Tuesday, August 26, 2014

July Vacation--More Cousins!

So after our great visit in Utah we headed up to spend the night at Circus Circus in Reno. Bryce took the twins to play midway games, which they were dying to do. Mary took a long bath and Tyce and I went to the fitness center. Bonus, while we were working out we got to watch So You Think You Can Dance. I've missed that since we don't have time to watch TV these days. We smuggled Katie into our room. We are horrible people but dang it if we couldn't stand the thought of putting the dog in the kennel there.

After that little stop-over we went to visit Bryce's cousins (Al's sister's kids) in Placerville, California. Lucy and her husband Kent live on a beautiful, out of the way property in northern California. They invited Lucy's brother Tony and his wife Brenda to join us for lunch. This was my first time meeting them but they were so easy-going and hospitable that it seemed like I'd known them forever. They were awesome with our kids. The twins especially loved talking Kent's and Tony's ears off about sports. Harrison discovered what a sin it was to be fan of both the Dodgers AND the Giants, so he switched his allegiance wholeheartedly to the boys in black and orange.

View from their deck, where we ate lunch.

Our kids with Tony, Lucy in the middle, and Brenda on the end.

Brenda and Tony, Bryce and I, Lucy and Kent
Lucy and Kent are both retired firefighters. They showed us their amazing work building where they now build custom shadowboxes (shadowboxusa.com). They had such interesting remnants of their past lives as firefighters. They were very nice to let the twins try on gear too. I just loved spending part of our day with them.

Cameron trying on the helmet and jacket.

Our final stop was to Dave and Brooklyn's house in Mountain View. Highlights included going to Baker Beach (where we saw a bunch of unattractive naked men), eating dinner at Cambria's favorite restaurant in Chinatown (Hong Kong Clay Pot), hiking on a very hot day, canoeing at the park, playing the card game "Pounce", and generally hanging out together. I just love Cambria, Maya, and Xochi--they are the sweetest and most awesome girls. I have a matched set of nieces, three amazing girls on both sides of the family. Add to that that Bryce and I have awesome siblings and sibs-in-law--we are blessed.

While we went to the beach the first day, Dave took Tyce to work with him at Atlassian in downtown San Francisco. That was really cool for our kid.

The younger cousins running away from the waves. Extra little girl in the middle came to play.

Cuties. Xochi (5), Cambria (9), Cameron (10), Maya (8), and Mary (14)


Dinner was delicious. The honey walnut prawns were divine.

Pretty night

Shopping yielded a dragon dagger, wooden katana sword, and some kind of nun chuck things. Our people love weapons, apparently. Mary also bought some ceramic cat figurines for her friend Nikki.

One morning the kids went picking lemons and then came home to douse them in sugar.

Mary took her dad's phone and was acting very teenager-ish. She doesn't like to walk when it's hot out.

Beginning our hike.

Kids on a tree branch.

Beautiful shy Xochi

Everyone's mood improved when the girls found a little friend, a cute lizard Mary named "Steffan."

Maya and Steffan
Brooklyn and Dave.
Bryce and I.

Bryce carrying Harrison over a fallen log.

Xochi made it.

Harrison and Xochi feeding the geese.

Beautiful day.

I was in the same canoe as the twins and Bryce but I got super, super paranoid that the boys would flip the vessel. I got out and let them finish having fun.

Dave and Brooklyn had a pedal boat.

The girl cousins rocked the canoe! 

In the evenings after the littles were in bed our big kids and their aunt and uncle played intense rounds of the group solitaire-type game called Pounce.

We stayed with the Cooks in their lovely home. I thought we would overwhelm them but they handled us with grace. It was so nice to stay up late and talk to the grown-ups. Cambria was so sweet to place photos of the doors of the rooms the kids were staying in. She made a family picture wall too. The cousins enjoyed jumping on the trampoline and swinging on the tree swing. The girls absolutely loved our dog.

Xochi and Katie before we left
We had such a wonderful trip that it was hard to want to come home. I started work at Macy's the very next day so it was doubly nice to get one last vacation in.

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