Thursday was the last day of 2nd grade for you, so we spent Friday together doing "special time."
First, you played with James a little bit in the morning. Then we took him to daycare so he wouldn't miss "water play day." You and I came home and you helped me replace the sprinkler timer. You were very helpful and even operated the drill.
Then, we packed up, loaded the bike onto the car, and drove to Forest of Nisene Marks in Aptos. Once there, we hiked the "Old Growth Loop" for 1.5 miles and about 1.5 hours. We played by the creek -- skipping stones and then trying to cross the creek just by stepping on stones and logs. We both made it without getting too wet. Next, we hiked to "The Advocate" -- the biggest redwood in the park, over 40' in circumference. After that, I got stung or bitten by two nasty bugs (ow!), but we kept hiking and saw a banana slug. And then a grove of Redwoods that grew in many crazy directions instead of up/down. We were trying very hard to stay to the main trail, but at some point the trail markers were missing the attached "signs" that told us which trail we were on. We worried we were lost, but eventually found our way back.
The whole way we chatted and had fun. You are my favorite person to hike with these days -- you are fun, easy-going, stay with me, and are always smiling (your Dad always goes off ahead of me, and James always wants me to pick him up.)
Next, we unloaded the bikes and then rode the fire road for 7 or 8 miles. You had such a great time and were smiling the whole way. You were very good too.... whenever we encountered a car on the trail, you would just pull over to the side of the road and wait (no prompting from me needed!) Eventually, we got to the part where the fire road was closed to cars, and we went about another mile. As we sped downhill, you said "This is a really fun bike ride!" That made me so happy. I am so glad you were having a good time. We then found ourselves next to a field that was overflowing with wild flowers - yellow, white, and purple. amazing.
We had to turn back (you still had a bit of a cough, left over from your illness on Mon/Tues of the week), but I hope we can come again soon. We both agreed that it was the greatest bike ride ever, and the best day ever too.
I cannot remember when I was last so happy and in the moment.
Thank you Kian. I love you so,