Anyway, this summer break is much, much needed. It will take me a couple of weeks to decompress. Initially, I had big plans for yesterday, but it ended up being a day where we did some practical things (grocery shopping, house keeping) on a very slow schedule. Michaela decided to dress herself in the morning. She went in and chose her own outfit, and ended up accessorizing with necklaces, bracelets, and rings. She's really exerting some independence!
However, by mid afternoon, Michaela was bored and I was tired of playing Crazy 8s with her - she LOVES her card games!
So we headed out for some frozen yogurt. Michaela is all about chocolate - chocolate everything. She had chocolate yogurt with chocolate sprinkles. Most of it made it into her mouth, but she left a good deal on the table, and wiped what dripped on her hands on her shirt. Napkins (or, mackins as she calls them) are optional!
Then we headed over to Rancho Los Alamitos. Here in Long Beach, we have two historical ranchos. After the mission system dissolved in the early 1800s, the land in California was parceled out in enormous land grants. What remains of the original ranchos here are many of the original buildings, and just a few acres of land. Our ranchos are historical sites, and they are toured by thousands of local students every year.
The fourth grade curriculum is all about California geography and history. Having taught fourth grade for fourteen years, I had toured both ranchos before. They are free to the public, and there are docents available. We chose to wander around on our own since I know a lot about Rancho Los Alamitos, however we were unable to enter the residence without a docent. I figured that Michaela wouldn't be all that interested in a docent-led tour at this point in her life. So no big loss. The grounds are beautiful, and they gave us a good long walk.
I think we'll be back another day. Once inside the gates of the rancho, it feels like we've entered another place far, far away from suburbia. We are also going to visit the other rancho in town, Rancho Los Cerritos, one day this summer.
(For even more beautiful photos of Rancho Los Alamitos, click here.)