Sunday, January 31, 2010

it is starting to look like spring...just a smidge

My sis Kristi and I went on a two hour hike this afternoon on and through the San Juan Hills. What a great trail system with beautiful views. Too bad it was a bit overcast towards the ocean and my pictures did not turn out so wonderful.

Just one the many trails we hiked.

We started on this one.

A few cactus flowers below. They are a pretty pink and yellow.

Can you spot Mission San Juan Capistrano is the picture below?

The hills were killer and I am sure I will be sore tomorrow.

This was on the backside looking east towards the National Forest.

Obligatory shoe shot for Karen.

walking with my sisters

My sisters and I went on an urban hike last weekend. There was debate whether this is considered a hike or a walk. Kristi the hiker, says it is a hike. I am okay calling it either a walk or a hike. Lori says we can call it a wike. I say we can call it a halk. Whatever we call it, we had plenty of time to mull it over. A hike is a long walk, no. How long is long?

We started at the corner of Margarite and Vista Del Lago. The total walk was 5.4 miles according to google pedometer. The first two miles were on Vista Del Lago to Alicia and back. It appears there was an elevation gain of about 500 feet.

Ground decor on Alicia side of lake.

Click here to see a map of the hike.

Next it was an approximate 3 mile walk around the lake. We completed the walk in about one hour and 45 minutes.

Karen, this photo is for you. Obligatory shoe shot

Photos courtesy of Kristi

Saturday, January 30, 2010

so cal fun

Today the girls and I drove about 25 minutes north to Irvine. I have heard the best farmers market around takes place across from UC Irvine every Saturday morning. "They" are right. It is the best around! The market has lots of fresh produce, some organic and some not, live entertainment, some crafts, fish, nuts, tamales, and so much more.

The girls had some money to spend so Julia bought a bag of avocados and a bunch of carrots. They each bought a cute mini bag of shells for a dollar a piece.

We tried all kinds of fruit and veggies, cake, and cookies. Yum. Julia loved the pink oranges, but did not like the blood oranges ( I think it had something to do with the fact that "blood" is part of the name).

I really liked these Turkish Teas.

Next we met Aunt Krist, Aunt Lori, and Kayli at Mason Regional Park. The girls ran and ran.

Julia and Kayli rolled down the hill. Take notice of Julia's rolling skills below.

To top it all off Aunt Kristi joined us for lunch at the Steelhead Brewery.

Friday, January 29, 2010

would you pay 5 bucks?

Twice in two days miss Julia has come up with some impressive entrepreneurial ideas. Yesterday she painted at her grandmas. She called me up at work and left me a voicemail, "Hi. It's Julia. I did some painting today and when you get home tonight can we have a yard sale? I want to sell my paintings and make some money."

Good idea, right?

I like it.

Today Julia built a petting zoo. She asked if she could set the petting zoo up outside because she wants to charge everyone, "five bucks" (not dollars, but bucks) to pet the animals. Another brilliant idea, but I really do not want our neighbors to think we are cuckoo so I told her there are zoning laws and wild animals cannot be kept in a residential neighborhood and we might get a ticket...

She didn't buy it. She said, "Mom, they are TOY animals."

Still, there was no outside petting zoo today.

James and I did fork up five bucks each to pet the wild animals, though.

(well not really, we recycled the money, wink. wink.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

through a childs eye

Julia and I walked to school this morning. It is only a half mile each way and a very nice walk actually. We get to cross the creek and see the turkey vultures sunning themselves on a nearby building (no picture, though, darn it.)

I let Julia take a few pictures on our way to her school. Here is what she saw.

some sort of animal track...probably a dog?

palm hill

the creek and some green on the ground

Thursday, January 21, 2010

still looking good in spite of the rain

My lovely Camellia tree. It sure is hearty. We have had this little tree for 10 years at least and it produces pretty pink Camellias every January, year after year.

got vultures?

We do. Actually, we have had vultures for some time. Our house is surrounded by eucalyptus trees which smell great and look good, but seriously are the messiest trees around. That's another story for another time.

All year, except for several months in the spring, those vultures come home to our trees. Many vultures come home every night, right about sunset, to nest. I have never seen a nest so I guess they just sit there. They fly away every morning to eat out in the Cleveland National Forest which is down the road from our house. They are big birds with a wingspan of about 5-6 feet, however, my pictures do not do justice to their size.

all those black blobs in the trees below are birds. There is at least a hundred in our trees every night.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

not quite

I took the girls this afternoon to meet up with our friends and get some fresh air and exercise before the rain begins. We are supposed to have 4 or 5 days of a row!

It took us about an hour and a half to go a mile. Several breaks were taken. One for a snack, climb the rocks, and the other to bring the joy of Chinese jump roping to the lives of our girls. Thanks Julie for that great find and idea!!! Memories.

notice the dog in the background checking out the ducks

We did not quite beat the rain. It did catch up with us the last 15 minutes.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

food, fossils, and fun

Did you know Los Angeles has a Little Ethiopia? Well it does.

Aunt Lori suggested a trip the La Brea Tarpits, Page Museum, and a picnic lunch.


Aunt Kristi packed the flowers. Nice touch! Serena and Kayli were a bit stunned by the fancy picnic ware.

names written in tar