Sunday, April 29, 2012

Train-tastic

We decided to take advantage of the great weather today and go somewhere we have been talking about for some time now. Griffith Park. It has so much to offer (including the LA zoo) but we wanted to explore some of the smaller highlights of the park. First stop was train town. It is a train museum and has a small train you can ride around the park. Of course, we hit the train ride first. GG decided to ride standing up. Dad let her of course, but safety officer mom probably would have made her sit down and hold on. 
Lily is an old pro at train rides. She rode a real train to London's Paddington station after all!
This gives you a perspective on the size of the train we were on. I think it is the same one they have at the Santa Barbara zoo. Something tells me we have many years and blog posts with little train rides ahead.
From there we wandered the train museum. It is not so much a traditional museum as it is a graveyard for HUGE engines and cars.
The best part is you can climb on some of them.
You can be the conductor, or you can try to climb out the tiny window. If you zoom in on this picture you will see a look of sheer joy and thrill on Gemma's face.
As if one train ride wasn't enough in one day, we made our way to the next adventure. The tiny train ride. This is another area of the park and obviously some serious train lovers work endless hours to keep this exhibit alive.
It is like a toy train, only slightly bigger. And grown men sit on them. You too can sit on one.
Gemma could not ride because she was too small. Yes, tiny trains only want bigger kids to ride. I am pretty sure Gemma didn't mind.
Lily and Pops enjoyed it though. By this time we were famished. We ventured to yet another part of the park near the Griffith Observatory to a yummy cafe called trails.
The idea is you can re fuel after hiking all the trails but we just did the re fuel part. We are definitely coming back to do the hiking part. Lily was so upset we weren't going hiking she kept demanding to get out of the car. We appeased her by our next stop. The carousel. Lily is an old hand at this one, but it was Gemma's first ride.
Let's just say she wasn't an immediate fan. I think it was a combo of the really loud carnival music blaring, and the lack of a nap. She did warm up eventually, but I don't think she would beg to go again soon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My garden oh my!

Way back in February we planted our garden. We started everything from seed which I had never done before, so it was sort of an experiment. This is how it looked in the beginning. We took a few of the seedlings we started in milk jugs and the rest we just planted as seeds in the garden.

Now we have this!!! 

 And this!!!
We are currently growing zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, okra, heirloom tomatoes, beans (bush and pole), okra, peppers, carrots, beets, cucumber, lettuce, and corn.  The beets are doing amazingly well, as are the zucchini, and broccoli. We lost a bunch of plants to snails (the beasts). We had to spread snail pellets but they still manage to get in and hide out in the beets. Poor peppers took a beating this week. Every morning after breakfast we do a garden check and chuck the snails into the ravine. Too bad they have 150 close cousins in the yard already. Ugh!

Here is our zucchini plant which just bloomed. We have five little zucchini growing already! Alex is going to have to build the trellis soon to give this guy a place to spread.
Here is our first broccoli head.

It is already twice that size from just a few days ago. Such a ginormous plant for one head of broccoli.

We also bought some citrus and avocado trees a couple weeks ago and planted those. Everybody helped out and it was a giant mess!!! We planted the dwarf citrus trees in my wine barrels.
The mexican lime tree is pretty puny but has lots of tiny lime buds. It also serves to camouflage our compost bin. 
We have a dwarf clementine tree as well. It is very hardy looking but has no visible fruit yet. 
Our avocado tree is going to be planted in ground but isn't ready to be planted yet. I guess she has "sensitive roots" and needs some time to adjust. Must be a girl with sensitive roots if you asked me. I told Lily we are planting a guacamole garden.

We (meaning I) planted some tomato starts inside to do a bit of an experiment and see if they do better than the ones planted in the garden. I can tell you so far they are winning by leaps and bounds. No snails and nice and toasty warm inside. I am going to plant them in some containers when they get a bit bigger. I am sure we will have no problem finding ways to use them up (or give them away).



Saturday, April 14, 2012

Easter Bun Bun

We have bunnies (jack rabbits) in our neighborhood and every time we see one Gemma shouts Bun Bun! So now the easter bunny has a lot of helpers to do his deliveries. We started Easter weekend with some egg dying. I think we are looking forward to when it is more them decorating while we watch leisurely with a cup of coffee. 
 This is the Lily and Gemma egg. Pretty cool, when I was a kid it was egg color and that was it.
 Gemma spent the morning on the phone. She is practicing for her teen years.
 Alex is such a good sport about it. He is more creative than I am as well.
 Don't worry there was plenty of coloring. I messed it up a bit by getting brown eggs. The color didn't take too well.
 Gemma tried to get it on the action but if you can't drink the colored water what is the point?
 Lily wanted to keep her eggs in the pretty cups. Last year she carried them around for a week. We are making progress. She even let us make them into deviled eggs and eat them all!
 Easter morning we woke early in anticipation of the bun bun's arrival. Gemma found Winsty's basket first. She was pretty excited about tennis balls and bacon treats.
 The girls real baskets were found, and better than the dogs. Plenty of bubbles, toys, and even a pez!
We even managed to make it to church without all the loot in tow. I am not saying Gemma made it through the church service but she did look cute while she ran around the church grounds.
 After church we came home for brunch with Uncle E, Auntie Rach, GopGop and then an egg hunt!!! It never gets old. Lily could do this all day, every day, over and over!
 By afternoon it was warm and time to cool off. The girls got matching suits in their easter baskets. I mean why have two girls if your not going to dress them the same once in a while?
Ah, the splash table makes a pretty good pool too.