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August, Birthday and Grandkid Season

August 1-8ish
written August 3+
Dear Diary, Friends, and Families,

d140801_68_bday.jpgAugust starts out with birthdays, mine on the first and Gabby's and Chris' on the 2nd. Marianne and I had enjoyed a special dinner the night before at "Trelio", a highly-touted Clovis restaurant.  Thanks Marianne.   We celebrated my August first birthday with early-morning cards from Mamo and then it was off to Casa de Fruta to pick up Ava and Sam, my REAL birthday presents.

We had arranged with Gabby to meet in the middle of the three-hour Fresno to Los Gatos drive and the Casa da Fruta complex is pretty traditional for such meets.  The complex includes the Casa de Restaurant, the Casa de Wine, the Casa de Bakery, etc. so there is always plenty to do.  Unfortunately, the train at Casa de Choo Choo wasn't running yet this morning, so we made do with a walk through the Casa de Park.
Move car seats and exchange more birthday presents since Gabby's birthday would be on the 2nd.
Play a bit at Casa de Park before we head back

The drive back to Fresno was not quite as boring as usual, with two excited little kids in the back seat.  They do make a bit of noise, but it's fun to hear.
A quick stop at home, including the art hut, and then over to Mamo's for a swim.

On Saturday, we headed back to Mamo's for more pool time.  Everyone also enjoyed cupcakes from my birthday the day before.
Swim and Cupcakes

After Mamo's, it was home to Gigi and Opa's house for lunch and naps (everyone but Ava) and then some art time.  Ava and Sam both learned about stencils while creating work to bring home to mom and dad.

After dinner, we managed a quick trip over to Babi and Ruben's.  It was a fun visit, even if it had to be short so the kids could get to bed close to regular time.  (Actually, they got to stay up late because their bedroom curtains let in too much light and we had to wait for the sun to go down!)

On Sunday, we started the day slowly, with breakfast, packing, and a quick visit to Mamo before we headed down the road.  Our goal was to reach the Casa de Fruta train by about 11:00, but by the time we did our visiting and an hour or more of driving, we were hungry enough to stop for lunch, so it was almost 3:00 before we actually made it onto the little train.  That's what happens to planning when little kids are involved.
Packed in and ready to "read".
We had to wait for the train, but there was a carousel ride.
Happy train folks
Train scenery
d140803_60_homedad.jpgAfter Casa, we joined the weekend traffic and worked our way over to Monte Sereno where Ava and Sam had an excited reunion with mom and dad.  I think they like Gigi and Opa enough, but there's no place like home and a swim in their own pool with daddy.

There were no planned activities on Monday, except for afternoon swimming lessons.  This is a particularly fun event because six little kids each get separate lessons and, while one is being taught, the others just splash and scream.  (Meanwhile, the moms sip wine and chat.  Very civilized.)
Ava and Sam
Cousins Reef and Ryder
Friend Camile and her brother Dominic
We left our little crew on Tuesday morning and returned to a very quiet home.  We miss them already, but in just a few days Rich and his folks will be here, so we should be able to make it!

John and Marianne

The garage project continues.
Friday, August 1.  Started with just studs and ended with wallboard.
Kenny also hardened the bocce court
When we came back on Tuesday, we saw stucco progress outside and completed drywall inside.
Randy and Vince came back on Wednesday to make progress on the top coat of stucco.  Randy seems to be matching the 80-year-old stucco pattern pretty darn well.  All this stuff is harder than it looks!


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