Yosemite in the Snow

 In February, we took our first family trip of the year (a one night getaway!) and I wanted to remember a few moments here. 

img_0514I’m not sure how many times we cancelled and rebooked our trip to Yosemite, but when it finally appeared safe to go, we were READY. We borrowed a snowsuit from Isla (thank you!), a snow sturdy car from Silvia (thank you!), and after a night in Stockton, we woke up Saturday morning ready for snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As much as I think Diego is happy to play at home with us, he was THRILLED with the change of scenery. And, of course he was! It was spectacular! The majesty of Yosemite, and then, blankets of soft, lovely snow. We played in this snow meadow for a long, long time.

We felt perfectly safe and socially distanced outside-even in some of the busier spots, like Lower Yosemite Falls-but our brief bubble escape reminded me that people have wildly different interpretations of COVID distancing. The food venues were packed, and as it was freezing, we couldn’t picnic, like we did over the summer. We picnicked in our room, and Diego discovered the joy of a hotel room happy hour (we brought olives, bread and cheese) and we made a mental note to always bring our own food to the Yosemite Lodge (Aramark’s stewardship of the property is terrible). We certainly were not there for the food and accommodations-but to be reminded of nature’s incredible beauty. After several months of serious cabin fever and COVID fatigue, Yosemite was a very needed reset to see something bigger than us, and our temporary frustrations. I love visiting the park in the summer, but there is something about the quiet of the snow and the winter light that is pure magic. We still have to check it out in the spring and fall-love seeing how it surprises with the different seasons.

Spring Break :)

 

All of Diego’s grandparents got vaccinated this spring (HOORAY!!), and we celebrated with our first ever “Spring Break.” Diego’s school closed for Passover week, an so we drove to Irvine, where my parents kindly watched Diego while David and I worked.

It’s been an alarmingly warm and dry winter, yet, somehow (maybe a year of a pandemic??) I felt so cooped up the last few months. The change of scenery and sunny weather was SO nice.

 

A real highlight was the beach fire pit. My mom reserved a BBQ dinner with the Beachcomber, and they set up a whole dinner, with chairs and drinks, and a fire on the beach.  It felt like a real escape from the long, long winter and Diego thoroughly enjoyed his first s’mores.

Other grandparent spring break indulgences: lots of In-N-Out (giant plate of fries for dinner :)), ice cream and hours and hours of Legos.

UCLA surprised us all with their Elite 8 game. I’ll always think of Diego’s newborn days when I think of March Madness (he was born on Selection Sunday) and it was thrilling to get excited about UCLA for the first time in years.

Living in a city during a pandemic is weird, particularly when all the things we love about living in a city are closed. SO! It was really nice to take full advantage of the pools and parks in my parent’s neighborhood, and let Diego run free around the greenbelt. 

No idea what Diego was crying about here, but maybe it was something in the Passover story? Probably just annoyed that his soup was hot, or we had to wait to eat…all crucial elements of a seder! It was really nice to be together again this year.

And after a week of fun, we drove back up to Oakland to celebrate Easter with Siliva. Diego took great pride in his egg hunt and egg decorating.

I never want to take driving across California for granted-especially after this year. It was such a relief to be together, and know that we were safe and ok. Thought about this a LOT the day after spring break, after getting my second shot at Moscone. SO much gratitude for this man and all the people who endured so much this year to get us a little closer to health and safety.

Diego is 4!

We celebrated Diego’s birthday last week and it was a true joy.

After Christmas, he started a birthday countdown, and would constantly ask us “how many more days?” When we responded with something like, “53!” he would ask with a bit of hope, “but they’re short days?” This birthday was, thankfully, different from last year in so many ways, particularly in his vocal anticipation.

One similarity to last year: COVID. The joy of a March birthday! In a lucky turn, though, his only real understanding of recent birthday celebrations is a class party. He was thrilled with the sweet gummy bear and play-doh cake celebration at school. His teachers are incredible, and watching him march out of the play yard, flashing his crown and gripping his Birthday Book was pure 4 year old joy.

After school, we opened presents and cards from his sweet friends, and enjoyed his birthday dinner request: chicken croutons (tenders) and Market Hall kale salad :)

On Saturday, we spent the day in the backyard, and continued the celebration with family, gifts, cake and Diego’s other favorite: Zachary’s pizza.

It was a full and happy weekend. Sunday morning, he was clearly still excited and exhausted. I caught him curled up in this chair in the kitchen, just resting for a bit. He really is a preschooler-still with the toddler feet tucked under him, but with a lankier body, still tiny enough to have plenty of room on a kitchen chair, but old enough to sit and think for a little while. Happy 4th birthday, Diego Antonio. We love you.