As you may recall, this summer started with a baby. Matilda Jane joined the Miller family in May, wriggling and crying and kicking off a season of activity.
We celebrated Hattie's second birthday on June 14 with a sushi party in the park. There was real sushi to eat as a main course, and candy sushi to eat for dessert. The centerpiece was a California roll-shaped cake that Sarah designed, with shredded coconut for rice, fruit jellies for the various fillings, and orange jellybeans for roe on top. If only this were a color-friendly blog ... .
All four of us went camping with my parents and four other families in mid-June. Technically, only Hattie and I went camping, but Sarah and Tilly did come up to the mountains for a day so a lot of our friends and their families could meet the newest girl in the group. Hattie and I stayed two nights in my parents' trailer while Sarah and Tilly traveled back to Sacramento to visit with Sarah's family. We ate s'mores, rested in hammocks, played games. You know, camping stuff.
Hattie has been talking about the trip ever since, mostly because she saw a black bear within seconds of our arrival. We pulled up in our van and looked through the windshield: Bear. Right there. The last night we were there, it raided the camp for hot chocolate. It devoured all the Nestle but left the Swiss Miss. Take from that what you will. Hattie spent several days over the last week telling us that's she's going to go camping with Grandma and see a bear again.
Besides the close-ish encounter with wildlife, Hattie's favorite part of the trip was visiting the lake, splashing around, and climbing on rocks. She's like a mermaid, freakishly born with legs instead of a tail. Also, she breathes air.
In July, we went to the Central Coast Renaissance Faire, as is the Miller custom. We opted not to go in our traditional costumes, since wearing shorts and a T-shirt is so much more comfortable and allows plenty of freedom of movement for eating shepherd's pie and drinking pomegranate mead. We also ate Hawaiian shave ice, funnel cake, and an enormous breakfast burrito with salsa, none of which--correct me if I'm wrong, history majors--is exactly historically accurate. (I later learned that pina colada-flavored syrup wasn't invented until the 1700s.)
Hattie's favorite part of the day was the jousting, which also--I believe--was a bit of an anachronism. The knights autographed pieces of broken lance after the event. For a fee. That went toward care of the horses, which they had "rescued from a life of boredom."
This summer has also included a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a 1-year-old's back-hills redneck party with roast pig, a brave trip to the drive-in to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Hattie couldn't believe we ate nachos and hotdogs in the car and got to watch a Goofy cartoon before the movie started), live music and dancing at a bar, plenty of dress-up, and the birth of a couple new friends! Some of those activities may find their way here in the coming days and weeks, though two girls underfoot makes for sporadic blogging.