Just as we've done in the last couple of years (see pics & vids from 2011 & 2012), on Sunday we headed over to Watsonville for some quality apple picking. Highlights this year included seeing a little girl carrying her own Leo blankie; Henry "Strong like Bull" Nack supplying the power for a girl in a little John Deere vehicle with spent batteries; running into some Google amigos; and Finn very reluctantly petting Roscoe the apple-eating tortoise. Here's a little gallery from the day out.
An exchange with Henry prior to my Mom’s arrival:
“Henry, Grandma’s coming tomorrow.”
“WHAT the—? YOUR mom? She’s the BEST!! (She really plays with me!)”
As predicted, the guys are having a ball with Grandma, walking all over the neighborhood, grabbing ice cream, helping with gardening, and more. I haven’t had much chance to document the trip so far, but here are a few samples—including shots of the boys delighting in the new Lego car carrier Grandma sent!
I'll let our little selfie-enthusiast take things from here.
The boys & Grandma Nack share a love of our neighborhood bakery/flower shop, Flour Flower. In anticipation of her visit this week, we visited the shop on Sunday and made sure that the crepes are as delicious as ever. Henry was so jazzed about buying Mom-O some flowers that he kinda fell apart when she tried to politely decline. Thus we’re the proud new owners of a cluster of sunflowers.
You know how a watched pot never boils? We were starting to feel that way with Finn’s front tooth: the darn thing has been shifting around and striking crazy poses for well over a month. We thought it would make its exit in Tahoe, then in Galena, then by the start of school… but it wasn’t until last night, when the car hit a bump & Finn’s knee flew into his mouth that it finally happened.
Anyway, the tooth is free at last—no bar fight required! Here you can see the Finnster trying to avoid showing me his smile during daycare drop-off. He only relented when I said I’d stick around & hug him in front of other kids unless he let me take a pic of the goods.
Braving Chestnut Mountain's Alpine Slide was a favorite part of my childhood, so we were delighted to get the Micronaxx in on the action during our trip. They enjoyed the action (and playful smack-talk between me & Margot!) so much that they begged to go back the next day. That time—unlike what you see in the vids below—I was smart enough to put my cameras away and focus on smoking the competition—finally redeeming myself in the eyes of our sons.
During our Galena trip my mom had the great idea of taking the lads to E.B. Lyons interpretive center in Dubuque's Mines of Spain wilderness area. They enjoyed checking out all manner of critters, both living (snapping turtles, snakes) and stuffed (badgers, owls, flying squirrels, and more). Here's our little gallery.
The boys have always been fascinated by anything related to Uncle Ted & his big vehicles. He's given them some great tours, from checking out his ambulance one year to riding in his 18-wheeler the next. This time around we paid a visit to the Tri-State Tours "bus barn" as the dudes call it. By the end Henry was literally jumping for joy, as you'll see. Check out the gallery!
The boys & I had a ball (and about a million kernels of corn) visiting our friend Tom Moser's farm outside Galena. We were joined by Alicia, Alejandro, and Elena, plus Uncle Ted & Jenna. Stay tuned for a gallery & more videos soon. Meanwhile, enjoy Finn the Corn Angel!
Who's got two thumbs, one spoon, and loves eating honey directly from the farm? This guuuuy.
Whenever we visit John's family in Illinois, we fly to Chicago, then drive to Galena. We've now made it a tradition to spend a day in the city before heading out on the 3-hour drive west, so that we can soak up some urban sights and adventures with the boys. This time, we led our own Nack Family Blitzkrieg on Chicago. We kicked off our day on the 103rd-floor SkyDeck of the Willis (Sears) Tower before heading over to the amazing Museum of Science and Industry.
While Henry was fascinated looking through the floor of the observation pod in the tower, Finn was somewhat...um...less enthused. He was, however, really excited to see and learn about the captured WWII German U-Boat, the U-505, at the MSI. We also visited their coal mine experience, and spent some quality time touring the famous Burlington Pioneer Zephyr train, which set a diesel train speed record in 1934 traveling between Denver and Chicago.
Loath to go back to our suburban hotel, we rounded out the day by heading back uptown for a water taxi ride to Michigan Avenue, and then a "cheezborger" at the famous Billy Goat Tavern, a local Chicago landmark. Here's a little gallery of the day's events.
Greetings from Lake Tahoe! Margot & the lads have been enjoying the heck out of this place for the last few days, and I flew up last night from LA to join them. Our dreams of riding the mountain gondola fell victim to possible thunderstorms (which never materialized), but as a pretty great consolation prize, we got Henry set up with a bungee trampoline outing. Check out the results! I'll try to upload videos of the adventure once I get onto a faster connection. [Update: Here it is.]
Spin for the win! Backyard silliness featuring a very dizzy pair of Micronaxx: