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Thursday, November 17, 2022

all grown up

we were really excited to attend a quinceaƱera for one of the bean's OG BFFs - we love her and her whole family, and we were honored to be invited to share in her special day.  the bean has known her since kindergarten (maybe even transitional kindergarten, i can't remember) and they've shared lots and lots of memories together.

while the old lady and i were out browsing through one of our favorite clothing stores for ideas of what to wear to the big party, i realized that i actually have sewing patterns for a lot of the styles we were looking at.  and so we decided to head over to joann's to find some fabric and save a ton of cash on our outfits.  the old lady had requested one of those simple bias-cut skirts with a kimono to wear over it, and as we shopped through the special occasion fabrics aisle we came across a bolt of material that i knew was perfect for what she was picturing.  i remembered that i had a chunk of green stretch satin in my stash, and after an afternoon of cutting and sewing her outfit was ready.  i even had enough of the satin to make her a matching tank top, but i'd had to make it without her around and it didn't end up fitting properly.  oh well, i think the outfit still looked pretty good, and you get this picture because she wasn't in the mood to take pictures once we were actually at the party:

BFF's mom had hit me up to do some cookies for the dessert buffet:

the ballroom looked lovely, and i could see how much work they'd all put into making the venue perfect for the birthday girl.  i thought i'd taken more pictures, but i must have been too preoccupied with catching up with moms from the bean's old school.  oops.

the birthday girl was beaming, and looked so grown up.  i still can't believe they went from this:

to this.

and the three besties, from this:

to this.  sigh.

i guess we clean up pretty nicely.  i did make my dress, although you can't really see it here.  it's super comfy though, and it has pockets!

the kids were having a great time, with a lot of them not having seen each other since the graduation party back in may.

i did manage to corral the hub for at least one picture.

we ended up having to leave well before the end of the party, which was kind of a bummer because we were having a great time.  but since the bean had a ton of homework to get done, we did the grown-up, responsible thing and headed on outta there.  that's okay, though.  we got to spend some time with our friends and celebrate BFF's milestone birthday, and that's all that matters.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

partying like rock stars

while the bean, the hub and MIL were excited at the prospect of spending four hours on horseback, i...was not.  it's just not my thing, and the few times i've tried it i always find myself anxious and uncomfortable the whole time.  and so i was happy to get up the next morning and see them off as they headed out to the stables to meet up with the guide while i hung out in the cabin.  i was pretty amused when i went back inside and noticed that what i'd been seeing on the doorstep was not, in fact, some sort of creepy crawly.  no, instead i looked a little closer and realized that someone must have really partied their face off and lost one of their eyelash strips from the wedding that had happened the night before we checked in.  

since the only wifi available was in the lobby/dining room, i'd attempted to download a barre class from the peloton app so that i could continue the month-long streak i was on.  unfortunately, i found out that you actually have to have some sort of internet access to do any of the classes even if you "preload" one - which doesn't really make sense.  and so while we were having breakfast, i screen recorded the class that i wanted to take so that i'd get credit for it.  back at the cabin, i turned on the tv to kill some time and digest my breakfast before my workout:

meanwhile, the others had checked in with the guide down at the stables and met their horses.

i did my barre class, took a nice hot shower and then busted out some yarn to cast on a new project.  but first, i had to wind it into a ball and i'd packed my yarn swift to do just that.  i had five skeins of this:

and i set up my yarn swift on the table:

within a couple of minutes, the first ball was done.

exciting stuff, amirite?  well, it is for me.  in the meantime, the others were having a ball out on the trail.

they returned to the cabin, dusty and exhilarated.  once they had a chance to get cleaned up, we hopped into the truck and headed out to solvang to see if we could find some snacks and stuff.  and as we usually do, we grabbed a table at this restaurant to have some fresh, hot aebelskivers topped with raspberry jam:

of course, we stopped in here so that MIL could pick up a bucket of cookies to take home to FIL.

it was just about time for a little pick-me-up, so we walked over to this cute little coffee shop and managed to grab some lattes before they closed for the day.

i got the bean to recreate a photo from the last time we were up here in 2020:

and then we drove over to see the old santa barbara mission, which was closed by the time we got there.  no biggie, we just walked around it and took pictures.

none of us were particularly interested in going back to the ranch for dinner, so our last stop was the pier.  we put our names down for a table at the santa barbara shellfish company, and were seated fairly quickly.

by the time we got back to the cabin it was cold and dark, and after the hours they'd spent riding their horses everyone was pretty tired.  we were all in bed before 11, like the party animals we are.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

checking into the circle b

the other activity that the bean had mentioned to her dad while brainstorming for birthday activities was horseback riding.  and so he and i had scoured the internet for ideas of where to go somewhat locally for a quick getaway that would incorporate that request.  as luck would have it, their school had a 3-day fall break on the calendar that fell right on their birthday week.  and with MIL in town for the annual birthday celebration, the timing was pretty much perfect.  the old man wasn't able to get away, and so he and the old lady stayed at our house with the dogs while were gone.

after checking out everything from swanky resorts to full-on dude ranches, we ended up settling on something somewhere in between - a cute looking ranch resort just north of santa barbara.  it was a nice drive, and we were pulling into the circle b ranch within a couple of hours.

when we walked into the lobby, there was just one person inside.  the hub went over to handle the check-in process while the rest of us walked around and checked things out.

we'd booked one of their hillside homesteads - a 2-story, 2 bedroom cabin.  it was cute and (mostly) clean, and it was home for the next two nights.  we gave MIL the downstairs bedroom while we shared the loft with the bean.

while they were excited to climb up into the top bunk, we told them that we'd take the bunk beds and give them the king size bed...since they were the birthday person, after all.

accommodations at the ranch also include breakfast and dinner.  we had our very own assigned table in the dining room, and we headed over when it was dinnertime.  there were only two other tables of guests for that night, and it was a simple and adequate meal of salmon served with pasta, vegetables and a dinner roll.

the hub had mentioned the bean's birthday when he made the reservation, and the chef came out with dessert and the birthday song at the end of our meal.

the three of them were booked for a half-day horseback riding excursion the next morning, so we headed back to the cabin after dinner and hung out until bedtime.  it was a nice, low-key, relaxing day and a great start to the bean's well-deserved fall break.

“may” i offer you another photo dump?

yup.  another recap of an entire month in one post.  because it’s easier, and because not every little bit needs its own post, and also beca...