We decided to get away from the coastal gloom and cool weather this weekend, and drive up north about an hour to Perris. There is a lake there we have never been too, and also some letterboxes that I wanted to find. This time we left Rocket at home with the three dogs we are babysitting. I packed us a lunch, grabbed the fishing gear, and we were out the door by 10 am. Having driven through the high desert area many times before, I wasn't expecting much in the way of landscape and natural beauty, but after this winter's steady rains, I was pleasantly suprised!. Everything is green and the wildflowers are blooming prolifically. The lake was a lovely suprise, too. It was created and dammed in 1972. It was at one time, 95 feet deep at its deepest. It is stocked with trout, bass, and bluegill and catfish. Last year, the city of Perris lowered the level of the water to a depth of 50 feet. Apparently, during the building boom of the past few years, the people who thought it would be nice to live near the lake decided that having a dam across the street wasn't such a perk. I don't know who is more dumb-the builders, buyers or city. Regardless, the lake is actually quite pretty. There are boats to rent, as well as horses, a swimming area, fishing area, hiking and camping. The rock formations are beautiful-but, even though we looked and looked, we didn't find the letterboxes we were looking for. But we did find old Luisueno Indian mortar holes in flat rocks hidden under some pepper trees, as well as faded petroglyphs. The boys had fun pretending to be Indians and slidind down rocks. Allan and I think we will try out the camping there sometime. It is nice that the place is only an hour from home-far enough away to feel like you went some place yet close enough to not need a vacation from the vacation! The best part? Watching the boys have a great time!
We had a great time up in the mountains this weekend. We took our annual Big Bear trip and had the best time ever! The kids disappeared with all the the other cousins. They had the run of the house and we basically didn't see them all weekend. Between the pool table, games, sauna and the sledding hill, it was paradise for everyone. We had our own private sledding hill, and the mother of all snowball fights. Jonah was the only one who sustained injury this year. After a sledding accident (with daddy), he landed face first in a snow/ice drift and ended up with a bloody nose and road rash. It didn't slow him down much. The house we stay in overlooks Big Bear Lake and this year the lake is frozen over. We watched fox cross over the frozen water. Allan and I had the chance to go and ski/board together for the first time since having kids. We took the twins with us this year-they will be 16 next week. They haven't boarded since we took them 10 years ago! They picked it up quickly and were sliding down the slopes in no time! We look forward to this family weekend every year and are already looking forward to next February.
Jonah is only three, but already he knows how to 'work it.' He will be the heartbreaker, while Dante will get his heart broken. Ana, our awesome babysitter, who we have had for almost three years, (Thank God for her!) came Sunday night to watch the boys so Allan and I could go on a much needed dinner date. She must have gone out during the day, because when she arrived she had her hair down and curly, and was wearing nice clothes. Jonah took one look at her, stopped short and gave her the eye. He looked her up and down, walked around her like she was a new car for purchase. He said "Oh Ana...!" and was then speechless. He attempted to express himself a couple of times, but could only say "Oh Ana....!" He finally got it out:
"Oh Ana! You look....you look.....PERFECT."
She came back to the house the next day in her usuall 'uniform' of velour sweats and hair in a ponytail, I asked him "Does Ana still look perfect?"
He looked up from his breakfast-swept his eyes over her briefly and said, "No. Not now."