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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Pre-Christmas Trip to Livermore

Eddie's daycare generally follows the UC Davis "instruction" calendar and this year that meant two solid weeks off for winter break.  Dave also decided to take both weeks off.  And you know what that means: a veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery happy Julie!  

The plan was to get a lot of stuff done around the house.  But of course, plans change.  First, we made a last-minute decision to go to Livermore before Christmas (rather than after) once we learned that my good friends, Stephanie and Justin, would be in town for an afternoon.  Plus, it allowed us to see Jennifer and Edward before they flew off to northern Sweden to (attempt to) see the Northern Lights.  

So from Saturday, December 22 through Christmas Eve we stayed at my folks'. It was a jam-packed two days, too.  

Saturday night found us at the ice cream parlor with my mom, Edward, and Jennifer.
What's a trip to Livermore without stopping at Loard's for a sundae?  Or, "the pink ice cream store," as Eddie calls it.
We played with LEGOs a lot on this trip.
Because Edward and Jennifer were staying at the house, too, we had run out of beds and bedrooms.  So Dave, the dogs, and I slept on blow-up mattresses in the living room.  It was fine with us because it was cozy warm from the fire place!  Considering the rest of the house is 100% unheated, this was awesome for us.  

Sunday morning I made a delicious breakfast with veggies and fruits from my dad's garden.  It was a fun treat to have garden-fresh tomatoes in late December.
I made a GIANT breakfast pizza, with eggs as a crust to Jennifer could eat it.
Then us human Bowers headed off to Sycamore Grove for a "rainy day adventure" with our friends, Brian and Melissa.  When planning our activities, Melissa suggested we go on our walk Sunday, rather, than Saturday afternoon, because it'd be "drier" that day.  I think she got her forecast days mixed up because it was a crazy intense storm by Livermore standards.  Luckily, we figured that out ahead of time and decided to go anyway, properly attired in rain gear.  If we hadn't prepared ourselves for the driving rain and super intense winds, it would have been miserable.  We spent about two hours chatting, walking along the paths, climbing up and into trees, and tromping through the creekbed looking for treasures and fish.  It was a fantastic time!

Eddie biked the first half of our rainy day adventure.  He did quite well, considering the wind was whipping around him.
Brian, Melissa, and Dave.
We escaped the wind for a snack inside a hallow tree...and then convinced Eddie to smile for a picture before we left.
Eddie was soaked and exhausted on the walk back, so he morphed into a joey, zipped up inside Dave's rain jacket.  And like most joeys, he snuggled up and fell fast asleep.
We got grub at our favorite Mexican hole-in-the-wall, then picked up a dozen donuts before heading back to my folks' place.  Shortly after we changed into dry clothes, Justin and Steph arrived.  We chatted, played LEGOs with Eddie, and ate donuts for two short hours before they had to depart.  
Brian, Melissa, Justin, Eddie, me, Dave, and Steph.  (You guessed it, Eddie ditched his wet clothes and decided against getting dressed again.)
Some family friends brought my parents a lovely baking dish for their Christmas gift...and it was filled with an uncooked lasagna!  We ate it for dinner that night, along with a giant salad made with garden treats.  Of course, it was still pouring down rain, so my dad and I got soaked while harvesting my flashlight.
You can't tell, but my dad IS smiling under that beard.  For reference, my blue coat is matte finish when dry and it gets shiny only when it is soaked.  Unfortunately, having worn and washed it since early college, it's no longer water "proof" at this point.  
Dave said I looked too happy, considering how soaked we were, so he instructed me to look miserable.  You can't tell in this picture, but my dad is NOT smiling under that beard.  
Salad fixings: mint, carrot, radish, green onion, bell pepper, parsley, and Chinese cabbage.  And I made a dressing using our homemade plum jam.  
Monday morning my dad and I headed out to shop for a few gifts.  The world may not have ended on 12/22/2012 but something shifted the universe because we ended up at the MALL to shop.  I think I've only been at the mall once with my dad in my whole life.  And the last time he insisted on standing outside Contempo Casuals while my friend and I shopped when I was like, 16 years old.  It was a Harold Levie Shopping Trip to the Mall, however: in and out as quickly as we could walk to the stores, find what we needed, pay for them, and walk back to the car.  

The sun was still out when we got back to the house, so we went out to enjoy the warmth of the greenhouse.  I can't say what we made in there because it'll end up being a gift for someone who reads this, but to whom I haven't exchanged gifts yet.  So...that'll be another post.  But it wasn't gardening, it was cooking!  Weird, I know, but us Levies have a soft spot in our hearts for humid, warm greenhouses, especially while it's cold outside.   
Me working inside the little greenhouse.
We took off that evening, after harvesting a whole laundry basket full of greens and onions to be cooked up for Christmas dinner the following day.  Dave and I stopped at a fast food joint on the way out of town for a snack and right as we pulled up to the drive through, Eddie's eye lids fell.  I asked him if he wanted to eat at the restaurant and he said, "No thank you. I'm going to take a nap instead."  He woke up when we got back to Davis and he was SO SAD that he didn't get to eat at the "restaurant."  It was like a tantrum, but for sadness, not anger.  After about 30 minutes of sobbing and repeating his sorrow, I was finally able to talk him out of it by singing the new-to-him song,  On Top of Spaghetti and offering him a bowl of mac-n-cheese and his very own serving of meatballs (from the freezer, so nice to have homemade food on hand!).  And now he makes me sing that song about 10 times every day.

Man, I think we wore my parents out!  The dogs, of course, will sack out any time they can find a willing soul to snuggle them.


Leah Roy said...

Such a fun trip! I am really sad to say that our kids have never been to Loards, I will blame that on the dairy issues in our house. Charlie did have his first trip to Donut Wheel while we were in Livermore though!

Kaitlin said...

What a fun trip. I love your little family picture.

steph.kelley said...

How much do I love about this post. Innumerable. But here are some: 1) I LOVED SEEING YOU! 2) Loard's is hallowed in my memory; must revisit it ASAP. 3) Cool breakfast pizza! 4) Adorable photo in the tree. 5) I want to be a cozy joey too. 6) Holy moly is that a cabbage!?!? It's huuuge 7) You in the greenhouse = darling. 8) Dogs dog-piling your dad = darling. 9) Hugs n kisses xoxoxo