Related Posts: http://www.childonthego.com/2010/10/bend-we-will-be-back.html
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Related Posts: http://www.childonthego.com/2010/10/bend-we-will-be-back.html
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
I found several comments needing moderation asking where I have been. Well, obviously I started this blog because I love my children and love to travel with them. But also most of the year when we are not traveling of course they are in school which is exactly what has consumed me for the last year. So those of you in California know when I say public education...you can simply say enough said. But we have not stopped going...it's just this Mom has been consumed with the state of public education.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
The weekend turned out to be one of the first rainy ones of the fall season, so we spent the rest of our day in Union Square and enjoying some yummy walking treats from the bottom floor at Macys where there is an array of to go eateries, including one of my daughter's favorites, Ben and Jerry's. Then we hung out watching the Giants clinch their berth to the World Series. Which the kids really enjoyed hearing the city erupt into celebration as we looked out upon Coit Tower awash in orange in support.
With it still raining heavily the next morning we opened the windows to allow the kids to enjoy the parrots of Telegraph Hill. The parrots, a group of cherry-headed conures, which travel every morning and every evening right past our friends’ windows. The kids stood and watched for about 30minutes as they birds circled the neighborhood and eventually went on their way for the day.
A rainy, blustery day in San Fran meant we must plan something indoors. As a young married couple we had visited the Palace of the Fine Arts on numerous occasions. But we had never ventured to the other side of the complex where an incredible museum of art, science, and human perception exists in the Exploratorium. There is a rather large free parking lot close by, but on a rainy weekend you must arrive within about 1 hour of opening as it fills up quickly. Once inside for the cost of $10 (ages 4-12) & $15 for adult (18-64) you are greeted by over 600 exhibits. Most of which were hands on. I don’t know any other word to explain this museum, but amazing for adults and kids alike. I have been to many children’s museums, but this put everything I have been to to shame. Now many scientific explanations were over my children’s heads, like how fog forms & hearing sensory, but my daughter enjoyed standing in the enjoyed standing in the fog machine and helping other children send a ring of mist 30ft high into the air while my son and I sat in a sound room and identified locations based on sound alone.
We spent nearly an hour and a half on the first floor and didn’t even see it all and barely touched the top floor when it was time for my daughter and I to enjoy the tactile dome. We paid extra for this…our admission plus tactile dome was $20 a person. The dome has been open since 1971 and is still a major attraction. Space is limited and only 2 times were left by the time we purchased our tickets less than 1 hour after opening. The dome is just what it sounds like a dome inside the larger Exploratorium. You get to take at least 3 trips through, climbing, crawling, walking the dome in total darkness using only your hands and sometimes you ears via sounds to guide your way through.
After about 4 hours in the museum we had only seen probably 2/3 of the exhibits, but our children were absolutely mentally exhausted. We opted to skip the very crowded café and headed to Unwind on Union Street just a few blocks west for lunch. I was a little worried when we entered to wood floors and a rather crowded bar area with the smartly dressed San Francisco crowd. But the kids were quickly greeted at the hostess stand by a hand full of gummy bears and we were led to the greenhouse patio. Here we enjoyed watching Sunday sports while the kids enjoyed hearing the storm raging outside against the glass roof and coloring with my ever present crayons and paper in my purse. Again I was nervous when the very serious waitress approached us to take our orders, but a smile from my son and the ice was broke and we quickly learned she was one of 7 children in her family and she brought us kid-sized everything, extra napkins, etc.. Ahhh…much more relaxing than the fighting for a table for mediocre, overpriced museum food and instead the kids' enjoyed Belgian waffles off the brunch menu and we enjoyed crab cake sliders and sweet potato fries. A stop at the Starbucks on the corner, less than a half a block up, for a little caffeine for the 2hr drive home and we were on our way….
….of course with a little detour at my daughter’s request which we easily obliged as outbound is free…a crossing of the Gold Gate Bridge.
Monday, October 18, 2010
We rolled into sites #38 & #39 late afternoon. Note: There are 6 yurts if you don’t have camping
gear. Great location, close to very clean, updated bathrooms with showers (quarters required), but not so close the traffic to and from would wake us. Both sites backed up to a huge grassy meadow where the kids would spend a lot of time exploring and creating their own little world in a little aspen grove. And the sites were cleared well for the kids to run between them. The roads are plenty wide for bikes and the Tahoe bike trail is an easy ride from the entrance. All set-up, dinner, and early to bed for the munchkins as we had big plans on Day2.
Up and at’em early as we had to reach the parking lot for the trail to Angora Lake earlier rather than later as it fills up was our driving force. We packed lunches for the kids and several munchies and few beverages and planned to supplement from the snack shack at the lake. After driving up a single lane road not well marked, so either ask directions or GPS it, we rolled in about 10AM. On our way in we would cross a ridge where to our left we really got to see the devastation of
the 2007 Angora fire that destroyed 254 homes and charred 3100 acres. Once in the lot rather than stopping at the self-registration ($5) prior to parking…we snagged spots, then self-registered. What a perfect little hike. Only about a mile up a maintained trail with a optional bouldering cut-off it was just long enough for the kids to enjoy and not start whining. At the top we would find one of the most pristine small lakes (~1.5mi around) I have seen in NorCal. And I can’t believe this has been a resort since 1917 and I am just discovering it?!?!? On one side were some small rental cottages along a beautiful little beach lined with picnic tables and row boats for rent. The other side, if you dare hike there or row across, were massive granite boulders for jumping (at your own risk).
So we pulled up a bit of sand. The Dads did some hiking. The kids did some bouldering, swimming, and sand play. Also a row boat would be rented to allow all a boat ride across the lake. Hiking the first
half counter clockwise around the lake was too difficult with the kids. But we deposited the older kids with the hiking Dads and they would hike the 2nd half back around to the beach without issue. Lunch would consist of our sack lunches supplemented with homemade tuna sandwiches, chips, and the famous lemonade from the snack shack. A quick stop at the porta-potty then grabbed dessert for the hike back down….that famous lemonade frozen into a Popsicle with strawberries. YUM!
A little rest and then we packed up Happy Hour and biked to the back of the campground and took
the very short walk to Fallen Leaf Lake. Much bigger (~7mi around) this
one was not quite hike-able with the kids…even though the next morning we would run a few miles of it to burn off our
samores and vino of the evening before. The beach was a rock one with plenty for skipping. However, a storm was rolling in, so we explored and found a large clubhouse made from sticks and a fallen tree. We hunkered down and enjoyed our happy hour and the kids added to the clubhouse. Another evening around the campfire with glowsticks and samores and everyone slept well.
The next morning as usual we spent most of it packing up. Then we headed not even a 1/2mi down the road to Taylor Creek Visitor Center. I was in shock I had never been here. But it was perfect for the kids with signage for them to read and the stream profile
was on par with any museum. We wound up wandering around the trails for an hour. But knowing how Highway 50 traffic can get we quickly hurried on the road home and still found ourselves at just noon at a virtual standstill taking us 45min to go about 3miles. But it was so worth it.