Instead of parties or gifts, I like to celebrate my birthday with a trip, so in January we started with the first and last trip of the year to Seattle, Washington.

The reason behind having less trips this year, was the side project Eugen was working on which required significant investments – building a house in 29 Palms. The actual construction started in December of 2021 and continued throughout 2022. This project deserves it’s own post. Given that I’m writing this in 2023, I can post the picture of the finished product.

You can see it on Airbnb,, and VRBO.

Back to Washington, we stayed at a quaint cabin on the water and enjoyed some chilly weather.

One day we took the ferry to Seattle and explored downtown.

On another day we drove to Crescent lake in Olympic National Park. There was absolutely nobody else in the park. We played in snow and hiked to a waterfall. It was magical.

We had a big box in the house around Valentine’s day so I asked Stefan to get in and do silly poses. He loved it. He kept asking me to take pictures of him in the box for weeks after that.

In March we wanted to see more snow so we went on a quick trip to Big Bear and did some snow tubing. We stayed a night in a cabin on a hill and continued to sled down that hill until we were exhausted. Of course Stefan never got tired of sledding.

Stefan expressed some interest in ice skating, so we signed him up for a class. He loved the beginners class as the teachers were engaging and kept the kids entertained and focused at the same time. When he started the next level class, the teacher changed and Stefan was not as engaged and his interest faded. At least we tried 🙂

We had lots of trips to local parks and places during the year and fun get togethers with friends.

In July, Stefan and I went to Legoland and Stefan had a blast. On one of the rides the age limit was 4+. Even though he was only 3.5 at that time, he said he was 4.5 when they asked him his age, just so he could go on the ride. He was very convincing 🙂

For Halloween, Stefan wanted to be an Odd Squad agent (from a show on PBS). Not a lot of people watch PBS apparently, but there were a few who recognized his costume.

We celebrated Stefan’s 4th birthday at My Gym where he and his friends had fun with the gym instructors while parents enjoyed watching them while eating some food.

In no time, it was Christmas time again. We went to a few holiday themed places to enjoy the season.

After waiting for about 6 months in line for the CA State Park pass at the local library, I finally got to use it for two weeks. We went to Crystal Cove State Park a few times and walked along the beach at sunset.

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November 22, 2023

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