Movie night at SCRA and Maggie cuddle ends the kiddos visit

duck at SCRA - 1

Last night was perfect for watching a movie at SCRA, nice and warm. The evening began by picking up pizza at California Pizza Kitchen.

Kiddos and the Mag in bed - 1Then the short drive to SCRA where the kiddos spent a good hour swimming. They like the diving board.

A mama duck has taken up residence in the pool. One of D’s co-workers said she thinks the babies are nearby and that Mom intends to teach them to swim in the pool. There are also lots of crumbs to pick up under the tables, given the number of youngsters who hang out.

The movie was Paddington 2 which all enjoyed. A late night with all four not getting in bed until a little before 11.

This morning it was one more cuddle with Maggie, who adores the kiddos. Then it was off to their next adventure…

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Miniature golf and arcade make good outing on a hot day

Grace at arcade - 1

The Adventures and kiddos got an early start, arriving at Golfland in Sunnyvale soon after it opened. The forecast was for hot weather and they wanted to get the golf part of the adventure out of the way.

James at Golfland - 1L remembers going to this location when she was a girl, probably before the now long gone miniature golf course opened on Marsh Road, which was closer. D didn’t think he’d been here before.

It’s a old school kind of course, that goes for relatively easy if your shot is straight to tricky given some mounds the little white ball just doesn’t want to go up and in to.

Everyone got frustrated at time – and everyone got at least one hole in one

Afterwards, it was inside to the arcades. James liked the ones where he was a shooter or driver; Gracie opted more for games of skill. Don’t know what to read into either of that.

They got enough points to redeem (cheesy) prizes…

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Big milestone reached at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

soaring in air - 1

The Adventurers don’t think they rode the Big Dipper at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk until they were in at least junior high, maybe even high school. So Grace already had it all over them when she rode it last summer prior to entering fourth grade.

on Big Dipper - 1This year it was James turn. Like they always do they arrived at the Boardwalk right when it opened and headed right over the Big Dipper. James was all in until it was time to board, then he bailed.

As L quickly switched places so she could ride with Gracie, D and James head back down the stairs. But wait! At the very last moment, he stopped and got in a middle car. And he did it.

And then the minute the ride was over the two kids headed right back and rode it all on their own.

on log ride - 1

It was the start of the day that the kiddos graduated to the bigger kid rides, if not the totally scary three or four full teen rides, as defined as nothing no one else in the right mind would get in.

The old Boardwalk is incredibly well maintained with a huge variety of food choices (not all junk). Probably one of California’s sort of hidden secrets. They’ll be back next summer…

Walk/easy/1.75 miles

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Visiting new California Trails area of Oakland Zoo starts “Kiddos Summer Adventure – take two”

Grace with eagle wings - 1

The Adventurers headed to Moraga this morning to pick up James and Grace for their second summer kiddos adventures. This time they’re staying local and giving it a California theme.

James and Grace as zoo explorers - 1

First stop was the brand new California Trail area of the Oakland Zoo, which you reach by taking a gondola, a journey in itself!

The animals and birds are selected for their historical significance to California and status in the wild. Their expansive new habitats are among the largest in the world and designed under the collaboration of animal behavior experts and wildlife experts. The species are American bison, Black bears, Grizzly Bears, Brown bears, Mountain lions, Jaguars, California condors, Gray wolves and Bald eagles.

James looks at bison_view - 1

The wolves were hiding today but they were able to spot the other animals and birds,  mostly just lazing about, although the Grizzly bears were wandering around. The bisons included many calves.

The lack of actual animal photos included here was due to the fact that the kiddos were always examining/interacting with the various educational areas of the exhibit. They also enjoyed romping in the play area at the very top of the area. The views over the Bay Area would have been spectacular if it wasn’t for the smoke from the numerous wildfires.

James and Grace as on Tiger roller coaster - 1

Much effort has been made to make this a modern zoo experience, including better than average food choices. Not a churro in sight until they wandered down to the area where the rides were, favorites since Grace and James were toddlers. (Think Grace rode the roller coaster first when she was three; they’re in the rear car in the shot above.)

Good start to the visit…music in the park tonight…

Walk/easy/two miles

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Mag-less walk along old familiar trail in Woodside

D with olive trees - 1 (1)

The Adventures dropped Maggie off at her new old groomer for a much needed haircut this morning. Jennifer once worked at PetCo but now has her own shop, so it was dog/groomer reunion.

D with trail sign - 1L had the time constraint of a late morning appointment so couldn’t venture far, so they parked at the junction of Woodside and La Canada roads and set off on the latter, heading north. This was a much traveled trail during the Cassie years.

It provides some good looks at estate homes and horses, particularly after the turned left on Olive Hill. Yep, there are olive trees along the route (top photos).

They also discovered a new trail when they ran into local resident – and real estate developer – Chop Keenan who L had meet years ago through friends who worked with him.

He owns a large estate and showed the Adventures the little trail that skirts his property, a way that avoids always busy Woodside Road. And he and D talked water sports, both of which they were involved with, so they knew many folks in common.

It was a bit of serendipity that made the morning outing fun…

Hike/easy/3.5 miles

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Exploring the “unrivaled jewel”of Loch Lomond Recreation Area

D and the Mag at Loch Lomond - 1

It was probably 25 years ago during the Cassie years that L hiked around Loch Lomond, a pretty-as-it-can-be lake in the Santa Cruz Mountains. So today’s hike, for all intents and purposes, was another new adventure.

D and the Mag at Loch Lomond_vert - 1It’s a bit of journey to get there but well worth it as it’s kind of tucked away. There’s fishing, boating, picnicking and hiking but no swimming as the lake supplies water to the city of Santa Cruz. The “can’t go in the water” rule vexed The Mag but along the almost 3 1/2 miles route, there were a number of feeder creeks that provide a splash and a cool off.

The trails are rolling, even along the shoreline where it would alternative between hugging the shore and then climbing inland through some canyons. The terrain is dominated by second growth coast redwoods along with Douglas fir, so you feel you are well away from civilization rather than the ever-growing San Lorenzo Valley.

There route started on the Loch Trail, which had some steep ups and down, along with some big steeps. The effort was harder than the mile plus route that got them to the Loch Sloy Trail, a broader fire road that also rolled. Then it was back to the waterfront along the Gilchrist Trail. Except for the people fishing along the shoreline they met no one on the trails. That provided Maggie with some off leash fun.

To get to Loch Lomond you drive through a town that neither Adventurer had ever heard off, strange given that they’ve spent lots of time in these nearby mountains over the years. It’s called Lompico, and the houses look like summer cabins, which they probably once were. But there’s evidently a year-round population now.

Proving that even the tiniest town has history: Jerry Garcia’s¬†family had a country house in Lompico, which he visited while he was young. He lost his middle finger due to a wood-chopping accident there. Janis Joplin often jammed with her band Big Brother and the Holding Company there. Who da thunk…

Hike/moderate with a few steep stretches/3.4 miles

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Back to the Yard where it all started six years ago

L and D on 7-27-18 - 1

The Adventures took Caltrain to the City this afternoon, got off at 4th and King and walked the three blocks to AT&T Park where it all started six years ago today. Same seats – as always – thanks to friend Leslie who sets them aside so the Adventurers can celebrate reconnecting their high school friendship. And falling in love.

Bumgarner was on the mound and pitched as well as he has since returning from the disabled list. He was visibly upset at his lack of hitting, which resulted in men left on base. The game ended 3-1 with visiting Milwaukee the victors.

The line for the train home was horrendous so they took Left home. But not before stopping for a night cap at Marlowe.

Earlier in the day D presented L with orange tulips to mark the day…

orange tulips - 1

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