Tuesday, January 4, 2011

California Christmas (part 4)

While in California we made sure to take advantage of going to the Farmer's Market.  We really miss ours (which lies dormant all winter) and we picked up fruits, cheese, veggies, and snacks to our hearts' content.

We also picked flowers that were growing all over - we're not completely sure we were allowed, but there sure were a lot of them, and no one seemed to mind.  These are a very interesting flower - as soon as you pick them they start closing up!
Clara was pretending these were buttercups.
At the market there were many other kinds of vendors than just the food vendors.  After walking past this caricature stand several times, Grammie Ellen and Christina both admitted to long-held, deep-seated desires to have one done.  We decided to do one of the girls, and it was just as fun as we thought it would be!


At least the final product was.  Elena really enjoyed the process; Clara, not so much.  Still - in the end, this is the cuteness! 

The same evening (at least I think so - posting these belatedly is really taxing my memory!) Grammie Ellen took the whole group of us on a train ride called "Return to the North Pole."  It was a Polar-Express-esque ride where we would be taking Santa back to the North Pole to begin his work for next year.
Clara doing "ticket Cheers!" with the grandmas.
Mama and Lena.
Daddy and Clara, who is ringing her bell right in the patient man's ear.
A highlight of the trip was supposed to be seeing Santa.  It turns out the girls feel about this much the way they feel about our school mascot, Monte.  They love the idea, hate the reality.  They both hid under their coats when Santa came up to them - when they heard him offer a candy cane, Clara popped right out with this smile!  Elena still declined.
Again, much like the mascot, as soon as Santa left the girls were a bit wistful, and were eager to wave goodbye to him out the window as he got off at the "North Pole." (Hilarious to all the adults, this was an actual POLE, wrapped in crepe paper, and labeled "North Pole").
The girls fell utterly in love with the two elves who hosted our train car - this one was Twinkle (the girls cried from missing her all the way home and into the next two days).
This one was Jingle (they liked her too, but not as much as Twinkle.  "Like the star!")

Towards the end of the ride, both girls pretended to fall asleep - we wish the ending of the train ride was that easy (instead, it ended in tears as the carousel at the train station wasn't in operation and the girls realized Twinkle wouldn't be coming home with us) but still, it's a lovely image to end on here, isn't it?

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