Sunday, November 29, 2009


I have too many posts swirling in my mind that I cannot seem to separate them from each other. I have a bit of blogger block. Too many fun an exciting things have happened lately that it seems like a bit of old news to talk about them. Julia received an award for being Caring and having enthusiasm for learning...WONDERFUL...Thanksgiving...wonderful, family visits...wonderful...birthday week for my 6 year and wonderful...Christmas cheer downtown with the and wonderful. Phew.What's next...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

girls weekend getaway - part 2 - san diego, ca

We left La Jolla and headed to our hotel on Shelter Island. There were plenty of places to run on the hotel property. We checked out the bay, boats, parrots and turtles, outside our room. Next we met my friends on Point Loma at the Cabrillo National Monument. The girls completed some tasks related to the monument and the history and they earned a junior ranger badge and certificate. They even had to take an oath to protect the national parks. Cute. Next we took in the amazing views and toured the old lighthouse. Fantastic. Next time we will do more hiking.

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetary

Early the next morning, after room service, we met our friends again at the San Diego Zoo. We were there 5 hours and saw the following, polar bears, rode in sky buckets, the new elephant exhibit, pandas, orangutans, meerkats, and much more. According to Julia the porcupine is a must see. We trekked for over an hour to the porcupine pen and never did see a porcupine...maybe next time.

Monday, November 23, 2009

girls weekend getaway - part 1 - la jolla, ca

We headed down to San Diego for a couple of days of non-stop walking and fun. Poor Serena had a cold, but she was a trooper the entire time. There were many stairs involved. First stop were a sea cave and seals. In La Jolla there is this touristy little store called The Cave Store. Nothing special is for sale in the store, but for two small children a private entrance to a sea cave is super, duper exciting. I must admit it is kind of cool. We paid our small fare and walked down 145 dimly lit, slippery stairs. The sound of the waves crashing boomed throughout the tunnel as we descended. A frightened 3 year old shed a few tears on the way down, but I coaxed her to the bottom inside the sea cave. Fun stuff!

without flash...this is how it really looked

with flash

looking out to the ocean

Next we took a long walk over to the sea wall for wave and seal viewing. On this particular day there must have been at least 50 seals sunning themselves. What a treat.

watching a body surfer..he is the little guy in the middle of the girls stop Shelter Island, San Diego

Sunday, November 15, 2009

fullerton arboretum

The girls and I drove to Anaheim to watch some of Julia's fellow dance students compete in Highland Dance. It was fun to watch and the girls sure got a kick out of it. The competition was held in an old church. Here is a pretty picture of the architecture.

After lunch we headed to the Fullerton Arboretum which is located on the Cal State Fullerton Campus. It was a clear, cool day to run through the gardens and this jaunt was free, minus the gas and lunch.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

day with aunt lori and kayli downtown san juan capistrano

Lori took Kayli on her first train ride. It was a very far 16 minutes from station to station. Serena and I met them and then we went to lunch at Ruby's. After that we headed over to our new favorite park on Los Rios. It was a wonderful, fall day. Of course, I could not resist taking a ton of pictures.

SJC is the "equestrian capital of the west" (not sure who proclaimed this)

Friday, November 6, 2009

looking back 2009 - post #2 - tallship festival

In September the girls and I headed down to the harbor for the annual Tall Ship Festival. We visited one of our fun local places, The Ocean Institute. Fish were watched, bird were petted, pirates were eyed. Adjacent to the institute were 6 ships tethered together. We toured all of them. The girls favorite parts of the ships were going below to see the beds and carefully crossing from ship to ship. Later, Julia took part in a pirate show which was for sure the highlight of her day. Serena on the other hand cried at those scary pirates.

looking back 2009 post #1 - san diego weekend getaway

The last week has been a rough one for our family. Illness has located us and hit us hard. Three out of the four of us are on meds to get rid of bacteria that has taken over our lungs, ears and sinuses, oh my. We are on the mend; however, and looking ahead to days where can run and laugh without coughing and sniffling.

I find this a great time to look over the zillions of pictures I have taken this year and reminisce. Many outing have occurred this year that never appeared on this blog so I am finding the need to fill this time with some fond memories.
In June, we took a mini-getaway to San Diego. Julia and I had a mother-daughter getaway there earlier in the year, too. Maybe I will post pictures from that adventure next.
It is no fun to go stay downtown without taking public transportation so we took the train and what kid does not like public transportation. Buses, trams, trolleys, name it, they love it. Our hotel was just a few blocks from the station. I tend to always pay extra when we take Amtrak to sit in business class so we get goodies and a guarantee for a reserved seat.

Grandma and Grandpa Lessman met us at the station and we have a very nice weekend together.

the children's menus/etch a sketch in the hotel bar

One of my favorite places in San Diego is Balboa Park. This day we hit the aerospace museum.

I even had some time to meet my friend Teri around the corner for a drink

The best part of the weekend, though, was spending time together as a family. Since James cares for his dad 7 days a week, twice a day, our mini getaways are few and far between...for now.