Friday, October 29, 2010

Sauvie Pumpkin Patch

I had planned a pumpkin patch trip for the Friday after we got back from our trip as we didn't get a chance to go to one before we left. It had been raining raining raining, but Friday turned out sunny. Of course the only issue was that the farm was still a mud swamp, but c'est la vie.

Several of our friends were planning to go the same day, and I had an amusing encounter with one of the unschoolers. She recognized me from Life is Good and came up to say hello. She gave me a whole little speech about how she had met me in the pool, and maybe I didn't remember her because she didn't have her blue hair then lol. I just love these kids and the way they talk to adults like we are all peers.

The strange part of the day is that I thought this was the place we went with Sarah a couple years ago, but it definitely was not! I also drove into Kruger, and that isn't it either. So now it is driving me crazy trying to figure out where that was! I might have to drive back out to Sauvie to figure it out!

Akasha checking out the tunnels in the hay pyramid.
On the hayride!
There is nothing as glorious as a clear autumn day in the PNW. The colors are so vivid and the sunlight is just amazing and glowy.

Did I mention it was muddy?

Miss serious face.
I think Akasha took this one, and I rather like it!
What do you see in these clouds? (Makes me think of What do you hear in these sounds? by Dar Williams lol)
Tractor close up.
Another serious face.

Birds in the window of the barn.
And some pictures from the camera of Mama Shell:

Love the sunbeams!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

California Trip... The Way Home

Back on the road!
I decided to take a little detour to the Kern County Museum as it was another free stop and looked pretty cool. Who knew there was something so awesome in Bakersfield. They have gathered all these old historical buildings and created a little village. I didn't think Orion would be into it, but he wanted to look at every single one and had me read him the signs!

This was a pretty house I thought - you could sign up for inside tours, but we skipped that part.
Log cabin - most of the buildings had windows you could look into and period appropriate scenes set up inside.
Peaking into another old house.
Looking down one of the streets.
Of course there was a jail! Does Akasha look like a candidate?
Had to take a picture of the train for Kai.
Which was right across from a train station, one of the few building you could go inside - they had the seats and the office and ticket areas all set up - pretty neat!
The drug store!
OK, so the scenes with manikins were cheeeesy. Gotta love the bare baby butt being photographed though.
Doctor and dentist side by side.

Hotel had a sign that said: Home Cooking - Meals 50 cents.
Then we went over to the Kids Discovery area. I was SO impressed with the room where they had all the community things set up. It was amazing what variety they had in a small space! Here is Orion being a banker.
Akasha just played and played in this kitchen. Made we wish I could put a set up like this together for her at home.

This video gives an even better idea of how the room was set up:

And even this doesn't cover all of it. There was also a library, vet, dentist, park area complete with "outdoor" stage and more!

We made it to the Bay Area that night despite having to drive through a TOTAL DOWNPOUR. It was like the kind of rain that is so thick people were driving like 30mph cuz you could barely see! And for some reason I got the brilliant idea I wanted to pick up some decent food somewhere. Ron helped call an order in somewhere, but finding it in the dark and rain turned into a pretty stressful situation. I seriously need to get some glasses if we ever get insurance to cover them!

And then... are you kidding me? Trying to get to The Exploritorium was even a bigger nightmare the next day. Well I got there OK (after missing the onramp near my hotel and needing Ron to find me an alternate route to the freeway) but then apparently every person in San Francisco decided to go that day due to the rain, and there was NO parking. After driving all around the area and trying another street a bit further away, I managed to make a wrong turn and end up on the road to the Golden Gate Bridge! Then it was just one wrong turn after another. I don't think I got back to the parking lot for at least another half an hour!

But we made it inside, and I just tried to shake it off. My friend Adrian joined us, and thank Goddess because he hung with Orion so I could follow Akasha, and they were rarely at the same exhibit. Cool place, although it was a bit overwhelming with SO many people there. I think I heard at least 5 different languages - cool that there were visitors from all over the world!

This was one of Akasha's favorite things, although I never could explain you were supposed to run around the circle, or maybe she just didn't want to lol.
Here is some live action:

All the Exploritorium to explore, and Akasha spent 15 minutes going up an down this ramp haha.
Somebody showed up with the mascot, and Akasha was in love!

This room was a huge hit with both kids. When I asked Orion later what he liked best about the Ex, this was his fast answer!

And one more video:

The area around the Ex was just gorgeous! I have been to SF lots of times but have never been here!

I wish I had taken some pictures of the trees on the island just to the left. I noticed a bird, and then overheard a guy talking about them and how it was their main nesting site in the area. Then I looked closer and saw that the trees were just FULL of them! Of course my leaky brain has already forgotten their name, but I did a bit of digging and think they were these dudes, the Black Crested Night Heron:
I really wanted to get at least one cache in the city, so I was glad the rain took a little break at just the right time. I had read this was a pretty well known cache and looked like a neat location, so we took the little walk out the jetty.
The cache next to my swag bag. I was THRILLED to find a couple geocoins inside, especially since the description of the cache suggested not leaving trackables here as they have a tendency to disappear. I was happy to pick one up and take it back to Oregon to let it log some good miles!
Bare feet and swag. :)
Had another crazy morning when I lost my keys, after having had a dream about losing my keys! Oy, we finally got going and Orion really wanted to go eat at IHOP, so that is how we started our day. Then the weather was absoflippinlutely GORGEOUS! I had planned on going to The Lawrence Hall of Science, but we had done so much science already, and my dad had given us some extra money, so I thought what the heck, I am going to get an actual street map so I will know where I am going today and go down to the waterfront. I knew there was an aquarium and a carousel on the pier, so I figured that would be a good choice for the kids.

I managed to forget BOTH cameras in the car, argh, so I took a few camera phone pictures at least. There were two walk through tunnels both the kids really loved. This was a huge and impressive school of little fish.
I am a big fan of the jellies!

The kids liked the frogs. Yeah, phone cameras suck!
A couple of the tanks also had these things you could crawl under and pop your head right into the midst of the action.

When we got out of the aquarium, Orion was hungry and requested one his favorites - fish n chips! What better place to have them? Although let's not even get into what they cost lol. Akasha had a hot dog and was pretty excited to sit up on the tall stools.
But the stars of lunchtime were the pigeons! I had never seen such brave birds. They came right into the restaurant and were even up on the table sometimes!
Just a quick shot on the way back to the car.
Then off we went back to the 5 and made our way up to Yreka. The full moon on Lake Shasta was just about one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen!

Last day on the road.... I found this pretty heart shaped rock near a cache. I have a few of them now. Maybe I should start a collection!
Just a crow that happened to be nicely posed at a gas station we stopped at.
This is near a cache that is part of a series with one in each state. Guess this is my first. Wonder if I will ever get all of them one day! The funny part is somebody left a shoe on the sign! No idea why...
... but it made for an interesting photo!
I decided to deviate from my original plan yet again because I called The Wildlife Safari place and found out the village area is freeeeee! We missed it last time we were there because we only had time for the drive thru part, so I thought that would be another nice change of pace from the yet another science museum we had planned.

This place was small but cute, and we literally had the entire place to ourselves! Akasha was fascinated with the flamingos.
These little monkeys were soooo cute!
Silly goat 1
Yes I am easily amused.
Silly goat 2
There were several different animal benches like this all over the grounds. I thought they were pretty neat.
There were really quite alot of these things. I know because I am pretty sure I got a picture of every one of them.
A rare moment of sibling peace. And yes, the is a leash backpack Akasha has on, and yes, she loves it. She thinks the leash is the tail lol.
Who is watching who?
Foxy Loxy.
This tank was jammed full of walking sticks! So cool. Even those things at the bottom that look like little nothings are actually baby walking sticks!
We had spotted a duck food machine near the pond, so we went to the store to get some change. We couldn't believe how tame these ducks were! Pretty much any one of them would eat right out of your hand.
I think this gibbon wanted some duck food too!
Stripes, stripes and stripes.
Ohhhh, the dorable dillo woke up! (He was curled up in a ball when we first got there. )
Parking lot residents, also looking for a food handout it seemed!
Somebody had a long day - passed out right on her Happy Meal bucket lol! Doesn't look very comfortable to me, but it worked for her!