Sonoma/Napa {sans kiddos}

My mom graciously and courageously kept the kids a couple days so Jono and I could have a belated anniversary getaway.

We stayed in Sonoma.  So, of course, we spent some time in the town square strolling around and window shopping.  We grabbed some tasty breakfast at this little bakery, and after seeing prototypes we decided we should make a wine barrel light fixture (that I failed to get a picture of but did sketch out very quickly) and some square-ish plates like this.  I need something to keep my hands busy, right? 

We also spent a good part of the day at the Mission Inn and Spa.  All the water and pools there are filled by natural hot springs.  Mmmm hmm.  I forgot how completely relaxing it is to be at a pool and not have to worry about any little people drowning.  Or, maybe it was the minerals.  But, either way.

That evening we skipped over to the St. Helena area (in Napa Valley).  We ate at the Long Meadow Ranch's Farmstead Restaurant where all the food comes straight from their own gardens. 
They have restored this old Logan-Ives house.

Isn't it cute?  And it has a swing!

Their full garden is at the ranch up the mountain but there in the valley they have these sort of gardens set up.

Different herbs and veggies are growing together that all pair well with a certain type of wine.  Beautiful!

Also, I have to give a shout out to Hopmonk Tavern in Sonoma.  You were great.  Your brews were great and your food was tasty (I especially loved the cilantro chutney)!

We are going back with some relatives at the end of the summer.  Any other recommendations for food, beverage, or entertainment?  I would love to have your suggestions!


Abs + Her Super Sweet B'day

I love celebrating birthdays with my kids.  We try to make it a day filled with things that they love. 

Abby's day consisted of...

*swimming with her best buds

*ice cream sundae with about 11 different toppings--all chosen by her.


*a can of whip cream ALL to herself

*and, of course, some rockin' presents

Thanks to everyone that helped make it a special day for Abs!


HP7 : It All Ends

We were finally able to go see The Movie today.

It got two thumbs up from Abs and a
"It was bloody brilliant!"
(in her best British accent that hasn't completely gone away yet)

They were super excited before we even got into the movie and now they are unstoppable.  By the end of the night I will have seen or heard the movie one hundred and forty-seven times at least.  It is amazing how much dialog they remember verbatim!

My favorite part of the film was towards the end.  Harry climbs up on the side of this bridge-thing and is looking down into the abyss.  It was all quiet.  We were waiting for Harry to say or do something really profound when
Joe yells out

If you haven't seen the movie yet, just remember that little interjection when you go.  It will make it that much sweeter!


Homemade Play Dough

Easy Salt Dough
recipe from Mudworks by MaryAnn F. Kohl

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup salt
3/4 cup water

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
Add more water or flour to get the right consistency.
Knead into a soft, barely sticky, dough.

This was so entertaining for the little guys.  They especially love the chance to use the plastic knives.  At one point Trek made a "mustache"...

Then D had to have one...

And another one...

It just grew...

And grew.

It was great.  Making mustaches kept their hands busy probably a full 20 minutes!  And with little guys that's a long time!
I can't leave you without getting to see my mustache. 
(picture by D)


Sister Wolf

Trek has an imaginary friend--sister, actually.  They must be very close.
And she's a wolf.
She has come with us most places these last couple weeks.  Trek's sister was even with us on our most recent trip to San Fran.
She loved the trolley.
Well, this morning I left her at the park.
To my credit, it is very hard to keep up with imaginary children.  But, how awful to have left my wolf child all alone like that.
What was I to do?
Trek was on the verge of a serious cry but--really!--I wasn't going to load the 4 real kids back up into the van and drive back down to the park to pick her up.  So, I'm trying to think.  Sister Wolf is a wolf, after all.  Would it be ok for her to walk home on her own?
I carefully ask Trek, Can Sister Wolf run back and meet us later at the pool?
He thinks a minute and then looking relieved says, Yeah, its not too long (meaning far).
WHEW!  Crisis averted!
We were reunited with Sister Wolf later in the afternoon and now Trek and his sister are peacefully sound asleep.

picture from www.covershut.com