Ronan's annual cozy coupe photo... here's the photo from 2009
Two weekends ago was our sixth annual pilgrimage to Rancho Siempre Verde, a wonderfully fun Christmas Tree farm south of Pescadero off of Hwy 1 (here's the post from our second trip in 2009). Friends Janet, Sandy, and Emily, as well as Poppy and Auntie She all joined us for the tree hunting, swinging, picnic savoring, tractor-riding, and general farm wandering.
Nieve's annual cozy coupe photo
Tractor tire swing!
Nieve had a blast finding different swings and riding them. We knew she had a blast, as she wore an ear-to-ear smile every time she took flight. Our endurance for pushing her ran out far before her enthusiasm did.
Nieve was not the only one who enjoyed the swings. All of us took turns, playing, giggling, and the occasional fall. On the larger swing, Poppa, Auntie She and Mom were one small slip away from sending all three of them to the emergency room.
Mom, Poppa and Auntie She all enjoying a ride... after an almost disastrous start to their swinging
Ronan showing a little sass whilst swinging with Auntie She
Also like last year, the kids loved playing on top of (an in) the haystack; they climbed, crawled, jumped, and ran around with a dozen other like-minded children. Rather than simply crawling through the tunnels Ronan was more interested in jumping off the higher sections, leading to (superficial) injuries of other children who watched his antics and made the poor decision to copy him.
Nieve in the haystack, slightly annoyed by the prickly hay
Learning to span a gap - Ronan called her, "Nieve the Bridge"
The Art of Flight, by Ronan, Part I
Nieve would not be left out of the 'jumping' from the haystack
A trip to RSV must also include the exploring machines, which Ronan promptly led as soon as lunch was finished. Both kids love sitting in the drivers seat, pretending they are flattening mounds with the bulldozer or digging deep ditches with the backhoe. The two of them were having so much fun that Emily had to climb up and experience it for herself.
Ronan asked for this picture to be taken - he wanted a portrait through the grate with the John Deere badge visible
Goofballs at the helm!
Emily and Nieve enjoying the bulldozer together
One fun new experience this year was enjoying apples picked right off of a tree. Normally the fruit is off limits to visitors but we lucked out when a ranch hand let the kids harvest their own apples and enjoy them amongst the orchard. We also learned about tayberries, a rust-resistant raspberry/blackberry hybrid that apparently has an delicious flavor.
Yum. Apples right off the tree!
Auntie She (unsuccessfully) trying to steal some of Nieve's apple
Fresh fruit makes Ronan a happy boy
Janet chuckles while Mom finishes off Nieve's apple
Then there was, of course, the harvesting of our Christmas tree. The pickings were slim this year (RSV was highlighted by Sunset Magazine and saw a large spike in customers last year) yet we found a tree of the perfect size and shape for our living room. Nieve helped to cut it down and Ronan helped to carry it back to the car.
Nieve: "Daddy, I want the saw." Me: "Here you go, sweetheart."
Family portrait in front of the tree
Of course we had to get in the tractor ride and one final swing before calling it a day. Ronan and Auntie She chose a swing to showboat at - at one point Ronan was a good twenty feet off of the ground, grinning a fools grin the entire time.
The crew was getting tired by the time we did the tractor ride
Ronan's antics provided more entertainment for other RSV visitors
The Art of Flight, by Ronan, Part II
By mid afternoon even Ronan was ready to call it a day. We said our goodbyes, ensured the tree was properly fastened to the roof racks, and headed home. A big thanks to everyone for joining us on our annual trip - we look forward to doing again next year!
The remnants of the crew - tired but happy and ready to head home