Now that I’ve repeated the word ‘full’ three times it looks funny to me, the way words do when we pay attention to them in a new way.  I almost want to read it “fuh-ll, fuh-ll, fuh-ll” or something like that.  Either way, full is how I feel today, with a dash of empty thrown in for good measure.  We are winding down our spring break, for some of us a slight break from work and school, and for all of us a wonder-full visit from our friends from Chicago.

backyard adventuring

backyard adventuring

Our days were packed with sharing our new found favorite things in California– places to walk & explore, as well as favorite local treats to eat.  The five kids wasted no time re-acquainting themselves,  but in between outings jumped right in to the same kinds of imaginary games they’ve played since they’ve known each other.  For all of them that means from the time of their earliest memories of living in the same Chicago apartment building, and growing up like cousins.  What a joy to see them pick up where they left off, even if there are moments when they don’t get along perfectly, just like family.  Among other firsts, the kids picked kumquats, grapefruits, and oranges from trees, played in the Pacific Ocean, and the big Kindergarteners even did homework together (which is actually fun with a friend at your side)!

up Mt. Roubidoux

up Mt. Rubidoux

windy view of the Santa Ana River

windy view of the Santa Ana River

For our part, the grownups thoroughly enjoyed grownup time, with the dads foraging for food to cook on our new grill, and our friend PJ wowing us at every single meal with his culinary talent.  Masterfully cooked on the grill were pizza (homemade dough), shrimp, scallops, ribs, steak, and salmon for a birthday party finale.  I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite of these tasty suppers, but now have the challenge of trying to replicate these delectable successes myself.  So long, hotdogs!

UCR Botanic Gardens

UCR Botanic Gardens

a kumquat & a haircut & almost 3

a kumquat & a haircut & almost 3

the hikers

the hikers on the Santa Rosa Plateau

rock leaner

rock leaner, Laguna Beach

The moms managed a bit of alone time too, with an art-making outing at a nearby art studio, and a successful thriftstore/antique mall shopping excursion, but especially enjoyed just being with a best friend and talking face to face, for once.

Snapshots to fill in the rest of our full full full week…

at the water's edge

at the water's edge

the photographer's hat

the photographer's hat

at the other photographer's feet

at the other photographer's feet

new glasses and wants nothing to do with the water

new glasses and wants nothing to do with the water

delight

delight

birthday dinner

birthday dinner

…and for all these things we are grateful.  Or should I say grate-full?

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