Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Little Trip with Clara

We love the little trips we give the kids as Christmas gifts: no present in a box could be as special as time together doing something out of the ordinary. Clara had her Christmas trip this past weekend (please ignore Daisy, who was not present in an official capacity, but was, as always, a contributor).

We started off with a brief sojourn at a Fancy Hotel, to enjoy the splendor of the lobby--carved marble, massive lily bouquets,


ducks.


Ooh, and fancy brunch. Clara and I decided to conduct a comprehensive tasting of the entire dessert buffet, with a bite or two of each elegantly presented confection. A little embarrassing to see our tabletop covered with nibbled-on desserts, but the waiter was able to keep it somewhat under control.


Then we headed, in the rain, to a little out-of-the way state park. We had reserved one of the tiny cabins (Civilian Conservation Corp architecture, I love you! I love your six over six windows and your screened porches!) for the night.


Although it was cool and a little drizzly, we took a long evening walk around the spring-fed lake in the park . . .


where once again we were met by ducks.


Incredibly, just as it was getting dark, much darker than this picture would have you believe, we came upon a juvenile barred owl who would not get out of the path. All my life I have *longed* to see owls. I ended up moving him off the path, for his own safety, with my foot, and he climbed on my shoe! While clicking his beak in a threatening manner. So scary!


The sun came out in the morning and we found some serious backroads beauty--from antebellum mansions to abandoned railroad stations.






Then back to civilization for yarn-shopping,


and an afternoon at the zoo, where Clara's hat was eyed by a suspicious toucan,


and Daisy dreamed by the polar bears.

27 comments:

Mrs. Mordecai said...

Giving your kids a trip for Christmas is a great idea!

Reading about you eating all the desserts makes me smile.

Meredith said...

I used to be a concierge at that fancy hotel, in my college days.

A beautiful place to work!

Anonymous said...

I bet I know where you are. We went there this summer, and it was raining the day we were there. We even went up on the roof to see where the ducks live.

I love the idea of giving your kids trips for Christmas.

My dh was looking at the photos on your blog and was impressed. He was wondering what type of camera you use.

Thanks,
Dawn

Sonja said...

Beautiful fun! Our family has been trying to think of an inexpensive get away so your stay at the state park cabin has given me ideas! Thank you!

Hmmm. Saw a show once about a hotel that had ducks come into the fountain every day, but I can't remember where it was. Your secret place is still safe here then.

Suzanne said...

How extraordinary to have the owl in your path! What a lovely time and time spent with loved ones is so much more memorable than a monetary gift :-)

Julian said...

how special. Do each of the kids get to pick where they are going? Christina

Jen said...

It seems to me as if you all had a great trip. What a wonderful time spent together.

she who must be obeyed said...

what a lovely day - we lived near that fancy hotel for about 8 years (schooling for husband) and one of my favorite memories is of a day right before we moved. I took the kids to all the "touristy" hot spots and we took lots of pictures (they were 15mo and 3 at the time and I wanted them to have some memories of all those places we spent so much time when they were little.) My favorite times were at the zoo, and of course who could forget those ducks! We were in town just 2 weeks ago to visit old friends - but it is not the same since my favorite fabric shop changed owners.

emadethis said...

What a cool trip! That is a wonderful idea giving your kids trips for Christmas. Less stuff hanging around and more memories to last. ;) The owl encounter sounds exciting.

The mom, the robot, and the dancer said...

What a fun trip! And I love the idea of a Christmas present TRIP! That would work well since we all love to go places! And I recognize those ducks, so you must live somewhere down South near me! :) Precious pictures!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you when it comes to yarn-shopping! Could that be Brown Sheep yarn I saw in those cubbies?... All in all, it sounds like you had a wonderful day.

Brenda

Linda said...

What a lovely present Anna. It looks just perfect in every way to me.
I wanted to thank you for a little tip you gave a long time ago. I found it as I was reading some of your archives. I am working on my first quilt - and have bitten off a bit more than I can chew! It is all pieced and I am working on the hand quilting (because my Mom says that is the only way and because I really enjoy it). However - trying to manipulate a king size qilt on a large hoop was exhausting. When I read that you just quilt in your lap, I decided to try it. It works so well!! I can't do without the thimble though. It took me forever to get used to it and now I can't do without it!

TNS said...

What great contrast - a little bit of the high life and a little of the real life. What beautiful memories your children will have. I love to come here and read/feel the peace that comes through your pictures and words.

Anonymous said...

Ana, I am much older than you but share so many of the same wonderful things you do. It is so encouraging to see a young mother in this day and time doing the things you do for and with your family.
Doing things we love for people we love will enrich our lives. My grand put in touch with your site and I faithfully check it. Made the chocolate raspberry cake yesterday to share with a shut in. So yummy. Don't know how you do it all but keep it up. It's like a nice
visit with someone I know. And after todays luncheon pictures I realize we are closer than I ever knew.
Keep touching lives.
Dale

Anonymous said...

What timing! My Emma just turned 14, and my husband and I decided that giving our children birthday trips would be a much better use of money (and our small house) than would buying more stuff. So Em had a day at a theme park with Dad-- her Mom trip is still in the works. ;)

So glad that you all had such a lovely time together!

Robin in Ca.

The Composer said...

Dawn -- Re: camera: Our son Giles, who takes most of the pictures on this blog, uses a Sony Alpha DSLR.

I use a Minolta Max5D (also a DSLR), but also enjoy the different flavor of picture I get when using a small point-and-shoot (Canon PowerShot SD750).

The Clara trip photos are a mix of both cameras, the Playground pix are just the little Canon.

The Composer

ellemenope said...

I think its funny (and a little sad) to see the satellite dish on the rustic cabin.

Jen said...

Okay-I love the cabin with the Direct TV dish on the roof!!! And I LOVE Daisy's boots too!! :-) Sounds like a lot of fun!

Colarusso Family said...

I bet "the birder" was soooo jealous that you saw that owl up close!! My 5 yr old likes owls, we have Barred Owls near here also!
Danielle

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Composer, for the info on the camera; I'll pass it on to my husband. He was very impressed with the photos. He's a graphic artist, so he appreciates good pictures.

Dawn

AK said...

I understand why you don't reveal where you live. I wouldn't either, but why the secrecy about where you visited? I know this city, having lived there, and I'm sure a lot of other people do. Just curious why you don't mention it when you've talked before about trips to Denver, etc.

Ladybug Linda said...

Where, oh where can I find a dress like the one you are wearing with the red sweater by the RR tracks?

Please tell me.

Ellie said...

OK ladies, it is easy enough to figure out where she visited- just google "hotel with ducks in the fountain" and you'll find it. And as to the "secret" of where she lives? That's easy enough too-- just buy something from her eetsy shop!

Anna said...

Linda, that's a J.Jill dress. It's so comfy and also comes in black.

Ellie, you'd make a great detective!

Jenn E said...

You have to read John Philip Duck by Patricia Polacco. It's a picture book about the ducks at that hotel. Daisy would love it! :)

Mrs M said...

Anna, I love your trip for Christmas idea. How long have you been doing it? Do your children choose their trips and does it cost a lot of money? Do you give your children other gifts at christmas?

Warmly, Mrs M.

jill said...

You all are such a beautiful family. What a lovely idea!

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