Monday, October 29, 2012

Rule#144: It's best to shout at exotic animals

Going to the Safari Park was such a blast. Mostly because of Graham. He was so excited to see every. single. animal. He would shout their name repeatedly and jump up and down. I loved it. It made it even more enjoyable than it already was, to see it through his eyes.

They have a tram at the Safari park, we rode it twice on two separate days and just happened to get the same tour guide both times. What are the odds? It was a nice ride and I learned a lot. I had no idea that the Safari Park is really just a breeding program turned into a park. They have been really successful and I think that's wonderful. San Diego paved the way for many of the zoos and breeding programs.

We feed the ducks both times we were there. That's always a highlight for my kids.

The highlight for Alex? The Bonsai Pavilion.

Maybe his love of bonsais will rub off on Evan someday :)

A rare sighting of the Lion actually MOVING! I never see them move, there are usually sleeping. 

Susan, Jeff and I feed the lorakeets one day. They gave us a little cup of nectar and the birds flocked and started drinking. I'm fine with having birds on my arm. I'm less fine with having a bird on my shoulder SCREAMING in my ear. Hence the picture of my leaning away. I wasn't afraid of the tiny little bird, per se, it was so so loud!

Once the screamer jumped to my wrist another one landed on my head. Seriously? And then one pooped on my arm. *sigh Overall it was fun, just a little deafening and a little gross :)

There is an tower that overlooks the park. We attempted to get a family picture there. This cracks me up!
Kids not looking.....

Kids jumping out of our arms in protest (hehe)

They also had a playground for the kids at the safari park. Little jeeps to pretend to drive. Big animals to jump on. The slide was a million degrees hot so we didn't even try it. Regardless, the boys had a good time there.

 I could show you pictures of the animals we saw, lions and rhinos, giraffes etc....but who needs animals when you've got cute faces like these?
 photo bomb by unknown child :)
 A rare photo of all 7 of us looking at the camera. And 6 of us smiling even! Hooray!

 What do you think? Potential Christmas card?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rule #143: Waves are scary, mist is spooky, but the beach is awesome!

We recently took a trip to San Diego. It was lovely, we all had a great time. Because Graham is still fairly little we did several half days at parks and lounging at the condo for the other half. This resulted in us going to the same parks on two different days. I don't want to try to remember which picture went to which day. So I have grouped the pictures into parks and will merge the days together. 

The boys did really well on the plane flight. I am glad that it was only just over an hour. I'm also glad that both Doug and Susan have Ipads to keep the children thoroughly entertained. :) Evan squealed with delight as the plane took off and landed. Much better than the previous flight, to Colorado. Where he shouted "I want to get off" over and over until the plane had leveled in the air. Hooray for growing up!

My little family ended up going to the beach three different days. On Sunday while the rest of the Davis' were at Sea World, Alex, the boys and I went to Oceanside. That, apparently, is a very popular beach. SO many people. Evan had fallen asleep in the car on the way there, so I took Graham to the beach and waited for Alex and Evan to join us. 

I honestly thought Graham would love the beach. He really didn't. I placed him in the sand, and he hated how in got into his shoes. So I took his shoes off, still not good. I then carried him to the waves, and he was terrified. :) I took him back to the sidewalk and we walked and people watched for a while. When Alex and Evan came, we tried it again. Still not good. We didn't have a bucket and shovel yet, and I think it might have made a difference. But, it may just have been too crowded for both my boys. 

Oceanside has a fantastic wooden pier that seems to go on for miles and miles. We walked along the pier all the way to the end, watched the surfers, looked at the waves from afar (a much safer distance I guess)  On the pier we bought two bucket and shovels, for future beach trips.

We had a nice seaside dinner then went back to the condo to meet up with the rest of the family.

On tuesday we ventured to another beach. Hoping for a better reaction from the boys. This time Doug joined us while Susan and Jeff were kayaking. We took a shot at Tide beach. Alex was really hoping to see some tide pools, like the name suggests. And maybe there are, but we were not there at low tide :( It was really fun anyway. We didn't know there was a parking lot, so we parked on the street near an access ally and walked to the beach from there.

We walked down at least a hundred steps to get to the beach. There was mist all around and you could hardly see the ocean when we first got there. I liked it. It felt adventurous and magical. Looking on either side were steep cliffs, which I called the Cliffs of Insanity. :) (I really wish I had taken some pictures of them in the mist....bummer)

Even with all the magic my boys didn't instantly take to the beach. Once we started building sandcastles with the buckets they warmed up and had a great time! The sand was PERFECT for building sandcastles, and for drawing in the sand. Wet enough to hold it's shape but not muddy.

By the time we were ready to leave the mist had vanished and we saw someone paddle boarding on the water. He had probably been there the whole time, but we couldn't see him through the mist.

One of our last days we went to Tide beach again, this time in the evening. No mist this time, and we parked in the parking lot too. Which meant a few more people, but it was deserted compared to Oceanside. Still not low tide :( More sandcastles were built, more fun was had. By the end of the evening Evan had put *one* foot in the water as it rushed us to him on the rocks. That's success in my mind.

This was the first time that Evan and Graham had seen the ocean. They might be too little to remember, guess we'll just have to go back some day! And maybe someday, we'll get *two* feet in the water!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rule #142: There is beauty all around

I have a vacation post to do, but there are seemingly millions of pictures to sift through. So I'm going to do an everyday post to get me back in the groove.

I say this every year, and I'll say it again. I LOVE fall! I wish it could be fall all year long. With one month of summer and one month of winter. :) Just to mix it up a little.

We decided to take the boys up to the mountains last week and go on a mini hike. We ended up spending most of our time throwing rocks in the river. I didn't care what we did as long as we got to see the beautiful fall colors!

Look at Evan's grin. When that boy is happy, it definitely shows.

We did end up hiking a little bit up the mountain. And by hike I mean a casual stroll. We had to keep on the look out for bikers, Graham was very nervous about the bikers :) But bikers and all we had a great time.

Some brotherly love 


Doesn't this just take your breath away? It does my soul good to spend special time with my family in such a beautiful place.

Yea Fall!