Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kestrel's 6th Birthday

Johnny spent a week at our Washington kids' place, working on horse stalls. He didn't take any photos but Kevin posted some of  Ian's trampoline routines at his first gymnastic meet of the year on facebook. Ian did super well with a first and a third. The next week he had another meet, just before I left for California. In that one, he had a first and a second!

On Johnny's return, I gave him a new camera (he has destroyed the previous ones so I bought a two year guarantee with this one.) Next time, hopefully he will take photos for me to put in my blog.

A few days after Johnny returned from Washington, I flew to our California kids' place to help celebrate grandson Kestrel's 6th birthday. (Too bad our kids live so far apart!) Here are Kestrel, Cedrus (4), Munazza and Steve when I first arrived.

We took a hike right away to a nearby park that I love...

It was difficult to get photos of Kestrel because he was so much faster than the rest of us!

We rested at their favorite viewpoint, where we could look north and south across the bay... and even see a bit of their house and backyard tall pine tree.

 It's already spring in the bay area with many trees in bloom and spring flowers in the woods. Here is a Giant Wakerobin (Trillium) along the path and Cedrus with huge Acacia bushes.

Another day in another park, there were wonderful climbing trees and the boys climbed!

 We also went to Annie's, a huge nursery with scads of plants for Munazza and Steve to pick from to landscape their yard. Annie's has lots of ride-around toys for kids. Kestrel and Cedrus made good use of them, but I didn't take any photos there. I was too busy encouraging Munazza to buy this plant and that one. Annie's has so many plants that grow in their Zone 9 climate that cannot grow in my Zone 6.

Back home, Cedrus made juice out of lots of yummy fruits and vegetables while Kestrel took photos.

                                                               Happy juice faces!

We read lots of books and played lots of games while I was there, including this tower building game where the pieces to make the tower taller must be pulled from below. Very tense trying to not make the tower fall!

And every day, the boys danced to Michael Jackson songs. Here's a video of their dancing:

On birthday day, Kestrel's cake was his requested Chocolate Mousse cupcakes. Six of them. One for each of the six people at Kestrel's birthday: Kestrel, Cedrus, Aunt Fudge, parents and grandma (me). The Chocolate Mousse was delicious!

Next came the gift opening. Cedrus watched as Kestrel opened his presents.

  Kestrel loved them all, especially the go-cart! He and his dad put it together in the garage.

And then it was time for a test ride. Dad had to help on the uphills.

Cedrus joined the fun on his pedal motorcycle.

I walked along and took photos of plants I admired in their neighborhood that I think Munazza should plant... mostly because I can't grow them here! These flowers seem to bloom all winter.

Early the next morning, I flew back home to Oregon, via Alaska Airlines. I left under sunny skies but with frost on Steve's car's windshield... which doesn't happen too often there... and snow on the low hills around the San Jose airport.

I loved seeing the Bay area from the air. How little that peninsula looks where San Francisco lies at the very tip.

 It's difficult to tell how hilly San Francisco is when you're looking down from way above it.

 Farther north, as we approached Oregon, the mountains grew taller and the snow deeper. How beautiful this wild land is from the air.

It was fun visiting the California tribe, but it's always nice to be back home. Now it's their turn to visit us!

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