Pepper woke up on birthday morning to find the traditional signs in place over Gramma and Poppa's fireplace, with his stuffed animals and gifts all around.
He opened presents--all Transformer stuff--and then we spent a low-key day at Gramma and Poppa's house. We had lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant, too. In the evening, my Dad and my sister met us at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for birthday fun. The Boardwalk is a wonderful, old amusement park right on the beach. Most of the time it is ridiculously overpriced, but on Monday and Tuesday nights in the summer, they roll back their prices to $1 per ride. Hot dogs, Pepsi products, and cotton candy are also $1 each. We used to go 3 or 4 times every summer when I was a kid, so it was a lot of fun taking my kids back to this old haunt of mine. Needless to say, we had a great time. The Pacific fog chose this one night to stay out at sea, so the evening was clear and the temperature around the mid-60's. Perfection!
My dad is a great sport and took Pepper on the whip cars. Because of my strong tendency to barf on spinny rides (or in cars, on boats and airplanes, and when watching people playing video games), Matt gets spinny ride duty with the kids.
Snapper rode the Giant Dipper, the big wooden roller coaster that has been in operation since 1924. It is such a classic, and is still my favorite roller coaster of all time. It was my first real roller coaster, and now is Snapper's too! Look closely at this picture...Snapper and I are in the front row. Love, love, love it!
Pepper is a total daredevil, it turns out! Had he been tall enough, he would have been on the Giant Dipper with us. Instead, he had to settle for the Log Ride and the Sea Dragon Coaster, both of which he was thrilled with!
We ended our evening with a ride on the carousel, which has also been around forever.
Pepper was asleep before we even made it to the highway. It was a great day of celebrating our big boy, who is growing up way too fast for this mommy.