Thursday, October 27, 2016

you're drinking a kid's birthday party

the october birthday party train just keeps chuggin' along.  this time, it was for one of the bean's friends who she first met way back in our gymboree play & learn classes who ended up being in her transitional kindergarten class and has been her classmate almost every year since then.  his family always throws a kick ass party, and when we got the invitation and i saw that they were doing it at the local country club, i knew it was going to be a good time.

i was apparently so dazzled by everything that i neglected to take a lot of pictures.  oops.  it happened to be a cloudy, drizzly day - which isn't a bad thing.  and when we pulled into the parking lot the first thing we saw was the giant bounce house squeezed in underneath the entrance to the club.  definitely looked like party central.

inside, we found a lot of our friends already there, and while we'd already lost the bean at the bounce house, it didn't take long for her to find the extensive craft table.  there were fun things to paint and color and glittery tattoos and snacks, and it was quite the minecraft-themed wonderland.

there was a DJ/announcer/performer who alternated between playing prerecorded music, jamming on his guitar with covers of popular songs, and organizing the kids in some fun activities.

meanwhile, the old lady and i discovered the mimosas.

and there was a photo booth.

the food was really good, too.  there was a create-your-own-omelette bar, a salad bar, several hot entrees, and a whole table of kid-friendly grub like pizza, mac & cheese, chicken fingers.  good thing too, because i'd been sitting down while i drank that mimosa and then remembered that i hadn't really eaten when i got up to find some sustenance.  heh.  i made myself a nice plate of food and then figured i was good to go with round 2.

and then the kids started playing that stupid bottle flipping game - they literally take a half-full bottle of water, toss it in the air to flip it and watch it land, hopefully upright.  i suppose this is a good thing keeps them entertained for a long ass time, no electronics or screen time involved.  but still...lame-o.

while they did that, we discovered the rice krispy treats and cookie decorating station.

the party raged on for a few hours, and then they wrapped it up with a karaoke session.

our house is literally down the street and around the corner from the club, so we could easily have walked home.  you know, since i'd managed to take down 2.5 mimosas.  but by the time we finally got outta there, i'd eaten more stuff and drank a ton of water.  and so we scampered through the rain and into the car and drove the 45 seconds home.

i'm dying to see how these parties evolve as the kids get older.  i hope mimosas continue to be part of the program...for the parents, at least.  heh.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

pumpkins, peanuts, perris

i haven't done the pumpkin patch thing in quite a long time.  the last few years, MIL has been in town around this time and usually took the girls while the hub and i were off doing...well, something fun, i'm sure.  this year, though, we were on our own.  and as it often does, facebook came to my rescue when a sponsored post came up for the "peanuts great pumpkin patch express" - a train ride, pumpkin patch, activities, live music, you get it.  i invited some friends to join us, and we booked tickets for a sunday morning seating.

the event was at the orange empire railway museum in perris, which is about an hour away from us.  it was a really nice day - a little cloudy, a little sunny, temperatures in the 70s.  perfect fall weather for a trip to the pumpkin patch.

we'd gotten there just a few minutes ahead of schedule, and there was already a pretty good-sized line of folks waiting to board the train.

there were cute peanuts-themed decorations inside the train, and we found plenty of seats available in the very first car.

we showed our tickets to the volunteer who came through, and she exchanged them for these to use when we got to the pumpkin patch.

the actual train ride was short and not particularly picturesque.  we chugged along very slowly up the same street we'd pulled in on, stopped briefly, and headed right back.  then we rode through a residential area, stopped again, and chugged right back to where we started.  it was just enough to satisfy the kids' hankering for a train ride.

the pumpkin patch was well stocked, especially since we were the first group of the day.

 and then the bean and her friends headed over to the pumpkin decorating station to do a little painting.

this man REALLY wanted to capture these moments with his camera, practically shoving me aside to get to his grandkid.

just a few feet away, the peanuts characters arrived for photo ops.  the line to meet them grew quickly as the girls worked on their pumpkins.

by the time we were ready to get in line, the staffer told us that the characters were going to take a break, but would be FORTY minutes.  um, no.  so we settled for a picture with their butts instead, which the girls found funnier anyway.

there was a gift shop, of course.

and silly photo ops.

on a potty break, we discovered this trolley bus thing that offered a ride that looped through the museum grounds.  sure, why not?

these buses used to take people through downtown l.a.  the museum has a couple of them, and this one has been fully restored and even has ads for products from the era.  it was really cute.

there wasn't much to see, but we learned a lot more about the mechanics of the bus than we ever even knew we wanted to know.

when the ride was over, we went to check out the old trolleys in one of the buildings.

this descanso funeral car is the last of its kind in existence.  people used to pay $25 to load up their deceased loved ones and have a short service onboard while en route to the cemetery.

afterwards, we decided to head out to riverside to grab some lunch.  the mission inn was all ready for halloween, and we made a tentative date to head out again to see it in december when it's fully decorated for the holidays.

the girls loved talking to the parrots, who talked right back.

one last selfie for the road!

sunday funday, indeed.
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