Exploring the emotional state of a toddler.
10 September 2012
Long Beach, California
After roasting in Pomona for a few days, we decided enough was enough and made the trek to Long Beach, California. There was a big debate to which beach we should go to. No matter which way we sliced it, it was going to be an hours drive. When we pulled up to the parking lot, it was like a ghost town. Aren't all beaches chalk-a-block when the mercury explodes? We flip flopped our way through scorching sand as a gentle breeze welcomed our faces. The azureous sky greeted the cerulean sea only to be interrupted by the dreary ocean liners anchored on the horizon. We rolled out the beach towels and settled in for a long escape. The only other people on the beach was a horde of day camp kids having a huge party with music blaring and an MC occasionally making announcements over a megaphone. So much for an escape.
We quickly lost Banyan in the neighbouring throng of kids. He would disappear into the mesh of bodies and reappear for a brief moment only to vanish again like a magic trick. At one point, Banyan, completely oblivious, wandered into the middle of a race and was trampled underfoot. The camp leader peeled him off the sand and looked around wondering where on earth this stray kid came from. She dusted him off and sent him on his way. Banyan thrived off the mass energy of the kids. Georgia on the other hand, slept for most of the time under a makeshift tent made out of an umbrella and a few towels. When she finally awoke, Georgia sprung up, grabbed her bucket and plopped herself down in a mound of sand with out missing a beat. As you can see, her Papa put her swim suit on. Not quite right but close enough.
07 September 2012
Banyan started Kindergarten this week. He's an old pro with two years of pre-school under his belt. No need to make a fuss, no need to stop and pose for my camera. Georgia thought it was her first day and sat right down next to Banyan and all the other kids in circle time. She's one going on five. She loves her big brother and would probably follow him any where.
31 August 2012
Los Angeles, California
Spending many hours of driving on the intricate web of highways around Los Angeles, gave me copious amounts of time to observe the sky. One night on a long drive across the sun baked land, the sky filled with an ethereal pink haze as a blazing coral sun disc sunk closer and closer to the black horizon. It was a moment of calm from the heat of the day and a time to reflect. As a kid, I had a certain view of California. A view that could only be imagined growing up on the Canadian prairies. The classic cliché of palm tree sunsets was an image taken for granted. But after spending hours with the sky, I can appreciate how beautiful the sunsets really are in California. The sky, in its surreal glory, tumultuously roared with colour and volume in angelic silence as we passed underneath in quiet awe.
30 August 2012
The weather was uncomfortably hot while we were in California and the day we decided to check out Claremont was no different. Georgia practically melted to her car seat and was covered in sweat before we could close the car door. McKay's cheeses didn't stand a chance in the inferno. It was so hot that we went from air conditioner to air conditioner most of our trip. After being reclusive, we decided to risk it all and brave the heat to enjoy a leisurely stroll on a lazy afternoon. Banyan took a rest to rehydrate while Georgia ran down the street. McKay disappeared into the local record shop and I stood there soaking up the dry heat.
29 August 2012
The Cheese Cave is a beautifully curated shop located in Claremont, California with a unique selection of artisanal cheeses and everything you could possibly want for a rustic cheese party. We paid them a visit on our last day in the area and McKay couldn't help himself but sample their wares. While he was busy shmoozing with the cheesemongers, I had my hands full, literally, with a camera, diaper bag, and one year old. This shop had all kinds of breakable glass objects at Georgia's level which became a high stress situation when ever I put her down for a second to snap some photos. To add more pressure, Banyan kept nagging me to buy him San pellegrino, candied almonds, and a sandwich. McKay, completely oblivious to my struggles, blissfully savoured a symphony of cheeses.
The crew working there were incredibly knowledgeable and down to earth and made us feel most welcome despite the circus act going on around me. They had really good olive oils and Balsamic vinegar on tap and had a system where you could bring back your empty bottle of oil or vinegar to refill it. Banyan (like his father) couldn't help himself and had no problem dipping into the samples more than once. For those who know me, those two items are my most favourite things to use on a daily basis. A good quality bottle of oil and vinegar can make the humblest salad seem sublime. We also discovered the Cheese Cave carries Bundaberg ginger beer, the best ginger beer ever made and is extremely difficult to find outside of Australia. This was my all time favourite drink and I haven't seen one since we left Brisbane eight years ago. I love this shop and it doesn't even matter that I can't eat cheese.
28 August 2012
Banyan is an incredibly thoughtful boy. He has a passion for serving people and making sure they are comfortable. If you have ever been a guest in our house, I'm sure you have experienced Banyan's hospitality. First he will bring out his multi-coloured ikea plastic cups and pass them around, then he brings out his Papa's special juice and pours a glass for every one. Next, it's time to divvy up his stash of granola bars, apple sauces, throat lozenges, pickles, olives or what ever happens to be with in his reach. Feeling cold? No problem, Banyan will bring you a pile of blankets then jump all over you until you can't take it any more. He will even set up the sofa bed incase your tired. He also knows it's nice to give flowers to people. It took a whole summer of training him not to pick every flower in sight but the flowers were very pretty and it allowed me to use every single vase in the house. Lately, Banyan has been leaving little gifts and handing out treats to our neighbours. This morning he got dressed, ate some banana bread and said, "see you later". I inquired where he was going and he said he had to make a delivery of figs to the neighbours. "Oh". Of course he had picked the hardest, most unedible ones, so I helped him out a little. He took the dish of freshly picked figs and banged on the neighbours' doors at 8:20am. When Banyan gets an idea, we just go with it. If he's determined to do something with or with our our help, might as well help him do it right.