Thursday, June 18, 2009

San Diego Zoo

Our day trip to the San Diego Zoo was fun filled but included quite a lot of trekking around. It's a big zoo! We didn't have time to see it all up close but at the end of the day we did take a bus ride to view things from afar. Our favorites were the polar bears, pandas and hippo. The jungle trail (with tigers and more) was extraordinary. Something I'd like to see next time is the gorillas.

Sammy in the stroller. Poor baby is often in the stroller for outings like these.

A hippo right at the glass viewing area. We had never seen one and certainly not this close.

Riding the polar bear statue.

They were active the day we visited.

Lucy has a special affection for polar bears after hearing from me that one day soon they might be extinct.

Annabel viewing the polar bears.

One jumped in for a dip, which was fascinating for the girls.

On the Skyfari ride. It was fast and high but so much fun.

Paul and Sammy on the tour bus. We rode on the top deck of the double decker.

After touring all around the zoo we saw the new elephant exhibit (a new law requires zoos to have more acreage for elephants). One was eating out of the tube.

Watching the elephants eat.

The bus ride put our tired girl to sleep.

And our tired baby boy too.

Giraffes who were quite attentive.

Hello, giraffes!

A peacock showing us his lovely plumage.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Our day trip to Legoland was one of the best parts of our vacation. It is a great park for the little ones. Lucy and Annabel loved each and every section, especially The Hideaways ropes course. As for rides the driving school was Lucy's favorite and the airplane ride was Annabel's. I highly recommend this park for kids aged 3 to 8. I only wish it had been a tad warmer so that we could have done the water park, which was huge and looked like a blast. I also wish they stayed open later than 5 p.m. It's odd that they close so early. I think next time we will try to get a two day pass because the kids had such a wonderful time and there was more to enjoy. Tip: the pizza place by the water cannons is very good and not too pricey.

Annabel driving a truck.

Annabel shooting the water cannon at the alligators.

The alligators (not to be confused with elevators, which she pronounces identically at this point. So cute!)

Lucy playing with Legos.

Lucy on the Sky Cruiser.

Waiting in line for the driving school cars. (Lucy is so excited!)

Strapped in and ready to go!

Lucy absolutely loved this ride. Sheer joy on her face the whole time.

After she got off she was so proud of herself because she drove so well.

Sammy in the stroller.

Annabel drove the boat nearly the whole way. Paul had to steer them out of a couple of tight spots, but she did great for not having been a skipper before.

Sammy and me.

Another fun one for Lucy. Annabel was too small to do the Royal Joust so we got her an ice cream treat instead.

This was Annabel's favorite. She loved it so much we went twice.

Lucy in front of the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. (made of Legos).

Annabel also there; the scene is of the Obama inauguration. The girls got to be present in Lego spirit.

An up close shot of Obama being sworn in.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Aunt Anna's House

We went on our yearly vacation the first week of June -- this time to Southern California. It was long awaited and so much fun, but I have to admit not totally relaxing. Turns out it's quite a production to travel with three kids, surprise! Paul and I were talking late one night after an activity filled day about how it probably would be years (decades?) before we once again have a relaxing vacation. Still, we wouldn't change it and found the best way to go about it was to fill each and every day with lots of sites to see and kid-friendly activities.

Our first stop was at Aunt Anna and Uncle Mark's house. We are so grateful to them for hosting us once again. I am sure we are a lot to handle but they are always so welcoming and didn't mind the frequent requests for Barbie DVDs on their TV. My mom was there too and even treated us to a night out, including a delicious dinner and babysitting gratis. My brother Matt and his girlfriend Erica came by one night too. So good to see Matt!

At 4 (nearly 5) Lucy is the perfect age for vacationing. She was raring to go every single day and was thrilled to start off the vacation at Aunt Anna's house. Lucy is so social, loves family and was pleased to chat (and walk hand-in-hand) with Aunt Anna any chance she could get. The birds feeding and nesting out back were of particular interest.

Annabel got into the swing of things too, loving Anna's hot tub, playing with the large carved bear that she met last year and even seeking out the kitties who were very shy just like one of ours.

The whole group. Clearly, you can see how difficult it is to get the kids to look at the camera at once, let alone smile.

Mom, here's your Christmas card photo! (If you click on the image it pulls it up full size, which you can just copy and paste to your desktop for later.)

Our family of five.

Annabel having a great time with Grandma. She has no fear of the water whatsoever!

Lucy running around exploring. If you know Lucy, you'll know this is not unusual. Isn't Anna and Mark's garden beautiful?

Anna took us to San Juan Capistrano to visit a petting zoo. Doesn't Annie look too cute here?

Feeding the animals -- emus here. This was the first of a few baskets of fruit and veggies; Anna loves animals and, really, who could resist them? They were so hungry! And so cute! Especially the baby goats.

Anna also treated the girls to a pony ride. Only Lucy decided to ride and loved it.

After the petting zoo we went to Aliso Beach in Laguna Beach, a great suggestion by Uncle Mark. What a perfect beach! So pretty and so easy to get to, park the car and just enjoy. We had a blast. Annabel dug right in.

Beach baby under the umbrella.

Lucy and Paul braving the waves.

Starting in on the sand castle.

First beach sand experience. Of course, he had to eat it.

Sammy with Grandma back at Anna's house enjoying some music played by Uncle Matt.

Matt, our family's musician.

(More vacation posts to come! I have, like, 900 photos to sift through and a few more stories to tell.)