, like I am now too. I guess I cannot blame the apple for not falling far from the tree.



Ahhh, dear little Ivy. She says the darnest things. I was explaining to her what Opportunity Village is the other day as I was making dinner. Opportunity Village a wonderful charitable institution that helps Downs Syndrome and mentally disabled people get life skills and gives them job placement assistance so they can be self sufficient and independent. So I tried to explain, “They help people whose minds stayed like a child’s to find easy jobs they can do.” “Like what kind of jobs?” she asked. I wanted to put my answer into easily understandable terms so I said, “Jobs that you can do even if you are not very smart.” “Ohhh,” she said. “You mean like making dinner!” Yes. Yes, that is exactly what I mean. LOL.

Now on to the vacation photos!


We started off in Morro Bay at a beach house that Phillip’s parents rented so they could look for a house to buy for their retirement. Lucky for us, they rented a very big house that we could all fit into. I’m so thankful for the time we spent there, it was so much fun and I loved having quality time with the family.

The sunsets were amazing, here we are on the beach at sunset right as the sun came out from behind the clouds.


Here is Grandma with some of the grandkids.


The day we got there, we went to Cayucos-by-the-sea for lunch, and had dessert at the Brown Butter Cookie Company. Brown Butter, people. Enough said.

I noticed this local bank and thought it was funny because in my mind it would be pronounced, “Rahb-uh-bank”. Get it? Rob a Bank?? Your thoughts? Say it out loud to yourself and then please leave a comment indicating how you think this would be pronounced.


The following day we went to a place called Avila Farms, which was the absolute most picturesque farm I have ever been to. It was pretty darn spotless, the goats and horses and other petting animals were super active and friendly. Kudos to the farm for finding an easy way to have people pay for the animals’ food, too…you buy lettuce and vegetable scraps in their country store and then you have the privilege of  feeding the animals. It was cheap so we didn’t mind. Just saying, it was crafty of them.

These sunflowers grow on the farm and they cut them fresh to sell in their market.


We got some pretty amazing fudge and ice cream at their deli and ice cream shop. They had salted caramel ice cream and it was sooo delicious.


We had a tractor-pulled hay ride down to the orchards and got to pick our own fresh peaches and ate them right off the trees! It was so wholesome, I really felt that I ought to have been wearing gingham and pigtails.


Here is their country store. Seriously the most picturesque farm I have ever been to.


Later that afternoon after we had gotten back to the beach house, I had the brilliant idea that we should catch a frog. My mother will not be surprised about this since when I was a kid, on a visit to Argentina, I caught a frog and wanted to keep it even after I was told to release it. We were already in the car and ready to drive away when my mom asked me if I was SURE that I had put the frog back. In fact, it was still in my pocket. The second time around she made absolutely certain it had been released before we got in the car. What can I say, frogs are adorbs!

We had previously spotted tiny little frogs around the water spigot in the back of the house where we wash the sand off our feet before climbing the stairs up to the deck. So I gathered the crew (Ivy, Violet and cousin Henry), brought out a paper cup and turned the water spigot on hoping to attract a froggie. John, Sara,  Mercy and Rose joined in the hunt but John was the one to make the catch.

By chance I had brought a glass jar with me on the vacation because I was going to have Ivy collect sand samples (I had planned a lot of nature journaling and activities in general for this trip). Sara ran back to the house to get it, John punctured the lid with air holes and we popped that sucker right into the jar for our leisurely frog viewing pleasure.

Unfortunately, I had not anticipated how ONE frog and FIVE children were going to all get along and there ensued many, many tears with the exception of Mercy,  who may possibly have been the only one not to care about the frog. Nerves of steel, that one.

Here is John with Henry who has a death grip on the frog jar. He was too upset to smile but I love his begrudging one-eyed squint so I had to post here because its too cute not to share. Tip o’ the hat to Sara’s hand and iPhone. BTW, Mercy can say “iPhone”, and it is adorable, I wish I could get a recording of her saying that because it makes me laugh.


I tried to make it educational and explain frogs, tadpoles, and miscellaneous science facts but they all seemed too upset to listen. Here I am with Ivy and Rose in the peaceful moments before the Great Frog Incident of 2013 broke out.


The following day we went into the town of Morro Bay where Sara, Phillip and I pitted our measly chess skills against John’s phenomenal brain power. I am imagining the genie in Aladdin saying, “Phenomenal Cosmic POWER!!!!” as I am typing this. Lucky for John, we had to cut the game short because everyone was getting hungry, otherwise we would have thrashed him. Take that, Dr. Carter! Just kidding, he totally would’ve killed us on the chess board.



Here are Henry and Ivy.


The day after Morro Bay we left for Monterey Bay to spend the day at the aquarium there. It was a lot of fun, and the girls enjoyed themselves tremendously. They love the ocean, and their favorite topic of conversation is the ocean. Anytime we are driving somewhere for longer that 15 minutes they invariably say, “Mom, can we talk about the ocean?” So this side trip to the Monterey Bay aquarium was a no brainer for us.


And, of course, we got to see the beautiful seahorse exhibit. Photo op!


The hotel we stayed at, the Portula Hotel, has a free Kids’ Pirate Program and every time you stay there you get to the next level- levels include pirate t-shirts, pirate sleeping bags, and it ends with your own pirate sleepover for 10. We probably will never get to that level. First time pirates like us go on a treasure hunt, receive a pirate bag and some booty, and chocolate chip cookies.

There was a crazy friendly seagull who kept coming to our balcony to hang out. Look how close the girls are to it! And the gull sat there and stared right back at them.


I will leave you with this video of Ivy chasing a huge flock of birds on the beach. It was such a fun time, and I hope we can do it again next year!

beach video