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Monday, June 29, 2009

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Saturday was awesome. One of the things that has been on our list of things to do is go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, you hear such cool things about it, just had to go! But as everything in our lives, money has always been the issue.
Luckily we have some good people in our family that think of us in these cases. My sister-in-law Virginia and her husband Eli planned a trip this past week, getting a room at a local spot and part of their package was tickets to the aquarium. They didn't realize until they arrived that the packages was for 2-day passes. Friday morning as I'm surfing the net, she calls with the fabulous news that if we can get ourselves there, we could go on Sat, all we needed to do was pay for the kids. Squeal!!!!
So we planned and things came together. Purchased Cody's ticket online, Ty is free until Aug, and hopped in the car early Sat am.
It's such a cool area that the aquarium is located, we were able to walk around a bit and see the shops, see the ocean, and enjoy the cooler weather.
Lots to see inside, here are the divers cleaning the tank where the kelp gardens are, lots of cool fish and some small sharks.

There are a ton of interactive exhibits as well, making it super kid friendly as an aquarium should be. Here you are able to change the current and watch the fish change the direction that they swim.
Wave tunnel....

crashed onto us!

The touch pools are neat as well. Cody loves starfish, so he was able to see some up close. He wasn't real keen on touching them at first, but eventually gave it a try.

They also had a few birds on exhibit, ones that would live in the coastal areas. These little guys in the back were bathing in the water, making big splashes, too cute.

A couple of shallow tanks that you can look down into and see things like rays and other flat swimming fish.

Shark, Yikes!

We moved upstairs to see the penguins as well.

More interactive toys, this is another about currents and waves.

From this point we were hungry, so we had our hands stamped and headed off to find some food. We parked about 6 blocks or so from the aquarium and walked passed a favorite Mexican restaurant. So after walking around a bit, we decided that was as good a place as any to have lunch. It turned out to be perfect, just enough off the path that it was packed with people. The views from our booth were awesome, looking out right over the ocean. This is apparently a good diving spot as there was lots of activity and also a lot of people out on kayaks. If you looked out into the distance, you could spot many sailboats as well.

After lunch we went back and headed over to where the Jelly fish were. Here's one of the tanks before that, showing different schooling fish.


Then headed over to the outer bay area where the larger sharks, hammerheads, huge tuna's and other big fish live. Very cool 3 story tanks.

Then came the seahorse exhibits. Amazing. They are very calming things to watch.

All around there are places where you can go outside and look around, they also have telescopes to view things way out. Here's the back of the aquarium.
Our last stop inside was to watch what we thought would be a video about sharks. It turned out to be more of a lecture with slides, but lots of questions and answers and the boys seamed to be okay with that. Once that was over, we were done! We saw most everything, only leaving out a small portion of the Otter exhibits, just too many people once we were back from lunch.

We walked back along Canary Row to see the shops some more, getting our souvenir smashed pennies, stopping at the Toll House store for a treat, then found a small beachy area to get our feet wet.
We hopped back into the car and headed for home. Such a great day, even as long as it turned out to be. We will go back, camping for a couple days next time so we can enjoy the area a bit more.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Splashy fun at Stone Creek Park

Friday we headed out to Rancho Cordova in search of some splashy fun. Our travels ended at Stone Creek Park and it was fabulous! I foresee a certain 3rd Birthday party coming up being hosted here.

A big climbing play structure...

Climbing being the key word, with this funky side thing...

rock walls...

and rope coarse.
There are also swings and a sand box.
Then there's the spray yard. It's not huge, but it packs a big punch.

Waiting for the water to hit his head.

Bulls eye!

Done and snacking.
There are a couple of nice covered areas with picnic tables, and lots of benches surrounding the splash area and toys. Along with some grassy places you could set up as well, another group brought a shade canopy and set up camp. Shade on the benches is not happening, the only true downside we saw. Also on-site is a nice basketball court and some skate ramps. You will get and airshow as well, as it's close to the Air Force base, we saw Jets, Coast Guard planes and smaller planes through out our time there.

We highly recommend this to anyone looking for a new place to play and stay cool. Take Hwy 50 and exit at Zinfandel, turn left if you are coming from Folsom way, or right if you're coming from Sacramento. (If you go past the Walmart, turn around and go the other way.) Follow Zinfandel to Spoto (stop sign) and turn right, the park is about a block on the left.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Is that one of my boys???

This had me laughing out loud, to cute.

Love this blog, one of my favorites!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Finished a project!

For some reason, projects are few and far between right now. I'm just not that into it, need to get over that little deal.

Anyway, Saturday I spent on and off priming and painting the inside of one of the linen closets. It just stunk. I think it has to do with the cheap wood it's made from, close to the bathroom and catching moisture. Don't really know for sure, but hopefully this will solved the issue.

Added neutral shelf paper as well, just to clean up the look.

Now that it's aired out for a couple of days I'm busily washing all the towels to go back into it. Realized as I was loading them back in that, they stank and would in turn make the cupboard stink again, duh!

Monday, June 22, 2009

1st day of Swim lessons and other unrelated stuff...

Swim lessons have begun! Two weeks, for four days each week for 30 minute sessions, we'll see what becomes of it.

Meeting his instructor and getting used to the water.

Practicing their kicks.

Lots of playing with the hoop, they are playing "London Bridges" right now. At one point it was on the water and they made a pizza by scooping the water on it. Then blew bubbles on their pizza. Fun.

Later he sang the song about five monkeys teasing the alligator.

Back floating, he did put his head back in the water for a nano-second.

More kicking and waiting for his turn.

Then they practiced jumping into the water, hopefully building trust at the same time.

The lesson went well, it looked like they were having a good time.
Cody was not impressed. He was disappointed to not be in the deeper end swimming after today. So we talked about it and hopefully he understood that it wouldn't happen over night.
"Your instructor seemed fun." I said to him.
"Yeah, not really." he told me.
Hmmm, okay. We'll see how the rest of the week goes.

Last week we went to what was advertised as an art program, but it's more of a random-play-for-an-hour program. Boys had fun, Ty played on this bouncer ball about 75% of the time. Too funny! Nope, not cutting that hair anytime soon.

Random sleeping position of the week.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Splashy fun at the park...

One of my favorite things about summer...

That can't actually feel good!