Posts Tagged ‘summer travel with children’

Back home and reading at the O’Hanlon Center

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
I’m back from a summer of traveling virtually nonstop with Olivia and Mateo–from San Diego to the Rocky Mountains to Virginia and North Carolina, up to Northern Minnesota, back to San Diego and then to Maine. What an amazing country this is! Gigantic and incredibly diverse, in looks and attitudes. Having spent most of my life on the two coasts, I’m always grateful for the chance to experience life in other places, especially ones as beautiful and interesting as where we visited.
On Monday, the kids returned to school, and I’ve spent most of every moment since then getting organized. One of my nieces lent me the book, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (a bestseller years ago, which everyone else in the world has read already, I realize, but hey, better late than never!), which has inspired me to attack the chaos of my life, beginning with my closets, the closets of my kids, and my desk downstairs. In the past 48 hours, I’ve made huge progress, ending up with bags and bags of stuff to be donated or thrown out. My hope is that by clearing out the old, I’ll make room for the new, and for me, that means enough space in my brain to allow it to wander. My big realization this summer is how much I long to return to writing a piece longer than 300 or 500 or 800 words. If my external vista is clear, my thinking goes, so will be my internal one. That’s my hope anyway.
In the meantime, tomorrow, Thursday, I’ll be reading (a new essay) at the O’Hanlon Center in Mill Valley from 7-9 PM, with three other local women authors: CB Follett, Eve Pell, and Abby Wasserman. I love reading at the O’Hanlon–a beautiful setting and always an incredibly attentive and literate crowd. If you’re in the neighborhood, please stop by!

PS: The paragraph breaks have disappeared. Why, I don’t know. And I’ve given up trying to fix it. Sorry for the compressed type!


Flower fields. San Diego

Friday, April 20th, 2012


For more than a decade, every April, I’ve driven past the ranuncula fields along the 5 freeway in Carlsbad, California without stopping, first when I was single and living alone and motored south from Los Angeles to visit family, and now, as a married woman in San Francisco, with husband and children in tow.  

Last week, at the tail end of our April Spring Break visit, I told Tim and the kids I wanted to drive north on the 5 to Carlsbad, but this time, I actually wanted to get out of the car. After all these years, I yearned to walk through the 50 acres of blooming ranunculas and see the flowers up close. As luck would have it, the Friday we decided to go, San Diego experienced one of its rare and drenching downpours.  When we showed up at the ticket booth, dripping wet and dressed in all the clothes we were able to scrounge from the back seat of the minivan, the attendant asked “You’re here today? Are you crazy?!” 

Well, yes, as a matter of fact, we probably are. That aside, we had driven north to see the ranuncula fields–we’d even parked and gotten out of the car!–and by golly, that’s what we were going to do. 

Here’s a series of photos I took, of Mateo and Olivia posing in front of a sand castle “surfing gnome”; a lovely red tractor; a sculpture of a kneeling girl wearing a sunhat; and a pre-Disneyland era play house.


 I have to admit, the adventure started with groans and protests–let’s just say my children never relish the prospect of being uncomfortable and wet–but after it was over, as we sipped warm hot chocolate at home, the kids pronounced the fields ”awesome” and the rain “not so bad.”

I’ll resist the impulse to say anything about stopping and smelling the–you know the rest.  ~