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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Operation: Playgrounds!

Growing up, our family didn't have many traditions (beyond, perhaps, getting cans of smoked oysters in our stockings every year at Christmas/New Years). I've always been a little jealous of my friends who had sentimental or even quirky traditions.

Vacations, for example, were something done only with my mom and perhaps the Joneses.  It wasn't really a "family" vacation, more like a trip with our moms.  In college I was a geriatric caregiver to this woman named Georgia.  She and her husband had a daughter and I loved listening to her stories about all their family traditions.  One in particular was that each year the choice of the destination for the "big family vacation" rotated amongst the three of them.  I thought that was awesome, so no one ever had to feel like they didn't get a say in what was "fun" or not.  (I'd love to adopt this tradition in our family.  Eddie's not old enough for that, obviously, but he will be in a few years.)  

Along these lines, I thought I'd start a new tradition for our little family.  The plan is to go to every single park in Davis for play time and a picnic of some sort.  Davis isn't a big place, but it is in sunny California and is very family friendly so there are a LOT of parks--forty three parks, actually, according to this handy parks map I found online.  Since I try to make everything educational, I did some reading about the "father of playgrounds and recreation," Joseph Lee and found a book I will try to read about parks, too.  Lucky for Eddie, he's too young to get anything educational out of it so it'll be all fun for him.
On a see saw for the first time! At Whaleback Park, January 10, 2012.
He opted for the "big" swings (instead of the baby swing seats) at Whaleback Park.
Ideally we'll be able to visit all the parks in Yolo County before we move away after I graduate.  Our county includes the cities of (and respective number of parks with play areas for kiddos): West Sacramento (14), Davis (43), Woodland (22), Esparto (0, sad), and Winters (1). I'm basing the last two cities' parks only on Google Maps since I can't find anything on their municipal websites.
Having a snack at the Mace Greenbelt Park on January 3, 2012.
He really liked climbing this fake rock at the Mace Greenbelt Park, January 3, 2012 (we stayed until it was too dark to see).

As of yesterday (when we went to Whaleback Park during our Tuesday afternoon off), we've been to only 10 parks in Davis.  Considering we literally live next door to a park, it is hard to justify biking or driving across town to a new park so we visit "our" park many, many times a week.  Hopefully Eddie and I will get to go to a new park each week that it isn't raining (in which case we'll go to the tractor museum, train museum, bounce place, or something else indoorsy).
Poor kid, I'm ruining him for our move to Gualala where there's only ONE park.  I've always want a geodesic dome play structure...maybe we can get one for our kids when we move, to augment the recreation experience up on the coast?  And a tree house, they'll definitely need a tree house...with a slide and a bucket pulley system to haul goodies up.  And a trampoline.  Can you tell I miss childhood?

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