Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Strawberry Fields Forever

We thought it might be fun for Jarrah to see the Carlsbad Flower Fields while they were still in bloom. For those of you not from San Diego, this is an annual event in which some huge fields above the I-5 are cultivated with ranunculus bulbs (a kind of poppy), which then bloom in an amazing grid pattern of pink, red, yellow, white, orange, purple and gold. From the road, it looks like a giant striped flag. Close up, you can't believe how many flowers there are.

As it turns out, Jarrah might be a bit young to appreciate the flower fields. She very much enjoyed sprinting in the furrows of dust that make up the pathways in between the growing areas, and trying to insert herself in everyone else's family pictures. But she didn't really notice the flowers, and couldn't be prevailed upon to continue an orderly progression up the rows. Oh, well. All was forgiven when she saw the "Children's Play Area," where David and I were compelled to stage an al fresco diaper change before setting her loose on the slide. She had so much fun, she cried when we had to leave.

Our next stop was one I have been dreaming about since I moved to San Diego 13 years ago. I have often glimpsed the white "U-Pick Strawberries" sign over the rows of green shrubbery from the freeway, and fantasized about plucking plump berries to place in my little basket, preferably while wearing a gingham pinafore and a straw hat with a jaunty ribbon. Perhaps it's related to my fruit fetish, but I've always been fascinated by the idea of picking berries. Well, the picking was just as dreamy as I'd imagined (though I forgot my costume--drat), but not for David, who was forced to stick near the parking lot since Jarrah kept tumbling over in the bumpy, dirty and narrow rows, and I was ignoring them completely. He said she very much enjoyed pinching berries between her fingers until they squished into red mush, but that is as far as her interest extends right now. I noticed a lot of excitable five and six-year-olds telling their parents "We're going to need another bucket...maybe two!" so I think this will be a good time for her in a few years.

Jarrah was good and dusty, so we hurried home for a quick outfit change before heading out again to a barbeque at Lynne and Grant's. Jarrah loved their house, with the fish pond surrounded by tempting rocks, and the two big, lovable dogs, Riley and Calvin, who don't mind toddlers at all. She made herself right at home by eating all the cheese and none of the crackers and olives from the appetizer plate (after trying one olive, she pointed to another, looked at me, and shook her head vigorously) and attempting some "landscape design" with the rocks. She also practiced her throwing skills by playing fetch with Riley, though her efforts often landed the toy about two inches from her foot. She inserted herself in the dinner conversation by screaming "Ma-MA!" at the top of her lungs any time we were foolish enough to let her pile of roast potatoes run low. It was a delightful evening, and Lynne and Grant were extremely gracious hosts.


Anonymous said...

What an adorable outfit Jarrah is sporting! I particularly like the picture where she is giving the camera a saucy look over her shoulder -- just like a starlet on the red carpet! xxx, Liz

Anonymous said...

SO cute - you picking berries, as well as your darling daughter(love the sun glasses)!
Best, Gail