Monday, September 22, 2014

Idylls (of the king?)

If you have made the acquaintance of any 16-month-olds, you probably know of their common (but delusional) insistence that they are Real People. This is all well and good and elicits the Indulgent Smile, when it leads to them putting on other peoples' shoes, and saying "utt?" when you call them, and even standing on stools so they can Get Things from counters---but at the beach it is an alarming and exhausting tendency. "There goes Goldie again, back to the sea from whence she came."
At least this time there's a shadow coming from out of the frame. That means someone, somewhere may be keeping an eye on her?
It's been quite some time since I've gone to the beach on a truly hot day, and I had forgotten how great it is when you WANT the water to chill you a bit. My brother said it hasn't been so hot in California for the whole decade or so he's been living there! Such wonderful weather for playing in the waves! And with an assortment of borrowed wetsuits at our disposal, no one got cold even after hours and hours in the water. It was perfect.
Abe, looking suave.
Oh, little boys in wetsuits! He isn't quite as round and edible as he was in this picture, but still so cute! See those fingers he's holding up? Those were part of an elaborate game, the rules of which were explained to me but not truly comprehended. Something to do with when the wave hits his toes, it's one point, and if he jumps over it as it breaks, a point is taken away, and if he gets to four per hand it becomes the sudden death round, and so forth. This (solitary) game kept him occupied for hours.
A convergence of boogie-boarders. A confluence of wetsuit-wearers? A concatenation of surf-swimmers? Looks serious, whatever it is.
Hang-glider, or butterfly, I can't remember which. Maybe penguin?
Watching these two cousins (just the same age, but not the same size!) play together was the absolute best. They were totally intent on their game too, which seemed mostly to consist of giggling hysterically when the waves knocked them over---and if the waves didn't knock them over, falling on purpose so they could giggle anyway.
Daisy's confiding little arms around Ben---so SWEET!
Wetsuit twins.
Actual twins. THE CUTEST!! We all loved them so much. We really wanted to take them home with us! Malachi asked me if I could "see about producing two eggs next time." !!
A baby, or a sand-monster? Who can say?
Happy gasps when the water hits. I love that.
Seb looks supremely confident. You'd think he did this every day. (The illusion lasts until he gets into the water and is flipped head over heels around his board. But he loved that too.)
Gorgeous, crashing water.
And Allison's favorite beach scene---those sheets of sparkles on the sand as the waves go out toward the setting sun. I have to agree. It was a beautiful, idyllic day!


Sam was still employed at Disney for a few more days, my twin nephews in California kept getting cuter every minute, and Philip and Allison said they could find places for all eight of us to sleep. How could we resist taking one more trip while we could still go to Disneyland free? We couldn't. And it was such a lovely few days!
The happy, happy fish-go-round. What joy this has brought us over the years! Goldie is so rosy and sweet in this picture, I could eat her!
More fish-go-round
This picture just encapsulates so many things. The blazing heat and sun (100 degrees!). Abe and Seb, Seasoned Roller-Coaster Riders (so pleased with their own bravery). That moment of creaky anticipation before you start barreling down the slope.
Speaking of Bravery and Seasoned Riders. When did Daisy get to be such a big kid? She rode all the big roller coasters for the first time and "wasn't scared a bit!"
This escalator has, some years, been some people's Favorite Ride at Disneyland. Glad I finally got a picture. I love the girls' hot, curly, disheveled hair.
Junie had to do a lot of waiting around for rides she wasn't big enough for. We found a place she could get splashed by the waterfall, though, and it was good enough for her. She squealed and laughed and stomped around. We were so hot!
Three boys engrossed in the view from the Ferris Wheel (can't be bothered to turn around for a picture).
Goldie, thrilled with the ride. Sam, laughing at Goldie. Seb, trying to see the machinery that spins the teacups.
How I love this desert scenery. The tricks they've done with color and perspective make the cliffs look so far-off and massive!
When we're somewhere we've been before like this, I can't help but see everyone in comparison to their younger, littler selves in my memory. No more three-to-a-rocket for these grown-up boys!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Antelope Island

When Sam had a day off a few weeks ago, the kids decided they wanted to show him Antelope Island. The rest of us went there last year while we were studying rocks, to see some particularly old gneiss (1.7 billion years old, in fact). We loved how remote and isolated the island feels, we loved the herds of bison roaming around, and we loved the beautiful, salt-worn landscape. The kids had been wanting to show everything to Sam ever since! It was a perfectly warm, stormy morning, just the right weather in which to appreciate the wild landscape.
We found the gneiss first. Yep, still there (1.7 billion years plus one!) We climbed around on it. It's so beautiful! I love the swirls and bands--every rock has its own unique character.
Then we hiked a short trail up to a beautiful overlook of the lake. It's a great hike for kids because there are benches to rest on along the way!
The best part was that at the top of the trail, there was a plateau full of huge, clustered rocks (not gneiss--something else. I know there is tufa there, which I think is a conglomerate and looks kind of like concrete. Some of these rocks were maybe quartzite, also).
(maybe this is the tufa?)
Anyway, Sam said this would be a perfect place to play hide-and-seek, and it was! We had so much fun hiding and running and sneaking around among the rocks.
Junie hiding
Goldie hiding (or has she been abandoned?)
Everyone looking for Abe (Abe kept winning; that's why he's not in any of these pictures)
Goldie, found!
Daisy, found!
I see them, but they don't see me (yet!)
Girls in the cavity of a rock
Boy in the cavity of a rock
King Malachi of the Rock
What a beautiful place and a beautiful day! We loved it!