The Adventurers were without Maggie today as she was having surgery on her teeth [the result of which is no more teeth, poor little girl]. So they headed out to one of the many Midpeninsula Open Space Preserves that doesn’t allow dogs, Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve.
It’s on a hilly 3,137 acres of land west of Skyline Blvd with a claim to fame that Borel Hill is the highest named place in San Mateo County. When they were on top, D checked his altimeter agains the post height; he was 50 feet less.
Most of the hike feels like old ranch roads, now very rutted from all the rain. There were a few boggy places but other wise dry. They saw neither wildflowers nor raptors, two hallmarks of the preserve, but did spot one very large coyote who scampered across the trail in front of them.
They went out the Ridge Trail to the Ancient Oak Trail to the Charquin Trail, returning on the Borel Hill Trail which joins the Ridge Trail. There were some good pulls, enough that they felt they’d gotten a work out (just what they needed after last week’s marathon!)
Some of the oak trees looked very old and mossy. L poised behind one of them…
Hike/easy with a few good pulls/3.75 miles
It’s been awhile since the Adventurers hosted a St. Patrick’s Day dinner in Menlo Park. The hitch has been that it’s close to the grand twins birthday, so they’ve been out of town.
Prior to the Tiki Twins coming into the world, hosting a dinner featuring corned beef and cabbage and all the fixings was a long standing tradition for L. Her Scottish grandfather Reid was born on March 17 and her mother was born on March 19. Then came Chris on March 10 and Julie on March 12. Much to celebrate.
Today the tradition continued with a bit a nervousness at the beginning of the day as the question of whether L could pull off a WSJ recipe discovered on their way hone from Orange County.
D contributed with his fabulous carrots. The Zukerman potatoes were perfect and reminded them of their yesteryear days in Lodi. You can’t screw up cabbage too much if you simply steam it. So all was well in Menlo Park.
Whoops! Except for the James man, who did manage to eat a carrot. Top photo shows D and Gracie mimicking the face James made when he ate “said carrot.” A much happier photo is the old folks with the two grandkids…
The happiest place just also might be the busiest, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
The Adventurers took a break at lunch to meet L’s pal from UCLA days, Marguerite, for lunch at the Storyteller Cafe at the Grand Californian.
They found it a perfect place for also getting up close and personal with the various Disney characters, who led a frequent parade around the restaurant followed by young admirers. By the end of lunch, D had gotten to know both Mickey Mouse and Pluto very well (and L likes the resulting photos).
After an afternoon rest, it was back to Disneyland one last time to watch the 6:00 parade. The twins did a little parading them selves in anticipation.
They all tried to eat dinner together, but the twins had it so went on to catch a quick bite while the Adventurers has a nice meal at one of the sit down restaurant in downtown Disney.
Yes, the three days of madness is coming to an end…
The Adventurers headed out early for California Adventure with the goal of riding the Incredicoaster (which the twins are not tall enough for). L thought it looked so much bigger when you’re right under it than from afar, but she rode it – and was glad she did. Probably the fastest, scariest roller coaster ever (although a bit hard to remember some long gone coasters).
They also rode the giant ferris wheel opting for the swinging gondolas, and boy did they swing! A little unsettling to be that high up and going back and forth so. And got their photo taken in front of a giant wooden bear.
Then it was back to over to Disneyland to join the twins for another ride on Thunder Mountain. Boy, did it feel wimpy after the Incredicoaster. They went into the building that holds a kind of Star Wars museum in the hopes of seeing Chewbacca. Turned out he was on break, but they did see some other trooper (of a good kind, not bad).
Along the way they encountered Captain Hook who stole Kai’s bubble machine. He did give it back, of course…
The twins’ 5th birthday celebration got off to an early start with a character breakfast at the Plaza Inn (another flashback from the past as it’s been there as long as the Adventurers remember although neither recall ever being inside. Minnie was outside to great the celebrants.
Then it was hit the rides, beginning with Pirates of the Caribbean. It was there that L had to strike a deal with Lily, who was a reluctant rider. If Lily would go on Pirates, L would go on Small World. Lily was up to the challenge. And yes, Small World was as awful as ever but at least colorful.
Other rides include the Matterhorn, Star Tours, Thunder Mountain, and Haunted House -most of which would test the mettle of many 5 year old but not the Tiki Twin!
Lunch was at a Tiki place (natch) next to the Enchanted Tiki Room (which the Adventurers managed to avoid experiencing this trip – enough with the birds). With the twins off for a birthday nap, the Adventurers took in some oldie but goodies like the Jungle Cruise (same dialogue!) and the Mark Twain paddle wheel where they could see what was once Tom Sawyer’s island turned more into pirate hideaway.
When they arrived at their FastPass entry to Indiana Jones, they learned the ride was closed, so they headed out, vowing to return in the evening after joining the twins for birthday drinks. The Adventurers had hoped to land a spot at Blue Bayou but no luck so they concluded the day at a nice outdoor cafe in Downtown Disney.
Aside: have we mentioned how crowded the park is and how many strollers there are? Guess it’s the time of year…
Walk/easy but long!/7.5 miles
While their twins and their parents were up at the crack of dawn (well actually predawn) to gain early entry to California Adventure, the Adventurers took a little more leisurely approach, catching up with the around 9:00.
The big planned event was to see the 3:00 pm Frozen show – live with actors. But they got to visit an interactive turtle named Crush – he was animated but responded live to the audience, very cool and take a very fast ride on racing Roadsters in Car Land. Their car won!
The Adventurers had promised the twins a birthday shopping trip and Lily had long figured out what you wanted, a very feminine pair of of mouse ears. Kai picked out a stuffed character from Star Wars (we think).
Lunch was at a very fancy (and expensive) restaurant called Cathay Circle. Lots of fun nostalgia for those who remembered actors who were contemporaries of Walt Disney. And the twins got a birthday dessert that looked like Olaf, a character in Frozen.
The purpose of the lunch was to gain priority entry to the Frozen show; they did land in the center section, row four. L continues to have a bit of princess aversion but the twins thought the show was great.
Along with Matt’s parents, they all ate dinner at Tortilla Joes in Downtown Disney. The twins loved it when the ballon man came by.
And tomorrow is the real event, turning 5 on Pi Day….
Walk/easy but long!/7.5 miles