Sunday, April 28, 2013

Griffith Observatory and Santa Monica Beach

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On our last day in LA, we stopped by the Griffith Observatory.  The views from the hilltop were amazing, and we had a fantastic view of the Hollywood sign.

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Ethan is a science nut and loved spending time inside the observatory, looking at the different earth models, the working pendulum and touching moon rocks!  There is no entrance fee to the Griffith Observatory, but even if there was, I would highly recommend it.  There are also a lot of hiking trails and picnic spots in the surrounding park area so it would make a fun weekend outing.

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It used to be Jupiter, but Saturn is now E's favorite planet.  

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The Foucault Pendulum which helps demonstrate Earth's rotation, the vaulted ceilings covered with the Hugo Balin Murals, Ethan being entranced by the pendulum which knocks down a peg every 7 minutes.


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There were several exhibits demonstrating the interaction of the Sun, Earth and Moon.  This particular one was showing seasonal changes due to Earth's rotation around the Sun.


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Analyzing different samples from outer space.


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Peek-a-boo!


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Seeing how much he weights on Mercury.


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Racing around with Katie.

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Hmmm...not exactly like the real thing.


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Posing with Einstein.  


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Tesla Coil demonstration.  

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Saying goodbye to the Chiu's and then it was off for a brief stop at the beach before heading back home!


Santa Monica State Beach Park:
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The sky was super unclear the day we went, but we still had fun playing in the sand.

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Building a castle for some sand crabs we found.


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Have to do some sand writing!

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It was a great beach day!







Saturday, April 27, 2013

Disneyland


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Last week we headed down south for our very first visit to Disney!  Even better was that we got to meet up with the Chiu's for a few days of magical fun!

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All decked out with our first time visitor badge!

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Navigating the way.

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Goofing off in downtown Disney.


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Loving the Nemo ride.


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Flying high.


Unfortunately, after only two hours and just a few short rides later Ethan said his tummy hurt and felt hot to the touch (later we learned he had a strep throat, boo!).  We had to head home and this was what happened for the rest of the day:

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Sleep, fever, throw up and repeat.


After a slightly feverish night (poor Ethan!) we got up bright and early and excited to go to California Adventure Park!
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Racing off to the tram station.

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First stop: Cars Land!

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Luigi's Flying Tires (thanks to the Chiu's for some of the pictures!)

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Twirling fun at Mater's Junkyard Jamboree (Ethan's favorite Cars character!)

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Saguaro cactus, prickly pear cactus, wooly torch cactus, and an....Ethan cactus???

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The best ride is the Daddy ride.

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Beware of spare tires and walking traffic cones!

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Showing off the Cars pins we collected - Ethan was very specific that he wanted to pin them to napkins and then tape them up on his gallery wall at home.

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Goofing around while waiting in line.  Everything is better when you are with friends.

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Lots of comfort food at Flo's V8 Cafe.


Finally we wandered out of Cars Land and onto other areas in the park:
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The Ferris wheel looks pretty fun right?  It wiped out both my boys...one due to motion sickness, and the other was non too thrilled by the wild rocking.

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Time for a tram tour!

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A Bug's Land

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Ready to ride Goofy's Sky School.

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Can't have a visit without trying out the ice cream!  He nibbled the two ears and then proclaimed he was full. More for Mommy and Daddy!


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Redwood Creek Challenge in Grizzly Peak.  Ethan declared this the funnest part of the day and spent nearly two hours running around on the rope bridges.

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Fun with Katie on the Carousel.

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Last ride for the day!  Ethan and Katie really wanted to ride California Screamin' but since they didn't make the height requirement, the dads "had" to sub in.

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Ethan probably was more excited than Bob and Andrew just watching the roller coaster launching off.



Some video highlights.

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We had a wonderful time at Disney with Katie, Cindy and Andrew!  Friends for over a decade, we went to college together, lived together, celebrated at each other's weddings, and now our kids have transcontinental play dates with each other.  If only they lived closer, but I'll take our yearly reunions when I can!




Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Meet Holland and Sonic

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Holland.

At school, E has been studying snails.  The students have been collecting snails in the garden and keeping them as class pets, and last week Ethan asked if he could have a snail to take home.  So we are now the owners of two new snails: Holland and Sonic.

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Sonic.

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Very excited to take his friends home.

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They like to munch on fresh leaves and bark.

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Everyday we take Holland and Sonic outside to let them roam around on the garden, grass, and trees.

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The two snails are fond of each other and always want to play together.

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Loves his new friends!