This is not where we’re staying, by the way: I’m pretty sure some totally unsavory things go on at these beach shacks, but I’ve always liked the look of them. It’s random post time, people; a virtual postcard, if you will, to show you some of the things we’ve been doing.
We’ve done some exuberant running along the beach…
some leisurely bike-riding, emphasis on “leisurely”…
a little pool-swinging (that’s me right there; people always look so short in the water!)…
…and some recreational bird-watching.
Yeah. If you said “yikes!” you’ve just scratched the surface of what comes out of my mouth down here. Thank heavens for enclosed pools, just saying. It’s very “prehistoric chic” around here as far as the birds go.
It doesn’t always do this in the backyard, friends. This was a day the vacation was really showing off. Don’t try so hard, Vacation; everyone knows you’re cool.
To summarize: we have worn ourselves out.
Because of this, our vacations always include a lot of generalized hanging out. Since I’d like to preserve the Wee One’s skin as much as I can, some of that lounging happens inside. During the hot times of the day, we play in the dollhouse, make the stuffed animals tea, make puzzles, and read books. One book seems to have really struck a chord with the tiniest member of us, probably because it’s about food. A few months ago, a local children’s author contacted me and was kind enough to ask if I would mind reading her book and writing a review. Now, you all know how much I love to spontaneously review books on this space, but to have someone put their book before me and actually ask me to review it? Crazy. Crazy fun, that is. So I said okay. Brace yourselves.
The book? End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad by Eluka Moore, Larry Puzniak and Marianne Welsh, illustrated by Kristin Gau. It’s part of the Kitchen Club Kids book series, which focuses on getting kids familiar with the ingredients that go into some of their favorite dishes. It’s pretty adorable, because at the end of each book is a recipe using the food they saw while reading. And you know how kids books are; they really try to sneak in the learning, and this one is no exception. Kids not only get to learn a little bit about each fruit that goes into the fruit salad, but they practice their counting and color-identifying skills along the way. There’s even a wee pickle with a face that pops up on each page for you to find, like a vegetable version of Where’s Waldo.
I loved this book: it’s colorful, there’s many different kinds of fruit in there, ranging from common (bananas) to schmancy (papayas!), so kids can feel confident with what they know, but maybe learn some new things along the way. It’s catchy and flows very nicely from page to page. You know who loves it even more than I do? That’s right; The Wee. She adores it. It’s become a most-requested book in this house, to the point where we’ve both memorized pages of it. We handle that differently: I find them popping into my brain, and usually keep them there, while the Wee One happily singsongs passages of it while running from room to room. The page on kiwifruit prompted me to buy kiwis, which I haven’t done in years, having forgotten how much I enjoyed them. The Wee One had never seen a real live kiwi, so this was equally thrilling for her.
There’s three books so far in the series: The End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad is available now, and both Garden Safari Vegetable Soup and Feed Your Senses Homemade Bread are coming soon. If you’ve got little wee ones running around, or if you know someone who does, these would make a fantastic addition to your library. Honestly, I may need to use the one about bread for reference in my own library; I wouldn’t mind the mysteries of bread explained to me at a preschool level. The Kitchen Club Kids series is available through Bread & Butter publishing; head on over to their website to find out more about their little Wee One-approved reading selections.
The Wee One says hello, by the way, and would like to tell you that she doesn’t want to start preschool, and also that she was at the beach last night but just did walking and did not dig in the sand or make castles. I’m fairly certain she’s forgotten that we don’t live here, so she’s in for a surprise next week when we return home. I have not done one single, tangible thing in terms of her birthday party (just thoughts; so many thoughts, and also brainstorming) so it should be interesting to see what I can pull together in three weeks’ time. I’ll probably need your help, if you don’t mind, so have your Facebooks at the ready so I can inundate you with questions, show you how it’s going, and ask your opinion on food and decorations. You all are so great at that.
We’ve made some pretty good food things down here, I must say: I’ll be sharing some of that with you very soon. We make things and I either forget to write things down or it’s done at a time when photos are impossible. I’ve discovered two things I’m a little in love with: the “Florida” avocado and the honey mango.
The Florida avocado is dubbed “The Slimcado” because it contains 35% fewer calories and 50% less fat than your average avocado (Chubbycado?). It’s also twice the size, so I suppose if you eat a full-size Slimcado versus a full-size Chubbycado, you’d actually be eating
More calories and more fat. By something percent, but more calories, I think, than fat. Whatever.
As for the honey mango, I’m fairly certain that honey mangos are what all mangos aspire to. They are beyond perfection as far as mangos go; soft, and supple, and sweet as they can be. Delectable, really. I could eat them all the time, but sadly, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen them back home. Locals, help me out; have you ever seen a honey mango anywhere? Do tell, because I am running to wherever they are located.