Monday, November 29, 2010

La Quinta Vacation: Tree Lighting and Birthday Celebrations

On Saturday, day two of our La Quinta vacation, Ella and I started the day playing with our Learning Home. We played so very nicely together. Mommy says that I am so gentle and kind to my little cousin. I try my best, what can I say.
We even did a little dancing to the music of Tutu's "Holly Jolly Christmas" reindeer. I hope you enjoy this little video of our performance...
That afternoon, we even took a little walk around the neighborhood. Ella and I once again shared a stroller ride. I was so sweet and kept giving her hugs and holding her hand. Let's just say that she was tolerant of my affections.
That night, we headed over to La Quinta Resort for the annual tree lighting ceremony. It was cold so we all bundled up and waited for the big moment.
And waited...
And waited...
Finally after a lot of adults talked and yakked at the podium, the big moment arrived! This is the tree before...
And this is the tree after. Spectacular!
Here's a little video of the big moment. Of course, Mommy forgot, once again, that you can only take video holding the camera in the horizontal position, but you get the idea. Mommy says she got caught up in the moment and forgot. I'll forgive her just the one last time...
Here I am taking it all in. I was amazed!
Then Santa just appeared on the stage with no fanfare or introduction. Last year, he parachuted out of the sky. And guess what? We missed it. So we were a bit disappointed in the Santa aspect of the ceremony but enjoyed the tree part nonetheless.
Then we all took turns taking pictured in front of the tree. Here are Tutu and Sir with their grand babies...
And here I am with my parents.
Before we left, Ella and I did a bit of window shopping. Kids can dream, right?
But our adventures for the evening were not over yet! It was off to Jackalope Ranch for dinner to celebrate Daddy's birthday. He's 36. Is that old? Mommy says he's no longer in his mid-thirties and officially in his late-thirties. Ha! We went to this same restaurant last year for his birthday and I had fun reacquainting myself with the "big, big pig."
I also had to check out this "big, big rock." So guess what I did next? Naturally I ran back and forth between the two about 50 times while we waited for our table. The adults were quite pooped after that. Hee, hee!
Finally it was time for dinner. Mommy and Tutu went on the Jackalope Ranch website earlier that day and discovered that they had mac 'n cheese on the menu. So Mommy did not pack me a dinner. But we soon found out that the mac 'n cheese was prepared with jalapenos and was not appropriate for toddlers. Good thing she packed me a banana and plenty of snacks. I also ate french fries and some Cheerios. The adults had lots of fabulous BBQ fare and enjoyed cocktails and appetizers, too. Ella and I just took it all in.
Daddy and I had a lot of fun playing during dinner. Mommy always packs me lots of things to do, like Legos. And Aunt Marisa shared some stickers with me, too. Distractions are the best!
Then I got all snugly in my jammies for the ride home. Happy birthday, Daddy! I love you!
Stay tuned for more fun from our last day in La Quinta! You never know what I might do next...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

La Quinta Vacation: Animals and Lights

Yesterday, we packed up the car and set off for our favorite vacation spot: La Quinta! Aunt Marisa, Uncle Mike and Cousin Ella joined us this time. On the way, we stopped for lunch at Bob's Big Boy in Calimesa. Here I am with Daddy and the big Bob outside the restaurant.
I call him "Bob Bob" and of course I had to touch him. Afterwards, I said that he was very dirty and had to wash my hands. Yuck!
After lunch, I took a quick nap. I still had my headphones on that's how asleep I was.
Later, we headed over to Tutu and Sir's clubhouse for an awesome animal display from our friends at The Living Desert. We saw all kinds of desert animals, like this cute little tortoise. Do you know the difference between turtles and tortoises? Well I do! Turtles like the water and tortoises do not (the docent from the zoo says they would sink like a stone if they went swimming). See you learn something new every day.
Ella loved the animals, too, but like all good toddlers, we both tired very quickly of the slow pace of the docent's explanations and had much more fun running on the grass. Here's Ella and Aunt Marisa checking out the flowers.
And here I am running down the hill. I did this about 50 times at least. It was fun!
OK, back to the animals. Ella loved seeing this sweet little falcon.
And I thought this hawk was amazing.
I also loved sitting on Daddy's shoulders. I could see much better that way.
After dinner, we were in for a big treat! We headed over the the actual Living Desert for their annual light spectacular. They open up the zoo at night and set up millions of lights. Ella and I bundled up and took in all the sights from the comfort of our strollers.
It's a bit tough to take photos of lights in the dark but Mommy tried her best to capture a few moments. Here we all are (minus Sir who was taking the photo).
And here are Mommy, Daddy and I in front of a big teddy. He was so cool.
Here's a shot of just how neat the displays were. There were sooooo many lights. It was amazing!
Mommy liked this one. It says "Happy Zoo Year." Cute, huh?
They even had a few displays shaped like desert flora and fauna. There were long horns and cacti and even this bobcat.
Ella and I especially loved seeing people taking camel rides. Neato! We also viewed Santa from afar (not quite ready for that experience yet).
We ended our evening watching the miniature train display that the zoo is famous for, Even the trains were covered in lights. It was quite spectacular!
By the end of the night, I thought it would be nice to share my stroller-built-for-two with Cousin Ella. We snuggled in together and took a nice ride back to our cars. Am I a peach or what?
Back in the warm car and ready to go home for some pie and cocoa. I had a blast!
What a day, huh? Looking forward to more fun on Saturday...

Happy Thanksgiving

On Thursday, we celebrated Thanksgiving at Mimi and Pop-Pop's house. Everyone came to have dinner with us! Of course there was Mimi, Pop-Pop and Great-Grammy Mary as well as Tutu, Sir, Aunt Nora (home from the frozen north of Montana), Uncle Jon, Aunt Jenn, Cousin Jack, Uncle Mike, Aunt Marisa and Cousin Ella, Jack's Po-Po Grace and Yee-Yee Shari, and our good friends Dele and Jessica (who is now back in the states after studying abroad in York, England...congrats on your master's degree, Jess!).
Here I am fueling up with a little snack before our guests arrived. I'm now hooked on veggie sticks. I don't know that there are veggies in them so Mommy says not to tell me so I keep eating them.
Here's a shot of the table before dinner. It was lovely and so very festive!
And here are our chefs for the day...Pop-Pop and Mimi. But everyone brought a little something to share with all of us. There was turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, homemade bread, salad, two kinds of stuffing, plus my hand turkey cookies and pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. What a feast, huh?
Here are Mimi, Dele, Grammy and Jessica having some snacks, too.
And here is what guys do before the food is served. I gotta get me one of those cell phone things I think.
Here I am with my Tutu. I just love her to pieces!
And here I am having some wine with Aunt Nora and Daddy. OK, so the adults were having the wine...I had juice.
Mimi and Pop-Pop broke out all there electronic Christmas friends for us. Here I am checking out Tigger and Roo. Gotta love them!
Then it was finally time for dinner! Here's the "adult" table.
And don't forget Ella. Here she is with her Mommy and Daddy.
Ella loved her dinner. She tried just about everything.
And here's the "kids" table. Jack and I sat at our own little blue table. We didn't sit long enough for Mommy to get a good shot of us.
Friday was Mimi's birthday. She's 65! So we celebrated on Thursday. Here she is opening my gift. I had to help with the paper.
It was a photo of us together. Cute, huh? She loved it!
All of Mimi's kiddos and Pop-Pop also pitched in to get her a Kindle. Mommy says it's a digital book player. I have no idea what that is but it looked cool.
Here's uncle Jon showing her how to work it. She even ordered her first book on the spot. Neat!
Mimi also got this beautiful silk scarf from Tutu and Sir. Lovely!
Mommy and Daddy attempted to take a family photo but I was too busy so I whined during the photo taking. Nice try, people.
Then Mimi broke out the Play-Do. Yeah! Us three kids had a great time making all sorts of things.
Grammy helped me. We made shape tubes. It was fun!
Thank goodness Tutu brought her iPad because it entertained us kids for quite a while. We played "Peek-a-Boo Farm" and we watched the "faeries."
And no visit at Mimi and Pop-Pop's house would be complete without playing the piano. Ella played with Sir...
And Jack and I played after our bath. We were on fire!
Well, it sure was a great Thanksgiving! I am sure thankful for all of our family and friends. Let's do it again next year!