Soren published his first article this summer

We thought we would find a geocache hidden here

We thought we would find a geocache hidden here

It was online, so I’m just going to link it here. I would be jealous that my five year old has a published article, but I have a deadline to meet for an article of my own.

https://www.510families.com/kid-report-geocaching-in-the-east-bay/

This is a calendar and activity guide with articles for families and kids in the East Bay Area, and it was putting calls out for kid reporters. I asked Soren (and really, my other kids as well) to write articles for it. Soren was the only one with uninterrupted time to see it through. He thought of a place or an activity he wanted to describe to other kids and families, picked out some pictures, and described it to me as I typed it up for him.

The angel with a broken arm gives a clue to the treasure

The angel with a broken arm gives a clue to the treasure

I submitted the article, and it was accepted right away with a few questions. I answered them quickly as I was going out the door, and we tried to make it more East-Bay specific to help with the theme of the website.

I was looking down on the ground and it was right above me the whole time

I was looking down on the ground and it was right above me the whole time

If it ever gets harder to find, this is the text:

I started geocaching after my mom told me about it. We watched videos to learn how to do it [Editor/Mom’s note: on https://www.geocaching.com/guide/] and it made our walks seem more like treasure hunts. You need a phone or something to help you find where you are and where the cache is, and the compass tells you if you are going in the right direction.
You can find geocaches in the city, in the forest, in parks, in graveyards. Anyplace you can walk or drive there is probably a geocache. Some of them are really small, like a mouse, and the biggest one I ever saw was the size of a small garbage can. The big ones can hold toys or prizes that you can trade.
Editor/Mom adds: One of the first times we went geocaching we found a geocoin in Morcom Rose Garden, Oakland. Another fun find was in Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland. The labyrinth and the mini-cache in the tree are both in Briones Regional Park. The two boys uncovering rocks and holding a toy was found at Lafayette Reservoir.
If the box is big enough, you can find toys inside

If the box is big enough, you can find toys inside

Claire and Ronin both thought about articles to write and made valiant efforts to describe the thrills of Adventure Playground and other fun places, but we never finished anything and they only wanted a few more articles before the end of summer.

Trip to Hawaii

We went to Hawaii and didn't even buy a t-shirt

We went to Hawaii with very little notice or planning

Little did I know that a hurricane was approaching

Little did I know that a hurricane was approaching

I barely had time to buy tickets and get a place to stay

We stayed at a remote location on the Big Island, closest to the approaching storm

The house we stayed in was beautiful and spacious and perfect, except we didn’t have enough information about it before we left. The website said it had no amenities, which meant even no sheets and no towels, no dishes or coffeemaker. I knew it didn’t have a phone and mobile service would probably not work. I packed for an impending hurricane and power outage, and brought flashlights, a small radio (battery operated), shelf-stable protein snacks, and yes, towels. We didn’t need them.

I got a phone call after we landed, late at night, several hours away, and was told the house had everything, including an emergency kit. I was happy to buy coffee in Hilo, but surprised to find out it was pretty much like a small town and we got there just before the grocery store closed and they were out of milk! I scrounged around and found a quart of organic milk for $9. Apparently the milk shipment only comes in once a week.

Luckily, Hurricane Guillermo turned into a tropical storm before it hit us

Luckily, Hurricane Guillermo turned into a tropical storm before it hit us

The power never did go out. The storms never got too bad. However, a lot of the beaches closed and there were flash flood alerts and really high surf and a lot of heavy rain at times. It stayed warm. It felt really tropical. Hawaii was kind of like the United States, and also kind of like a foreign country, what with the running out of food/milk and not having cell phone coverage and also being surprised at the great distance between gas stations or stores or restaurants sometimes. We had to plan ahead before going home in the evening, to ensure we had everything we needed and had communicated or reserved everything with the outside world.

We got to see volcanoes of many shapes and sizes

We got to see volcanoes of many shapes and sizes

Some volcanoes had graphic descriptions of their shapes and sizes

Some volcanoes had graphic descriptions of their shapes and sizes

We walked through a lava tube

We walked through a lava tube

It was humid and warm and it smelled, most of the time, like ginger flowers or salt spray. People hitch-hiked all over the place and waved or gestured with the “shaka” or “hang loose” sign. Mile signs were changed by adding an “S” in front to make them “Smile” markers. At the car rental place, I apologized for taking a moment longer to change our rental car to a 4WD, and everyone around said, “No problem, you’re on Hawaii time now.” We saw a lot of people smoking joints in cars. It took me a few days, but I got over feeling uncomfortable walking into restaurants in my swimming suit.

Only picture with three kids in Hawaiian clothes

Only picture with three kids in Hawaiian clothes – on the edge of a crater

What did we do? What didn’t we do! We didn’t go to any museums. We didn’t go fishing (at least for real).  We didn’t go to a luau. We did not take a lava boat tour or a submarine or go horseback riding or go on an ATV tour.

Kapoho Tide Pools

Kapoho Tide Pools

We did go snorkeling at the Kapoho Tide Pools, which are a series of interconnected pools sheltered from the surf and volcanically heated. I had not thought this could be possible with three children who are not independent in the water and who don’t sit quietly on the shore upon request, but we did it. It was tricky. Claire refused to put a mask on entirely but enjoyed looking at the colorful fish from the surface. Soren thought it was incredible. And Ronin went out on a long journey with Justin and came back with exciting tales of things he’d seen. I managed to take both Claire and Soren around the edges of the big pool while they clung on to boogie boards, and it wasn’t too scary for any of us.

Akaka Falls State Park

Akaka Falls State Park

We went to Akaka Falls on one of our first days. Soren had gotten a minor scrape and was being very upset and demanding a bandaid for an invisible wound, in between shrieks. It was difficult to enjoy the scenery, and we couldn’t even get out of the car and walk around with him making that kind of a fuss. I finally told him that some Hawaiians believe that if you have a good heart and a quiet mind, you can ask the waterfall to grant you a wish, and it may come true. Justin scoffed a little bit at my encouragement of “magical thinking,” but Soren quieted down and walked along the paths and gasped at his first sight of the stunning waterfall. Then he whispered, “Waterfall, Waterfall, give me a bandaid.” He spun around, and his face turned stony, and said his wish wasn’t granted. I suggested maybe he wasn’t quiet enough, or maybe the spirits of the waterfall didn’t grant every wish, or maybe it just wasn’t true. I heard him whisper it again, and we walked up the path. A few steps later, there was a bandaid, right there in the middle of the path.

Claire among the trees near Rainbow Falls

Claire among the trees near Rainbow Falls

Of course, after that Soren got so excited that he couldn’t get the bandaid on properly and it got all wrinkled up and he was upset again, so he had to ask for a new bandaid and some help from me in applying it at the next viewpoint. And then when we were at Rainbow Falls, he was reminiscing about it and scrambled down the road and slid down a patch of wet asphalt and scraped up his leg and arm and bled all over the place. That waterfall gave him a bandaid and a bit of first aid while we recuperated with some juice and frozen treats. I guess gifts from waterfalls are not always as good as they might seem.

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls

Some days we got back late at night, past bedtime, past dinnertime. I’d hurriedly bought supplies for half a week of food in Hawaii when we first got in, but we didn’t go through it because we weren’t home very much. We drove around the island a lot, and our house was at the far end, near Pahoa, in an area where the road had been blocked off by a lava flow years before. The driveway was covered with tiny Coqui frogs, which croaked loudly and melodically (“Co-KEE”) through the night and which could be occasionally captured by the kids. They named the various frogs Coqui and Croaky and similar appellations. We thought they were adorable, but I found out they are considered an invasive species and tend to be bad for property values.

Coqui frogs surrounded our house

Coqui frogs surrounded our house

I really enjoyed spending the little bits of time we had at the house. The lanai was large, and opening up all the doors created a lovely breeze through the whole upstairs.

We also had resident geckos. Also adorable. They skittered around on the walls and behind the flower vases and in and out of the cupboards. Soren in particular loved to watch them.

One of my favorites.

One of my favorite geckos

The kids writing thank-you notes on postcards at our Hawaii house

The kids writing thank-you notes on postcards at our Hawaii house

The waves from the storm were mesmerizing. It was fun to go to the beach and just watch them, or drive by the coast and stare at the pounding surf.

The waves got intense

The waves got intense

Even the sheltered beach parks became flooded with the storm. I didn’t see any surfers in the water.  Our kids, however, skipped right from walking on the sand, to examining tidepools, to “What? How did I start swimming with my clothes on?” They are not strong swimmers yet. Soren has finally acknowledged that he doesn’t know how to swim, which is a step in the right direction from leaping off a diving board without a plan. Soren walked backwards in the water until he lost his footing and got carried out a little ways, and Justin had to be his lifeguard.

Tidepools - the gateway drug

Tidepools

We went snorkeling on the Kona side of the island and that was much calmer and warmer. We saw sea turtles close up, eating their lunch and waving and turning. Claire finally got convinced to try on a snorkel in the shallow water, where she could just put her hands in the sand and look in the water but not have to worry about floating or swimming, and she loved it. I started pointing at fish and soon she was zipping after them, one after another. Before too long, she was swimming around and realized she could swim after all. She just needed to be distracted from all of her other thoughts and just enjoy it.

The fanciest restaurant we went to let us wear towels

The fanciest restaurant we went to let us wear towels

After an entire day of driving and swimming and being in the sun the whole time, we were getting chilled and hungry and tired, and I was unhappy that Claire and Soren and I hadn’t been able to avoid getting sunburned. We wanted dinner and the house was hours away. We found a beach restaurant that let us eat at the tables on the sand with bare feet and swimming suits, and it ended up being the nicest dinner we had the entire time we were there. We had appetizers, desserts, fancy drinks with umbrellas, and entrees that could compete in any large city.

Everyone loved snorkeling so much, we tried to go on a third day, and it wasn’t quite as good. I tried to find a snorkeling spot on the Hilo side of the island so we wouldn’t spend four hours in the car again and have the entire day committed. Based on reviews, we went to Leleiwi Park, which ended up being colder than expected and without the prolific sea life that we found in the lava heated pools in Kapoho. Justin and I each took a turn exploring while the children shivered and refused to do much else, and we finally gave up and went to find a restaurant that served people in swimsuits again. They are not too hard to find.

Could it be? Really?

Could it be? Really?

One of Justin’s co-workers recommended a helicopter ride. She said it was well worth it, and since we couldn’t see any lava from the ground, we thought it might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Justin has been on a helicopter before. I have not. My only connection with helicopters is seeing my dad coming in on one when I was a little kid, from a forest fire lookout, with a dislocated kneecap, and the rare patient coming in on a helicopter back when I lived in Wyoming. We made the reservation for the same day and they were shocked when they called me back. That is what no internet and no phone service gets us. We got a time for later on that afternoon, so we found some spots in Hilo to explore.

We went to the largest Edo-style gardens outside of Japan, a park donated by the last reigning queen of Hawaii, Queen Liliʻuokalani. The gardens were huge and magnificent, with ponds where Soren tried to fish for ghost shrimp and where Claire was startled by schools of tiny fish all jumping out of the water at once. The air was hot and muggy, and little bugs surrounded our legs and wouldn’t leave us alone. We walked across the bridge to Coconut Island, and when it seemed that everyone would end up in the water no matter what, we drove out to the airport.

Getting into the helicopter

Getting into the helicopter

A field of lava and burning trees

A field of slow moving lava and burning trees

It was pretty amazing seeing everything from the air, especially since it was focused in the area where our rental house was. The pilot discussed how the lava from Kīlauea  has been encroaching on the town of Pahoa and destabilizing the economy. I thought it was really nice how he brought the point of view of the people affected by it, and the enduring difficulties into our thoughts, as we watched the incredible power and destructive force and beauty of the volcano. We then swept away and zoomed over some waterfalls. All of this was accompanied by a soothing musical soundtrack, which drowned out the whap-whap-whap of the blades of the helicopter and made it seem somewhat like a documentary that we were taking part in. We could use a microphone to communicate, though, and Soren grabbed it in his excitement and spoke, “GARBLE **** GARBLE LAVA ***** MAGMA ***** GARBLE LAVA TUBES,” which made most everyone jump and Justin reply gently.

View from above

View of waterfalls from above

It was hard to explain how magical it was. We had been coloring in a book called Splendid Cities, and the page we spent the most time coloring while we were in Hawaii looked a lot like the towns and airports and farms we were flying over, except without so much glitter and bright colors.

I started out getting these types of coloring books for the kids. One day they had a friend over and they were all coloring on the same two-page spread, each choosing some little part to do, and having a lot of animated discussion about it. I helped by filling in the more boring parts. Since then, I have found it to be really enjoyable. It is easy to do by one’s self, or with company. I tell the kids they can color on a page I’m working on, and they can use whatever colors they want, just try not to scribble. When we’re coloring, conversation flows more effortlessly. Justin and I will go to the table and each take out a coloring book if we need to have an involved discussion that might otherwise have us second-guessing micro-expressions or getting impatient at long pauses.

A page from Splendid Cities that the kids and I have been coloring

A page from Splendid Cities that the kids and I have been coloring

Since we started coloring in these “adult” coloring books, the market has really exploded, and there are so many more books and pens available than when we first started doing it. They call them adult just because they are intricate and detailed, not because they have content that is inappropriate for kids, and also for marketing purposes so adults won’t feel silly buying them and coloring in them. I probably wouldn’t have started doing it if I hadn’t joined in on the group coloring session the kids were having, but I’m glad I did. Here is an article about the phenomenon from The New York Times.

Lava Forest

Lava Forest

One afternoon on our way back to our house, we took the scenic route back and stopped at Lava Tree State Monument. These tall lava trees formed  in the lava flow of 1790, when lava cooled and solidified around the trunks of trees before the peak part of the flow drained away. The hollow tree mold is in the middle of the lava trees (where the trunk was burned away or turned to charcoal).

I think I mentioned zip lines in passing, but didn’t really describe the experience. It was good to find a place that would allow us to bring kids as young and small as ours, and especially Soren. Some had age restrictions, and some had weight restrictions. They said that Soren and Ronin would need to go tandem, each with a guide, for all of the zip lines, because they just weren’t heavy enough. Claire was a little bigger, but I thought she might be more nervous about the whole experience. She was asking about what would happen if she didn’t make it across. Soren jumped right up and volunteered to go first at the first line. Surprisingly, there was no one with him, but he zipped right on over without a problem. Ronin went second, Claire went third. They all loved it.

In between the zip lines there were amazing botanic gardens and breathtaking views. We saw a couple of wild pigs. We got to taste ginger flowers and smell wild sarsaparilla. There was one other family with us on this expedition, and they let our eager children go first every time, saying they weren’t in any rush and didn’t mind hanging back. I had my phone with me and it automatically made me a little movie of the day which turned out to be better than anything I could cobble together in a rush.

Claire’s worst fear came to pass. You can see a bit of it in the above video. On one of the longest lines, over a ravine filled with trees and blooms, Claire zoomed across, then slowed, then rolled back toward the middle of the line and stayed there. We shouted at her to just wait and someone would come to get her. The guide at the far side retrieved her, hand over hand, but it seemed to take a long time. By the time we got to her, we didn’t know how she would be feeling. We asked if everyone was jealous because she got so much more time enjoying the great view. She laughed and said she was enjoying the view the whole time she was stuck out there.

Ronin at the Waipi’o Valley overlook

On our last day, we took the long way home. Our flight was scheduled after 9 PM, so we drove to some of the areas we hadn’t seen yet. We went up the Hilo side, past some of the waterfalls and beach parks we’d already visited. We looked down into the Waipi’o Valley, which has the steepest road of its length in the US, with an average 25% grade. Rental cars are not allowed, by contract. It was very alluring to Justin, who looked at the road a couple of times and thought it looked fine. There were several spots on the map which were marked as prohibited for rental cars, actually, and it made those areas just more intriguing.

Claire at the Waipio Valley

Claire at the Waipi’o Valley overlook

We turned around and drove onward, since I wanted to be in the general area of the airport with some time to spare. The vegetation changed enormously as we drove over the hills and crossed over grassland. It became much drier, and the wind picked up.

Waimea

Kona side of Big Island

We pulled over to let the kids have a rest stop and to admire the helicopters flying around. We saw they were carrying what appeared to be large balls or balloons, and realized they were flying back and forth right over us and dipping into the ocean and then dropping water on wildfires that were burning right next to us.

Helicopter dropping water on a fire

Helicopter dropping water on a fire

We only got splashed a little bit. The fires were mostly in a couple of different areas on the opposite side of the road, but it was still smoldering on our side as well. We watched the helicopters for a while, and then I again pressed onward.

So of course we got to the Kona area early, but too late to do anything specific. We returned the car, checked in, and had an overnight flight that resulted in little to no sleep for many of us. The kids were supposed to start camp the next morning, but we all decided that would not be the best way to introduce them to it.

This has taken me a long time to write. I want to go back and see if I made any major errors, but at this point all I want to do is turn off the computer and go to bed. I still need to tell you about our trip to Wyoming, and the trip to Wisconsin. I’ll just leave you with this.

First day of school!

Claire & Ronin are in 3rd Grade, Soren is starting Kindergarten

Claire & Ronin are in 3rd Grade, Soren is starting Kindergarten

Today was the first day of school, and now I have three children in elementary school. For the first time, Claire and Ronin are in separate classes. It’s been a whirlwind few weeks, and I’m interrupting my post on Hawaii to bring you this breaking news of school starting. I enjoyed my newfound leisure time today by dismantling the washing machine and trying to figure out why it’s not spinning during the spin cycle.

Claire wrote that she wants to be a gymnastics teacher. Ronin says he wants to be an artist, a scientist or an engineer. Soren wants to be a doctor and a helicopter pilot. He was disappointed the other night when I told him I couldn’t teach him how to fly a helicopter because I don’t know how to do it myself.

Soren waiting to go into his classroom

Soren waiting to go into his classroom

My mom took the kids to Wisconsin for five days this summer, and I used the opportunity to rearrange their bedroom and the living room/study area and get a desk for Soren in preparation for this day. We now have three desks and some storage space for books and homework.

Three little desks

Three little desks

Their desks are close to mine, so maybe I will be able to do some of my own projects while they are working, and still be able to help them if they need it. Best case scenario, it will work out like I imagine. So far, the desks are accumulating lots of odds and ends, the children are rifling through each others’ drawers, and I am concerned the elbow-to-elbow placement may be cause for squabbling. I will keep an open mind and hope that they will be able to help each other when they need it and go work at the kitchen table if they need space.

The Study

The Study

Soren was the only one who had homework today.

I love this piece at the Oakland Museum

My car was in the shop the other day. Claire and Ronin were at a playdate. I told Soren I wouldn’t let him be bored. I ended up taking him by bus to the OMCA, and we checked out some of the new and old exhibits there. One of my favorites is this one, which is a box with mirrored surfaces on the edges and glass in the middle.

If I rock back and forth while holding the camera, it shows my reflection at the end of each arc. Soren is on the other side of the box, running back and forth, and visible when he is in the middle. It is such an amazingly bizarre optical illusion.

Fashion Camp

Claire with a turn at the sewing machine

Claire with a turn at the sewing machine

After Spring Break at school, I signed Claire and Ronin up for Fashion Camp. It is not as girly as it sounds. In fact, a number of boys attend the camp as well, and that is not the full name of it–that’s just the nickname. They learn to cut and design and make patterns and invent and measure. This session they dyed fabric to make Monpe pants (Japanese gardening pants) and shirts and bags to go with them. That was the big project.

Claire and Ronin, with work aprons made from repurposed jeans

Claire and Ronin, with work aprons made from repurposed jeans

For the first class, they designed and made work aprons out of old jeans, so they would have something to cover their clothes when things got messy, and also so they would have pockets for scissors and tape measures and fabric markers. Each one was unique. I think there were eight kids in the class, ranging from Kindergarten through 5th grade, and they all had different styles. The class was four hours long, after school on Wednesdays. That is the short day here, so school lets out at 1:15 PM and Fashion Camp starts then and lasts until pickup time between 5 and 5:30 PM.

Ronin made this hat with ears for me

Ronin made this hat with ears for me

They have plenty of time to work on their projects, and they have free time to play in the back yard or work on smaller projects. Ronin made three or four shimmery silky pillows during his time there, including one for Claire, who was getting frustrated with not being able to complete one pillow successfully.

Claire, delighted with her dyeing moment

Claire, delighted with her dyeing moment

I have gotten a lot of these pictures from the Fashion Camp director, so I have tried to obscure some of the other kids’ faces when possible. I know that she asked permission for the pictures to be published when she originally shared them, but I try not to post pictures of other children when I don’t have explicit permission. Thus the blur. I like it a little better than just putting a sticker over someone’s face.

Ronin with a classmate

Ronin  and another boy discussing the finer points of measuring pants. Or maybe video games.

Pattern making, Monpe Pants

Pattern making, Monpe Pants

Ronin and Claire both have some experience sewing. They have worked on the sewing machine at my mom’s house. They have each made a small quilt (slightly larger than doll-sized) to cuddle with. They have each made clothes they can wear, although it’s easier for Ronin because the shirts he’s made recently don’t wrinkle as badly as some of the dresses Claire has made, and Claire has also chosen fabric like old curtains with big faded areas in the middle. Claire once designed an Easter Dress for her doll, Little Claire, which was completely fantastic. The doll was actually named Claire when we got her, so it’s not that Claire was being self-aggrandizing to name the doll after herself. In fact, she tried in vain to name the doll something else, but nothing else stuck.

Little Claire

“Take a step into a world where girls are empowered by each other and can be who they want to be. Explore with me a world of endless possibilities, fun, and adventure.”

 At the end of the school year, there was a Fashion Show where kids from previous sessions and the current session brought back completed projects and showed them off on the runway (or bench in the back yard). Parents and friends were able to attend. Claire hand-sewed an invitation for a best friend, who came to watch. Soren played on the tire swing or in the little clubhouse with a friend while we observed.

Fashion Show

Fashion Show!

In the video below, Ronin is wearing a baseball cap to which he hot-glued all of the decorations himself. He is carrying one of the pillows he made himself. He dyed the fabric for the pants and shirt. He measured and cut and sewed the pants. He really put on a show, too. He loved the attention. I don’t remember being like this at all as a child, but on the other hand, being the new kid every year probably made me want to hang back more and not stand out.

The next video shows Claire on the runway, followed by another model, followed by Ronin announcing the next segment of miscellaneous items.

Claire shows off the outfit of Monpe pants that she dyed, cut and measure and sewed. She is wearing a shirt she dyed herself and is carrying a bag she dyed to coordinate with her outfit. Not to be outdone, Soren tries to vie for a little attention from the house he is playing in. You may think this is odd that he is wearing a fleece jacket in June, but it was freezing that day. It had started out warm and pleasant, and I hadn’t been home for hours when I had to scramble to get to the fashion show on time. I was wearing a tank top and skirt and sandals, and the temperature dropped about 20 degrees. I was freezing.

After the fashion show, all of the attendees gathered for snacks and drinks and to discuss the marvels we’d seen. I noticed the models’ biographies and aspirations hanging on the line behind the table. He wrote that his favorite fabric was French twill, and his future was in Iceland.

Ronin's future lies in Iceland

Ronin’s future lies in Iceland

Textile Titan

Ronin, Textile Titan

Follow the yellow brick road (of magical graffiti)

So Happy!

So Happy!

Soren and I were out geocaching last month, and the cache was somewhere in one of our local parks. So I thought. The GPS seemed to pinpoint it right on the edge of the upper trail.  We scrambled up through some thickets and found the cache right away, but it wasn’t in the park. We signed the log book and left a little prize for someone else to find in the future. The cache was hidden in the guard rail at the end of an abandoned road, and as I looked up the road I saw a rainbow of colors stretching out as far as I could see. I had been to this park more times in the past seven years than I could even remember, and thought I knew every inch of it.

Soren standing on the magic road

Soren standing on the magic road

It was amazing. I instantly regretted not bringing my (real) camera, but I remembered that phones are able to serve in that capacity when called upon, so I let Soren play and I wandered around and took pictures. He found an old wire spool and thought it was a great ride. I can’t see those things without thinking about them being pretty much the only furniture in our house at one point when I was growing up. They make great tables. I am not sure if they were ever turned up on their sides when I was a kid to make a fun ride. They definitely were not painted like this.

Spool ride

Spool ride – it’s good for learning balance

The graffiti was really incredible. The people who did the art must have had a great deal of time to do it, uninterrupted. This site seemed quiet and isolated. It is next to and over a freeway, and adjacent to and overlooking a regional park, but it is sheltered by elevation and by vegetation. It takes deliberate effort to get there, and once there, there is little chance of being disturbed. It’s a perfect situation for a graffiti artist.

Looking around

Looking around

We took a last little bit of time to admire all of the graffiti. I realize that I am teaching two very distinct lessons when I can admire this singular pocket of urban free-form art yet still don’t condone graffiti in general. I think our kids understand the difference.

The park overlook

The park overlook

We found an easier way back, and before we knew it we were on our way with a little time to spare. It felt like our little secret to have this incredible view near the park. We headed back to the car and nosed home.

Transforming back into a park

Transforming back into a park