Friday, August 30, 2013

Still in AZ: Jumpstreet and a dance class!

Our time in AZ this break is coming to an end!  We are still having a great time, but are also just about ready to be back in our routine.  One fun thing we did last week was go to Jumpstreet, land of bouncy castles and trampolines.  Violet loved it!  We loved that it only cost $4 for her to get in, and Glenn and I "had" to accompany her on everything but didn't have to pay for admittance.  We had at least as much fun as she did!
These slides are twenty feet high, and Violet climbed to the top by herself, no problem!  She definitely needed us to go down with her, but I don't blame her.  They were pretty fast!  After my second or third ride down, I told Glenn he needed to go with her, because I was too scared to go again.

Violet liked the bouncy houses the most, but also had fun on the trampolines.  

My cousins Riki and Roni were there with their little girls, Davi and Emma.  The girls didn't play much together on the trampolines or castles, but when we hung out in the arcade, they did some racing together :).

And some dancing:

I feel like places like these are a necessity in AZ because it is too hot for six months to ever go to the park.  At home, I take Violet to the park at least a couple of times a week, so I would really have trouble keeping us entertained if we lived here in the summer!

This week, probably my favorite thing we did was take Violet to a dance class.  One of my best friends, Kali, teaches a toddler dance class and she invited Violet to come try it out.  By the way, as you can tell from the pictures, Kali is having a baby in like a week, and was still jumping around with those toddlers like a champ!

And now, for more pictures than you probably ever cared to see of Violet in dance class... (they were so cute, I couldn't leave any out!)

Violet was the youngest one there, and before the class, I was really nervous that Violet wouldn't follow directions, or just be too shy to do anything, or cry when we left her in there.  Well, I shouldn't have worried!  She did everything Kali told her to, and loved every second of it!  I think her favorite part was the "tumbling" at the end, when they somersaulted across a mat.

I'll post the last of our AZ pictures soon.  We'll be back in California on Monday!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

First week in AZ

If I don't get to posting some of the pictures from this trip now, I'll never do it!  In another week, I'll be completely overwhelmed and probably just give up completely.  On that note, get ready for A LOT of pictures.

We are having a great time!  We have been here for two weeks, and come home in one week.  Right now, I'm just going to document some of the things that happened that first week we were here.  Lots of fun!

My mom and Violet painted together.  Violet is a creative genius (at least I think so).

My parents took Violet on a date while Glenn and I went on a date.  They went out to dinner and then to Build-A-Bear where Violet picked out a white kitty that she named Belle, and whom she is now obsessed with.

We have spent some time with Violet's cousin Benson, which has been really fun for her.  One morning we went to the splash pad at the mall.  This was one of the first times they saw each other, so although they had fun, they didn't really play much together.
(That is them in there together.  Benson is in the blue.)


A couple of days later, we went to the Natural History Museum with Lauri and Benson, and Scott and Terri.  You guys, the museum was so cool!  I just didn't expect much from it, considering the Natural HIstory Museum that we go to every week in LA is so amazing. This one is much smaller, obviously, but it was beautiful in a less grandiose way, and there was so much to do!  I think when we move back here, I'll end up getting a membership!  It is especially nice to have something to do in the summer time here where there is air conditioning...
(panning for gold)

(the more VIolet and Benson have seen each other, the more they have played together)

One afternoon last week, we had a girls-afternoon-out, and Mom, Courtney, Violet and I painted pottery at As You Wish! I always think that is so fun, and we all had a good time.  Violet painted a vase that turned out great!  It this picture, our pottery hadn't been fired yet, so they look a lot better in real life now.

Last, we ate dinner at my Aunt Judy's house on Sunday.  My two cousins, Roni and Riki, have little girls exactly VIolet's age.  Davi is three days younger, and Emma is about 6 weeks younger.  Violet had the best time playing with them.  This was one of the highlights of the week for me, because I haven't seen Violet play so well (like happily and without reserve) with anyone since Hannah, Sofia and Jonathon moved away from us in LA.  I could hardly get a good picture because they were all moving so fast!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Today in Santa Barbara

We spent today in Santa Barbara with Glenn's parents!  We had a great time.  They were there for the weekend for a dentist class, and it is only an hour and a half drive there for us.  We went last year when they were there too, but this time we stayed all day and saw a lot!

First, we went to the Botanical Gardens.  They were beautiful, and the weather was perfect, and Violet loved hiking and exploring.  She was also very good at identifying and warning us about poison oak!  Here she is in the desert portion of the gardens with her grandma:
The part Glenn was excited for was the Redwood portion, and we weren't disappointed!  Those trees were big!

We had lunch at a seafood restaurant that is right on the edge of the marina, and the view was beautiful.  And our food was delicious!  I'm still thinking about the clam chowder!

In the afternoon, we got ice cream on the main street of downtown, and also shopped in a ton of stores. Violet came home with new shoes, a new shirt, new hair bows, a stuffed turtle named Myrtle, and a new book that we read several times before bed tonight!  She is a lucky girl!  Not to mention this giant ice cream cone she at all by herself...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Dancing at Americana

We had a very fun morning today!  Our friend told us about a kids' concert they have at the outdoor mall nearby, Americana, every Tuesday.  She invited us to come with them, and I'm so glad we did.  Violet LOVED it!  She danced like a maniac in front of the stage almost the whole time.  It made me so happy to see her having so much fun.  I took a couple of videos! (Also, I have been forgetting to bring our camera, so all the pictures and especially these two videos are pretty blurry.)
(In this second video, Violet is really dancing like crazy, but she is harder to see because she is right in the middle of the crowd.  She is the one is the purple dress, if you having trouble spotting her.)

Also, Violet had fun playing with Summer, and they were both pretty enamored with the fountain.  The band took a break after about 35 minutes of playing, so they had a lot of time to run around and play.
The mall was beautiful, and it was cool how there was this huge grassy area in the middle of it for the concert.  There was also a little park in that area, where we played before the concert because we were a little early.
I was pretty impressed with Violet when she climbed this rock wall, so I took a picture.
I am excited to go back to this concert another Tuesday morning!  Unfortunately, during the school year, Tuesday morning is also when we go to story time at the library, so I guess we'll just have to go the concert when we aren't feeling like story time.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Nature Lab

On Friday, Violet and I went to the Natural History Museum, which is something we do all the time and I have posted about it several times.  However, they just opened a new exhibit, and we went in for the first time on Friday.  

It is called the Nature Lab, and we loved it!  There were tons of tanks of live animals, as well as lots of preserved animals.  There were also quite a few interactive exhibits, and some cool tv screens, like one that looked like a hole in the ceiling where you could see bats nesting.  Also, you could tell that they had paid a lot of attention to the aesthetics of the space, and it paid off.  It was so beautiful;  all white and tons of windows, and even the tanks and aquariums were beautiful.
(I think this is the newt tank, or maybe the turtles)

(looking at the rattlesnakes)

(This was an interactive exhibit, where you could trace plants on a lit-up screen.  Violet is watching another girl do it in this picture, but she tried it too.)

You could also go out into this huge glass room where a skeleton of some giant marine reptile (or maybe a whale?  I couldn't tell) is hanging from the ceiling.  Violet was understandably impressed.

From there, you can walk out into the brand new garden, where there are some really cool things to see.  I just got this one picture of Violet there; she is listening to the water that is underground, moving through the roots of the plants.  

Besides watching the dinosaur show, we spent all of our time at the museum that day in this new exhibit.