Thursday, January 13, 2022

Really Random Thursday, 1/13/22

 Happy New Year (even though it's nearly the middle of the month)!

Enough? Okay--you get the point.

Did you celebrate New Year's Eve in a big way? After a break last year because of...well, you know...we had our traditional Chinese dinner with friends at Shanghai Restaurant. We have it dialed in. There are always ten of us, and in 2016 we were really happy with what we ordered. It was a good variety of food, and just the right amount. Our friend, Dotty, wrote it down. She brings the same list each and every year and just hands it to the waiter, and then  makes sure she gets the list back. It was nice to be celebrating again, very low key. We were done by 8:30, and even though we were not planning on staying up until midnight, 8:30 was just too early to go home. So we went to the Doubletree Hotel downtown, which has a nice open bar area. There were very few people there. We toasted the new year with a glass of Chardonnay (me) and a Diet Coke (Mark) and were home by 10 p.m.

Charlotte and I spent New Year's Day painting her room. We had painted it together in April 2017 when they first moved into the house, two shades of aqua. 

She was ready for an updated, more sophisticated color scheme, this time a beautiful dark blue for the accent wall and a grayish blue for the other three walls (although this picture doesn't really show what a pretty shade of blue it is). I can say one thing for certain--being in theater and making sets has taught that girl some serious painting skills. We were a formidable team--I did all the cutting in and she did all the rolling, all the while listening to her playlist and me trying to identify the artist singing the song. It is without a doubt the most fun I have ever had painting a room.

The difference a few years makes:

She repainted her chest of drawers too.
Meanwhile, back at home, Mark made a traditional New Year's treat--what we call "New Year's Cookies," which is kind of funny because they are clearly not cookies at all. So, instead, think fritters. We both grew up with raisins, rolled in granulated sugar. But for those who don't like raisins, he also makes a batch with apples. So good!
I made a visit to see my dad early in the week and he was doing well. 

A week ago, we had our annual time at the rented beach house at Oceano. Jay was not able to join us this year--isolating at home, ugh--but their nephew, Henry, joined us this year and we had such a great time with him. 
Henry, Levi, Gabe, Ruby, Amelia, Ella (where was Charlotte??) (photo by Christa)
Photo by Christa
Mark brought plenty of firewood. The sunsets were gorgeous.
Before leaving, Charlotte had made homemade brioche bread. Super time consuming. For our first breakfast, she turned it into french toast--SOOO good!

She also made this fabulous chocolate pie, from a recipe book she bought at the Broadway show, Waitress.

It's hard to decide what my favorite part of these precious days is. Mealtime brings a lot of great conversation.

Game time is always fun. And funny. Bingo was a big hit this year, especially when we played "blackout" and you had to fill your entire card.
The kids get plenty of sand time and walks to the water.

Ruby and Gabe--would love to know what they were talking about...

Charlotte and I always take a trip into town to the candy store. We used to take pictures in one of those photo booths, but since the pandemic it is always "out of order" so we take our own pics. Something to think about: next year she will be qualified to drive her family in the van. How did that happen so quickly??

On Friday, we went to the Butterfly Grove in search of monarch butterflies, but it was kind of gray and cool, and apparently they don't open their wings until it is warmer and sunnier.
 So we kept walking into town.

The kids had fun on the slide.

On Friday night we drove to Paso Robles to see Field of Lights at Sensorio, an immersive experience by designer Bruce Munro (apparently he has another installation somewhere in Australia). There are 58,800 lights powered by fiber optics, which continuously change colors.

It is a 15-acre walk-through experience, so you just meander along the path. At one point there is something called the Light Towers, 17,000 wine bottles filled with glowing fiber optics that also change colors.

It was an amazing experience.

My attempt at an "artsy" photo.

The time flies by when you are with this group (although we forgot to take a family picture on Friday, and by Saturday, Jill and the kids were already gone).

Saturday, after Aaron, Christa and the kids headed back to Fresno, Mark and I checked into the Kon Tiki in Pismo Beach for another couple of days. The weather was beautiful.

We had lunch on the pier
and watched the surfers.
It's a great way to begin a new year. Till next time...


05 08
Jan @Cocoa Quilts said... #

Beautiful trip! What are the two colors she used on her walls? They are perfect.

Anne / Springleaf Studios said... #

Wow! You took so many great photos. Love the sunset one of the kids talking. It's a wonderful tradition you have with everyone. We spect Christmas int he mountains and are thinking it might become our new tradition. Plus maybe a mountain getaway every summer. It's so nice to spend extended time together. Have a wonderful 2022. Our new year's eve was spent huddled around a space heater after coming back home from being evacuated due to the fires. But I'm not complaining because we had a home to return to. So so so grateful. We know some of the people who lost theirs. 2022 WILL be better!!! In all respects.

FlourishingPalms said... #

You have the best family adventures! Love seeing you and your grandchildren, and how much you get to interact with them. What you and Charlotte did together, to her bedroom, is awesome! Great colors. Seems that girl is gonna be a great cook too. She'll be someone's "catch" before you know it! Sure appreciate the funnies you shared at the beginning of this post. They're funny because, sadly, they're true. COVID has permanently changed how we live - a "boyfriend" I'd personally like to dump for good! It's great that you could enjoy some quiet beach time after all the hoopla of the New Year. Wishing you all the best that 2022 can offer, and continued good health. Blessings.

Needled Mom said... #

First of all, I LOVE the new room colors. That dresser is incredible! So fun for the two of you.

The trip to the beach looks like it was another great one. Wonderful memories for all. Great pictures of all!

I hope you and your family have a wonderful 2022.

OPQuilt said... #

Such a lovely post, with the painting to lead things off. I love the relationship and the interaction you have with your grandkids--what an impact you're having on their lives.

Love also the trip to the beach and all the fun photos. All the kids are getting older! Charlotte driving? Wow, time does fly. Glad you got the New Year started in the best way. :)