We started off our New Year's Day with these fun strawberry pancakes. They were absolutely delicious! Of course, the whole concept of a new year is a bit too abstract for a two- or four-year-old to grasp, much less a year having a number, not to mention a number WAY higher than either of them can count, but funny-shaped pancakes are always exciting, so they loved it!
After our delicious breakfast, we headed out on a little New Year's excursion. Lee Anna has been saying for a long time now that she wants to go out to the desert and run. She saw a video of some friends of hers running in a desert race last spring, and since then she has wanted to do it herself—and mentioned it frequently. So we decided to use this New Year's Day to fulfill a dream for Lee Anna. The kids and Daddy suited up in their Seminole jogging suits (aren't they cute?), and we headed out.This desert, just at the edge of our part of town, is not the typical sandy-duned area you might picture when you hear "desert." It's full of rocks, which is pretty much as good as gold if you're a two-year-old boy.
I bet he threw hundreds of rocks during our two hours out in the desert. I'm not sure what the appeal is, but it sure made him happy.
Here are Daddy & Lee Anna just starting out on our climb. This desert area is basically two cliffs with a valley winding through them. There's a road carved out through the valley, so you can drive through the area. We parked our car and then decided to try hiking up one of the cliffs. There are paths beaten out, so it's not too difficult a climb, although it did get a little steep and slippery at times.
Here (above) are the kids after we made it to the top. It's hard to tell in the picture just how high up we were, but if you click on it to see the larger version, you might be able to see the little bitty people walking on the road below. We were pretty high!
We had brought a kite with us, thinking that might be a fun desert activity, but the wind was not very cooperative. Lee Anna kept saying that we just must not be very good at flying kites, but we assured her that without wind, no one can fly a kite. We did have a few brief windy spells where the kite took off for a minute or two, but it always ended up diving into the rocks. It was still fun to try.
Here's another shot to show how high up we were. That little spot in the middle of the picture is our car!We ended our outing by teaching our kids about an indispensible part of American life and culture—the fast food drive-thru. These are almost unheard of where we are, but there is a new Burger King with a drive-thru not too far from the desert where we had been playing. This particular Burger King only has three tables inside (I'm not exaggerating!), so it's pointless to try to go inside and sit down. We opted for the drive-thru, but we were not about to actually let our kids (our ourselves, for that matter) eat their food in the car while we drove down busy streets with too much traffic and too many bumps. So we found a spot right across from Burger King, parked, and had the kids climb in the back of the car for a little picnic. It was a lot of fun, and my Whopper with cheese was delicious!
When Sawyer got bored with our kite-flying attempts, he just sat down on a little hill and got back to throwing rocks. And yes, Lee Anna did get to have her race. :)
It was somewhat amusing to us that our kids really did not know how the drive-thru worked. We pulled up to the first window to order, and they both wanted to know who was in that window, what she was doing, and why Daddy was giving her money. Then we pulled up to the second window, and they had a thousand questions about the people inside, how they knew what food to bring us, and when they were going to give it to us.
Just a reminder of how very different their childhoods are from our own. They may not know the finer points of purchasing a drive-thru meal, but they know about North African countries I had never heard of until I was an adult, speak a second language impressively well, and almost daily pass historical sites that people travel from all over the world to see. I'd say they're doing just fine.