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Author: BonnieSea

Traveling on Toddler Time

Traveling on Toddler Time

“There’s also this train we should do!” Kelly is enthused about planning a weekend full of fun activities for Skye. There is so much to do in LA, but one of the big problems we’re running into is that everything, especially kids activities, closes at 5. By the time I get her home from school and napped, it’s 3:30 and if we take the bus, we’re lucky to get where we’re going by 4:30.

Last night, after ballet lessons, I decided a trip through Little Tokyo would be fun and yummy. After all, you can’t go wrong with sushi and, in the middle of the week, taking Skye to a fancy restaurant is an option. While most businesses were open (yay!), they were hardly crowded. Indeed, I didn’t feel like I was in the downtown area of a bustling city at all!

The sushi turned out to be excellent and the grocery store somewhere I need to avoid in the future (must try and cook all the things!!!).

We had less luck when shopping for Skye’s Halloween costume. After hitting the dance supply store around 4pm, we headed off to get white swan feathers. Theoretically, the store I was aiming for, the entertainingly-named and well-reviewed Mother Plucker was open till 6pm. However, when bus after bus didn’t show up on schedule, we didn’t make it and had to swing by the much more prosaic, but open late, Michael’s to pick up feathers.

Toddler time means it’s hard to cram a lot into a day. On the weekends, I try to plan one activity for the morning and maybe one more for the afternoon/evening. It just takes longer to get her organized to get somewhere and, when she’s having fun, you hardly want to leave. It also means that there will be down days when she comes home from school exhausted and doesn’t wake up from her nap until 5:15. We aren’t going anywhere on those days.

It also means we get to take advantage of having a toddler to do all the fun things that adults are just to cool to do like the freaky Halloween maze the neighbors set up (and loading up on candy). Sometimes, it means it’s hard to make it to everything you want to do, though. Despite the fact that she sits through and loves ballet, I decided she wasn’t quite ready for a full performance of Carmen (we’re going to try an Ok, Go! concert this weekend, instead).

Long Time No Update

Long Time No Update

Last night, I raced around the apartment trying to put in earrings, order pizza, and give the sitter last minute instructions at the same time. With just enough time, I slipped out of the down and down to the car to be swept away to the Academy of Motion Pictures theater in Los Angeles, grab out tickets, and breeze through security. I climbed the stairs, took the obligatory selfie with the golden statue, and then claimed my seat in the red velvet chairs.

Soon, the lights in the theater went down and the red curtains were swept aside to reveal the new adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, a delightfully funny and beautiful film directed and headlined by Kenneth Branagh. As the credits rolled, the crowed clapped for each performance as the actor’s name appear on the screen and then the lights came up and the director, screen-writer, and a portion of the cast engaged in an excellent discussion of some of the details of the movie.

I’m not making this up, this was a screening, a pre-showing of the movie to industry insiders and I was there as a guest of my sister-in-law. She got the tickets, I chatted up the extroverted rabbi (also a guest) sitting next to me.

Getting here was a bit of a circuitous path, though it’s been so busy I haven’t had much time to sit and write (clearly). We pulled the boat out of the water near where we last were in New Bern for some bottom work and, apparently, a rudder-shaft re-building. Then, Skye and I headed to the mountains while Geoff headed off to his farm. A few weeks in the mountains enjoying crisp fall weather and hikes to waterfalls was followed by business trips and a yoga retreat for me (Skye went to stay with Geoff at the farm for a spell). Then Skye and I climbed on a cross-country airplane and arrived in the heat of Los Angeles to spend some time with Kelly.

Los Angeles is a wonderful place for a child to explore, from afternoons at Snooknuk to high-quality children’s theater, we’ve enjoyed exploring the area. We took a long-weekend trip to Yosemite and have several more excursions planned. I’ve also managed to squeeze in a little adult fun such as seeing the screening and going out with friends. We’re soaking up the LA heat (104+ for the last three days), dancing lots of ballet, and exploring!

Exploring with Bears

Exploring with Bears

“You need to go to New Bern,” the marina manager was quite serious. We were comfortably ensconced in a marina in Oriental with a pool, but he seemed to know what he was talking about. I did a little research on things to do with kids in the area and New Bern did seem promising.

So we chose a bumpy afternoon and made our way up the river a few hours to downtown New Bern. If Oriental has a thing with dragons, New Bern has an even bigger thing with bears. Skye has taken to bear-spotting as we bike along the cute downtown streets. Many businesses have bear statues out front where the bears are painted to cleverly show the business withing. The real estate bear is holding a “SOLD” sign, the lawyer bear holds scales of justice, and the seafood restaurant bear is dressed like a captain. Within biking distance are several preschools, amazing playgrounds (check out Kidsville, New Bern), swimming pools, the library, toy stores, book stores, splash pads, more awesome playgrounds, restaurants (check out the Cow Cafe), a doggie bakery, a wonderful farmer’s market, movies in the park, museums, yoga, ballet lessons, and much more. Basically, everything we need except a grocery store. Getting to the grocery store is only an Uber ride away, and I’ve gotten to know several of the town’s Uber drivers well.

Over the last month we’ve been settled in New Bern, we’ve started the process of making friends. Friends at swim lessons, friends on the playground, friends at the pool, and lots of friends at ballet lessons. Skye has been doing ballet on our boat through videos and the help of an online teacher, but enrolling her in ballet summer camp has been a wonderful experience for both of us. She is excited to go and happy when she is done.

We had hoped to make it further north this summer, but it looks like this is it for us. We are getting canvas made and will hopefully have sails before the end of the month. Then we’ll be pulling the boat and re-doing the rudder shaft so hopefully when we splash it in the spring, we won’t have the leak.

Are we leaving cruising a little early this year? Maybe, but I have obligations in the mountains, so Skye and I will be headed into the mountains for early fall and then off on more adventures this winter that I’m very excited about. Then when we get back to the boat in the spring, we’ll be set up and ready to sail north and really enjoy exploring.