Saturday, September 28, 2013

Los Angeles County Fair

Over 1.5 million people enjoy the Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona annually. After twenty years in the city of angels, I finally checked out the fair this year. Alex, Serene and friends never made it past the food booths and carnival rides. They flew whirled, spun, bummed, flew and bounced their way through ride after ride.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Dancing with Wolves

Alex meets Alaska.

Serene and friends meet Keme (Secret), the last of the litter to arrive.  After Paul & Collette thought all the pups had been born, a few hours later they discovered one more little pup.

Paul helps Alex feed sausage to Takoda (Friend to Everyone).

Freedom's beautiful smile.
Thank you Alaska and Freedom for your loving welcome.

Serene loved playing with wolves.

On an early Saturday morning, we rallied with three other families, to make the hour plus trip north of Los Angeles to Lake Hughes, CA to play with wolves. Seven children, between the ages of two years and seven years, and five apprehensive parents met with Paul and Collette Pondella at their home to learn about an important species that is endangered on our planet. Our caravan arrived to excited howling of nine beautiful Alaskan Timberwolves and none of us could contain our joy as we jumped from our cars to be greeted by the pack. Our hosts, Paul and Collette, instantly put any nerves at ease. They offered a presentation for us to learn about wolves generally and their family specifically. And, then they carefully guided us into the large, open kennel (which is connect to their home) and allowed us to be licked by their "kids."

 The Shadowland Foundation educates children and adults about wolves by giving everyone the chance to touch, feed and play with nine full-size wolves. The pack of nine act as ambassadors for endangered wolves nationwide. The three year olds are named: Takoda (Friend to everyone), Freedom (Kiyuska), Alaska (Big Land), Tehya (Precious), Cochise (Apache Chief), Chenoa (Dove), Keme (Secret), Kachina (Spirit) and Ogin (Wild Rose). Alex was apprehensive at first, but fully enjoyed the chance to share with his class the next week about the special chance to meet these gentle animals. Serene just thought they were big puppies ready to play with her. The wolves were equally excited to follow the littlest member of our group.

Wolves are an American icon, once roaming most of the country. After a full scale campaign launched by land and ranch interests to exterminate them, by 1973 wolves were nearly extinct -- only 10 to 50 wolves were left in the U.S. They were placed on the Endangered Species List and gained federal protections.

When we left, we all took the Wolf Warrior Pledge: "I promise to tell the truth about wolves to anyone who will listen. I will honor wolves and their contribution to our environment. I promise to protect them, our planet and all living things."

To play with wolves call 818-766-1825 or email
 (There is a suggested $25 donation per person).


Friday, September 13, 2013

Universal Studios

At Universal Studios Hollywood, Alex mingle with minions, Scooby, Curious George, Sponge Bob Square Pants, and Optimus Prime. Our annual pass has made the repeated trips to the theme park extra easy this year.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Paddling Oak Meadow Park in Los Gatos

Oak Meadow Park in Los Gatos, CA is a 12-acre gem in the heart of the city with a lake, creek, playgrounds, BBQs, small bridge and the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad and W.E. "Bill" Mason Carousel. Serene and  Alex enjoyed the pedal boats, hiking, crossing the creek, and of course the train ride and merry-go-round. The railroad brings more than 100,000 riders annually to tour the park via rail, and the carousel is 103 years-old.