Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Lily turns 13!

Turning 13 is an exciting milestone! Finally an actual teenager, instead of the dreaded "tween-ager" which apparently is so annoying. Thanks to the vaccine being available Lily was able to have a fun little party with some semblance of normalcy. 
We started the birthday Tuesday with birthday girl breakfast and a few gifts. She chose cinnamon rolls for breakfast with a bit of bacon as well. 

The gifts from family and friends were a big hit. Lots of book and gift cards to Barnes & Nobles to buy more books. Lily is a voracious reader and says her favorite place is the library. 
A drawing book as well since drawing is another favorite past time. 

Candles in the breakfast is a great way to start the day. 

Her birthday party started off with taking a few close friends to the mall for a scavenger hunt and shopping. I made up some clues to lead them from store to store and they each got a little coin purse with $20 spending money. 
Her friends Sabina, Sophia, Scarlett and a friend from her new school Brooke as well as Gemma and her bestie Liv made up the mall party. 
They really enjoyed solving the clues and popping from store to store doing a little shopping. It was fun to see which girls were big shoppers and which were savers.
The candy shop Lolli and Pops was our last stop and a big hit. Almost everyone succumb to the temptation to buy some sweet treats. 
We ended the mall party at Menchi's frozen yogurt for a cool treat before we headed home. 
We made it home and Sophia and Scarlett joined us for dinner and a sleepover. It was the first sleepover for these girls since before Feb 2020 when Covid hit. They were so excited to have their vaccine pay off and get to be together. We had tacos for dinner, then opened her gifts from her friends which were all great. 
After dinner it was time for dessert. Lily chose a "pizzookie" with ice cream. A giant chocolate chip cookie fresh and warm from the oven sliced and topped with ice cream. The girls watched a movie- The Hunger Games- and then hit the hay for the night. 
Thirteen candles for our teenager! 

Saturday, June 19, 2021

More Monterey

 Our mornings always started out slow and easy all piled on the one sofa watching cartoons, playing switch or reading. 

No trip to Monterey would be complete without a trip to the legendary Pavels bakery. We've seen enough photos of the Pofahls with the giant donut to know we had to try one. It really was delicious.  

With our bellies full we packed up our gear and walked down to the beach at Lovers Point. 
Even though the water was super chilly it still felt good with the warm weather. 

It was packed to say the least. We lasted until I could not handle the crowd any longer. 
We hauled our gear back home and a quick change to go ride scooters down the paved path that leads to Monterey aquarium. The seals have their own private beach to sunbathe. It was just as packed as the human beach. 

Such a great day!
The next morning we decided to hit up another beach for a long walk before we divided our time at the aquarium and swimming.
This beach was much larger with long stretches of sand and big dunes. 

It was a beautiful walk.
Lily and I headed to our last aquarium time to catch a few things we missed or didn't have time for last time. We spent a long while hanging with the otters. 

They are entertaining enough to spend all day watching just them.
Lily wanted to have a change to touch the sting rays in the touch pool. 
When we had our aquarium fill we met the rest of the crew at the beach at lovers point.

Once again Gemma got buried in the sand. 
We all enjoyed watching the deer all weekend make their way through the streets of Pacific Grove as if the own the place. They even know to stop and watch for cars as they cross the street. Urban deer for sure. 
One last shot in our beach house before we reluctantly headed home. It was so good to get away and be with great friends again. 

Thursday, June 17, 2021


We haven't been able to see so many friends and family in the past year and a half so we made plans early in the year to meet up with Kristen and her kids Charlotte and Elias at the beginning of summer for a get away. We chose Monterey and rented a little beach house for a long weekend. 
The kids all get along great and have so  much fun together. No matter how much time passes they always pick right up and start laughing and joking around. 
Monterey weather is classically cool although this was a warmer than usual weekend for them. One minute we were in shorts and hot the next minute we were grabbing coats. The house we rented was right across from the beach in Pacific Grove. It was lovely to watch the sea otters float in the kelp right from our front window. 
We spent our time exploring the rocky shore at sunset. 
We had also planned ahead to go to the famous aquarium. We bought passes and booked our reserved entrance time. Thank goodness they required masks in the aquarium since the mask mandate was lifted but it was packed inside even with the limited capacity restrictions. 
Gemma found herself. The eel she recently played in the Little Mermaid musical. 
The penguins were a big hit. We could watch them all day. 

We spent a couple hours exploring all the exhibits before it started getting too crowded and our group was ready for lunch. 

We said goodbye to the aquarium and left to explore more of Monterey.
There is a huge playground surrounded by a pond that we made our way over to explore after getting a bite to eat. After thoroughly racing around the playground the kids did an hour paddle boat rental. Glad to say nobody even ended up in the murky lake waters!

The long day ended back at the house with some chill time and a take out pizza.