Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Root, root, root for the visiting team...

For the last few years, we've been sure to buy a couple of tickets to a Padres game while we're down in San Diego. Daddy has always taken Smunch to Petco Park for the game while I stayed with Mam, Aunt Karen and SPENCER! This year was special. First of all, I got to go, while Mam stayed with Aunt Karen. Second, however, I got to go wearing this:because for the first time in the history of our visits to San Diego, the Giants were in town. We caught the last game of their four-game series with the Padres.

I admit it felt a little weird to be wearing the orange and black in a foreign stadium...although I'll add that I think Petco is a beautiful stadium. Maybe not as picturesque as AT&T from the outside, but just awesome in the corridors (which are open to the air and draped in vines) and in the park itself...but I was far, FAR from alone. Not only were Smunch and Daddy there, but I'm pretty sure there were at least 10,000 other people dressed similarly. It was a little hard to tell just who the home team was!Matt Cain pitched a great game and the score was tied at 3-3 at the end of the ninth inning. I texted Aunt Karen to let her know we'd be a bit late for dinner. Predictably, Smunch didn't mind the extra baseball time.Finally, in the 11th, the Giants' newest catcher, Chris Stewart, squared up for the perfect suicide squeeze bunt, scoring the runner from third and ensuring that we got to see this guy...Yep, that's Brian "The Beard" Wilson. And in typical fashion, he made the last inning torturous. But it was over. The Giants won and the three of us...and our new 10,000 closest friends, went home happy.

Daddy and Smunch went to visit the USS Midway museum for the third time the next day while Aunt Karen and I hung out waiting for Lucas to nap and finally made it to the poolin time for Daddy and Gavinto join us. And that? That was it. A yummy breakfast, some fond farewells and off we went...home again, just in time for Aunt Karen, SPENCER! and LUCAS! to come visit us!

The Water Down South

I guess it was really just a few of weeks between our camping trip in far northern California and our trip to visit Aunt Karen's family in far southern California. The kids were both in sports camp for two of those weeks. July 4th was in there. We took our first trip to the Shoreline Ampitheatre to see the San Francisco Symphony and fireworks. That went well. It was a lot of fun. Don't know that we'll keep doing that in the future, but we might! Then Mam had a few days of "farm camp". I dropped her off a a bus nearby and they took her out to the camp. I was thrilled at how smoothly that went...but not surprised. Mam is hardly a shrinking violet, even when she knows no one else there.

And before I knew it, obviously, it was time to leave for San Diego. This was to be a mellow trip. No big theme parks, primarily the pool and the beach. Oh, and baseball, of course. We can't forget baseball! There was SPENCER! And for the first time in the Ryder family history of visits to San Diego, there was also LUCAS!We started our stay with another new pastime...checking into our hotel. With the Westbrook family expanding, having our own digs has been a nice addition, even if it really cuts into our evening chats. This year, our hotel also featured some educational value, as a swarm of bees had moved into one of the trees by the pool. You could see it from our room. I'm sure some guests were intimidated. But you know me. How cool is THIS??They were there for the duration of our stay. Maybe they've got family in San Diego too.

We spent our first day with the Westbrooks, at their house and at the pool. I didn't even bring my camera, but it was a nice day. I fixed them dinner. We all relaxed. The kids went to bed easily...a marked improvement over our first night. The next day, we headed for the beach in Encinitas. I think my kids could spend their lives a the beach without ever noticing the passage of time.Mam was in the water before I could even turn around from setting our stuff down. And she might have spent half an hour out of the water during the entire four hours we were there. Spencer largely joined her, even though he didn't quite have her stamina.Smunch, on the other hand, busied himself with tooling around on the beach. He went in the water a little, but is generally a whole lot more timid than his little sister and lets her have the water to herself...well, to herself and a bazillion other people.I look pretty mellow, don't I? I mostly hung out with Aunt Karen and LUCAS!while Daddy went out in the waves with Mam. It just wasn't that warm. I was mostly snuggled in a blanket in our shelter. In the end, I went for a short swim before we left. It seemed a pity to let everyone else have all the fun. At least the water was warm! The kids spent our last few minutes there, burying each other in sand, ensuring another trip to the water...and a trip to the showers.We don't usually go to Encinitas to go to the beach, but we chose to go there this time because it was in the direction of Carlsbad and Carlsbad is the home of pick-your-own strawberries.I think it took six of us about 10 minutes to pick $16 worth of berries. Worth every penny for that night's strawberry shortcake!