I know my last post was about how long it had been since I last wrote. And instead of a litany of excuses for my continued inattention to the only record of my children's existence, I offer simply a photo and brief overview of our end-of-summer trip to Northern California.
We made it up to Sonoma to see the fair-haired Ferris-Wayne clan and had a splendid time doing quaint things like picking pears, jumping on the trampoline next to the orchard and getting beaten at board games by the three-year-old Maud. Something about Sonoma...the very air up there is purer and prettier than you, but in a welcoming way. Sonoma feels bad you can't live there all the time, too. What made it especially sweet was the Ferris-Wayne family, beloved friends who live too far away.
We were pretty exhausted and off schedule by the time we headed back down to Muir Woods. To say we didn't enjoy it was an understatement. None of the people within a 50-foot vicinity of our tantruming foursome enjoyed it either. Good thing all those bosky layers of ferns and needles have great sound-dampening powers.
When we got to the hotel in SF, we rested, played in a nearby park, then tried to venture out for dinner only to surrender and have (very good, very hip) Chinese takeout. The rest of the trip went along those lines: insistence that we have a good time dammit, then disappointment and frustration on being reminded that the kids' differences in age, interest and stamina level would make it hard to keep them both happy.
Lest I complain too much, we did have many fun moments: the new Exploratorium, a visit with sweet Kelly, Henry and Valletta, a long walk and dinner with Susan, cozy nights with the boys in one bed, girls in another. We had finally settled into a regular SF routine — and gotten the kids on West Coast time — by the time we had to come back to Austin to start school.