Saturday, November 20, 2010

Farming in the City

Alex learned to farm at Underwood Family Farms in Simi Valley, California. His second trip to the farm in the last few years, this time he took the wheel of a combine, rode the range on a pony and putzed around on Dolly the cow. Next time...we're going to have to pick some corn!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Welcome Baby Sister

Jetsetting got a lot harder in October 2010 when Alex's baby sister arrived. Serene weighed in at 7.1 lbs, 20 inches. We're applying for the passport next week.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don't care if I never get back.

Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win it's a shame.
For its one, two, three strikes you're out
at the old ball game.

The home team won the night of Alex's first trip to a professional baseball game. The Los Angeles Dodgers shut out the San Diego Padres 9-0. Taking on fellow fans in shouting "Let's Go Dodgers" at the top of his lungs, Alex also beat the competition for the loudest wails. Dodger Stadium knew their newest fan was in the house. With a dozen friends and family to cheer him on, Alex enjoyed all the treats and trips to the concession and souvenir stands.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Traveling to Outer Space

The NASA Ames Research Center in the Silicon Valley in northern California is one of 10 NASA facilities. In its Exploration Center visitors can experience space technology through a high resolution immersion theater and other interactive opportunities that allow children and adults to explore Mars and the rings of Saturn. In a short visit, Alex had an opportunity to see himself as an astronaut and check out a replication of the inside of the Space Shuttle. Alex has logged 100,000 flight miles around the earth at just four years old, it won't be long before he's ready to explore further into our solar system.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Featherdale Wildlife Park

Trains and Coal Cars in Scenic World

Obsessed with trains, freight cars and all things related to railways, one of Alex's favorite stops during his summer trip to Australia was the chance to speed along a railway (as the rest of us held on and screamed for our lives) on one of Aussieland's oldest and fastest rails.
Katoomba Scenic World, nestled in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia is about 100 kilometers west of Sydney. Scenic World offers three ways for tourists to travel across the gorge and to the valley floor 200 meters below if they don't want to hike: the Katoomba Scenic Skyway, the Scenic Funicular Railway and the Katoomba Scenic Cable Car. The Funicular Railway at Katoomba is the steepest in the world using cables to race the cars up-and-down 415 meters at an incline of 52 degrees. It was originally constructed to haul coal in the late 1800s. The acute angle isn't appreciated until you climb aboard the train with seats that lean you far backwards, a chainlinked roof to prvents objects (and people) from being launched and cruise seatbelt free just like the coal cars of yesteryear.

Blue Mountains Australia

About a hour drive west of Sydney, Australia are the beautiful Blue Mountains. Often called Australia's Grand Canyon, the range boasts gorges up to 760 meters deep and the eucalyptus leaves of the forest create the effect of a blue hue over the region. The Three Sisters are the best known rock formations in the region. The three pointed range can be easily enjoyed from the viewing platforms or hikers can take a small footbridge direct to the range. A large part of the Blue Mountains are recognized as a World Heritage Site with seven national parks and a conservation reserve.

Alex skipped the summer weather and the Independence Day activities in the U.S. and instead spent the day exploring this exquisite region of New South Wales instead. A bus tour from Sydney, on one of the coldest days of the year in Australia, allowed us to escape the hustle of the big city and gave Alex a chance to run, jump and climb in the land Down Under. The day was highlighted by the cable car ride giving the best views while brushing the treetops. Alex was ready to ride again and again.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Thomas the Train travels on Magic Mountain

The Island of Sodor is surrounded by beautiful blue seas. It has fields of green and sandy yellow beaches. It doesn't look much like Magic Mountain, a Six Flags Theme Park near Los Angeles, California, the roller coaster capital of the world. But Thomas the Tank Engine can ride the rails on both the fictional island and at the family theme park.
In Thomas Town, children can loop a small track behind a full-sized, blue, # 1 Thomas train in passenger cars Annie and Clarabel or race with Thomas' best friend the green cheeky engine # 6 Percy on a mini roller coaster. Cranky the Crane looks over splashing fountains where engineers big and small can cool off on a hot summer day. Much smaller than advertised and overrated for anyone over the age of four, Alex still found his own slice of heaven for a few hours at the park. The other 18 roller coasters will have to wait until Alex outgrows the height restrictions and mommy gets a little bit braver.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Where is Warehouse Mouse?

If you hum along to hits by U2, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, but you still don't know Warehouse Mouse, then you need to turn off the Idol and switch over to the Disney Channel in the 'early morning' hours and look for the Cheese!

The Imagination Movers may not be as big as the Beetles, but they are way better than the Wiggles (or that big purple weird dinosaur) using their imagination to brainstorm and solve problems all to some great music. Alex rocked-out live, along with a few hundred other three-year-olds, as Mover Rich, Mover Dave, Mover Scott, Mover Smitty and their little buddy sidekick, Warehouse Mouse, impressed crowds across the country during their national concert tour this winter.

Inspired by the tunes, Alex can jam as well as any of those Mover guys. Look out Tommy, Elton, and Jimi. One, two, three, four.....a new rock legend is born.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Iceskating in North Carolina

Maybe the coolest thing to do in Charlotte, NC is to iceskate. Well, if you're three-years-old, it's the middle of winter, you've flown all the way from Los Angeles for some serious fun, and you've waited all your life to race on the ice. Alex made it around the rink one full lap and then declared himself the "winner." He spent the rest of the time ordering pizza, popcorn, chips and more at the concession stand. But, now that Alex is the expert on blades, he's ready to take on the next big challenge that life offers him. Next stop? Sledding and snow angels....or the winter Olympics?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Snow Angels, Sledding and Spas in the Snow

The average temperature in Reykjavik, Iceland in December is 33 degrees Fahrenheit -- the same as Wisconsin. However, when Alex celebrated the New Year, the mercury peaked at 4 degrees on January 1, 2010 in Madison. The cold air didn't stop Alex from making snow angels and sledding -- well, for at least a few minutes. Definitely a California kid, he put on his snowsuit, threw a few snowballs at his cousin and enjoyed the free ride in the sled up the mini-hill pulled by his uncle before declaring it was much too cold for outdoor fun. He was right!

Meanwhile, back in Iceland.....back in August....the Blue Lagoon is a spa relaxing guests with geothermal sea water. Iceland's busiest spot, more than 400,000 folks bathe in hot volcanic water with secret medicinal powers that's been cooled to 92 degrees. The lifeguards wear snow suits and serve drinks along the pool's edge, just like in tropical resorts. Alex refused to take the plunge, but stood outside...screaming at the cold. He was right! The snowsuit would have been nice.