In front of this year's Christmas Tree
Every year we head over the hill to Rancho Siempre Verde, an endearing farm to get our Christmas tree. RSV is not just any Christmas Tree farm - it's a place where families come to laugh, picnic, make wreathes, defy gravity on fantastic tree swings, take tractor rides, cook s'mores over a campfire, soak up the glorious view, and generally indulge themselves in this gem of a spot next to the Pacific.
Giant xylophones are always fun
This is *precisely* how Nieve rolls... our lazy little girl
Nieve upgrades from little plastic car to a working tractor
An excited buzz is ever present at RSV, with patrons and hosts talking, laughing (or usually both), and thoroughly enjoying themselves. It seems that very corner of the farm is filled with mirth.
Ronan testing out the Christmas tree wrapping station. Fortunately he decided not to wrap himself.
Waiting for her tractor ride
Our obligatory annual Cozy Coupe photo... Ronan shows his clown aptitude by squeezing himself into the nonexistent back seat
Every year there are more people that come to enjoy RSV, so we decided to cut our tree early (to get one before they ran out) and spend the rest of the day picnicking and playing.
Moms - always the role models
Dads - best used as benches or pillows
Ronan's favorite activity was extreme swinging; he demanded, "Higher! Higher!" until the pusher (usually me) was thoroughly winded. There are over a dozen swings (two of which are tire swings) to choose from and by the end of our time there Ronan had used almost every one.
Ronan and Mom loving the swinging
The smiles say it all
Big swings mean big fun
Nieve was less eager to try out the big swings. She was happy in a hammock she found, and she loved the toddler swing, but she protested and ran away whenever we tried to get her onto one of the large tree swings.
Nieve was too timid at first to use the large swings but she did not mind showboating on the tiny toddler swing...
...besides, why swing when you can relax in a hammock
Eventually she mustered up enough courage to try out one of the smaller tree swings (with Ronan). After a few pushes she found her confidence and it was big grins on the swings from then on.
Swings - something that is actually enjoyable to share
A happy little girl, proud of herself for overcoming her fear of the bigger swings
Both Mom and I noted that Nieve and Ronan seemed to play wonderfully together at the farm. Ronan was his typical sweet self while Nieve predictably plotted trouble. It was a delight to watch them plan, swing and explore together.
Clearly mischief in the making
Bulldozers are best explored with a friend
After hours of swinging, playing and picnicking we had to call it a day. On the way to the car we passed by the campfire where families were making s'mores. Nieve is a raving lunatic when it coms to marshmallows so she refused to leave until she had a toasted marshmallow, something that Mom promised at lunchtime.
The sweet taste of victory - Nieve won the battle of the wills and got her much desired marshmallow
Even with the direct injection of highly refined sugar only moments before, Nieve fell asleep almost as soon as her car seat straps were buckled. Ronan looked out the window as we drove up the coast, admiring the afternoon sun glistening on the ocean. As soon as the road turned and led away from the water, Ronan joined his sister for a nap. Mom even closed her eyes as we wound our way over the coastal range, all three of them gently resting after a day packed with fun. RSV is a truly magical place.
One happy little monkey