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Daytrip: Santa Rosa, California

I think I’ve said it before: it’s hard to imagine a more beautiful county than Sonoma. It really has it all—one minute you’re driving through vineyards and farmland (with those “happy California cows” who are making all the great cheese), the next you’re following the Russian River out to the Pacific Ocean. And along the way, you can find vibrant, historic communities like Santa Rosa—where, last week, we were lucky to find ourselves for 24 hours.

As ever, there was far more to do and to see than even a week would allow, but we took one of the city’s daytrip itineraries, “Family Fun Day,” and extended it into an overnight…

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First Watches for Kids

Though I’ve joked that parenthood simply means announcing how many minutes are left in activities, over and over throughout the day, the concept of time is still pretty fuzzy around here.

Skyler’s memories jumble into a “one day, before today” category, and I think at least twice she’s asked us if it’s a school day on a Saturday after dinner. Hudson, on the other hand, is getting a handle on the sequence of events, if not always the duration, and is learning to tell time on an analog clock in his first-grade class. We’ve actually had a digital clock in his room for years—the amazing OK to Wake Clock shines green when it’s 7am, letting him know it’s okay to come and wake us if he happens to be up earlier (which is always)—but it doesn’t really teach how to tell time.

But now that he’s showing more interest in reading a clock, and enjoying more after-school activities that I meet him after at specific times, we’d like to get him a first watch. Priorities for us: readable, durable, and easy to use. We’d also like this first one to be analog—a teaching-watch.

Here are some favorites we’re considering…

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Saladish (& Friday Links)

This cover of Ilene Rosen’s new cookbook makes me want to go make a salad right now! Rosen spent the last two decades as City Bakery’s savory chef, and knows how to get flavors working together, so I’m excited to check out her new book, Saladish, which is organized (no surprise) seasonally, but which also includes party menus that help you turn the recipes into table spreads.

This weekend, we’re celebrating a local holiday—Picnic Day—which is like UC Davis’ open house. It can get a little rowdy downtown in the evening, but the daytime is great for families with bug encounters, cow-milking, frisbee tournaments, doxie derby races, marching bands, and tractor parades… just to name a few things. Every department puts on a show and I’ve been going off and on for twenty years now! It’s also a good time of year to see what’s in bloom at the arboretum.

Have a great weekend!

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