Monday, July 8, 2013

4th of July and Family Time

Parade time. We went to the 4th of July parade in Fremont, CA as we usually do. Parades are just good times. I have to admit, I don't get into them on TV though I was brought up in a household, and married into a household, that play the holiday parades on TV. But in person, I think they are great.

This is Traci, my sister in law. Several people, people actually walking and driving in the parade, complimented her on her 4th of July head piece. So, what does she do between parade passersby? She adds more holiday color to her nails.

The kids and Traci holding hands after the parade on the way back to the car.

Going to work with fresh flowers from my kiddos. This just makes me happy.

My kids sometimes, along with Tami, come out and wave to me as I drive off to work. I love it. It also means extra good bye kisses. When Nana O died the kids picked flowers from our yard and took them to her service. Since then, they will sometimes still pick flowers and declare "For Nana O" and then we place the flowers on our little family alter. Another cool thing is that the kids will pick them for me, or themselves, or others. Lately, when the kids are outside to wave bye to me, Enzo has often yelled out "Wait Papi, you have to wait right there, I'm gonna get you flowers!" Then he runs to pick flowers, Ana yells out "Me, too!" and picks flowers for me as well. Then they run up to me and give me flowers to take in the car along with extra kisses. I love it all. It's so cool that they do this on their own.

Not sure why I didn't take more pics but my parents took us to see Sesame Street Live. The kids are still playing with the light up Sesame Street toys Grandma and Grandpa bought for them.

Here the kids are excited to ride the train at Vasona park in Los Gatos, CA. Tami was at work so me and the kids went to breakfast and then the park. It was a week day. On summer week days the Bobcat Railroad is open and runs diesel trains. We hadn't ridden in a while so while buying tickets I went ahead and bought enough for us to run twice. Only $2 each ticket and Ana is still free. What can you do for only $2 these days? Ride a train!

After riding twice and getting excited about the bridge and how fast we were going and seeing the playground and dogs walking with people, we headed off to one of the playgrounds to run around. For the majority of that time Ana was swinging and Enzo was driving the train. Every few minutes he would get off of the train and yell out "All aboarrrrrrrrd!" I should mention that this would have been cute no matter what but was extra cute because it was in the middle of a very crowded playground with lots of kiddos running around. Enzo even made a friend who seemed about as passionate about trains as Enzo. The two of them fixed the train, discussed the condition of the track, and went on who knows how many imaginary adventures.

After a very long play time it was time for us to head home. We started heading back towards the car. Enzo asked if we could go on the train one more time as we neared the train station on our way to the car. I had just finished telling him no as we had already ridden twice today and it was time to go home when I saw a surprise. As we were coming up on the train station I saw that they had pulled out their classic steam train! The steam train! An "up and down train", as Enzo said.They usually only run it on weekends. So I quickly asked the kids if they wanted one more ride, which they quickly agreed to, and we parked the stroller and ran for the station. $4 over the counter and we were off to line up. I mentioned to one of the staff my surprise that the steam train was out and she said that she was too as no one told her it was coming out and she didn't know how long it would be out. Which concerned me as I noticed that they hadn't actually put away the green diesel engine and I wasn't sure we were close enough in line to make it on this run. I got the impression they were doing a test run after doing some maintenance by the way engine staff were looking the steam engine over. And then, the line moved and we actually got on that run, thankfully.

Something about that chug-a-chug-a and the steam and the whistle that make steam trains extra cool. We were very lucky. In fact, after our run around the track we watched them fill the train with water and send it back to the train garage. The next people to ride were hooked up to the diesel engine. We were lucky indeed to catch that ride and it was a nice little bonus to our day.

Sprinkler play has been pretty regular lately as the weather has been warm by our standards.

Sunday we went to the flea market with my parents and then we all six of us headed over to Natural Bridges beach for a picnic lunch. The kids were primarily interested in the shallow pool of water on the beach filled by the stream.

Yesterday we went to dinner with my family. It was the first time my Grandma, Nana Vera, has gone out in weeks since being in a physical therapy care home. And somehow all the stars lined up so that, for this special event, for the first time ever, Tami was able to get both kids to wear one of their matching outfits at the same time. Naturally, many photos had to be taken.

A Family dinner is just what I needed. I forget how easy it is to let time go by without spending time with loved ones and how important the time together is for my happiness. The time is good for my spirit.

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