Sunday, April 20, 2008


We've returned from our "babymoon" roadtrip down and up the California coast. Of course, we had to stop at Disneyland, but it was also really great to get to take a leisurely, scenic route down highways 101 and 1. California is a pretty nice place to live!

We didn't take the more gas-hungry Beetle, but our Prius was about due for a vacation, anyway.

First stop: Monterey and Carmel, for some lunch and frolicking.

First night's destination: Avila Beach.

I'd never even heard of this town before searching for a good stopping point along the coast, but it was tiny and charming. I feel like it's the kind of place we'll go back to in 10 years and it'll be a huge resort destination. For now, though, we found super friendly locals and really good ice cream (mint chocolate chip with Oreo crumbles!).

And we found an awesome hotel: Avila la Fonda. Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies in the lobby's kitchen: Check. Fireplace in room: Check. Giant whirlpool tub and nicer bathroom than mine at home: Check and check. We were off to a good start!

Next stop: Disneyland!

My first New Orleans Square "Courtyard of the Angels" portrait in which I am visibly pregnant. (When we last went in December, the day after I found out I was expecting, you couldn't exactly tell in the photos just yet!)

We spent the weekend in LA, going to some great museums. My favorite was the new Broad Contemporary. It was so playful and non-serious, and even Brad enjoyed the exhibits! (Which is really saying something for a "modern" art museum.)

But I will not post all my pictures. I am too lazy to do that, so I am saving my energy for pictures of our last stop: the incredible, tear-inspiring Ventana Inn at Big Sur.

We knew this would be a pretty nice place. Just look at our Prius's view from the parking lot!

In-room fireplace: Check. Enormous bathroom with window in the shower, to see view of mountains: Check. Kate crying in delight when she sees the upgraded room's view from the private porch and hammock: Check.

Brad figures out how to light a real wood-burning fire. (Hey, we only have a gas fireplace at home!)


Then, onto one of the highlights (and there were many!) of our one-night stay at the Ventana: my first-ever massage! It was a prenatal massage, involving a very pleasant masseuse, and a whole lot of funny pillows I arranged my body parts in. Plus, the massage room I was in had an ocean view. Sighhhh.

On our last morning of the trip, we strolled the trails winding through nature-y areas on property, and then I went swimming in this pool, which I had all to myself. OK, so it was about 60 degrees outside, but there was no way I had this pool and my pregnancy swimsuit waiting for me without using them! The water was about 80 degrees, so it was really as lovely as it looks.

And then on to home. Thank goodness for a roadtrip!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Can a bassinet fit in a Beetle?

I am delighted with the baby goods that are already being sent my way, for loan or for permanent use! After coming back from our wonderful, in-state vacation (I will post some roadtrip pictures in the next blog), I returned to work to find a bassinet in my cubicle!

A nice thing about the pregnancy hormones is that I am able to pretty much forget about anything within half an hour of learning about it, so fun discoveries are an exciting surprise all over again shortly! Somehow, despite walking around the bassinet all day every time I got up from my chair, I forgot about it until my observant coworker Rebecca pointed to it at five o'clock and asked if I might need any help with it. I looked at it like "Hey, where'd that come from?" and thought that yes, I would need some help.

So Rebecca, my cubemate Shaida, and I wheeled the thing out to the parking lot. I couldn't imagine why we got a strange look from one of the occupants of the next building, unless he thought there was an actual baby in it already and I guess it might have looked a little odd that we were seeing how far we could let the bassinet coast along without pushing it.

Anyway, I confidently popped the Beetle's trunk open, Shaida and Rebecca confidently hoisted the bassinet up and in...and then the Beetle's curvy back window shape did not want to bend up further to accomodate the bassinet's square legs sticking up.

Things looked less promising. But I was certain that the Beetle does have magical storage powers, and I could tell that Shaida and Rebecca's sheer determination would win out over any setbacks in having a small car. With some fanagling by Rebecca, and some hands-on backseat folding by Shaida (who somehow figured out how to fold my backseat flat in a way I couldn't even remember how to do)...


Conclusion: A Graco bassinet CAN fit into a Beetle. It just might take a little help from your friends. (Thanks, friends!)