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Grateful that photos don’t speak…

…so you don’t hear the whining and fighting from the 5.75 and 3 year-old boys who were tagging along on our last-minute Fourth of July escape to Mendocino County.

My hope is that these peaceful and calm photos (with my patented no whining kid filter) will eventually reshape our memories, so we remember ourselves as the perfect family, and we will remember this trip as the perfect summer getaway with the right balance of culture and quiet… 01-0065-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen02-0002-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen03-0067-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen04-0122-MendocinoGreenHarris07022017paigegreen05-0017-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen06-0023-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen07-0040-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen08-0049-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen09-0051-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen10-0062-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen11-0075-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen12-0079-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen13-0090-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen14-0115-MendocinoGreenHarris07022017paigegreen15-0140-MendocinoGreenHarris07022017paigegreen16-0152-MendocinoGreenHarris07022017paigegreen17-0160-MendocinoGreenHarris07022017paigegreen18-0165-MendocinoGreenHarris07022017paigegreen19-0167-MendocinoGreenHarris07022017paigegreen20-0172-MendocinoGreenHarris07032017paigegreen21-0175-MendocinoGreenHarris07032017paigegreen22-0173-MendocinoGreenHarris07032017paigegreen23-0180-MendocinoGreenHarris07032017paigegreen24-0198-MendocinoGreenHarris07032017paigegreen25-0199-MendocinoGreenHarris07032017paigegreen26-0204-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen27-0205-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen28-0207-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen29-0210-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen30-0212-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen31-0226-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen32-0228-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen33-0232-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen34-0235-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen35-0244-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen

If anyone has tips on how to travel successfully with children, so instead of whining they sweetly thank you for the enrichment you are providing their lives, I would love to hear them.

In case you are curious to learn more about the places in the photos above, this is where we went:

Elk:

Private Cabin

Elk Creek Beach perfect for fort building.

Mendocino:

Flynn Creek Circus we were not as in love with the fighting theme this year, but still a talented bunch of people and fun to see what some people can do with their bodies.

Point Arena:

Fourth of July Parade such a sweet small town parade with quite a diverse population.

Manchester State Park Beach long walk to get to the beach, but worth it.

Fort Bragg:

Skunk Train heaven for kids, especially the model train museum, and you can bring your dogs on the train too!

Glass Beach very crowded, but still neat to discover glass treasures and explore tide pools.

Willits:

Frontier Days very authentic look at life outside of the Bay Area bubble… my kids now want to be cowboys.

Roots of Motive Power neat free activity that is great for all ages.

Wait for it…

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Seana first contacted me on November 10th about family photos. We had three or four scheduled dates to meet but each time it just didn’t work out… thanks to conflicting holiday schedules, bad weather, the flu, and even an epic battle with poison oak. But we didn’t give up. We waited until schedules calmed down, the weather was just right, the poison oak went away and everyone one was feeling healthy, relaxed and ready to play…

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Thank you for not giving up, Seana.

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It was so worth the wait.

What we’ve been doing a lot of lately…

Because Arann and I work crazy hard during the summer months, January and February are sort of like our summer vacations, but without the warm summer part.

So we are trying to take advantage of these slower days by spending as much time as we can outside with our dog.

Sometimes we get restless and wish summer would hurry up and get here.

But when we stop and look closely, we find things are pretty good right now.

Love that dog, like a bird loves to fly…

This is Frannie.

Frannie’s mother wanted some photos of her, to give as a Christmas present to Frannie’s dad, but Frannie’s mother couldn’t keep it a secret from Frannie’s dad.

So… Merry (early) Christmas, Frannie’s dad.

dog

by Valerie Worth

Under a maple tree

The dog lies down,

Lolls his limp

Tongue, yawns,

Rests his long chin

Carefully between front paws;

Looks up, alert;

Chops, with heavy

Jaws, at a slow fly,

Blinks, rolls

On his side,

Sighs, closes

His eyes; sleeps

All afternoon

In his loose skin.

(The title and poem above are from the book, Love That Dog, by Sharon Creech.)

The Brady Family Off Work

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Tim Brady is the Assistant Chief of the Reidville Fire Department. His wife Dolly makes missiles for the military. The lab Buddy retrieves doves when Tim takes him hunting and the chihuahua Hunter barks, at everything.

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