Saturday, November 24, 2012

Views of the Bay at Tilden Park

The view of the San Francisco Bay from the Berkeley Hills at Tilden Regional Park is breathtaking. The Golden Gate and Bay Bridges frame the city skyline just below trees rolling down swooping mountains. In park's forest, there is a Botanic Garden, carousel, steam train, pony rides and golf course.   

Serene and Alex rode the steam train on the narrow gauge railway that was built in 1952. In the crisp air, we took a 15 minute ride through the woods, catching glimpses of the beautiful Bay views. Alex is well past his train engineering years and Serene probably won't catch the Thomas the Train phenomena, but the pair (with cousins and aunties in tow) both enjoyed the ride.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Annenberg Community Beach House

The Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica is open to everyone, year-round, no membership required. On five acres of ocean front property, it features a swimming pool, cafe, gallery, play ground and the Marion Davies Guest House open for tours. The property was originally built by William Randolph Heart for the actress Marion Davies in the 1920s on California's Gold Coast. In the 1940s, the property was converted to an Ocean House and was declared "America's Most Beautiful Hotel."In recent years, it was converted to a property open to the public, at no fee, for all to enjoy.

And in November 2012, as the water numbed my toes, Alex and Serene jumped into the ocean fully clothed, rolled in the sand and conquered the play yard. They simply couldn't be pulled away from the Pacific waves even as the sunset.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

"My hands are on fire!"

 When Serene walked into Remo Recreational Music Center in North Hollywood, California, she said it was "Awesome!"  She was right. Situated in an industrial area that looks a little sketchy to take the kiddies on a play date, don't be fooled. Inside -- everyone rocks!  On Saturday mornings, wannabe rockers of all ages can pick their own drum and bang, pound, thwack, whack, pat, rap, bash and everything else for an hour to tunes like ABCs, Old MacDonald Had a Farm, the Itsy Bitsy Spider and other classics. I even heard a little Queen. Alex drummed so hard he declared "My hands are on fire!" So don't be shy...bring the kids and live out your inner rock star.