Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Visitors! Janelle & Carly

Last weekend we were lucky to have Janelle & Carly come visit us for a few days.  Chris (Charlie's twin brother) and Karl (Charlie's dad) are off on a two week long fishing trip in Alaska right now, so the trip to California was the ladies turn for a fun getaway.

It is always fun to have visitors because it's a good reason for us to get out and do a few extra fun things that we might not otherwise do on a typical weekend.  We crammed a lot into just a few days.

Food is always an important part of any kind of Wood family get together.  I cooked a few meals at home, but we also had a whole list of restaurants that we needed to visit.  First on the list was The Lime Truck.  They won the Food Network's Great Food Truck Race in 2011and since Janelle watched the show she has been wanting to try the food at this truck.  We haven't had much luck tracking them down on her previous visits, but this time it worked out.

Carly and I both had the sweet & spicy steak tacos, which were spicy but yummy.  Janelle had the carnitas fries, Charlie had the crab ceviche, and Isaac had the grilled cheese sliders which turned out to be a little too gourmet for his taste so Aunt Carly bought him some fries from the Fresh Fries truck.  We also ordered some fresh squeezed flavored lemonades and Luke surprised me by taking his first sips from a straw.

The Anaheim Ducks had a booth set up right next to the food trucks.  The guy working there took a liking to Isaac.  He helped him shoot a few pucks into the blow-up goal box and gave him some sun glasses.  Later he came back over and gave him a hat and some chapstick too.  Isaac thought it was pretty cool and said he wants to learn to play hockey.

Next on the list was Bonzai Bowls in Costa Mesa.  These bowls are all the rage right now.  Our friend who recommended it to us told us that the place is always packed, and that's exactly what we found when we arrived.  The bowls are an interesting concept. They are basically a thick smoothie but with a mix of granola, fresh fruit, coconut, etc on top.  Isaac's even had bee pollen on top which we all agreed was interesting to taste, but too strong to eat much of.  Anyway, the standout feature of the bowls is that they contain acai berries which are a popular superfood with all kinds of health benefits.  

I ordered the Maui Sunrise which has coconut milk, pineapple juice, acai, bananas, strawberries, and mango with granola, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, coconut shreds and honey on top.  It was tasty and surprisingly filling.  At first I was feeding Luke bites on my spoon but he eventually made his way onto my lap and got ahold of the straw.  He was loving it and it was so cute to watch his little pucker face sucking away.  

I was surprised to learn that Carly hadn't tried a Sprinkle's cupcake yet, so of course we had to make a stop there.  

We also wanted to take Carly & Janelle to Mick's Karma Bar.  I had the Karma baja style with sour cream, pepper jack cheese, and pico de gallo and it was so so good.  We also got strawberry basil lemonade, and with Luke's newly discovered straw sipping skills, he was a happy boy.  Isaac made friends with some little girls he met there and had fun playing around in all of the sculptures.  

Last but not least, we had to go to the Nordstrom Cafe.  We had planned to go on Friday, but then realized it was the start of the Anniversary sale and thought it would be better to wait until Monday.  Monday turned out to be a busy day, but Nordstrom cake was a priority so we made sure to squeeze it in.  Of course the salads there are delicious (I always get the one with grilled chicken, mixed berries, and crumbled bleu cheese) but our real reason for going is the cake.  Janelle loves the lemon coconut, which is fantastic, but my favorite is the Boston cream.  Janelle remembered that last time we went I shared my piece with Isaac and he ate almost all of it, so this time she insisted on buying him his own.  And sure enough, he ate almost every bite!

But we actually did do a lot more than just eat all weekend long.  Carly had never been to a Major League Baseball game and wanted to go, so on Friday night we took her to an Angel's game.  Janelle was so nice to stay home with Luke.  It would have been impossible to bring him to the game.  He is just not the type of baby that will sit on your lap for 3 hours.  We'd be lucky if he sat for 3 minutes.

Anyway, Charlie, Isaac, Carly & I went to see the Angel's vs. the Braves.  It was a great game!  The Angel's had several home runs (which they set off fireworks for each time) and won the game.  It was also Big Bang Friday so there was a really fantastic firework show at the end of the night.  We all had a lot of fun.

We also made a couple of trips to the beach.  Charlie found a gorgeous little cove called Crescent Bay down in Laguna Beach.  We got there early both mornings, so we had free parking on the street and a nearly empty beach (until the junior life guard camp showed up on Monday morning).

The rocks on the south side of the bay are full of tide pools and home to all kinds of little sea creatures.  There was a guy at the pools feeding the crabs and he showed Isaac how to do it.  The rocks closest to the water were covered in muscles, and by crushing their shells you could harvest plenty of crab food.  I was thankful that Aunt Carly took the job of muscle smashing.

This was really pretty cool.  At first glance you might not notice the crabs hiding in the rocks because their shells easily camouflage with the dark rocks.  The pools are lined with sea anemone and then there are a bunch of tiny little fish hiding in there too.  When you look closely, and toss in some muscle meat you can see all of them come to life.

The crabs would do their signature sideways crawl over to the chunks of shell, grab them with their claws and then sneak back into their hiding spots.  We saw a few crabs sneak over and steal the muscle shells away from other crabs.  And if a tossed piece happened to land on one of the anemones, they'd come to life and suck it right in.  It was fascinating to watch.

Luke got to have his share of fun at the beach too.  He was content to sit and play in the sand for a long while, but eventually he was ready to go check out the ocean.  And he loved it!  It was a cloudy morning and the water was chilly, but Luke was undeterred.  He loved wading into the surf and watching as the waves rolled in and splashed all around him.  When the water got too high I'd lift him up and swing his little legs up in the air while he giggled and squealed in delight.

When I eventually set him down back up on the dry sand, he took off in a sprinting crawl back towards the ocean.  I was a little surprised because Isaac has always been timid around the ocean.  Apparently Luke does not share that same hesitation.

Isaac wasn't interested in playing in the water, but he had a great time up on the sand.  He loved having Aunt Carly to play with.  They found a starfish, and dug tunnels and giant holes in the sand.

It was such a fun weekend!  We also did lots of shopping, went on evening walks around the lake, and had fun sitting around and talking.  Isaac was so sad when it was time for them to leave.  All the way to the airport he kept begging them to stay, and then cried half the way home.  Hopefully we'll be seeing them again soon!

This picture is super blurry, but it was the only one I got of all six of us together
As an added bonus that weekend, we also had some friends come over to visit.  Paul, Amy & Clara were in town to go to Disneyland and they stopped by for Sunday morning breakfast before they had to drive back home.  It was fun to chat and catch up and to watch the babies play together.  Clara is just a few weeks older than Luke and it was cute to watch them interact.


Charlie said...

The Angels played the Texas Rangers that night. (not the Atlanta Braves)

Anonymous said...

You guys are all so cute! Love Carly, Charlie and Chris! You have all made beautiful families... Hope we can get together sometime soon... I should call Charlie one of the next time I go to Cali.

Charlie said...

Yes- please call me next time you're in California. I'd love to meet your husband and kids!