Sunday, May 27


The weather this weekend is absolutely perfect for a schedule of holiday leisure. We went to Santa Barbara for the day yesterday and had a fantastic time. First up we headed to the zoo. In addition to seeing some animals and the awesome penguin feeding, we did a lot of sliding down the grassy knoll they have on their playground.

 The lawn there is also good for a game of chase, followed by horizontal recuperation for whoever needs it.

 After a brief nap (Porter) and shopping spree (me), we headed to the harbor for dinner at our favorite place there, Brophy Bros. There is always a long wait but we easily passed the hour walking around the harbor and spotted more sea life than usual: sea lions, pelicans, sting ray, cormorants, crabs, sea stars and a huge school of fish.
 Matilda had the waitress chuckling when she insisted that all she wanted for dinner was oysters.
This little hitchhiker clam (or maybe mussel?) on the side of her oyster shell thrilled Matilda. After much fiddling, she managed to pry it loose and brought it home in her pocket. (Which means I will likely find it in the washing machine later this week!) 
 To wrap up the night we headed over to the beach for a run around on the beach.
 Here is Porter, pantless, trying to "bonk his kite" against the moon. Everyone ended up soggy and sandy, but had a fantastic time.

Welcome, Baby

Meet Gio Louis! He is home now with his big sister Gemma and everyone is
doing great. Hurray for new babies!

Friday, May 25

I Have a Nephew!

Brian & Gia welcomed their baby boy this afternoon! He is a strapping 9lb 2oz and everyone is doing well. Stand by for more details on Gemma's little brother!

Wednesday, May 23

The Travelers Have Returned!

Well, actually they returned days ago now but we are very slowly extracting the stories from them. Here are a few random pictures to prove they went, they saw, they conquered. I mean Grammy conquered; she hiked all sorts of hills she was not sure she could and snorkeled and more.  

 Those are marine iguanas swimming towards her in the background there.
The kids LOVE to see pictures of Daddy using the "snorkeler" as Porter calls it. 
I love hearing him say snorkeler. 
 On Mother's Day upon arrival to the Galapagos. (I had a pretty sweet Mother's Day myself that I meant to post about. Oops.)
 These marine iguanas are so awesome. When Tim got in super late Sunday night, Porter woke up and came out to discover the plush marine iguana Daddy had brought him. Porter proceeded to snuggle with it all that night!
There are plenty of pics so we will work our way through them and try to get more up for viewing.

Friday, May 18

Better Wifi = More Pictures!!

Here is Cathy with a tortoise in the highlands of Santa Cruz island!
 Some fierce looking marine iguanas guard the beach. 
I am guessing from this hairdo that the weather is just as hot and humid as predicted. 
Fresh coconut water to rehydrate is just the ticket! 

Thursday, May 17

Disneyland Day

 As usual, everyone had a blast at Disneyland today with Adlai and Alwyn. Here are a whole bunch of pictures from the day, in wacky order because I can't be bothered to fix them or edit them down to a more reasonable number.

Matilda was looking like such a big kid to me today. I know I say this all the time but she really did look so big. First grade will be here so soon!
In the spirit of big kid, I totally lied and told the ride attendant that she was 7 so she could fly by herself on Dumbo! You can just barely see her Dodgers hat peeking at us from the yellow elephant. She was quite pleased with the experience and even managed to not correct my lie.

 Tongue out concentrating as he tries to get the tea cup spinning.
 Porter giggled so hard as we spun, it was contagious!

 For whatever reason the park was not too crowded today and we managed to do a few things we rarely do when the wait is longer. For the first time ever, I agreed that we could stand in line to "meet the princesses." It was a 40 minute wait! Porter was maybe even more excited than Matilda.
Hopefully the long wait will remind them next time it is not worth the pay off of quickie hellos and a photo with three random girls in bad wigs.
 Matilda loves this rope swing zip line. She flew up so high at the end that Porter "wowed!"
 Some kind of zombie dance party with Adlai after lunch to a ragtime band.

 As they each drove the pill bug bumper cars today I discovered something interesting; turns out Matilda and Porter both make the same driving face :

Playing hookie at Disneyland!

Riding the tandem swings, my forever favorite ride and her newest favorite ride.

Wednesday, May 16

Scheming Sea Lions

Here is the email update Tim sent us late last night:

Today I played with young sea lions while I was trapped in mini ocean pool while snorkeling . They wanted to play fetch and brought me a stick but I was too slow. But they kept coming back as I was trying beat the current and climb over rocks. Saw more penguins and lots of marine iguanas. 10 wild tortoises. Out early tomorrow hopefully better wifi in Santa Cruz so I can send some more pix. Love you all wish you swim on these gorgeous beaches.

I am not sure if I should be concerned or not about where those sea lions are trying to lure TIm to. Playful or sinister, hard to tell! 

Today's agenda seems a little exhausting what with the early wake up and all. 
At 5:00 a.m. we will prepare ourselves to go to the dock (wake-up at 4:45 AM). We will take the Public speedboat which leaves at 6:00 a.m. (subject to change), to Puerto Ayora (2 hour and a half estimated travel time).

Upon arrival the guide will take us to eat breakfast, after which we will take a short rest before making our way to the Highlands of Santa Cruz. Here we will have the unforgettable opportunity to observe the famous Giant Tortoises in their natural environment, which also known as Galapagos, and it is from these wonderful creatures which the Islands derive their name. We will also be able to see the famous Galapagos Finches, Bird Wizards, as well as endemic vegetation such as Escelacias forests and Matazarnos. After our incredible encounter with the Giant Tortoises, we will return to Puerto Ayora for lunch.

On the afternoon we will go for a ride toward Garrapatero Beach. (ride is approx 60mins). After this we will hike around it’s beautiful white sand beach where will enjoy the crystal clear Galapagos waters. We will return to the hotel and have Dinner.

Here at home the kids let me sleep until 6, which is 7 Galapagos time, practically a lazy morning!

Monday, May 14

Galapagos Update!

So apparently the internet service in the Galapagos in dodgey, imagine that. Tim seems to have forgiven them though after a day of hiking a volcano and snorkeling with tons of these marine iguanas, penguins, sea turtles, a sea lion and zillions of pretty fish. As I rattled off all the cool things Tim saw snorkeling today, Matilda asked with the most serious and concerned look, "Did he see any mermaids?" I think anything might be possible in such a magical place.

Up for tomorrow's agenda is a little hike-scramble-around on an islet that is a major breeding area for the marine iguanas so they will get more lizard action. Then they will snorkel right off that islet in an area with lots of sea lions, sharks and manta rays. And that is all before lunch! The agenda around here is a bit tamer with music class, some Target returns and a trip to Trader Joe's on our list; equally exciting I think.

Saturday, May 12

Ecuador Update

Tim and Cathy completed the first long leg of travel from LA to Quito today and are now resting comfortably in their hotel, stretching their bodies and recharging for another shorter flight tomorrow a.m. to the islands.
Hotel Vieja Cuba

And They're Off!

Tim and his mom headed off to the Galapagos tonight. I am so excited to hear their tales of adventure and see the pictures. When Matilda asked if he would bring her back a present, he replied, "maybe a penguin?" "Oooooh, a cute fluffy baby one?" she yelled. I hope she knows he is joking!

Wednesday, May 9

Ready to kick some penguins

Tim models his new birthday wet suit swim shirt. Soon to be put into use!!

Saturday, May 5

Cinco Comic Birthday Fun

Tim somehow arranged for Free Comic Book Day to be on his birthday this year so the rest of us did not have to work very hard to make it a special day for him. First up, popovers for breakfast. 
 Then presents. If the kids had their way, the presents would have been first. It was sweet to see how excited they were to give him their gifts.
 Porter models the California sloucher style.
 Once Matilda got her free comics we could not talk to her for quite a while as she devoured them.
 Porter and Spider-girl hit it off.

 Another happy birthday, finished off nicely with chocolate-whiskey cake and bedtime stories of new comics. Pretty good I think.