Monday, July 16, 2012

Presents, Kinect and Big Sur--OH MY!!

Bah, feeling blogger-lazy lately.
Here's what we've been up to:

Army guys!

Weekly $1 movies (and $5 in games).

Lots of water playing...

Brooklyn's been into spy stuff lately and asked me to set up an obstacle course.

Shapes and building.

Thunder tube (thanks Bubs!).  This thing is really cool, but can be REALLY loud!!

We sold our NC house and celebrated with a trip to Target (thanks Karen!).
The kids chose Play-Doh stuff--Brooklyn an ice cream making thing and Sam a dentist kit thing.

And I chose swords.  :)

We've also been playing with the Kinect.  Everyone's favorite is the Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012.  There's some fun stuff that even kids can do, plus some good workouts.
Here's Sam trying to hula hoop in his undies.
I can't watch without giggling every single time.

Brook has also been into mermaids lately.  She started asking about mermaid tails, so we did a search on good ol' Amazon and lo and behold, they sell mermaid tails!  So we took it to the beach and gave it a shot.  She said that other than slipping off of her feet occasionally, it works great!

(Funny side story:  This beach is at a lake.  Russ was out swimming in the deeper part with some goggles and saw a large (approximately 24" I'm told) pipe, which was apparently a large catfish's home.  Russ said that the catfish's head took up nearly the entire pipe hole.  He quickly became obsessed with the idea of trying to catch it (without a fishing pole or anything, keep in mind).  He came up with the idea of trying to lure it out with one hand and grabbing it with the other hand...can you see where this might be going??
So he headed into the water and came out with bloody fingers...he said that sucker is HUGE.  So he's trying to figure out perhaps a better way to catch him to see how big he is!)

Our local swimming pools don't allow floaties and Sam loves his, so he was stoked to be able to wear them in the water...even though he only lasted for maybe 20 minutes, lol.  Then he joined me on the beach.

Grammie and Gpa Lybbert sent the kids a package.  Brooklyn about died when she pulled out a My Little Pony (which she enjoys watching on Netflix).
"MOM!  They got me TWILIGHT SPARKLE!!!  And she has a BOOK and a CAT and even her own SCOOTER!!!"
Fast-forward 3 hours and she was STILL playing with it!
Good job, Mom and Dad!

For Sam they included a build-your-own bank, which he loved.  Me?...not so much.  I'm not exactly mechanically inclined.  Russ had to come home and fix it, lol.

They also included some neat glow bubbles, which the kids had a fantastic time with while we were waiting for the 4th of July fireworks to begin.

On July 5th, we packed all of our camping stuff up again to head to Big Sur.  We made a quick detour to the Oakland airport to pick up Corinne and Phil and all of their gear (sooo impressed we got all of our stuff smashed into the van!!) and headed out.

We decided on Pfeiffer Big Sur state park and ended up with a *premium river site* for our first night.  Just behind those trees and to the left is the river, which was nice.

You can see the river right in the middle through the trees there.

Of course the kids immediately headed out to check out the river.

"I gonna catch some fish!"

Sam had been asking for hair spikes, so spikes he got.

Once we got settled in we headed out for a 1.8 mile hike up a mountain.  I wasn't sure the kids would make it, but figured we'd give it a shot anyway.

Redwood tree photo-op!

Sam would alternate between riding on Russ's shoulders and sprinting along this trail which often had very steep drop-offs!

Brooklyn kept talking about how afraid she was of heights and how tired she was and I knew I just had to find the right thing to trigger her to finish, but was having a tough time.  I was just about to say, "Fine, I'll walk back down with you." (even though we were a good 2/3 of the way there) when I told Brooklyn about how Corinne and Russ are both really good hikers because they do it often and they have "Teeter calves" to help them out.  I explained that I do not have them, which is why I'm the very last person coming up the trail, but I wondered who's calves Brooklyn had.
"I'VE GOT TEETER CALVES!!" she yelled and literally sprinted off.  I did not see her again until we reached the summit.  Then when we headed down, I didn't see her until we finally caught up with her and Russ halfway down.  Phew!
She's loved hiking since. :)

That's the ocean out there...beneath the fog.

On our way down!

Back at camp for dinner!  We were all pooped and Brook and Sam both asked to go to bed before we even got the marshmallows out!

The next morning Russ, Corinne and Phil headed out for a long hike while the kids and I milled about camp.  We ate breakfast and took off for a long walk among the campground.

When we got back the kids wanted to play in the river, even though it was only 9:30am and they still had their coats on.
Good thing kids are far more immune to cold than adults are!

Sam, enjoying throwing rocks and sticks and Brook enjoying floating around.

When the others got backed, we packed up camp and headed out to find a new site since the one we were in was reserved that night.  We found one with a nice little meadow out back (where we didn't have to constantly worry about the kids getting into poison oak, which was rampant here).

Corinne brought her slackline, which we like playing on.  The kids like it much that Sam split his lip on it and Brooklyn clothes-lined herself on it...oy.

There was a large tree out in the middle of the meadow that the kids spent a LOT of time at.  It was a godsend for everyone!  The kids asked Phil to tie some rope up for them and I hauled some chairs and snacks over for them and it became their Secret Fortress.

View of camp from The Secret Fortress.

Our neighbors not only had this amazing tree the the kids loved playing on...

...but they also had 9 and 10 year old daughters.  Yippee!

The following morning we decided to go and check out the Discovery Center where they have all sorts of information on the condors that live there.  It was pretty neat--each condor is tagged and you can go to Condor Spotter and type in the number to see information on each bird.
The woman there told us interesting things on the reintroduction program (there were close to only 20 condors left at one point) and some of the birds themselves, such as one father who keeps driving off all of the female birds that his son hangs around with so that his son will stay with him.  Ha!

We drove south a bit more to Julia Pfeiffer State Park to hike about a bit.

For those of you who have been fortunate enough to be around when Brooklyn is frustrated or upset, you'll understand what sound is coming out of her mouth.
For those of you who haven't had the privilege, it sounds something like THIS.
Oy vey.

But we got to see a condor!  (We actually saw quite a few, but the others were high above, circling.  Corinne and Phil saw some right up alongside the road though!)
It's number 38.

Freaking gorgeous.

Later on, Russ, Corinne and Phil headed back out to hike the beach and find some tide pools.
(Thank you for taking pictures, Phil!!!)

They saw a sea otter!

Love this shot!

When they got back, we headed to a beach area that was close to our campground.  Unfortunately, Sam fell asleep on the way there and stayed asleep on my lap the entire time we were there, so no photos.
It was GORGEOUS though.

The next morning we headed out.  We had to stop for a couple of hours in Carmel though so Corinne could show us her dream home area.  Unfortunately, she has to figure out how to become a multimillionaire before she'll be able to afford the places she wants.  We were happy to visit though.
It's really neat--this is the marsh side of the sand.  To the right is the ocean. 

Sam, chasing the seagulls.


"Brookwyn, I found you a great feather!!"

Paying their respects to a dead great heron.

The ocean side.

Looking for tidepools, but finding only seaweed.

 We headed home to celebrate my birthday.
Russ got me my porch swing that I've been asking for and it's been everything I've asked for...
I found Brooklyn and Sam snuggling, eating popsicles and chatting one morning.  <3 <3 <3

That's it for now!

1 comment:

  1. you may have heard this before , from closer sources, but trista, you are living the life.