Tag Archives: day out

All Aboard


Trains and I, we have a love-hate relationship.

Growing up in California, the land of the car, trains seemed almost otherworldly.

Very glamourous. Very romantic. Very 1940s.

So moving to England and actually riding on trains to commute to work was a big slap in the face. All that scrambling to get a seat. Grumpy passengers. Piles of rubbish all over. The strong scent of urine in the air.

It didn’t exactly live up to expectations.

But now of course, Josh loves trains.

Probably because he doesn’t have to commute on them.

And the family thought it would be fun to take a train ride while we were out in California, from Ventura to Santa Barbara.

And they were right.

It was fun and Josh loved it.

We had to wait a while for the train to actually turn up. I think it was at least a half an hour late. Which meant plenty of time to hang out and play with the family.


And, of course, find some toys with Uncle Terry.

Once we were finally on the train, Josh went crazy, running up and down the aisles telling everyone to “go hide!”

Apparently trains are good places to play hide and seek.


The view was pretty nice too.

A short time later, we were in Santa Barbara.

We went and walked around a bit down by the pier, enjoying all that California December sunshine.


After lunch, we went and wandered up State Street.

We ended up going to see the courthouse there, which is such a beautiful building.




Though Josh was far more interested in his space shuttle than looking at any architecture.


It was such a lovely day.

It probably helps that this was the view from the train on the way back.

I imagine that helps make commuting just that little bit nicer in California.

Even if the train still smells like pee.


Brighton’s Rocks


Anxious not to let all of my newly acquired British driving skills go to waste, Josh, my mom and I drove down to Brighton today.

I’ve always loved Brighton.

I think it all stems from The End of the Affair and this vision of London during World War II.

That and Brighton’s proximity to the ocean.

That always helps.

Even if the beach is made of rocks.


Which, I might add, was a huge hit with Josh.

So he didn’t feel left out among all the other British children, we brought his bucket and shovel along. And he had a blast playing there, the irony of shovelling rocks into a sand pail seemingly lost on him.


He had so much fun in fact, that he had to be put in time out twice for throwing rocks; one about the size of a golf ball, which thankfully I managed to notice and dodge at the last minute.

I tried to explain to him he needs to yell “catch” first and make eye contact with me, but that might be a bit advanced at this stage.

What is it with boys and throwing everything?

And he really throws well too.

A little too well…

Flying rocks aside, we had a lovely time there, playing on the beach.




When it got too cold, we went and explored the pier, which strikes me as the British equivalent to the Santa Monica Pier, complete with roller coasters and candy floss (aka cotton candy).




I even bought a bag of the candy floss to take home.


It sounded much more appealing than the cockles and whelks.

Best of British Garden Party


The boys were hard at work today removing another chimney, this time from Josh’s room, in yet another installment of the great closet problem.

It was my job to keep Josh out of their way, so I decided to go to RHS Wisley and check out their Best of British Garden Party happening this weekend.


Thankfully, we managed to get some nice weather today.

The weather here lately has been awful. Even the newspaper had this as a headline on Friday.


You’ve got to love that British sense of humour.

But today the sun was shining and the garden party at Wisley was really lovely.

All the gardens looked so beautiful.



And there were so many things to keep the children occupied.

There were model ships sailing on the Greenhouse lake.


I thought it was cute when Josh went up on his toes to try and see them.


There were Punch and Judy shows.


To be honest, I have no clue what a Punch and Judy show is. We didn’t stop to watch any while we were there, but I’m assuming it’s just a puppet show, albeit a very violent sounding one.

Punch? Is that really a character’s name?

And while I’m on the subject of British things I don’t really understand…

They also had food.

Well, one food option.


First off, if you were at an event in America, there would be probably 20 different choices of all sorts of greasy, delicious food to choose from.

In England, it’s bangers or, well, bangers.


I still have no clue what bangers are exactly, but as my mom said “if you’re hungry, you’ll eat it.”

And as it was about 3pm, I was hungry.

So I ate it.

Is it just a hot dog?


Probably Josh’s favourite thing was, of course, the vintage tractor display.


There may not have been many food options, but boy were there a lot of tractors.




Josh enjoyed the tractors so much, he had that whole glazed eye stare going.


When I managed to pull him away from the tractors, we went to my favourite thing, the music.

I know I’m a sucker, but the sun was shining, there was nice green grass to sit on and a brass band to listen too.


Josh seemed to enjoy himself too.

He would sit still listening to the song, clapping along with everyone else when it was over. He even shouted “more, more” when the band stopped to take a break at one point.


That made me pretty happy.




Soldiers and Swans


It seems like all we’ve been doing these last few days has been working on the house.

Not very exciting for a bank holiday, but there you go.To be fair, the weather has been pretty awful. Yet despite the weather, Josh and I managed to have a pretty nice day today.

My mom is coming to visit in a few weeks (have I mentioned how excited I am?!), and she loves Windsor. I don’t know why, but every time she’s here, she always wants to go to Windsor.

So in honour of her impending arrival, I thought Josh and I would go and do a trial run there today.

When we got there, I put him in the stroller, walked all the way up to the castle and, feeling a bit adventurous, I thought “nah, let’s just walk!” So I took the stroller back to the car and we set off.

We must have arrived at just the right time because they were doing the changing of the guard.

I have to be honest; there’s been a lot of “pageantry” in the UK lately and as we stood there waiting for the soldiers, I wondered if I had reached my limit, gazing at all the union jack bunting stretching as far as the eye could see.

I always make fun of the British for never being very enthusiastic, but they sure seemed to go all out over this jubilee. Maybe there is still hope for the Olympics after all.

Anyways, we saw the soldiers.


Then we walked down to the river and managed to feed some of the swans.

Well, I did.

When I handed some bread to Josh to feed to the swans, he just ate it.




It started to rain a bit and I saw a sign for boat rides so I thought “why not?” and we hopped on a boat tour.




We sat up on the top for the first half, but Josh was getting antsy so we climbed down stairs where he was able to run around a bit.


We saw swans.

And more swans…



And managed to stay dry.

So, it did turn out to be a nice little outing today.

And I would like everyone to know (especially Tara!) that Josh wore his new big boy shoes all day, without “forgetting” how to walk once.



New Shoes


My family have noticed that Josh has been wearing, what would appear to be, the same shoes since he was 12 months old.

I have assured them that I bought two pairs of the same shoes in different sizes, and have not in fact, been binding his feet, as has been suggested.

About a month ago, I went and bought Josh a new pair of shoes. This went disastrously, and I sent the video to my family who thought it was pretty funny.

Basically, when I put the new shoes on him, Josh refused to walk. He stood, like a statue, in the middle of the room. And when he did eventually deign to walk in his new shoes, it was in tiny inching shuffles across the floor.

But now with this warm weather we’ve been having, I had to go and get him some sandals.

I didn’t have high hopes.

And what do you know…

He did the same thing all over again.

After his tantrum was over, I think he knew he had overreacted.


I think he then tried to make it up to me by going around the house and trying on every other pair of shoes he could find.



It worked.

And so, new shoes firmly on, we had a wonderful Saturday.

We went for a walk.


Picked flowers and blew on dandelions.




Played on the swings.


And even ate some ice cream.





We then went to a birthday party for one of Josh’s friends.


What a fun Saturday.


And all in his new shoes.