Saturday, July 12, 2014

5:31 PM
There is a very fine line between bribery and incentive. I am not sure exactly what side of that line we were on today, but I do know that whatever you might call it and whatever judgmental eye-rolling it might evoke - the ice cream cones we enjoyed at mile 3.5 resulted in a very successful 7 mile family bike/run trip today.

Eating Two Scoops and Measuring Many More
Like many 6YOs, my daughter has read (multiple times) the Judy Moody series, in which an ice cream parlor named Screamin Mimis is featured quite regularly. When we found out that this famed ice creamery was actually located for real! in a town called Sebastapol, which is only about 90 minutes away from our house, I promised my daughter that I would take her there someday.

That someday was today. And with the convenient fact that the Sonoma County Rails to Trails pathway passes within two blocks of Screamin' Mimi's, it was an opportunity to (1) incentivize (bribe?) my daughter to spend some quality time on her new big girl bike in advance of the very biking-centric vacation we are going on soon, and (2) try out some newly-acquired biking gear (i.e., the Trail Angel which coverts a kids bike into a trailer bike).

Our Trail Angel in Action 
We could not have picked a better place to accomplish these goals. From where we parked, the bike trail was 3.5 miles of perfectly flat and reasonably scenic and shaded riding which my daughter cruised. My 2YO son was also actually able to ride about a mile on his own before being hitched up to dad (I ran along side the entire time with the dog). Halfway through we slurped up delicious, homemade ice cream at Screamin Mimis (apricot and lavender for me, yum!) and then headed the 3.5 miles back to the car for a picnic lunch.

A few scenes from the trail are included below:
The Wee One Soloing
Snack Break
One of Many Bridge Crossings Over Wetlands and Rivers
We Made It!!!!
Aside from Judy Moody's favorite Rainforest Crunch flavor being unavailable, my son falling off the trailer bike once (he is still learning that one must hold on or not try to dismount mid-flight), and the whole excursion taking about 2 hours longer than I thought it would, it was a pretty perfect day. Now we are back at home, chilling a bit and considering what adventure to pursue next. Gotta love summer!

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