Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat!

We took Aria out trick or treating for the first time this year around the neighborhood. She got to go with Miriya and Jonah for a few houses (before it got too late and too dark). She seemed to get the hang of taking the candy and putting it into her treat bag pretty quickly, but she was still shy enough to be a little afraid to go right up to the strange neighbor's doors without some pretty firm encouragement from mommy or daddy.

We also "warned" my mom since she usually doesn't give out candy, and she got to visit Po Po and Willbe as well. Although she seemed nervous to be on the familiar porch, that nervousness went out the window when she saw Po Po open the door and she ran right into her arms.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mom's Yard - Done!

We took a short walk over to my mom's house today to take some photos of the now completed yards. Aria had a blast just running around and exploring all the new things: big rocks, little rocks, grass, trees, and just about eveverything else that she could get her little hands on.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Swanky" Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze

On our drive home, we decided to stop off in Hollister at  Swank Farms to visit the pumpkin patch and the advertised corn maze. They build a completely new (large) corn maze every year, and since none of us had ever done one before, today seemed as good a day as any.

We got Aria strapped into her stroller and set off to try to complete the maze (by going through 20+ checkpoints and filling in a "Mad Lib" like story) in under an hour. With Brian as the navigator, and Ranica & Aria following, we completed the maze in just over 40 minutes. Pretty good taking into account that we did make a couple of pit stops to rehydrate (it was smoking hot out there!). Here is the map of our trek through the corn maze (ignore the satellite image - it has yet to be updated for the 2010 corn maze):

View Corn maze in a larger map

We also let Aria peruse through the pumpkin patch (she didn't really pick out a pumpkin, but walked by a few and pushed the wheelbarrow around) and got some yummy homemade fudge. Brian and Ranica also tried flinging a couple of pumpkins in the slingshot while Aria watched.

Hotel Room Fun

Aria did plenty of exploring at our hotel, the Embassy Suites in Monterey/Seaside. Here are a few photos of her adventures in our suite.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Dennis the Menace Playground

Went to the Dennis the Menace playground in Monterey today. It was less than a 5-minute drive from our hotel and Aria loved it! She stayed with her daddy and closed the park down (at sunset) while mommy went to get a massage at the nearby Massage Envy (her anniversary present ;-D).

Aria's favorite activity by far was the large roller slide underneath the sun (literally!). She and daddy went down it many, many times.

Pinnacles National Monument

It was a bit of a drive from our Embassy Suites hotel in Monterey/Seaside, but we made it, thanks to the portable DVD player in the car (best invention ever! I don't know how parents did anything without DVD players - thanks to my own parents for putting up with me on long car rides). The drive out to Pinnacles National Monument was pretty smooth, except that the last 11 miles or so was on a one-lane road (meaning 1 lane, 2 directions) so that stretch took a good half hour to get through.

Once we got ready (diapers, flashlights, sunscreen - on, strapped on the baby, etc), we headed out on the Balconies Cave trail - a short, but interesting hike out to the caves. It was a pretty warm day so we took our time. The Pinnacles rock formations were really pretty and majestic, but we saw some pretty scary precarious rocks along the way.

Once we made it to the caves, it was a little disappointing when we realized that there was no way that we could make it all the way through with little Aria strapped on. The climb was dark and pretty steep, so we will have to come back for a visit when she's older. We did see another family come up the cave trail from the other side with a couple of young boys (probably 2/3 year-old and 4/5 year-old), so that seemed promising, especially since they mentioned that it wasn't their first time doing the cave hike.

  • Rating:
    Pros: Awesome rock formations, really cool caves (but since we didn't go all the way through, can't vouch for them quite yet).
    Cons: Pretty warm and dry. Not fun when there's a sniffly 16-month old with you.
  • Difficulty: Easy hike, but the cave terrain can be pretty treacherous.
  • Best Season:  
Today's Hiking Group: Brian, Ranica & Aria

Photo Album:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

For our 4th anniversary, we decided to take a family vacation to Monterey. On our way there, we stopped off at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo in San Jose for some fun. A tip for those who are interested in going: since we got there a little late (around 2 pm; park closes at 4pm), we were able to get in for free (just had to pay $10 for parking).

Since this was the first park with rides for Aria, we were a little nervous about how she would react. We started off slow with the merry-go-round, and she seemed to like that just fine, so we had her try her first solo ride on the Mini Putt-Putt. This time, she showed her excitement and we breathed a sigh of relief. All smiles and excitement and no crying = a great family outing.

In addition to the carousel and Mini Putt Putt, Aria enjoyed the Danny the Dragon train ride, the Granny Bugs and got to see a variety of barnyard and wild animals. Not bad for only 2 hours in the park. We also ventured over to the Japanese Friendship garden next door to the park after it closed down and where Aria saw her first live ducks.

Looking forward to next summer when Aria will be tall enough to go on more rides (hopefully). Let's hope that she will still want to go on them by then. Kids can be so fickle!