Day 117 – 12/25 Christmas Day and Fresno’s Woodward Park

We had a nice Christmas Day, and had a chance to check out Fresno’s Woodward Park and the Japanese Garden.

It’s Christmas Day!  Merry Christmas (likely late by time this is posted).  As usual, I was up first, with no alarms, and since we went to bed a little later last night, I actually slept until 8 :).  Weather looked good outside, and our windows were fairly clear, which was great.  We are getting this under control.

Bia woke up next and not too long after me.  She was excited to see the gifts Santa brought, which were under the tree, and that there were gifts in her stockings from Rosie.  She was going crazy that Rosie was still here.  She wanted to wake everyone up so she could open gifts.  So, she went to talk to Carol first and woke her up, and was all excited in telling her Rosie was still here, and that there were gifts from her in her stocking.  I think Bella heard the excitement and woke up next.  She was also excited about Santa’s gifts, but… went right to the stockings with Bia.  They could see that it was these LOL toys that were popping out of the stockings, and they love those.  They love those so much they even forgot about the Santa gifts and spent a good 30 minutes opening the LOL and playing with them a bit.

Santa had left a note, cookie crumbs and an empty cup of milk.  Rosie left a note that she’d stay a few more nights, which the girls were excited about, and she left the gifts as well.

I had my coffee while I watched the kids happily play with their LOLs.  We had Christmas music going, so it felt like Christmas morning 🙂

Carol opened her new toy, the Ninja Pan… InstaPot, Slow Cooker, Baker and Air Fryer all in one.  It’s a beast.  She’s super happy and I’m sure if this lives up to her expectations, it will be the best thing ever.

I was very content just watching all of that.

Then the girls opened their gifts from Santa.  They opened the round one first, and they got a stuffed animal each, not sure what they are called but it was something they wanted.  They were very happy with those.  Then, they opened the squared gift, and they got…. heated blankets!  yay!  No more heating up bean bags at night! hahahaha… those blankets are awesome.  We tested them right away and the girls and I sat on the couch with their blankets on max power, and with our squishy pillows… oh it was nice!  Bia has had us heat up her bean bag every night, it’s been going on for years now.  It’s not that big of a deal, 2-3 minutes in the microwave and it’s ready.  She then would put it by her chest to warm her up to get going at night.  Now, just push the buttons and her blanket will do that, and for as long as 10 hours! Hahahah.  Bella had started to ask for heated stuff as well, so way to go Santa!  Both girls loved it.  Santa sent a few gifts to some other important people overnight as well 🙂

Carol also got a book from Santa, and I got some underwear.  All things we both asked for 🙂

Carol tested her pan right away, and made croissants she had in the freezer, using the air fryer mode, and it was awesome!  It’s super quiet, and so far, she said it’s even better than the air fryer we have at home (which I’m sure is going to another home).

We took our time eating, playing with new toys, cleaning up and getting ready, then headed out to check out a bit of Fresno, so we went to Woodward Park.

We had an easy drive to the park, about 40 minutes or so.  It is a big park with lots to do.  Bike paths, walking paths, running, rock climbing wall, playgrounds, lake, and even a Japanese Garden.  I know Carol loves those, so when I saw the sign, we went there.  We paid $5 to get into the park, and then $6 for the family to get in to the Japanese Garden.  The garden is very nice, well taken care of, bigger than I expected, with a lake, and lots of trees.  It is winter so not a ton of flowers and such.  The girls had their new toys, Bella with her iPhone and Bia with her camera, so they were taking pictures and videos all the time, while they enjoyed the views and plants, flowers, etc.  We went into a smaller area where they had an exposition of Bonsai, and right as we walked in, there were like four Peacocks.  The girls loved that, and were near them for quite some time, watching and snapping. :). We checked out the Bonsai they had there, some were over 100 years old!  We walked around the garden, tried to take a few family pictures, and just enjoyed our time there.  No rush.  It’s nice when there’s no rush.  The garden was organized with arrows you had to follow, in a way to make the entire walk a one way, and since there were not many people out, we didn’t really run into anyone.

From there, we decided to drive around and see more of the park.  As we were driving, we got a call from Judy and Bob, and we talked to them for a while.  The girls saw the rock wall by a playground, so they asked me to stop there, so we went there.  Carol stayed in the car talking to Bob and Judy and I took the girls to the rock wall.  The girls and I tried climbing on the wall, it is harder than it looks. Hahah… I was able to go up the wall on one of the sides, but when I got up there, I realized I had to go down. hahahahah… didn’t really have enough left to go down, so I went a bit down and just jumped from there.  Bella found a spot she was able to climb, and she went there a few times.  It’s pretty cool.  Bia had a harder time, but enjoyed trying.  The girls then went to the playground, so I walked around a bit.  This park is pretty big, and it’d certainly be a great place to bring the bikes to and just bike around.  When the girls were done playing, we went back to the car and left.

We talked to Judy and Bob for a good hour or so, even after we left the park.  Good catching up and sharing some stories from Christmas.  We have spent Christmas with them for way over ten years now, so it’s not often we are not together.

We drove around to see if we’d find any place to get some food, but everything was closed.  I’m actually glad everything was closed, people need a break.  So, we just drove back.  I stopped at the gas station nearby to fill up, Carol went inside to get some snacks, and ended up coming out with Chicken strips and Corn Dogs. hahahaha… And that’s what we had for a late lunch.  How’s that for a Christmas lunch? :). That worked perfect though, we just needed some snacks at this point, so we could clean up the space, and turn the dinette and sofa into beds, so we could watch a movie together.  We watched Soul, from Disney, which was just released today.  Soul is a nice movie, very heartwarming and touching, great Christmas Day movie.  The girls loved it.

After the movie, we all got ready for bed, showers, etc.  We had some snacks and what not, and watched some more TV.

Oh and we talked to a lot of our family and friends over the last two days, we miss them all very much.  We wouldn’t be able to be with most anyway, but this time of year we all miss family and friends, and being together, so a lot of reflection about what’s really important in life.

We had a great family day today for Christmas.  Just enjoyed being together, took our time doing things, no rush.  We enjoyed our gifts and each other’s company.  Merry Christmas to all.

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