Monday, July 14, 2014

San Diego Whale Watching

We spotted groupons for whale watching & decided to try it out.

We had a contest to keep track of all the wildlife we spotted but I can't remember our scores anymore. 

Needless to say, the sea lions & dolphins were easier to spot than the whales.

But, we had so much fun watching the dolphins play!

Each of these photos has a visible whale part!

According to our guide, we were following lazy teenage whales. 

But we saw a whale tail!

I think the winter might be the prime viewing season as that is when the mama whales migrate to warmer waters to give birth. We all had fun on the trip. It was a little slow at times for the kids, but I would definitely go on a trip again. And, I think we all added a new adventure to our bucket list - swimming alongside a gray whale. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

San Diego Tide Pools

The weather during our visit was not that great. In fact, I think it was warmer & sunnier in Denver.

Sometimes the sun came out by early afternoon & warmed us up. We looked for morning activities to keep us busy. A favorite was a trip to La Jolla to enjoy the tide pools.

Within 30 seconds of arrival, Greta slipped & completely soaked her clothes. Did I mention it was darn cold? I convinced her to shed her wet clothes & wear my sweatshirt. 

After that, everyone stayed low to the ground when traversing the slick rocks.

There may or may not be a crab or baby octopus in this photo.

The kids had so much fun exploring.

And I had fun taking pictures of so many interesting things.

Uncle K is king of the sea.

The kids were mesmerized by all that he showed them.

It was one of those magical days when homeschooling and unschooling seem realistic. All three were engaged, curious & happy with each other.

Can you see the seals napping in the background?

We spent a few hours in the pools & jumping the waves until the tide started coming in and we started getting hungry. These pools will definitely be high on the kids list on our return visit.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

San Diego Ranunculus Fields

Well, I'd say I fell slightly  short of my post-a-day goal for May. 
Let's move forward by looking back at our spring break adventures.  I found a great deal on tickets, but Nick was just starting a new job & couldn't take time off so the kids & I jetted off to visit Aunt J & Uncle K in California.
We found a lot of new half day adventures.
Including the AMAZING ranunculus fields adjacent Legoland.  So close & yet so far.
We learned that the blooms are staggered throughout the season to ensure many visitors can enjoy the beauty.
And, of course, the fields are not limited to just ranunculus. 
Ella especially loved the orchid display.
I couldn't get enough of the fields.
They had a game set up for kids - they ran around & collected passport stamps at different stations.
We arrived early to avoid the heat and spent about an hour or so wandering the gardens and
admiring the pretty fields. I was trying to figure out if  Uncle K could fly us over the garden so I could capture an aerial rainbow view.
When we got hungry, we headed over to a pick-your-own strawberry field. I have so many childhood memories of picking fruit and I was excited to share this adventure with my kids.
I don't remember the strawberry fields looking like this.
Our little worker bees were busy. 
Our bucket was overflowing - so much so that they charged us an extra dollar. Our manual labor cost us about three times what we would pay at Costco.
But, we had fun & Aunt Jessie made fresh strawberry shakes with whipped cream  to give us enough energy to sit on the beach all afternoon. 

Friday, May 09, 2014

Greetings from the future

It's tomorrow where I am. 
I was a bit nervous. I was flying to an Asian city alone & with no local currency. I often get nervous flying in the US and I had just read a trip advisor review of a gentleman who recounted his experience with all the ATMs being out of service at the Hong Kong airport. My expectations of making it to the hotel without several panic attacks were low.

Thankfully, the flight was uneventful (though cramped) and second ATM I tried worked. I did OK on a plane for 14 hours by myself (Philomena  & Her are two of my favorite Oscar movies from last year). I got a taxi to my hotel & checked in without any issues. All of the airport signs in Hong Kong are also in English (Hong Kong is a former British Colony). 

I went on a tour today. On a clear day, you can have beautiful views from Victoria Peak.  This is what I saw today.  It's crazy rainy & foggy here. I didn't see the sun all day & it looks like I might not see it again until I leave the country.

I made a last minute target travel size aisle call to add sunscreen to my packing list. After all, Hong Kong is tropical so they surely have a lot of bugs here.  Despite double bagging, everything I brought smells like bug spray. And, I haven't seen a single bug yet.

I was super proud that I navigated my way home from the convention center by myself via subway & without a map.  Now, to plan out tomorrow morning's adventures.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Down under

Nick's office is done in the basement. We will get his office situated when we get back from our trip.  His office is directly below mine. When he talks on the phone, or when the kids play in the basement, it's like I'm living above a nightclub.

I think he paces while on phone calls. Until we get furniture downstairs, he will have a nice walking track. Hopefully I will get a new sofa ordered by the end of summer (doubtful) so that we can enjoy the space during football season.

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Monday, May 05, 2014

Student Leadership

It has been quite the capstone year for Ella. It's her last year of Elementary School & she was very excited to be selected to be a part of the Student Leadership team. She has loved all the projects this year. But, I think everyone's favorite was the art project the kids recently completed.
This is the stairway that you see when you first walk into the school. In three short painting sessions, the kids transformed the drab stairway into an awesome faux library. As you can imagine, this statement piece is quite the talk around the school.
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Sunday, May 04, 2014

Service Project

Well, I didn't even make it a week with the daily blogging challenge. This weekend has been a whirlwind. In only 9 short very long hours, Ella & her girl scout partner transformed a city bench from this:

to this:

The girls created the Colorado design on their own & did 99% of the work themselves. I am very proud that they kept working even when we were all tired & just wanted to be done. Even supervising this project was exhausting! As of this morning, the girls completed all the hours for their Bronze Award.  Ella has two more meetings over the next week & she will have all her requirements done. She has worked hard over the last two years and we are very proud that her journey is complete.

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