Showing posts with label beach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beach. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Three years ago today: Carpenteria Beach

Zen meditation on Carpenteria Beach
Three years ago today we went to the beach in Carpenteria, Calif.! The beach is north of Ventura along Hwy. 1 on the way to Santa Barbara.

The temperature was a perfect 71 degrees with clear, sunny skies and a gentle breeze off the Pacific Ocean. You had fun frolicking around in the sand, and I'm certain you enjoyed the weather, as the High Desert where we lived was a little cool.

We didn't spend much time on the beach, as we were on our way to Solvang for the day. On the way back, we stopped off in Ojai!

Here are some photos from our time at the beach!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Our set of 101 cookie cutters

Do you remember our set of 101 cookie cutters? They were plastic, and we picked them up at Walmart then used them to make sugar cookies for just about every holiday and season!

Christmas by far was the most popular time, with us usually making a couple of different batches during the holidays. Our cookie cutters included Christmas trees, gingerbread men, bells, candy canes, snowmen and stockings.

We also made cookies at Halloween (ghost, haunted house, bat, black cat, pumpkins), Easter (duckies, cross, Easter bunny, Easter egg), and Valentine's Day (three sets of hearts). Letters also came with the set so I could spell out our names!

I usually mixed and match them for different seasons; for example we the footprint, the moon (for the sun) and the fish for going to the beach! I love you and miss making cookies with you!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Remember Ventura beach playground?

Four years ago today we went to the beach in Ventura!

We spent much of the time enjoying the playground, which had ocean-themed play equipment. For example, the slide looked like a waterfall, and an obstacle course had nets like what fishermen would use.

The stop at the beach was just part of our day in Ventura. We also went to the Scottish festival at the county fairgrounds!

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our adventure at the beach playground!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sharing some pictures with you

Scandinavian Festival, April 17, 2010
The other night your cousin Rebekah was visiting Grandma and Grandpa Bignell the same night that I was, and she wanted to look at pictures of you and all of your adventures. I have many of them online so was able to show her some that I have posted for all of my Facebook friends to see.

Rebekah is the same age as you and also in kindergarten, so she's very interested in the fun that you've had.

We looked at pictures of your trips to Legoland, Disneyland, the beach, and to the Poppy Festival last year in Lancaster. I think she was a little envious of all of the great adventures we've taken together!

Showing her the pictures was fun because I got to recall all of our fun times together and to tell her fun stories about you. She says she can't wait to meet you in person!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Our many Pacific Ocean adventures

June 20, 2011, Moonlight Beach,
in Encinitas, Calif.
Do you remember all of the times we went to the ocean? We went quite a number of times to the beach in Ventura and Encinitas and once to the beach in Carpenteria. We'd also do the boardwalk in Long Beach, and when you were an infant, you went to beaches in and around Crescent City.

You always liked to let the tide rush in at you and see if you could evade it by running away. Sometimes you were successful! Because you couldn't yet swim, I always had to make sure I held your hands so you wouldn't get knocked down and float away on me.

We also went to different aquariums that had fish, mammals and other animals that lived in the ocean. The Aquarium of the Pacific on Long Beach by far was your favorite. We also went once to the Birch Aquarium in San Diego and a couple of times to Sea World in San Diego.

Here's some pictures from a couple of those ocean adventures!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

My email to you for March 9, 2013

Here is my email to you sent March 9, 2013, just in case you do not receive it:

Hi Kieran!

I hope this letter finds you well. I love and miss you very much. Grandma and Grandpa Bignell, Uncle Chris and Aunt Suzie and your cousins Bryan and Rebekah send their love, too, and wanted you to know that they can’t wait to meet you.

How is school going? When we last spoke, you said you were up to the letter R in Superkids. I bet that means you are up to the letters S and T now! I’m very excited that you’re learning your letters and ultimately how to read. It’ll be interesting hearing what you think about the books you’ve read. Maybe you’ll be able to read me a story instead of me reading you one! J

You also mentioned that you were learning about oceans. I bet that is a very exciting and an easy unit for you, as we used to go to the ocean all the time. You might remember that we used visit the beach in Ventura and Encinitas and also aquariums. The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach was your favorite! There is an aquarium at the Mall of America and a small one at the Minnesota Zoo, both very close to where you live. Have you had a chance to visit them yet?

I believe you also said you were learning about money in your math class. I bet that is fun. Did you know that not all quarters look the same? While the fronts are the same with the head of our first president, George Washington, the backsides now have pictures from our 50 states. It’s fun to collect quarters of your favorite states. Can you guess what’s on the backside of Minnesota’s quarter? What states’ quarters would you like to see or collect?

On Monday morning you may find yourself very tired! That’s because we will be moving our clocks ahead one hour tonight. We move our clocks ahead in part so that we’ll have more sunlight in the morning when people get up. We actually skip an hour in time – and a lot of people lose an hour of sleep because of it! So go to bed a little earlier tonight to help your body adjust to the change in time.

You’ll want to check your closet and see if you have any green clothes to wear! Why? Because March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day. On that day, people who are Irish celebrate their heritage and wear green, the favorite color of the country where the Irish come from, Ireland. We’re not Irish, but we still celebrate St. Patrick’s Day because it’s lots of fun, and the Irish played a very important role in the growth of our country.

Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day, I recently read a great book about the holiday. It was called “The Gold at the End of the Rainbow” by Loek Koopmans. The book is about a boy who’s your age – his name is Brendan – and his grandpa, who sail to an island looking for a treasure chest of gold. On the island they meet a leprechaun! Do you think they find any gold? You will have to read the book to find out! I bet you can find it at your school or city library.

Well, that is all for now. I am looking forward to seeing you again on March 29! I miss you!



Monday, March 4, 2013

Recall going to the beach in Ventura?

One year ago today we went to one of your favorite places - the beach in Ventura!

Your sand toys were packed away in a storage shed, so we went to the Target in Ventura and picked up some new ones. There was the standard bucket and a couple of shovels but also a plastic truck and airplane.

Then we stopped off at the Busy Bee Cafe to enjoy a fun lunch of burgers and fries. It's a 1950s-styled diner in downtown Ventura that has been around since 1963, which was the height of the surf craze in Southern California.

From there, it was off to the beach! We played in the sand, on the playground, and even stepped into the ocean water just a little bit. It was a beautiful day with temps in the mid-70s! It was a beautfiul day because I got to spend it with you!

Here's a whole bunch of photos from our day at the beach.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Your sand toys through the years

As I promote my new book, which contains a poem set at Ventura Pier, I began to think of all of our great visits to that beach and the sand toys you had. You're always in my thoughts, it seems, no matter what I'm doing.

Your first sand toys weren't meant for the beach at all but for the big sand pits at the local playgrounds. The Santa Clarita park near where we lived when you were a year old had a great sand pit to play in around a huge castle-like play equipment. most of the other other parks had good sand pits, too, though of varying quality.

We mostly took our sand toys to the beach, though - lots of shovels, buckets, and a few plastic trucks that we could build roads for. There also was this great colorful toy that you could dump sand into and it would go through a funnel turning a wheel below it.

The picture on this page shows you in March 2012 at Ventura city beach with the Ventura Pier in the background. These were the last sand toys I purchased for you. I had forgot to bring our sand toys because I'd been moving stuff to our new condo, so we stopped at Target and picked up these!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Do you remember going to the beach?

Ventura city beach, Feb. 2012
One of your favorite places to go when you were little was to the beach. There were a couple of ocean beaches in particular that we uusally went to - the Ventura city beach next to the pier in Ventura, Calif., and Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, Calif.

We spent a lot of time building sand castles - which you then always liked to knock down in some large imaginary battle! You'd usually help me build a couple of turrets, play with the sand toy vehicles for a bit (Sometimes you'd bury the vehicles in the sand and ask me to find them!), and then ask me when I'd be done with the castle so that you could knock it down! Sometimes you;d let me bury you in the sand, too.

Next we'd head down to the water, where we'd play chase and avoid the waves. You loved to get wet and splash in the water. Sometimes I think you were pretending it was a great monster trying to capture you.

Both beaches also had playgrounds, and we'd usually spend a little time there to warm up after going into the cold water. If we were lucky, there usually was an open food stand nearby so that we could enjoy a snack!

I'm afraid the water bodies here in the Midwest aren't quite as exciting as the Pacific Ocean, but there are some neat beaches on the St. Croix River that I can't wait to take you to.