Friday, October 15, 2010

California Trip... The Way There

Well, I have a bazillion pictures as usual, so I thought I would break them up into three groups, starting with the drive down.

This trip was an extravaganza of using our reciprocal membership benefits from OMSI. Some of the best money I ever spent! On our first day, we stopped at The Science Factory in Eugene. This place was small, but I rather liked it. It was really easy to keep track of the kids as you could see most of the areas from a few central locations. Several displays were broken, but the kids hardly seemed to notice! They had a blast, and that's what counts!

At the front desk there was a game going on about guessing the number of candy corn. You can bet this caused some problems with my kids lol.
The mascot!
Akasha absolutely loved this thing. The whole apparatus turned so that it would scoop up balls at the bottom and transport them to the top, then dump them to roll down a ramp. Well, Akasha just liked gathering them and rolling them down the ramp herself lol! The little boy in the dashiki was just about as cute as could be!
A space themed Lego table! I wasn't sure I was going to get Orion away from here to do anything else!
Meanwhile, Akasha rolled these cars down the ramp over and over and over. There were several different shapes and sizes so you could compare how fast they went.
And Akasha checked out her first ballpit.
while Orion was *still* at the Lego table LOL. He build an awesome double decker space ship.
Bernouilli!!! Always a hit with the littles. I got some video as well, but it was somehow timed with Akasha screaming almost the whole time, so I won't inflict you with that lol.
Orion amazingly got two balls floating. I tried several times and couldn't get the hang of it.
We never did get this thing to stand up!

Trains are science too!

On day 2, we went to Turtle Bay in Redding. We had been there before, for the Scoop on Poop exhibit, so I thought it was always a pretty kid friendly place. Not nearly so this time, but luckily there is enough permanent stuff there that is pretty kid friendly, so it was still a worthwhile stop.

The boardwalk out to the museum is lovely.
One exhibit was all about old scifi costumes. It was really quite cool, but for an older target audience for sure. And you couldn't use flash. I tried to take several handheld shots, but they were pretty blurry. This was one of the best ones.
Yay for the big aquarium, always a kid pleaser.
Some live action:

They have a VERY small "zoo" on the premises as well. Akasha was convinced this was a cat lol.
The water table is really awesome. It is hard to see in this photo, but there is some video as well below.

Here is in motion!

And they have a HUGE playground.
We got a decent number of caches in, although I tried not to overdo it. This was an interesting spot where it turned out there were two caches! I think one of them might have been an older one as it didn't really match the coords, but Orion found it kinda by accident. Here he is back near the correct cache. Got pretty full of prickers going after it!
But Akasha got a crown, so it was all worth it lol. My little Prairie Princess.
We actually picked up this giant pinecone at an earlier cache but got a pic of it here.
Day 3 brought us to Happy Hollow in San Jose. What a great place for littles, with a bit of everything - rides, a small zoo, interactive areas. Akasha went on the carousel all by herself!
The animals were all just gorgeous. Orion chose this cool dragon.
Then Akasha was into going on all the kiddie rides! Orion wouldn't go near these things at her age. What a different personality she has! In fact, I think this was the first time Orion had gone on this type of thing without me!
She needed to try a blue car too.

And of course a little video :)

Orion even went on the swings, which Akasha was sad to not be tall enough for.
This ride did not have such a happy ending. Akasha was also too small for this one, but Orion tried it out. He didn't freak out or anything, but was definitely not smiling at the end. There was nobody else in line, and the operator almost sent the whole group though for another go despite the fact I was SCREAMING at her from the fence. Like all the other parents started screaming and waving their arms with me, and she finally saw us.
They had a nice petting zoo area.
There's always one in every crowd. :)
Goats are so silly!
Some cavies in their cave. This one is for Samuel and Eva. :)
The lemurs were quite entertaining.

This play area was set up right near the lemur area so kids could work on their own primate skills.

Her hair is getting a bit more out of her eyes... maybe lol.
Akasha made some new friends.
And learned some new tricks.
Perfecting the art.
Somebody had to go on the carousel one more time!

Orion chose one of the benches for his second ride as he wasn't thrilled with the up and down motion. He is such a puzzle to me!

We made one final stop at a McD's playland not far from my dad's. Figured it might be a good idea to shake some sillies out (and I might have used the internet ;) ).
Not a great photo, but I think it looks kinda neat, almost like the floor to the left is moving. Oh, and you can see her new Baby Jaguar she got out of a cache. I don't think I have ever seen her be so attached to a toy!
Phew, we made it! The driving part really wasn't that bad as Akasha slept alot and we made several stops each day. Although by the last day, Orion did say to me, "Next time can we take a PLANE?" Maybe, but then look at all the cool stuff we would have missed!

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