This month’s Relief Society activity was on staycations. Did you know that’s a real word? It’s true. According to Wikipedia, the term was added to the 2009 version of the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.
We talked about the myriad of staycation options here in the San Francisco Bay Area. We didn’t even touch the many things to do in Southern California! It was a great activity. So simple yet so informative.
One idea briefly mentioned was Sycamore Grove. I have heard the name of this place mentioned but I have no idea what it is. I think it’s a beautiful place to hike and bike. My friend, Sheila, has never been there either but she called and asked if I wanted to check it out with her.
She picked me up with scooters loaded for the boys she babysits. We loaded up Parker’s bike but left Gwen’s trike behind because Sheila had a stroller for her. Gwen doesn’t really pedal her trike anyway.
We headed out to Sycamore Grove with only Google Maps as our guide. We drove along enjoying the company of everyone as well as the scenery. About the point that we stopped for expensive gas was the point Google’s directions started to fail. Sheila and I exchanged getting lost in a car stories and laughed. We were having fun. The kids were getting a little restless. Well, mine were anyway.
Conversation turned to stories we were told as kids. Those teasing things you tell siblings because they’re gullible and so trusting. I think every kid is told they were adopted at least once in their life. I was told I came with the house. Sheila’s sisters had her thinking she was adopted from an Indian Reservation. My brother told me not to spit in the sink because everything drained to Ethiopia and those people didn’t want toothpaste spit in their drinking water! He also told me cheese wheels used to be made from ear wax. I believed all of it, trusting soul that I was. No wonder I’m so skeptical of everything now!
The more we drove and talked the more it was becoming very apparent the directions were not working for us. We had no idea where we were and there were no signs to help us out. So we gave up. I think if there weren’t kids involved I would have told her to keep driving around. I would have paid for gas and we could have just kept talking on our adventure. But the kids were all starting to ask that dreaded question.
Are we there yet?
So we went back to home base and to a park. We unloaded the bike, scooters and helmets. Gwen was very put out that she didn’t have anything to ride. Not only that but she wasn’t allowed to play with anyone else’s stuff! The indignity of it all.
So I called Heath, who was working from home today to deal with the DMV. Again. Long story. I will say don’t ever do business with Well’s Fargo. They’re idiots. Anyway, I told Heath to bring by Gwen’s trike. And he did.
In the meantime, the kids wore themselves out on what I assume is the longest slide ever to be at a neighborhood park with no bathrooms.
That’s not even the whole slide. Wait, here’s a better picture . . .
I don’t care who you are, that’s impressive. Sheila held two year old Ryan on her lap and went down. I was nervous to let Gwen have at it so I figured I would hold her too.
No. Gwen has absolutely no fear. She insisted on going down herself.
You can see the look of pure joy on her face.
Then she would head up the stairs for more. Unstoppable Gwen.
The kids played on the playground and rode bikes a little. We had lunch. Since it is a neighborhood park with no bathroom we couldn’t stay for too long.
I took a few pictures of the kids. Ryan and Tyler are the sweetest boys. We will definitely miss them. Tyler will start kindergarten in the fall like Parker. Just not at the same school, of course. We live in no man’s land so all our ward friends and friends of ward friends go to different schools. Sheila will still watch Ryan if his parents need her to but it sounds like he may be in a day care/preschool right next to his mom’s classroom.
Sheila told me this was the last time she was babysitting before summer. She said it as I was unloading stuff in front of my house. It finally hit me. School ends tomorrow. While I’m excited I’m actually sad too. I have enjoyed Thursday play dates with Sheila. Friday park day may disband for the summer as well. We’ll see. Most of the parents I see at school every day will be there next year but one, who I have become friends with over the last two years, is moving to Canada. It’s all sinking in now. So sad.
Today was a great adventure. Summer is the next adventure. There’s always an adventure around every corner. In the Bay Area, adventure awaits in your own backyard.