Monday, March 14, 2016

Spring Fling

As soon as school ended last Friday, we headed for our (almost) annual trip to Arizona.  After battling traffic and the rain, we finally made it to our home base in Chandler.
Over the next few days Ava spent tons of time at the pool and on the waterslide.  With just a handful of other kids (and adults) there, she came close to 100 trips down the slide.

One of the biggest reasons we drive six hours through the desert is for Spring Training.  Our first game this year was between the Angels and the hated San Francisco Giants.  Ava enjoyed seeing a home run from Albert Pujols and eating an enormous ice cream.
The next day we drove the length of the valley to Surprise to see the World Series Champion Kansas City Royals.
One of the Royals coaches tossed Ava a ball and she was able to get it signed by Royals manager Ned Yost.  

Even though Ava didn't get to meet Eric Hosmer or Mike Moustakas, she did meet a couple young Royals minor leaguers who are dreaming of the days in the big leagues when they don't have to sleep four to a room, and they no longer have to drive a hand me down car with 200,000 miles on it.
In order to get a little exercise, we hiked up A Mountain in Tempe which offers views over the ASU campus, Tempe, and all the way to downtown Phoenix and beyond.
 No Cruz family trip would be complete without gorging on all kinds of sweets and sinful delights that we wouldn't get at home.  Ava enjoyed dessert for breakfast at Waffle House,
More dessert for breakfast at Snooze,
Chicken tenders and beer sniffing (she has a ways to go before she can do any tasting) at Four Peaks Brewing Company, 
Not one, 
But two visits to Cracker Barrel (which still has yet to open a branch in California),
And Mexican food on the drive home. 
Until next time, Arizona! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Back in Time

Ava has recently spent a lot of time travelling back in time.  She gave a brilliant performance as one of the narrators in her school's third grade play on the history of Orange County.
The third graders also celebrated Acjachemen Day, when they got to make corn flour, play games, and practice hunting activities that would have been done by the native Acjachemen (or JuaneƱo) tribe.
Ava's class got to see a bit of how class worked back in the days of one-room schoolhouses at Heritage Hill Historical Park. 
Heading south, our family visited Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
We got to stay in the state park in what was originally the Casa de Bandini, which was originally constructed in 1827. 
Ava was enthralled by the blacksmith.  Really, she stayed there at least twice as long as Chris and Abby would have.  
We saw lots of other old-timey things like the tinsmith, a tobacco shop, and Ava got to dip her own candle.
We all enjoyed tea in a Victorian home at Heritage County Park.
Down the street, we visited the Mormon Battalion Museum where we became honorary Mormons for the day, and where Ava learned how difficult washing clothes was in the 19th century.
 
Closer to home, Ava took her first trip to Knott's Berry Farm where she went on all sorts of rides, ate ribs, listened to some old fashioned country tunes, and got to meet players from the Anaheim Ducks. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

The Christmas season started early in Irvine with Ava's visit to Duck the Halls where she got to hang out with Wild Wing dressed up as Santa.
After Thanksgiving, we picked out our tree and Ava got to decorate it (at least the lower branches).
It wouldn't be the Christmas season without sweets, and Ava enjoyed decorating (and eating) cookies, and making gingerbread houses with her friends. 
Santa made his annual trip to Irvine, and Ava was lucky enough to see him in person along with her playgroup friends.
Ava made a trip to Torrance where she walked with Grammy and Poppy to see all the wonderful Christmas lights.
The first week of winter break was spent in Oakland visiting Grandma and Grandpa.
Taking a trip to the City, Grandma and Grandpa took Ava to see the San Francisco Ballet's performance of (what else?) The Nutcracker.
Christmas Eve was spent at church where cousin Henry was the star of the Christmas Pageant, and then visiting Auntie Hannah, Uncle Rob, and cousins Gil and Henry.
The evening was capped off by Grandpa's reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas."
Ava must've been pretty good in 2015 as Santa, and Ava's friends and family, gave her some wonderful gifts.
The Christmas celebrations continued back home with a celebration with Grammy and Poppy.
To cap off the holiday festivities, Ava had a sleepover at a friend's house for New Year's Eve before spending New Year's Day at the beach where she spotted her first dolphin of the year.
Here's to a 2016 filled with laughter, learning, and more adventures!