Archive | the blog days of summer

The Blog Days of Summer {SANTA CRUZ BABY}

So then we hit the road again to continue the “Month of Traveling Panfi’s” with a short trip to Santa Cruz to spend the weekend with Nana, Auntie Shannon, Uncle Kevin and our sweet nephews Kai and Eli! Our first full day together we checked out Roaring Camp one day for the Day out with Thomas the Train event (an amazing event hosted all over the country that you must check out if you ever get the opportunity). To learn more click on the link above. Thomas was actually at the front of the train and gave us a ride.  There were bounce houses, train tables to play with and a “temporary” tattoo station. It was really well done.

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And then the next day we were off to the Boardwalk and the beach! It was fun to be all together and the kids LOVED everything from the rides and games to the waves and sand! Don’t you just love these cute little red-head boys?!


Eli and Grant were not as into the water but they were troopers and had some fun in the sand. Paige is quite the water baby these days so she was in heaven. Kai could not get enough of the waves and water {despite being so cold he was shivering}.  It was so cute to see them jump & splash and laugh & play together. I wish we all lived closer so we could be together more often.
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The Blog Days of Summer {4TH OF JULY FUN}!

Here is how we spent our 4th this year!
It was lovely and lazy…my kind of holiday!
And of course I have to talk about the food! We had Summer Shirley’s*, Macho Salad*, Potatoes, Steaks and Herb Crusted Chicken*! Dessert was a mix of berries with angel food cake & whipped cream!

*For my SUMMER SHIRLEY TEMPLE DRINK I just added a splash of grenadine to ginger-ale, along with cherries, blueberries & star shaped ice cubes to make it festive!
*I’ll have to show you how I make my Herb Crusted Chicken sometime soon. As long as you have a BBQ it’s always in season!

*If you have never had this “Macho Salad” you must! I wish I could take credit for the recipe but it comes from the restaurant Bandera! A….MAZE….ING!
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The Blog Days of Summer {Fifi’s Unbirthday & SoCal or BUST}

Mid-July we started out on a bunch of small trips all over California!
It was {a month of traveling Panfi’s}!
First stop was a trip north to hang with friends and celebrate my sister’s “unbirthday” as we called it.  She was not up for having a birthday celebration this year but some of her friends convinced her that she should…so we did! It was crazy, fun, full of kids and HOTTER THAN A HOO DOG (as we like to say in our family)! My impression is that she loved every minute of it (despite my lack of coping skills in the heat) and that made me so happy! We made lots of yummy food and her favorite Ice Cream Pudding Dessert and just chilled out for a few days! Lovely!
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Then we were off to Southern California to visit our BFF’s (not sure why I like using the term BFF’s, but I do). We only got a few days together but it was worth it. During our trip Mishawn had this AMAZING idea to hire two babysitters to watch our 8 kids (you heard me-there are now 8 kids among us) so that we could go out together as grown-ups. The six of us have not gone out alone since we were pre-kids and all living in Washington, so it was time!
  We ate dinner at a tasty restaurant called The Bottle Room in uptown Whittier. This is a great place to order lots of food and share (especially if you can make it for the Happy Hour menu) and that is exactly what we did. Then as if we had not stuffed ourselves enough with their delicious small bite varieties of comfort food we decided to indulge ourselves for dessert at Crepes & Grapes Cafe just up the street! They had a wonderful variety of dessert crepes that we all thoroughly enjoyed! The babysitters survived the endeavor and I’m pretty sure fun was had by all!
The next day we managed to get in a beach trip at a really cool spot in Laguna Beach called Heisler Park (just south of Crystal Cove State Beach). Even though it had a steep hill down to the water the amazing view from the top made it worth every step! There was a great bathroom, showers near the water to get sand off and a nice lawn & picnic area that overlooked the ocean.  Check it out sometime if you can!
 
I ADORE everything about the beach with one exception: BIRDS. Oh how I hate birds! Seagulls have got to be one of the worst…and here is another perfect example of why. We were all playing near the water when I looked back and saw a seagull walk over to our stuff and grab a whole unopened snack size Dorito bag in his beak and take off. I tried to scare it off (hoping it would drop the bag) but to no avail. I created a bit of a commotion in the process as the bird just flew off onto the water and floated there for at least 2 minutes attempting to peck the bag open. When she discovered what was going on poor Aleah got so upset about it that she just kept crying and crying and looking out into the ocean for the chip bag. The dumb bird eventually gave up and decided to go harass someone else. Thankfully Jeff was able to rescue the bag (unopened or harmed) from the water and in Aleah’s sweet two year old mind all was right with the world again. Once her daddy rescued that bag the tears eventually stopped flowing but she may have joined me in the “Bird Haters Club” that day.

The kids played so well together (as they usually do) and then just like that, it seemed, we were off to our next adventure!
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The Blog Days of Summer {NORTHWEST OR BUST #2}

So our Road trip continued! After we left Portland we headed to Washington to see a few of our favorite people for a quick visit.  We got to catch up, play games, check the lake and relax.  The kids had so much fun together too. It was refreshing to be with people you have known for years and there were many inside jokes and laughs shared by all (as usual). It was as it should be with good friends! And since we did not make it to our annual Hume Lake trip it was great (we actually got to see them one more time over the summer but I’ll get to that later).

And then we were off to our favorite city…if you only have a few hours to kill in Seattle you must go to a few of our favorite spots. First we went to Kerry Park and then just over the hill and across another bridge are the Ballard Locks.  I imagined bringing my kids to both of these places back when I was in college – so it was great to finally do it on a lovely summer day (the weather really was perfect for us)!
Check out Paige’s expressions and Grant’s funny faces…what in the world could either of them be thinking about!
Just below the Kerry Park Viewpoint is a path to an actual kid’s park that my crazy kiddos could not get enough of! We were there for over an hour. It made me laugh to remember it because in college one of my roommates and I would sneak off to this park and smoke cigars (I know you are wondering why I would be sneaking off but this is just what Christian college girls do for fun and a flair of rebellion – I guess it’s honestly another topic for another day)!
If you ever get the chance to see the Ballard Locks in Seattle you must go! The beautiful foliage and plants, the architecture of the buildings and seeing the salmon run (which basically means they are swimming up stream), even the fish ladders are fascinating to me and in my opinion you will be in for a treat.  Growing up in Colorado and California did not expose me to anything like this. So check it out sometime- especiallyif you get to go there in the summer!


Woohoo…the salmon were running!
Kids can make anything fun!
Love these two!
Aaron got to take the kids to Gasworks Park for a picnic and while it was not as nice as he had remembered the kids had fun…until poor Grant smacked his head into a pole while running full speed. He got a nice goose-egg on his forehead- poor guy may just be accident prone like his Mamma.
 
They finished up their outing at the Seattle Center and after a fun afternoon and dinner with our dear friends {the Pelton’s} we were headed back down I-5 to make the long trip home. Our time with the Pelton’s is always too short but we loved seeing their beautiful home make progress (paint was going up that day). And we always just love their company! They took us to an amazing restaurant called Tutta Bella Pizzeria (you must go here if you are in the area). Wish we could have hung out with them all night!

Here are a few more pictures I took with my iphone (check out Grant’s goose-egg bump).

This last one is the sun set as we were leaving town. My only regret is that we were not able to see more friends while we were there.  But there are only so many hours in the day!

We miss you Seattle…hope to see you again soon!
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The Blog Days of Summer {NORTHWEST OR BUST #1}

In June we hit the road for an amazing trip to the Northwest to see family and friends for a few days (for ideas on how to travel more easily with kids check out this POST)!  The drive to Portland is as beautiful as it is long!
First stop was Portland for my cousin Cory’s wedding!  We got to have a “family reunion” and relax at a fun hotel in Portland that was by the water and had a great breakfast (the Residence Inn RiverPlace)!
Cory (who is quite possibly one of my favorite people ever) and his lovely Bride Lisa were amazing hosts and made our entire extended family feel welcome in Portland and involved in the festivities.  Paige & Grant got to dress up and be a flower girl and a flag bearer. It was adorable to see them in their roles and see their personalities come out! The wedding took place at a unique & awesome venue:The World Forestry Center
Getting ready for the Wedding…
The Wedding and Reception…

The Reception Games…
To see some of their photographers pictures check out this blog post at: David Burdick Photography
And because I love taking pictures of food & fun…here are a few more…the venue, food, cupcakes, decor and dancing were amazing!

Breakfast the Next Day…
The food was great and the company was lovely but we Panfilio’s had a few issues.  The private area of the restaurant where we were eating with the wedding party was positioned in an open upstairs area with regular diners below.  Paige decided to drop her mini book over the balcony to “see what would happen…” When she finally got the nerve to fess up to what she had done I had no idea what book she was even talking about.  While I was picturing someone being smacked on the head with a large kids book I was relieved and mortified to see an unhappy bartender come upstairs and deliver Paige’s tiny 3 inch book to us with a look of hatred plastered across his face.  I managed an apology and thought we had dodged a bullet (considering it was a mini book) but before too long I was shocked back into “kids do strange things” reality when Grant tumbled over a small couch and smacked his head on the glass balcony. And when I say smacked…I mean smacked. My back was turned but apparently he was jumping on the couch and fell…landing flat on his back after smacking his head.  I impulsively picked him up without knowing how he fell or how he landed or even thinking of the fact that he could have hurt his neck.  Poor baby laid on my shoulder and then my sisters for over an hour. Kids just do weird things (and often when it is the least convenient time/place to do it). All in all it was a great way to see the family one more time before the festivities were over!

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