Now that the semester is over and all the graduations have taken place, we are officially “on break.” A couple of months ago, when we were trying to plan what to do during Larry’s two weeks off, we had the fleeting idea of possibly visiting the East Coast. After considering all the logistics of getting plane tickets, finding places to stay and traveling with a 7-month-old, it felt like more work than we wanted to handle. Instead, we opted to stay home for our vacation and do some much needed spring cleaning. I even made a list of all the cleaning tasks we hoped to get done for each room. Who was I kidding? It’s now the second week of our “vacation” and we haven’t done a speck of cleaning.
We have, however, taken some interesting field trips. Our first one was to the Oakland Zoo, where CC had his first experience of seeing real elephants, giraffes and chimpanzees. The zoo is small, but has a lot of interactive exhibits for little children. My favorite was the petting barn, where you can pet the pygmy goats and brush the sheep. We got a year membership, so we’ll definitely go back again soon.
Our second day trip was to the Charles M. Schulz (creator of Peanuts) museum in Santa Rosa. This museum is a gem! I never really read Peanuts comics growing up (or any comics, for that matter), but after going to the museum, I am now a Peanuts fan. The simplicity of the art, the complexity of each character, the classic and timeless humor…Charles Schulz was a genius. Who else would have thought to write a comic strip about kids and a dog, and incorporate deep and heavy grown-up themes like unrequited love and war. Like the nerds we are, Larry and I tried to read through every comic strip in every exhibit. The museum itself is very well done and relatively new. The architecture is nice, with indoor and outdoor sculptures, and the admission fee includes a short video about the museum (which you watch in a small room with bean bags on the floor), and free screenings of different short Charlie Brown movies that are playing throughout the day.
Today was another fun day out. I left Larry at home and had a play date with my friend Michelle and her two kids at Play Cafe in the Oakland Hills. Brilliant business idea – open a place where adults can gab and drink coffee, while the kids play to their hearts content. The place was divided into little rooms – a small play kitchen with aprons and appliances, a room with dress up clothes and mirrors, a room with tables and chairs and coloring books, a little train room, and my favorite – a small plastic ball pit. Of course, CC is not quite old enough to appreciate all that, but he did enjoy the little floor area they have for the little ones since it has more toys than he has at home. And since they don’t charge for pre-crawlers, all I had to pay for was my mocha.
Maybe little daily field trips is the kind of break we need. No need to make big travel arrangements, find accommodations, deal with jet lag, or to alter CC’s schedule too much. And I’m discovering great places to go in our own backyard. I have a feeling we’re never going to get to that cleaning list. Oh well.