Category Archives: family

August Backlog

Continuing from July.

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July backlog

Continuing from June.

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Rio del Mar

It’s not a proper summer vacation without a trip to the beach. And being NorCal people, it’s not a proper trip to the beach unless it’s cold and overcast. Last year I took the boys to Pomponio. This year we hit Rio del Mar.

I used to go to this beach with summer camp. Instead of paying admission at Seacliff the camp bus always dropped us off in Aptos and we’d spend the day at Rio del Mar where we could still see the concrete ship while playing in the water.

The last time I was here, decades ago, I was lucky to see dolphins go bounding across the water. It was a wonderful surprise to see them on this trip too.

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Coyote Point

Our annual summer trip to Coyote Point and CuriOdyssey. The boys are kind of outgrowing the zoo although the fact that the animals were easily visible and very active this trip helped assuage that. But they’re liking the exhibits more and are starting to make connections to stuff they’re learning in school. This is encouraging. I remember going to the Exploratorium at least once every year when I was a kid* and I don’t remember ever paying attention to the science behind the exhibits.

*Usually on both a school fieldtrip and a summer camp field trip.

We also did our usual thing of hitting the Magic Mountain playground for a bit of fun on the gigantic slide. Then I took the boys up the road a bit to Burlingame for It’s-Its. It was, after all, National Ice Cream Sandwich Day.

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Summer Parties

Where the previous post involved multiple parties for one birthday this one includes one party for multiple birthdays as well as a graduation party and another birthday party. Summer is time for family and family visits. We’re pretty isolated on the East Coast so it’s wonderful—especially for the kids—to be able to spend so much time with everyone.

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San José Obon

I didn’t get to have an Obon post last year because I ended up dancing for the first time.* I didn’t plan on it but the kids got really into the San José Obon practices and so I ended up helping and encouraging them and by the end of the summer they’d danced in multiple obons and had managed to convince my mom to outfit them with all the accoutrement that they’d need for the next year.

*A few post-odori photos did make it into my July backlog though.

Anyway, dancing was fun and while I don’t plan on doing it in every obon I attend, it’s nice to actually take part beyond just photographing the event. Also, I got to spend a year thinking about how I wanted to photograph this year’s odori while dancing. I opted for the “hold the camera in my hand and shoot viewfinderless” approach—a very different viewpoint than my previous telephoto shots and one that, aside from the consistency of who’s in the photo, I find myself enjoying just for the way it forces me to cede control.

Also, yes, my family was all wearing matching Giants happi.

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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

In many ways our yearly visit to the Boardwalk has become one of those things the boys look forward to the most. Last year my eldest got to ride the Giant Dipper for the first time. This year my youngest is tall enough that, with a chaperone, he can go on most of the grown-up rides as well. So this ended up being the first year we started at the non-kiddie end of the Boardwalk and worked our way in the other direction until the clock ran out.

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