this time last week...

Before we made it to the wine country desert last week, there was an obligatory stop by the Golden Gate Bridge so we could get pictures like these:

Even though we found ourselves on a clear day without the ubiquitous clouds clouding our view of the bridge, there were tourists--like I'm not one--creeping in to all my shots, so this was the best I could get. No complaints though, because...you know...I was there.


sisters in sonoma

So there it is: the end of the end of my summer vacation in Sonoma, CA. On Friday my sister and I biked fifteen miles on the hottest day of the year for Sonoma (102 degrees). We sweated, but we also tasted some wine so it was worth all the huffing--does this bike have a gear lower than zero?--up the hills to the wineries. Tired of wine (blame it on the heat) we had margaritas and fajitas for dinner (they have good Mexican food in California, too). The next day there were bottles of wine purchased and afternoon martinis (when we were feeling "wine-d out") topped off by an amazing dinner at Harvest Moon Cafe. There's more, but I don't remember it all (blame that on the wine). We're kind of dorky, so on Sunday we visited historical sites in Sonoma and nearby Petaluma with self-guided walking tours that my sister had so studiously printed out and packed with her in a trusty manilla folder.

There's not much you can do wrong when vacationing in wine country; however, watch out for a company called Sonoma on the Spot. I feel it is my duty as a wine lover to unmask the man named John and his VIP wine tasting scam. I won't bore you with the details; I'm simply sending out a warning so you won't fall for it like I did. I'm not the only one, though. After being scammed myself I checked reviews on Yelp, and several of the reviews mirrored our experience (maybe I should have checked reviews before signing on). We still had an amazing time though...even sweaty John and his winking friend Robert couldn't keep us down.


bubble gun

That's right--bubble gun, not bubble gum. Scout, who will be referred to as "Bubble Master" from here on out, terrorized her siblings this afternoon with a fancy pink bubble gun that she received for her birthday. It should be noted, however, that Bubble Master's "terrorized" subjects were willing participants and eagerly awaiting the onslaught of bubble bullets.


summer vacation starts here

In three days Alex and I will begin the end of our summer vacation when we travel to Sonoma, CA alone...without the children. Alex will be working most of the time, but my sister is meeting us out there so I'll have a companion to share in some good old-fashioned wine tasting fun. Which leads me to today and why today is actually the beginning of the end of my summer vacation: 1) Alex returned from his weekend trip (he was working, not playing) from Denver this morning 2) I went to the Target and bought sunscreen and a new book for Sonoma and 3) Alex entertained the little ones in the pool this afternoon. I was off the hook and picturing myself halfway to California.

And, in case you're wondering, Sonoma is also the end of our summer vacation because the day we return is the day we set off on our 20-hour journey back to the great state of Texas for the remainder of the hot, hot summer. Forgive me if my mind is in vacation mode until then.


and then she was 4

I didn't do such a great job as mom-photographer when we celebrated Scout's 4th birthday at the (you guessed it!) country club tonight. There was so much excitement as she went tearing through her presents, which included a pair of pink fuzzy boots from her great-grandmother, that I forgot my duties. These are the only decent pictures I amassed of our middle child on her 4th birthday. I'll work harder next time.


on target

This morning while Scout was out scouting for the perfect--her perfect--birthday cake at the local supermarket, Catcher took Tillie out for  target practice with the bow and arrows he received for his birthday ten days ago. He came up with the idea of hanging the target around the tree using a hole puncher and some string. Sadly, the task of hanging the target lasted longer than the actual shooting of arrows. After not hitting the bullseye (or even the target, to be honest) himself after three rounds, Catcher was finished with the day's lesson. Tillie just wanted to throw the arrows anyway, so there was no love lost.


swim party

Our children may or may not be getting spoiled by their Wisconsin summer experience. Yesterday we were invited to the pool of one of Alex's high school friend's dad's (are my apostrophes correct there?). It was a chilly 68-degree afternoon, so I opted to stay out of the water. The rest of the family didn't mind; however, because the pool was heated to a Texas-like 88 degrees. Just trying to keep it real...