Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Goodnight Boats

Part of Lucca's bedtime routine is brushing her teeth while standing at the front door saying "Goodnight" to the boats in the bay. Yet another little piece of Sausalito we will miss when we move on from here.

On another note... Are all two-year-olds bedtime routines as prolonged as ours? Starting at 7:00 Lucca takes a bath, then watches her show, eats a bedtime snack, reads a story or three, brushes her teeth, looks at the boats, kisses her brother and daddy goodnight, says goodnight to all the family photos in our home, and then we enter her bedroom. We talk about what we did that day, sometimes we sing a song, and then I tuck her in her bed. She asks me if everything is closed for the day...the grocery store, the coffeeshop, the deli, etc. I say Yes, and that's the end of the routine. 8:00...Night, Night, Lucca. Whew.

(then she talks & sings from anywhere between 5 minutes to 1.5 hours in her crib)


Summer in Sausalito

...Is too dang cold! A winter hat and sweater in August?! Forecast was 76 today, but we are sitting here bundled up and freezing. Cheers to Novato, where we hope to find some warmth ASAP.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sausalito Friday nights

Lucca loved her time at Sausalito's Music by the Bay tonight. We met Rustin at the ferry and then enjoyed some good food, fun music, a gorgeous setting and friends! We had a picnic dinner on the waterfront...A fresh olive baguette from the farmer's market with Cowgirl Creamery cheese and heirloom tomatoes on top. So yummy! Lucca couldn't get enough of the cheese & bread, go figure, we're related! Then we had berries and chocolate coconut macaroons for dessert. And vino! Lucca danced with daddy, herself, and anyone else who felt like movin' and shakin'... Always the life of the party, our little shining star. Not sure where she learned the one leg hop dance, but like everything else at this age, we are sure it's just a phase. let's hope :). And in case you didn't know: Age 2 is the bomb.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Thank you for being the kid who tells me you are ready for nap, and then proceeds to sleep for three hours, every single day. At this rate, I am NEVER taking your paci away.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Isle of Palms

We just got back from another amazing Chao Family summer vacation. This year we spent a week in Isle of Palms, South Carolina. Heaven! It's a beautiful little beach town 15 minutes outside of Charleston. We spent our days by the pool & beach, riding bikes, eating Mimi's delicious home cookin and relaxing! We even got a parents night out thanks to Mimi and Papa watching all 5 grandkids. What a treat. It was so great to spend time with cousins and family we don't get to see nearly enough. Lucca had the best time, and Jackson was super chill as usual. And Rustin and I survived the cross-country flight both ways thanks to these amazing little travelers...
Our pool and view from the house. Stunning.
Lucca collecting seashells along our beach
The bridge into Charleston
Cousins Lucca and Lia and their unplanned matching dresses
Mema! Meeting Jackson for the 1st time. Most special part of the trip
More seashell collecting. We came home with many :)
Evenings were spent playing games. Mema playing Catch Phrase = Priceless
Jackson turned 4 months in South Carolina
The BEST dad and uncle
Jackson loved the pool
Vacation is awesomeee
Dolphin Watching... so cool
My husband, the hair model
Lucca reading to Aunt Ashley
Landing at SFO after a long day of traveling
Home Sweet Home!
Thank you Mimi for planning another AMAZING vacation for us all. Wish we were still there!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We love you, Sausalito

Our family has called Sausalito home sweet home for the past three years. Our city livin days came to a close shortly after having Lucca and realizing San Francisco was not the ideal environment we wanted to raise our family in. So we headed a wee bit North, crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, and settled into the closest-to-SF-without-actually-living-in-SF-city we could find: sweet & charming Sausalito. We've grown to love it, quirks, tourists, fog and all. But now that our family has expanded again, we've grown out of our home here and are moving further North to get even more space and sunshine.

We have about a month left here in Sausalito and I'm starting to get a little bit nostalgic and sad already. This town will always be super special to us and I hope I'll always hang on to some my favorite memories of this magical little place:

Driving by the elephants downtown, remembering when Lucca was about a year old and would raise her arm and make an elephant sound each and every time we passed those statues. They were "Lucca's elephants" of course.

Passing by the art gallery that has different colors of balloons on their sign every day.

Spending day after day going to the Bay Area Discovery Museum, making the most of our membership. Lucca has the museum memorized.

Throwing rocks into the water by Spinnakers.

The Sushi Ran water fountain that Lucca "washes her hands" in, even on the coldest of days. Same for the Yoga of Sausalito fountain.

Hiking these ridiculous hills, sometimes pushing a stroller while carrying a toddler. Hello, calf muscles.

Family walks to Cibo for lattes & muffins on Saturdays. And Lucca playing with the milk crates with all her buddies while parents sip their coffee.

Taste of Rome breakfast sandwiches -- we were in that rut for a long time

Fire House Pancake Breakfast. Eating pancakes in the firehouse, Lucca wearing a pink firehat and asking the fireman for more bacon. Awesome.

Taking walks along the boats, choosing our favorite ones. This is the best at Christmastime when the boats are decorated for the holidays.

Valeting the car at Poggio's to Lucca's dismay. She cried and cried when the man took our car.

The Sausalito Library. Probably the only library in America that hates kids, but we have fun nonetheless. Puzzles, coloring, blocks and dinosaurs. Wait, a library has books?

The beach! Beach days with our buddies. Standing on the surfboards for hours on end and stealing all the beach balls we can find.

The best Thai food. Arawan. And the girl who picks up Lucca every time we go there, even though Lucca is 2 now and not so light anymore.

Mollie Stones. I'm sure I'm not the only mom who goes and buys groceries so my child can get a balloon right? Every employee knows Lucca by name, and we know all their names. Ahmed spoils Lucca and gives her two balloons each time. Ann is the one who makes the balloons SO BIG that they pop before we make it home, every single time.

Honking at the tourists who go 5 mph in the 45 zone and who stop at all the YIELD signs.

Monday-Wednesday-Friday playtime! We met many of our favorite friends at Sausalito's Adventure Club. So thankful for this.

Taking Lucca on a walk along Bridgeway, 8 months pregnant with Jackson, and dropping my car keys in the gutter on the street. Sausalito Fire Department to the rescue. They saved my keys. My pride? Not so much.

Fourth of July parade. As lame as it was, small town fun indeed.

Picking up Daddy from the ferry, one of our favorite past-times. No daddy could be happier than ours to see his family waiting for him.

The park AKA Lucca's backyard. Robin Sweeney park, we are leaving before you get your remodel. And we are glad about that. We love you just the way you are...old, wooden, metal, sand, dangerous, etc. Soon you will look like every other park, big and bright, all plastic and safe with rubber turf. We loved our old-school park and spent HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS here. The tire swing, the balance beam, the slides. Drawing Gabba characters and surfboards with chalk on the basketball court. Learning to ride a scooter and a skateboard on this basketball court. Learning to roll in the grass at this park. Picking flowers, climbing trees and hiding in the bushes. So. Many. Memories.

Our house with 21 steps to the front door. This I will not miss.

The list goes on and on. We love this place and have endless memories here. I'm trying not to be sad because I know the next place is full of new memories to be made. We are thankful we had the opportunity to live here in the first place. People come from all over the world to see our little town, and they all leave happy they came. I feel the same way. Sausalito, I'm glad you were a stop on our journey. What an adventure its been.