Dear Jasper and Kestrel,

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Uncle David

Yesterday evening Uncle David invited the across-the-street neighbors over for a barbecue and s’mores.When I got home from school, I helped thread the strips of steak, along with tomatoes and peppers, onto the skewers for shish kebabs.

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Table Outside
Dinner waiting for company

Then we moved the big table outside so we could eat out on the patio, and Uncle David pulled the bounce house out of the shed and inflated it. Liza had fun making sure it was ready!

Mark and Lindsey have a 2 year old named Daniel He brought a small dump truck and enjoyed playing with it in Liza’s sandbox. The grownups talked and the kids played so well together! Liza had fun showing Daniel her toys and was very good about sharing.

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New Friends

When the fire was ready, we put the rack of shish kebabs on, and it sure got hot fast! Mark and Uncle David decided there was just too much fire, so they moved the kebabs to the oven to finish. By that time, it had gotten chilly and they moved the table back inside, as well. The wide doors make that very easy. They didn’t even take the candles or dishes off!

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Doing the Dinner

Dinner was good…we are still learning how to cook over the fire, but it was tasty. Then came the best part: S’mores! I’ve decided that I prefer just plain roasted marshmallows, but watching grownups being kids again is sure fun.

When Daniel started getting tired, the evening ended peacefully. It had been successful and fun. I went to sleep with dreams of marshmallows dancing in my head.


Grandma Judy

Monterey Adventure

Dear Jasper and Kestrel,

Yesterday, Cousin Liza and I got to go on another adventure. We walked to Sunshine Donuts on West Alisal for a treat and, more importantly, change for the bus. I haven’t figured out Monterey-Salinas Transit’s pre-paid system yet, so I am a slave to dollar bills and quarters. We found our bus stop and waited, not very long, in the strong morning sunlight.

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Playing with Shadows

The number 20 bus took us through fields and across the Salinas River. This is a very odd river, as rivers go. It flows north, which not many rivers do, but is also an UNDERGROUND river most of the year. The rocks that form the bed of the river are porous and when there isn’t enough water, the water level drops below the rock level, and the river disappears! It is still flowing, though. Airplanes taking pictures show water flowing into the bay, even when the river looks dry!

We continued past Marina and the big shopping area at Seaside, catching my first look at the Monterey Bay since last July. It was so bright blue and beautiful, a perfect January-summer day. We got off the bus at The Window on the Bay, a wonderful park that Mayor Dan Albert of Monterey created years ago by having the city buy of the small businesses in this spot so people could play and sit here and see the Bay. When Mayor Albert retired, he said it was his greatest achievement as Mayor. I agree.

Walking through the flowers and volleyball courts, we got to the beach. We took off our shoes and got used to the feel of sand on our feet. Cousin Liza had fun deciding how wet to get…first just the bottom of her feet…then we rolled up her overalls a bit. Then just her ankles… and we rolled them up a bit more. Then she stopped being afraid and got wet clear up to her knees, and the overalls did too! But that’s part of the fun.

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Wet Feet Liza

We built a princess’s sand castle that ended up having a face made of rose petals, seaweed and rocks. There was a smaller castle nearby, “for the prince”. No idea who he was….

There were a lot of people having fun on the beach! We saw a girl’s surfing club, a kayaking class, and people walking their dogs.

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Surfing Class
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Liza and the Princess Castle

For lunch, we said good-bye to the sand and walked to Sapporo, a wonderful Japanese Restaurant and sushi place by the Monterey Yacht Club, above The London Bridge Pub. We had a view of the harbor. We saw some young sailors bringing in their FJ sailboat. They reminded me of Liza’s Daddy David, years ago.

guys at yacht club.jpgWe did the kid’s maze and watched the waiter make “training chopsticks” for Cousin Liza with a rubber band and a roll of paper. We ate grilled shrimp, spicy tuna, and rice. So tasty!

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Delicious Lunch

By now it was really warm, and all our layers of clothes from the morning were stuffed into my bag. We headed to the Monterey Transit Center on Tyler. Liza climbed up a great concrete wall and we played Story Cubes until the bus came. After our long day in the sun, Liza had a little nap on the bus, but woke up just at the right time so we could walk to her house. Then we BOTH napped!

After dinner, Liza’s Daddy decided we should have a fire in the backyard and make s’mores, and then we went for a walk around the neighborhood. This was just about a perfect day!


Grandma Judy