Before you enter California’s beautiful Sequoia National Park, there is a lost historic town that has little left of it. In the beautiful Kaweah Mountains, lays the remains to a lost utopia.
We took the kids to my favorite museum in San Jose. It’s hands on and educational but you would never guess it by the kids laughing the whole day. I think its safe to say, we have a new favorite spot to visit!
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In mid February we took a day trip to San Francisco to visit the city and The California Academy of Science. Growing up in the bay area, I was able to visit this museum and many more on school field trips and day trips with my Dad. I want to take the children to all the amazing sites I was able to go to in my life. Any time Victor and I are in the city, whether its down south in Los Angeles or up north in San Francisco we try to set aside a day to take the kids some where they have never been and to a explore things that we don’t have where we live in the central valley.
The last time I went to the San Francisco Academy of Science was in the mid 90’s. Since then the museum had gone through a $488 million dollar renovation in the Golden Gate Park.
It was like an all new adventure for Victor and I. The museum was completely different from anything I remembered growing up. Immediately to the right is a 90′ spiral dome with a living rainforest. walking in it you feel the humidity while thousands of butterflies and free flying birds are fluttering around.
Below you can take an elevator down to the flooded Amazon and walk through a 25′ tunnel with the rainforest above. The kids loved watching the fish all around them and I loved watching their reaction.
We saw taxidermy animals in their natural habitat
The museum also had a huge coral reef aquarium that offered a show with a reef diver. While we didn’t watch the show, we weren’t disappointed at all of the other things there were to take part in.
One of my favorite things doing at the museum when I was a kid, was going on the
earthquake simulator. California is known for earthquakes, but (knock on wood) we really don’t get them as often as people may think. In 1906 San Francisco was hit with a 7.8 earthquake. Any time anyone brings up earthquakes this is the one that al earthquakes are based on. The quake resulted in 3,000 deaths and $524 million dollars in property loss and lasted 1 minute. The city burned for 3 days and destroyed 500 city blocks.
Another major earthquake to hit California was the 1989 Loma Prieta that lasted 15 seconds at a 6.9 on the seismic scale.. This resulted in 60 deaths and wide spread damage. I was nearly 5 years old and it was my first earthquake. It hit in Santa Cruz, 60 miles from San Francisco and was felt in San Jose where I lived. It felt like it lasted much longer than 15 seconds as my mom and I hid under the large dining room table.
Now that I caught you up on a mini earthquake lesson you can only imagine emotion of going through the simulator and having semi experience each earthquake all over again. Instead of having posters to read and standing on a platform that shakes, the new updated version takes you into a planetarium like room to explain how an earthquake works. After you moved into the self proclaimed infamous Shake House. Hold on to the rail because you will first experience a touch of the1906 quake. The simulator doesn’t last as long as the actual quake did nor can it move up and down like the real one, only side to side. Second up is the 1989 Loma Prieta and as I’m writing just realized how historic it was that 26 years later my daughter was nearly the same age I was experiencing that earthquake. While she’s never been awake to experience an earth (we’ve had ones while we both have slept) Emery thought it was a fun little ride. A much different reaction I experience living it.
(video in my Instagram GypsyWidow 13 weeks ago from this date)
There was so much to do at the museum but we ran out of time and I didn’t want to run our of daylight before visiting the iconic Golden Gate bridge.
With the mad driving skills of Valerie we made it to Crissy Field at sunset. A little fact that all mothers learn quickly is be prepared with extra everything. I know this unspoken rule, I’m pretty good with it and I know San Francisco is freezing at night. Did I pack warm clothes? DUH. Did I bring them? No I did not. What I failed to mention peed his shorts on the way to S.F. It has never has never happened before but now that we were out I couldn’t have him wet and in shorts. As luck would have it this conductor pants were in the trunk from the day before, and it all worked out.
We got some great shots of the kids enjoying themselves
some of me and the husby
I’ve always wanted to go to this part of San Fransisco and take pictures with the bridge in the background. I’m so happy that we made it just in time!
It was Emery and Carlos’ first time in the city so we went down to the peir to grab sone authentic San Fransisco food at Boudin.
The highlight of my night turned out to not to be those bridge picures i’ve wanted for years but forgetting Emery has no idea about street entertainers and watching what she thought was a statue come life after putting a dollar in the can. She turned around so fast as soon as he began speaking. The man was nice enough to offer a picture of them two together. The bridge pictures I love but the street performer made a lasting memorie for me.
2013 was a year to remember. It brought happiness, joy, love, and many memories. Overall, I think it was an amazing year and it will be very hard to top it next year. To start off, our baby boy Carlos Martin was born just 17 days after the year began! What a way to kick-start a new year! He grew so fast we couldn’t believe it! Every few months he had a new wardrobe to fit into, was making us laugh, and keeping us on our toes. Our chubby little boy grew right in front of us, and in some ways I haven’t realized his major changes until I look back on photos from just a few months back.
My husband and I celebrated our fourth year of being married.
Emery Ava turned 3 years old in addition to being a big sis. She was given a birthday to remember with pony rides, rabbits, goats, chickens, and a mini horse all in the front yard. She learned how to write her name and spell it out. She has excelled in her home school studies with me and I couldn’t be more proud of her.
We took our annual beach trip! Carlos did amazing! I was worried that a three-hour car ride would be too much for a little baby but he proved me wrong. Emery loved making sand castles and Victor found a sea-snail that we all held. On this trip Emery also got her first bee sting. Luckily she is not allergic (what a way to find out if she was) and she handled it like a troop! In no time she was back out there enjoying herself.
Victor turned double digits and is nearly in his pre teens (God help us all).
In October our dear friends Valerie and Bryan became Carlos’ Godparents and will forever be apart of our lives.
For Thanksgiving Carlos was old enough and had plenty of teeth to dig in to some celebratory turkey.
In December the two little kids and I took a surprise trip to Disneyland! Carlos turned 11 months on our trip.
A few days later Christmas came and more than anything I have the most fun watching the kids open up their presents.
This year seemed to go by so fast! Every month brought new and wonderful things.
And while I don’t personally put pressure on my self to inevitably fail committing to a new years resolution I did feel the urge to do something different with myself this year, and for the first time I ordered out of my comfort zone and tried all new things I normally wouldn’t have. Instead of my regular and safe choice of a burger, I tried fish tacos for the first time. Apparently I had eel (still a sick idea to me), I’ve tried a few things I didn’t like, Boba drinks are not for me but over all it was a success!
I expect 2014 will be just as amazing with my family by my side. I only pray for continued health for all my friends and family (everyone really) and wealth (enough) to get us by and a few things for what we wish. I want to have more patience, because all of my patience this year has been used up with learning how to deal with three kids. I want to get back on track with learning and reading and continue to make my children’s life fun.
May everyone’s year be fruitful for them in more ways than they can fathom, be safe out there always and read on into this new year!
Another Holiday is here! The house is filled with Fall and Thanksgiving decorations. The mantel is done up, the outside of our home has our dried up corn stocks from the summer garden and pumpkins next to them. The children have been colored Thanksgiving coloring pages, made felt hand turkeys and we made one giant turkey with all of the kids hands.
I printed coloring pages off the internet from my Pinterest board. It’s not hard to find a site that has Thanksgiving drawings (or any Holiday or theme) for your children to do. A simple Google search can lead you to a million photos and Thanksgiving games such as word search or connect the dots. Last year you may remember from my blog, I printed out lots of different coloring sheets for the kids to color before the food was ready. It’s a fun little project to have them do all together before the bird is done.
I’m starting a simple Holiday tradition with the children. Every Holiday I want to trace their hands and save it into our Holiday box, so I can watch their little hands grow year by year. It started with the Halloween spiders, and continuing with the Thanksgiving turkey hands.
You can also use puff paint and give your turkeys eyes or have the kids designs on the wings with different colors. Just like the Halloween spiders, you can also punch a hole up top and add string and place your turkeys on your mantel or anywhere else you would like to show them off at in your home.
I thought what if it was cute to trace the children’s hands and make one big turkey. I used the babies little foot for the turkeys body. Tracing a baby’s hand is pretty impossible, let alone trying to hold their foot still and having to trace it or have someone else trace it. I discovered flour! I rubbed flour on the bottom of his foot and put his little foot on the felt. It left a nice a little imprint of his foot for me to trace. It made things so much more easy and less of a traumatic experience.
After they had their individual hand I used that one cut out as a template to make all their other hands for the turkey’s wings. You can get more creative and save it in a frame.
Enjoy some Thanksgiving activities with the kids before the Holiday is over, and don’t forget to follow my Pinterest for some good ideas on family fun & follow us on Instagram at gypsywidow!
Every year our local Hanford, Fire Station has an open house. Usually we aren’t able to make it, because it’s the same weekend we make our trip to Roseville to visit my Dad and head out to Apple Hill . Because we were not able to go up North this year, I excited to take the kids to this event.
Growing up my Dad would take my brother and I to things like this. I love to pass the experiences down to my kids. Emery has really been asking questions about Fire trucks and Ambulances. Any time we see one on the road we talk about where they might be headed or what the kind of things the vehicle has inside of it. The Hanford Fire Station’s open house is really a hands on experience. With guidance the kids are able to work the fire hose and put out a “fire” (a red vinyl sheet) in the window. How often does a person get to say they’ve done that! There’s an Ambulance the kids can go in and a Paramedic will talk to the kids about what the different things inside are and used for. Even I learn about a machine that can take a picture of your heart. Pretty cool stuff.
Emery sat in the front seat of a Highway Patrol car, and sat in the Fire Truck’s front and back row. The Fire Fighter’s handed out goodie bags with pencils, magnets stickers and fire safety coloring books.
This year the Fire Station also had, Kid Print. It’s a card with your child’s home address, measurements, photo, thumb print and any birth marks or allergies that he or she may have. The information is then added to the Police Stations data base on record. It was free and totally worth waiting in line for. I’m going to put my daughter’s card in her backpack she carries around.
After we got our card we took a little tour into the Fire Station to experience how a Fire Fighter lives. We saw their living room, kitchen, rooms and gym. Last but not least we had to ride, “Freddie” a little red tour truck, you can see around town from now and now. Freddie took us all through down town and dropped us off at the Carousel. We had no idea we would be getting dropped off. It was a nice little surprise. Despite all the amazing pictures and the fun I know the kids had, for me this was the best part Because, every time I drive down town Emery will always ask and talk about the one time last year she got to ride the carousel. I feel bad that I we don’t stop, but I never see anyone on them or a man standing at the machine waiting for riders. So this was THE PERFECT way to end our day. She was so happy! She was laughing and yelling. A lady in front of us kept turning around because Emery was so happy. Pure happiness from a child is the best thing on Earth for me. This was also the Carlos’ first time on a ride. He seemed to enjoy it as he sat down with his Dad.
I think I will start going to Apple Hill the following week so we can make the Fire Station’s open house every year.