published on in Owen Caralyne Family

4th of july in monterey

Michele and I purposefully did not make any July 4th plans, because we both silently and secretly waited for Steve and Summer to invite us down. We’d mumble back and forth “So, no fireworks in Antioch this year…”, “Yeah, maybe Steve and Summer will invite us down…”. As it got closer to July, there was a possibility that the two of them had other arrangements, and we might have to fend for ourselves!

So, last week, the phone finally rang. Whew, what a relief.

After some deliberation, we decided that it would be best if we stayed two nights in Monterey. I was very hesitant, mostly because spending the night in Monterey is very expensive. I’m so stingy that I forced us to stay in a small and crappy Super 8, rather than a decent hotel with more breathing room. Thats right family, suffer for my scrooge McDuck mentality while I swim in my vast riches!

We left Saturday morning to hit up a children’s museum. Steve and Summer met us there after lunch, which is kinda odd because they paid $7 each to go into a small children’s play area. I’ve barely accepted the responsibility of my own kids, so even when my friends are okay with being around my kids I sort of think, “But, why would you do that? They aren’t even yours, and they are kind of tedious and whiny.”

It is probably for the best that I don't know what Steve was prompting Caralyne to say...

My point is, Steve and Summer are very very nice people, nicer than me in fact, so I’m glad they still like to invite us over.

Either way, Summer found it entertaining.

As much as it kills us as parents to watch him have a go at the ladder, he is actually very safe. He naturally practices the 3-points of contact procedure. He destroys all other credibility with the rest of his wreakless behavior

I knew it! This ladder is unsafe, I call a work stoppage!

Caralyne is preparing for her debut

Whats this? Typical Owen, what a ham. Hey little hammy, get off the stage!

After some play time, Caralyne rode with Steve and Summer to Peets while Michele drove me to An Olde Town Tattoo Parlor so I could pop in and say hi to Glenn. He was in the middle of prepping someones leg for a tattoo, so after he peeled off the transfer paper, he ran out and happily greeted me with a big hug. Since Michele and Owen were waiting, I didn’t want to keep them waiting too long, so I told him we were staying for the next two nights and we’d get together on the beach tomorrow. He also invited us to the BBQ that the Tattoo parlor was having, it was their two year ‘birthday’, cake and all, but things were tightly compacted into our schedule as it was, so we didn’t make it.

We briefly went to the Dennis The Menace park, but after 10 minutes, it was blatantly apparent that Owen was over exhausted and in need of sleep. He fought hard though, it was a strange mixture of him laughing hysterically while crossing the unstable ‘Indiana Jones’ bridge, then collapsing in a fit of crying rage. Actually, that sounds a lot like my “Rose Peak” hike… Yup, he’s my kid!

The following day, we took the kids back to the Dennis The Menace park. This time, we had a full nights rest behind us, so we got to do a bit more running around.

First, I had to climb the rock wall. Just to make sure it was safe (and fun).

Then give Caralyne a little assistance. She really didn't need much, she was scared so I helped her choose which pig noses to grab hold of and step on.

Great job Caralyne!

Wow, and Michele too!

OWEN!? Wait a minute... Who's cheating??

Caralyne turned feral on us

The park is pretty nice, there are a lot of really cool slides, tunnels, climbing equipment, etc..

Around Lunch time we stopped by Trader Joes to pick up some last minute food items and ran into Summer and Steve there. We decided to grab lunch, but split off into two groups. Michele took Owen back to the Motel to nap while Caralyne and I got something to eat with Summer and Steve and hung out at their apartment for a while. Caralyne and I played Super Mario Brothers 3 on the Wii, then prepared for the beach BBQ.

All the attendee’s showed up around the same time, which is pretty darn impressive. What was also cool is Steve sent out a Google Latitude URL to the guests so they knew exactly where to meet us on the crowded beach. Pretty sweet! it is really neat when technology can help you plan and properly mobilize the entire group with a few simple tools like GPS and email. Those of us without cool smart phones (Glenn and myself) had to rely on smoke signals, my special eyes, and wandering.

Owen hung out in his wagon the whole time. I don't think he liked how the sand felt

Erin and Glenn. Caralyne was borderline terrified of the two, so Erin was really nice and fostered a good repport by building a sand castle with Caralyne

Like my capri's? Look, it was hot and I did't have shorts. Pants suck. Anyway, I did my best to try and help out with the food by tending the coals and burning the meat.

Owen enjoying the sunset while we pack up.

Thanks again Summer and Steve. Now, lets go blow some crap up!

After a late evening with some fireworks, we finally got back to our room around 10:30pm, tossed Owen in bed, and hit the hay.

The next morning we packed up, checked out by 10am, and met Steve and Summer at Peets for coffee/breakfast, and then hit the Aquarium. Steve always gives us a well planned guided tour, and I get to hear stories about all the display, posters, and exhibits.

Around 3pm we grabbed lunch and headed home. It was a nice conclusion to our pleasant weekend in a cooler climate with our friends.