Our one year anniversary of living in San Jose is coming up in about a week. Crazy how fast that flew by. I'll never forget that night we moved here, when Declan was exactly two months old, after I'd spent the morning frantically packing up all the last odds and ends and throwing them into random boxes while trying to direct the movers and sneaking out to my car to nurse Declan whenever he started fussing, since that was the only place left to sit aside from the floor. We drove about four hours with one mostly well-behaved toddler and a sleepy baby, and then another hour or so with an extremely unhappy baby, which eventually led to an unhappy toddler. Somehow we made it to our hotel (since our furniture wasn't arriving till the next day), and immediately sprinted to the bathtub because Declan was literally having a poosplosion as we walked through the door. Fun times. Now that tiny little baby is gone, poosplosions have become a rare occurrence, and that foreign place that felt so different from Southern California has grown to feel like home.
Part of settling into a new place is to find your favorite spots and frequent them often. We love our neighborhood park, our favorite breakfast spot is one of the first places we ever ate at in town, even before we'd moved here, and whenever we meet my sister for lunch we tend to head to our old standby cafe with the amazing salads and views of airplanes flying overhead. But every now and then we like to branch out and find new to us spots to explore. Last week we decided to wander around after brunch and came across the City Hall, which we usually only see from a distance. It has really interesting architecture and a nice inviting fountain that Ez and Declan couldn't resist splashing in it. Of course. Then we saw the tiny little obscure sign saying it was recycled water and quickly went on our way. Whoops. It was fun while it lasted.
Later in the week we headed over to Mountain View to walk around a lake that we never even realized existed. Turns out you can rent paddle boats or go wind sailing there, something we'll definitely keep in mind for the future. They also had a little ship playground where Ez happily plopped in the sand and covered himself in dirt while Declan was assaulted by a very maternal little toddler who wanted to pick him up and carry him away and make him her very own life-sized baby doll. He was having none of that, and our usually social little boy kept sprinting off in the other direction whenever she came near. I think he was offended that she thought he was a baby. Doesn't she realize he's just as big as everyone else??
Even though we never actually went in the water Ez and Declan were pretty content as long as there was a steady stream of pebbles to throw. Ez would carefully pick out the biggest rocks, throw them in the lake, and do an excited jump with each splash. Declan indiscriminately grabbed handfuls of tiny little pebbles and dirt, wound up real big, and usually managed to drop them about three inches from his feet. Then he'd stare off toward the water, waiting for that big splash that for some reason didn't come.
This past weekend we took a slightly different walking route than usual and came across a big mostly shaded playground complete with not only a play train, but a view of real trains just across the street. Toddler paradise. Even though we're definitely not giving up our old standbys, it's been a nice reminder to shake up our routine every now and then and add some new favorites to the mix. Sometimes it feels like we've barely scratched the surface as far as exploring the bay area, and the fact that we've explored as much as we have is really thanks to Joe, who does most of the research looking for family friendly spots to add to our Bay Area bucket list. Thanks babe! We appreciate it.