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Monday, August 31, 2009

Weekend Roundup: Suburban Saturday, Historical Sunday

We had another fun, full weekend, in spite of some complications and some beastly hot weather. S's back has been giving him trouble (a situtation new to him but one for which I have only too much sympathy!) so he's been a bit out of the loop. I've set him up with some visits to the chiropractor that I saw many years ago, the first time I had serious back trouble, and I'm hopeful that he'll be feeling better soon.

On Saturday, S was feeling well enough to join us to spend several hours at a "graduation" party hosted by the family of one of BJ's preschool classmates. There was a huge yard packed with all sorts of things to keep the kids' occupied: a big pool, a blow up water slide, a playhouse, a slip and slide, a play structure, toys.... we spent most of the time in the pool and water slide -- very nice to cool off in the water and a good opportunity to put some of the stuff from swimming lessons into practice. Felt very suburban!

BJ and his peers will be moving up from their current classroom in the coming week, and the party was put together as a little celebration of that milestone. Hard to believe BJ is finishing up his first full year of preschool! Certainly has come a long way from those first anxious days when everything was new. He's looking forward to being in the room with the "big kids" (it's the oldest group in the school) and I hope the transition will go smoothly for him. Fingers crossed.

On Sunday, S stayed home and rested while I drove up to Ardenwood Park, a place I've long wanted to visit with the kids. It's only a short drive over to Fremont, and I'd heard lovely things about it, but it wasn't until Tia M invited us to meet her there that I was finally able to get things together for a visit. It houses an operating historic farm, lots of farm animals, a blacksmith's shop, and interesting antique farm equipment and other sundries -- including this awesome antique bike!

When we visited, it was time to feed some of the animals, and they were letting the kids help. We fed hay to sheep, goats, and kids, much to the delight of BB and BJ.

We also got to see some wildlife: this fox came to visit the picnic area while we were sitting down for a snack. Poor thing is obviously used to stealing scraps.

We collected peacock feathers, checked out the interpretive signs, tested the antique pump, and generally ran around having fun. Thanks so much for inviting us to meet you here, Tia M!

I think that Ardenwood the kind of place my folks would enjoy, and I plan to visit again next time they are in town. My dad has very fond memories of time spent on the family farm in Iowa, and I have a feeling that he'd like this place very much. I especially want to show my mom the blacksmith equipment -- he was using an antique blower device that looked very much like one that my grandfather had for years in their backyard! Of course it was more or less yard art at that point, but I remember being fascinated by this thing when I was a kid, and it was very cool to see it in use.

What do you think, Mom? Look familiar?


giki said...

Oh MY! It looks like you all had a wonderful time. Good for you!
And yes, the blower does looks familar! It actually looks 'modern'-compared to the one in our yard.
Miss you.
PS Pic of the fox-brings to mind...'dumb like a fox'...That fellow knew where the treats would be.

Evermore Organics said...

A Pennyfarthing bike! Id just about die to see one of those in person.

Jen said...

Mom, I think it looks more modern because it's not rusty -- it's been kept gleaming black from frequent use! And yes, that fox is no dummy....

evermore, thank you for the comment! Very cool to know the name of the bike -- all I knew when I saw it was that it looked fantastic. It was just propped up against the wall in a corner of the barn, looking perfectly in its place. Totally neat.

Jen said...

because i'm that kind of a gal, here's more info about the pennyfarthing bike:

cool, huh?