For the better part of twenty years, my dad has been rocking a jacket he picked up at Quail Lodge in Carmel. Looking for a little outing on Friday, we found ourselves down there, so we dropped by for lunch, then hit the gorgeous beach in Carmel-by-the-Sea. The boys made a little friend from China, whipped me with kelp, collected all the burned driftwood we could find, and built a couple of fine forts. Check out our little gallery from the day!
On Monday my folks joined us for a Caltrain ride to our first climb up Coit Tower. We followed the tower visit with a walk to Lombard Street, some refuelling with North Beach cannolis, a quick trip to City Lights Booksellers, and a quick jaunt through Chinatown (firecrackers! smoke! dragons!!). Check out our little gallery.
Henry was feeling really entrepreneurial last weekend, so he & Finn set up a little lemonade stand in front of our house. Despite awfully low foot traffic, we got some business, nice visits, and even tips from a bunch of neighbors. Long & his daughter Maddie schooled the boys in the art of haggling; Finn created & distributed some coupons; and both boys lured in small customers with the prospect of test-driving a few Legos as they drank. 🙂 Here's a quick vid from the day:
G-Man was pretty taken with the 5-plane combo that tapped out messages over the Super Bowl on Sunday. It was especially neat to hear the Blue Angels streak overhead as the national anthem was starting, then to see them appear on TV a minute or two later.
The boys had a ball designing their Pinewood Derby racers, having them carved at a woodshop, applying paint & graphite, and then finally letting them rip last Sunday. Though we didn't set any track records, we enjoyed the 3-second bursts of adrenaline. 🙂 Here's a little gallery of the event, featuring their cars plus some of our favorites from other scouts.
Five years ago today, we introduced der kinder to Klaas the Duck. 🙂 Here's the little gallery.
Throwback Sunday: G-Man splish-splashes around the sink, six years ago today.
The lads' fun, heartfelt correspondence with our Elf on the Shelf, Scout (see previous), continued all through December. The little gent really enjoyed his new house:
In fact, on Christmas morning he announced his plans to sleep there all through the year—which he's commenced doing, though it appears he darts out periodically to nibble down a big marshmallow the boys left outside the door. 🙂
Feeling a touch stir-crazy by the end of vacation, we decided to take the lads down to Monterey on Friday for a quick overnight adventure. Highlights included:
- A little time at the beach;
- Our best trip yet to the aquarium, which featured Leo meeting lionfish, Finn doing a barnacle impression, and some whale-/otter-watchnig from the observation deck;
- A trip to the nearby (and previously totally unheard-of!) Monterey Zoo, where we fed carrots to the 11,000-pound elephant Butch. Henry helpfully noted, “If we get to feed peanuts to Butch, we won’t feed him you guys, even though you call each other Peanut." Oh, and Leo got to meet an actual lion (Jacob), too. 🙂
Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh… You know what’s greater than great? Not only does Cousin Tony help hook us up with a Lego set that includes a miniature Lego Store selling even tinier Lego sets (!), he sends us genuine Lego Store aprons with “Finn” and “Henry” name tags!!
Unspeakably delighted, the boys are now filling their days creating & managing a store in the basement ("The Subterranean Brick Barn"), selling Mom-O & me every manner of daily special, limited-edition figure, and more. They're dutifully keeping inventory, recording deliveries ("John's perchess"), and more.
Check out a little gallery of the action, plus a pair of videos below!
“Rudolph is real!!” declared Henry on Christmas morning upon discovering that the carrots & Cheerios they’d left out for Santa’s team had been nibbled & strewn around the back yard. Though unlike in past years we didn’t find hoofprints out back (I blame the rain :-)), the guys were pretty excited about their findings. Check it out:
A wrench, helmet, elf hat, and chocolatey fingers? That's a perfect excuse for rocking out in the back seat of the Ocho, two years ago today:
This year, the magic of Christmas is shining brightly at the Nack house. Both boys have been so curious and excited about our Elf on the Shelf, Scout, and have been carrying on a lively and wonderful written correspondence with him.
Finn wrote the first letter, wondering about Scout's name, and things took off from there. We've learned that Scout speaks Spanish, that his favorite food is marshmallows (which we often find nibbled in the morning), and in his off-time, he enjoys resting in the custom-built Elf home the boys built for him from cereal boxes, wrapping paper, and ribbon. He even has his own little sleeping bag & pillow made from jewelry bags stuffed with Kleenex.
Here's a cute gallery of the letters and Scout's new home. Finn told me that he really wanted Scout to feel welcome, and I think both boys are doing a terrific job!
Three years ago the lads spun themselves silly on the teacups at San Jose’s winter carnival:
And the year earlier, we railroaded through Santa Cruz with Santa and Sir Topham Hat! (gallery)
Having developed a taste for Lego-based filmmaking at camp this summer, the boys have been enjoying setting up my little GoPro camera & filming all kinds of adventures (what Finn calls "clips") beneath the Christmas tree. Here's a random little set of moments that Google Photos stitched together for me:
Well, December has arrived, and with it, the reappearance of our Elf on the Shelf! Finn was Johnny-on-the-spot the evening of November 30th, remembering to find the Elf's box and set it out with the lid open so he could get out (of course, being super-careful not to actually touch the Elf, lest his magic disappear!).
Yesterday morning, the 1st of December, our Elf appeared, swinging on a ribbon from the curtain rod in the dining room. The boys were ecstatic to find him! When they arrived home from school yesterday, Finn set to writing a very polite little letter of inquiry to the Elf, because he couldn't remember our Elf's name. Here's a shot of his original letter, having subsequently been answered by the Elf, whose name is Scout:
A few months back, just before I left for seven days in Amsterdam, I decided to leave all the Nack dudes little drawings to remember me by. I left them on the kitchen table so they'd discover them when they got home from work/school at the end of the day. They were well-received, and in fact, Finn responded with his own drawing for me/of me and left it out upon my return! Here's a little gallery of our messages.
Though we're bummed about the outcome, we got to see one heck of an ND-Stanford game yesterday. In the video below you can see Finn & Henry rocking out to the sounds of the ND alumni band at the pep rally preceding the game. Also, here's a little gallery of the boys giving a thumbs-down to the Stanford band, kicking a tree (the Stanford mascot), and fashioning a couple of sticks & fingers into an "ND" (see if you can spot it). Goooooo Irish!
Oh, kids these days: They just get harder & harder to force into dinner! 🙂
With some camerawork help from Mom-O, the boys & I re-created some silliness from five Thanksgivings ago; see below and click for larger. Stay tuned for the 2020 installment, in which 12- and 11-year-old boys team up to stuff the The Old Man In The Bird!