Crab Feast

We found a new favorite restaurant in Ventura, called Crab n Spice. I guess it's a traditional 'crab boil' type place, but neither hubby nor I knew what a crab boil was.

Ohhhhh, have we been missing out!
Tonight was our second visit and we took little Miss Leanne along - mainly to see her reaction to the food.
She wasn't upset by the eyes, whiskers (antennae) or legs, but that didn't mean she was going to eat any of it either.

A bowl of rice with soy sauce, a glass of water, and Leanne was a happy camper. Which left just that much more seafood for the big kids. Yummmmmmmm.


The Fair!

The Ventura County Fair never changes - ok, almost never. We fell in love with the marionberry pie vendor last year and went back this year specifically for their treats. Guess what? No marionberry vendor. We were so bummed!

Riding the bus from the beach to the Fair? Check.
Face painting? Check.
Riding the ponies? Check.
Getting to ride Sweet Pea, your very favorite pony? Check and double check.
Visiting the displays and acting silly? Check!
Feeding and brushing the petting zoo animals? Check.
And not so check - Leanne was freaked out by the pushiness of the animals,
and Leia had a hard time keeping this deer from repeatedly eating her skirt; 
the deer was much more interested in the fabric than the food pellets.

We also had hot dogs (Pink's -yummmmmm!), ice cream cones, and BBQ; bought toy swords that light up and make noise; and finished the day at Royal Bakery for the girls' favorite cow cookies*. 
Now that's how you celebrate the Fair!   

* Yep, I'm the Grandma of Awesome - and Sugar. Please don't tell their parents.


Double-Decker Carousel

Last week we celebrated "only Leanne" day with Grandma and PopPop.
We headed out early for Topanga Mall

 where Leanne agreed that carousels are fun,
but double-decker carousels? Where you can run up the stairs to find your favorite animal?

And watch Grandma try not to get sick on the twirling teacup?

Super. Fun.
Then top it off with a bit of sugar (ok, a lot of sugar)

a hike up the really BIG stairs with Pop,
and a little bit of lion around?

Then you have a sooper-dooper fun "just Leanne" day.



We had dinner with Mr. T last week, 
and it was a non-stop blur of motion and giggles. 
He's so happy at 3 and a half;
always moving and always talking.
Our cell phones didn't stand a chance of keeping up with him,
so blurred pix are about all we got.
I don't care though - 
these make me laugh every time I see them.


Bre's Elliephant

Breanne admired the rainbow elephant I made awhile back and asked if I would make her one.
We discussed colors - both likes and dislikes - and headed off to lunch.  The very next day, I found the perfect yarn in the sale bin at my fav yarn store - 
the blues and sage green Bre liked, with the perfect white to set off the motifs. 

I added in a touch of orange* - Bre's favorite color - and a deep red to balance it out and viola - 
a teeny, tiny elephant. 
Teeny when compared to my rainbow baby anyway.
Leanne helped me take pictures - 
she took this shot -
before teeny, tiny went to her (his?) new home.
 "I like belly rubs and long walks on the savannah."

Breanne promised to tell me her baby's new name, just as soon as she decides on one.

Pattern is Nellie the Elephant African Flower Crochet Pattern by Heidi Bears. My project details are here.

* And yes, I did indeed buy a 400-yard ball of orange yarn, in the perfect shade, just so I'd have the 10 yards I needed for this elephant. Nothing strange about that, right?



Phantom of the Opera is one of hubby and my favorite musical productions, so when I had a chance at discount tickets, we grabbed Leia and Mary and were on our way.
Not knowing what traffic in L.A. would be like on a Wednesday, we left home at 4:45 for an 8:00 pm show. 
Leia proudly giving me bunny ears.

So - of course - traffic was light and we got to the Pantages by 6. If we'd left any later we probably still wouldn't be there.
Dinner at Taps Bar and a stroll up Hollywood Blvd (that didn't come out right . . . ) 
left us plenty of time to stand around the lobby taking pics and listening to Leia ask, for the 93rd time, "Can we go in now???"
I wasn't sure how Leia would like Phantom since it's definitely not a kid's show, but she loved it. 
She sat on my lap for the entire production, absolutely fascinated. 
My favorite moment came in the first act when a uniformed actor in a white powdered wig walked on-stage and Leia whispered, "What's George Washington doing here?" Cracked me up.


Day Trip

Hubby and I had a bad case of "gotta go somewhere", so Tuesday afternoon we packed up Leia and headed for Long Beach. 
We timed it almost perfectly traffic-wise, hitting just a bit of rush hour madness before reaching our goal - Aquarium of the Pacific - just a few minutes after half-price admission rates went into effect.
Leia loves the aquarium - especially petting the critters -
but seldom wants to stay more than 2 hours. The 5-8 pm window was perfect (did I mention it was half price?)
We had plenty of time to see my favorite sea dragons -

and discover that not only do they have Leafy Sea Dragons

but also Reedy and Ribbon sea dragons. So cool!!

Jellies were in abundance -
including some with crazy flashing lights.

A quick stop at Bubba Gump's to feed little Miss Grumpy
and we were off to our final destination -

an overnight stay on the Queen Mary!

Leia loved that she had her own little room within our stateroom.
She also thought the choice of bathwater - fresh or salt - was pretty cool too. (I might have told her the salt water came straight from the ocean . . . sea creatures and all . . .)
We did a bit of exploring that night
but saved most of our adventuring for the following day.
We happily wandered for several hours, 
from the bridge,
through all the decks
and even "under water" to view a propeller.
Leia even learned what these red things were for -
photo props, right?

A fun, relaxing, slightly educational trip. (Don't tell Leia that last "educational" part, ok?)