For the fourth of July we went to Matt’s house for a party. While playing on the indoor basketball court, Sam made friends with two young women (probably early twenties) named Pearl and Vanessa.
He latched onto them and hung out with them for the rest of the night. They were super nice to him. Matt has a trampoline in his back yard and Pearl and Vanessa got in and jumped with Sam, to his great delight.
Nathan, of course, spent the entire party playing with Matt.
We stayed at the party super late, so it was 10:00 by the time the boys went to bed. Sam went to bed repeating to himself, “Pearl … and Vanessa … Pearl … and Vanessa … Pearl … and Vanessa …”
Nathan and especially Sam have been very interested in paper airplane folding lately. Nathan even invented his own paper airplane (dubbed “The Nathan”) that does tricks.
We went to a special paper airplane presentation at the Hiller Air Museum by the guy who hold the record for the longest paper airplane flight. It was an interesting presentation, but, for a guy who folds paper airplanes for a living, he didn’t have much of a sense of humor. He was surprisingly unsupportive when Nathan showed him The Nathan.
Briones Park continues to be a major attraction.
Because Mary and John were out of the country last Christmas, we had a Christmas-in-July party at their house. Nathan and Sam were over-the-moon to receive their own iPads (Mary and John’s old iPads, retired in favor of newer models).
I took the boys on our annual special Auntie days at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Sam’s was first.
His absolute favorite ride was the Freefall, a little drop tower, which is actually really fun even for grownups. He went on it a total of nine times. The first couple times I went on with him. Then there were seats on opposite sides of the drop tower, so we did that a few times. Then he wanted to go by himself, which worked out great for him later in the day when lines were longer, because, as s single rider, he got to skip to the front of the line.
I also persuaded him to go on the dragon roller coaster, but he did not enjoy that. Apparently Sam is not yet a roller coaster guy. The kiddie rides remain popular.
I didn’t get any photos while we were playing at the beach because I didn’t bring my camera, but we also had a great time playing in the shallow channel. He met a little girl (she was 7), who was also named Sam. They were both delighted by this and became fast friends. They built a sand castle together and found a tiny dead crab.
There was a portion of the beach accessible only by walking across the small, wavy channel. It was too deep for Sam to walk across, so he persuaded me to carry him. The other part of the beach was quite exciting, with some rocks to climb on and a cave to waddle through hunched over.
We stayed at Santa Cruz until after 8:00 (especially since I left our snack bag on the Tilt-aWhirl and had to go to Lost-and-Found to retrieve it.) I bought Sam an enormous bag of cotton candy for the way home (so basically all he ate all day was ice cream and cotton candy) and he didn’t get to bed until after 9:00.
Sam is very much into board games lately. Here he plays Silly Sentences with Nathan, Beeba, and Zayde.
Nathan and I also went to Santa Cruz. I got very few photos, but the highlight of our visit was that Nathan went on the Giant Dipper, the biggest roller coaster at Santa Cruz! He was both excited and nervous getting onto it. We went on the little dragon roller coaster first to warm up. Then we ate ice cream. Then we went on the roller coaster. Waiting in line, he got nervous, so I picked him up, which made me realize that, even though he seems really big a lot of the time, he’s actually still a really little boy.
He was scared at the beginning of the ride, mostly because it started by going through a tunnel. By the time we got to the top of the second hill, he was yelling, “This is AWESOME!” By the time we were done, he insisted that we immediately call Grandma to tell her that he went on the biggest roller coaster.
Another new ride we went on was the sky lift that travels back and forth across the Boardwalk. Nathan was less in favor of this. He pointed out that he could slip off under the bar (very unlikely, but perhaps not technically impossible) and that he was afraid that the cable would snap. As someone who also has a fear of heights, I sympathize.
The highlight of our trip was the giant hole we dug in the beach. When we first got to the beach we met some girls who had dug a big hole. Nathan, of course, immediately joined them, with their blessing. But a little while later the girls wandered off and their socially awkward father kicked Nathan out of the hole, so we went thirty yards down the beach to dig our own hole. We only had little plastic shovels, but we kept at it (playing at Calvin and Hobbes and Calvin’s grumpy dad the whole time) until we had a hole that was at least 6 x 6 x 4. It was pretty impressive, if I do say so myself. A couple of little girls joined us later and helped to decorate the hole with shells and encourage Nathan to dig seats into the walls of the hole. Nathan also impressed a man on the beach with his knowledge of Mothra.