Spring 2014.    ~mike gradziel.
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August: We packed the car and left town on a long trip for the first time since January, to Los Angeles via Santa Barbara and Malibu to see friends. It was a long time for Norman to be confined to his car seat, but he discovered how to operate the windshield wipers, music, and air during one of our stops and then persuaded us again and again to pull aside for play breaks. In Malibu he was delighted to finally achieve his long time goal of chewing on the stroller wheels, which I discouraged less vigorously than usual since they had been scrubbed by circling a quarter mile through good clean dirt in an attempt to get him to nap. We were encamped for the night atop a hill with a view to the ocean, in an Airstream aluminum trailer from the 1950s. It had a queen sized bed, hot and cold water, a tiny bathroom, a gas range and refrigerator, lounge chairs and shade, and an outdoor carpet providing a relatively clean base from which Norman launched his investigations of rocks, sand, weeds, and the trailer wheels. I cooked a big pot of chili and we watched the sun set. In the morning the marine fog had moved in and covered all the hills below us, giving the appearance that we were alone on an island in a sea of clouds. We met friends at a park in Santa Monica and later went to the beach where Norman got his feet wet in the ocean and tried licking sand.
sun shelter at Santa Monica beach at a park in Santa Monica
our guestbook entry playing with the stroller wheels playing with the window latch
airstream peekaboo morning fog airstream trailer in malibu
Norman with daddy chili for dinner dinner time
chasing the camera playing with stroller wheels hilltop location with ocean view
the back end of the trailer the front end of the trailer Norman at the wheel, we are parked of course
February through June we didn't go far from home except for Sean's wedding in gold country. Norman got bigger, summer arrived.
I love June fruit picking peaches in Davis Norman likes cherries
cherry blossoms Sean and the gang can you believe it has been thirteen years?
For the third time in three weekends I drove to Monterey. First it was to a beach house for the weekend, next to a wedding reception at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (they put out tables in the open sea gallery, dim the lights, and serve food and drink; I ate fish), and lastly to Pacific Grove to see overwintering monarch butterflies and the Point Pinos Lighthouse before driving onward to Big Sur where we stayed in a cabin with my parents and sister and took baby Norman to the beach, saw whales, went for walks in the woods, cooked tasty foods, walked on interesting patterned purple sand, built a cozy fire in the woodstove, and took lots of pictures of keyhole rock at Pfeiffer Beach.
at the beach in Pacific Grove at the beach in Pacific Grove Norman at the beach in Pacific Grove
Dad about to be carried off by a giant gull Mike, Norman, Joy, by Lisa Point Pinos Lighthouse
cabin 103 at Big Sur Campground Cabins cabin 103 at Big Sur Campground Cabins cabin 103 at Big Sur Campground Cabins
Norman gets a story breakfast is ready leaving the cabin for the day
Pfeiffer Beach keyhole arch Pfeiffer Beach keyhole arch Pfeiffer Beach keyhole arch
eroded sandstone patterns of purple sand, Pfeiffer beach at Pfeifer Beach
at Pfeifer Beach patterns of purple sand, Pfeiffer beach Big Sur coast highway
McWay Falls, Big Sur hiking in redwood forest by the woodstove in the cabin
popovers for breakfast walking to Andrew Molera Beach Andrew Molera Beach

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