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I figured out how to round out my list of 43 things to do in my 43rd year.

41. Go to Año Nuevo when the elephant seals are there. (Another “I can’t believe I’ve lived in the Bay Area for this long without doing this” item.)


42. Grow some veggies in our yard. (Munchkin’s suggestion. When your child says “let’s grow vegetables!” you do it.)


43. Walk in the redwoods. 


There’s a lot about San Miguel that makes it a good place for small children:  the frequent fiestas, the great playground at Parque Juarez, the annual puppet festival, religious celebrations that involve confetti or blowing things up, sheer architectural detail (Munchkin’s fond of the cobbles in the streets), the atmosphere at the Jardin (town square) that’s an equal mix of family gathering and birthday party.  Beyond and through all that is something even more important:  children are a part of things here, welcomed as if they’re actually members of the human tribe.

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