Our pre-Christmas trip to Riverside got rained out, so we went this week instead, during a brief sunny lull between storms.
As always, our first stop was Mt. Rubidoux. We usually walk up the down road, which is steeper but shorter, but this time we decided to use the up road. So we got to see some new stuff that even I hadn’t known (or remembered) was there.
I LOVE this:
Espio came with us, of course.
We’d planned to go to Fairmount Park afterward, but I’d assigned Elizabeth the task of putting our picnic food into the car and somehow she forgot. So by the time we finished climbing up and down the mountain we were all too hungry and thirsty for parks and we decided to go get some lunch at a little soup-and-sandwich bistro near the Mission Inn.
And since we were already there, we ended up browsing through the marketplace in all those gorgeous, expensive little shops that make me want to recklessly spend money so that my house can be full of beautiful, useless things. But Christmas took all my pennies this year and we made it through the gauntlet completely thingless.
Remember back in February when I blew my “Year Without Stuff” resolution on that package of tiny plastic flying monkeys? Well, this time in that very same store I found a totally WTF line of…I guess they were action figures. They had to be marketed for adults, because what kind of action is a kid going to get with this guy:
This one was the squidgiest:
Glow-in-the-dark hands. I have no words.
After that we went to the Natural History Museum across the street, where Luke made me get photos of every. Single. Piece. Of antique machinery and gadgets from Ye Olde Southern California. From every angle. I will not share them with you here, Dear Internet. Believe me when I tell you that you are missing nothing.
By the time we left the museum it was getting dark. The halls of the Mission Inn were decked most splendidly for the holidays, so we walked around and admired the lights for a while.
And then it was too dark for Fairmount Park, so we headed home.
Visiting Riverside always fills my head with grand visions of what my property could look like with a little time and effort and money. Stone walls and hillside staircases and flagstoned walkways and cool splashing fountains. Bright flowering vines trailing out of enormous sculpted planters. A glass solarium along the south-facing wall of my house, shaded with (griffless?) leaves in summer and sun-warmed in winter. Trips to Riverside are part recreation, part inspiration, and the tiniest nibble of frustrated discontent with my lack of funds.
Luckily the discontent never lasts for long once I’m back home. There’s always plenty to keep me busy here, always a project or two that doesn’t cost money, just time and effort. My little homestead looks a lot different now than it did when we first moved in; for the most part I’m okay with my slow but steady progress.
Is today Thursday? I’d planned to write a Love Thursday post about the gifts my kids and I gave each other this Christmas, but I guess that can wait another week. This one could sorta be a Love Thursday post, if you tilt your head and squint a little. I think it’s about sharing big dreams and small outings with your favorite people. Or maybe it’s about making the world a more beautiful place, one tiny project at a time? Anyway, happy Love Thursday, All. Do something beautiful today!