Sunday, April 30, 2017

This is how you celebrate Birthdays!

On Sunday Julian and Audrey were up early and excited to help celebrate Auntie Mary's birthday. Audrey quickly got to work in the kitchen helping make fruit salad for birthday brunch.

Kitchen Helper
After preparing for birthday brunch friends Katie, Maria, Chelsea, and little Leah arrived to help us party!

The kiddos creating masterpieces for the refrigerator
 After a lovely brunch we moseyed down to the Farmer's Market where many goodies were procured.
Chelsea, Leah, Katie, Audrey, and Mary post-Market
Then we walked up to Memorial Park (picking up donuts along the way) where the kiddies showed off their swinging skills and demonstrated great slide technique.

Ellen, Chris, Katie, Maria, Chelsea, and Dan enjoying some Grizzly donuts

Leah exhibiting great slide form
 After saying farewell to the girls. We hung out at the house, ate some snackies, then had a fantastic birthday dinner of Dan's famous vegetarian Bahn Mihs topped off by chocolate hazelnut cake.
Audrey, Julian, and Mary showing off their birthday chocolates
Audrey and Julian were kind enough to help Dan put the candles in the cake and even offered to help me blow out the birthday candles; lucky me! :)

Audrey, Mary, and Julian blow out the birthday candles!
 After dinner and dessert we skipped up to Pomona College where we arrived just in time to enjoy James Turrell's Skyspace: "Dividing the Light". The box in the middle is the night sky - look how it changes depending on the light displayed on the surrounding ceiling. Aunt Mary and Aunt Patty know how cool this Zen-like space is. All you others who have yet to visit Claremont: look what you have in store for you:

Admittedly, Julian and Audrey were more interested in the merry go round in the science area
We have been so lucky to have so many wonderful visitors lately! Gee, who would have thought Claremont would be so much more popular than SouthWest Missouri?!?! Up next, Uncle Peter will be in Claremont from San Francisco for a quick work trip.

McGRundallnesses Invade Claremont!

Last weekend was a blast as we had the McGRundallnesses visiting with us in Claremont on Saturday and Sunday. After camping in Zion for two nights they drove through Nevada to SoCal and after a snack and kiddie yoga we headed out for a campus tour!
Audrey's Triangle Pose

Audrey and Julian doing the Tree Pose
 To kick off the tour we explored the Pomona farm, said hello to the chickens, investigated the smurf house, and admired the various herbs, fruits, and veggies growing in the garden.

Audrey exiting the Smurf House
 After the farm we strolled through Pomona's campus and Audrey and Julian took their rightful spots in the theater's throne chairs after they had some silly antics on the outdoor theater stage.

Audrey in her Queen Chair

Julian lounging in his King Chair
 We took them to the floating living room at CMC surrounded by a moat. Everyone (except Dan) went inside to explore this unusual floating room:
CMC's floating living room as seen from Above
While we were enjoying Scripps' campus Audrey made friends with a lizard.

Audrey pet this Lizard!
Audrey and Julian were able to spot the gargoyles guarding Scripps' Denison Library. Audrey posed in front of the beautiful Denison Library doors:

Audrey is ready to enroll!
The next day all involved helped my birthday celebration be extra special!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Hiking Potato Mountain

This weekend we had more visitors. Dan's brother David was in town for business in LA then he drove out to Claremont and spent Friday night and Saturday with us. On Saturday we did a hike up in the Angeles National Forest to the top of Potato Mountain. At the top we found a cool potato family.

Potato Family

On Sunday my college buddy and her husband drove to visit us for brunch and a tour of town and the campuses. They were visiting the area from DC to visit family for passover. Sadly I didn't get any photos of them. We look forward to showing Claremont to the McGRundallnesses later this month!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Durango Dan and his crew visit SoCal!

This past week Dan, Erin, Ethan,Elliot and Erin's mom Sue and Stepdad Slim were in Anaheim for a little spring break resting and relaxing. On their way from Phoenix to Anaheim last week Dan, Erin, Ethan, and Elliot stopped in Claremont for some time at the park playing frisbee, campus tours, and dinner. We had a great visit!

Elliot exploring the Claremont Playground
The next day Dan and I drove down to Anaheim to have dinner at their place and visit for the evening. On Friday, Cesar Chavez Day, Dan and I had the day off so we met up with the gang in Newport Beach for a whale-watching boat cruise. It was a very windy day so the water was pretty choppy, but luckily nobody in our crew got seasick.

Fellow passenger's hair was completely windblown!
We saw two separate pods of gray whales. One pod had three adult gray whales and the other pod had two adults and a calf. They were popping up out of the water frequently and the one group even displayed a bit of courtship behavior which was fun. It was hard to get photos of them but you can see them below shooting water out of their blowholes:

Gray Whales
On the way back to the boat dock through the harbor our boat was tailed by a playful sealion who was swimming along right off the back in our wake:

Playful Sealion
After our fun boat cruise we had a picnic at the park along the beach before heading down for some fun in the sand.

Elliot and Ethan enjoying a picnic lunch

Ethan playing in the surf

Dan, Erin, Mary, Sue, and Slim lounging on the beach

Elliot was very busy building sand castles in the sand
We had a wonderful visit with everyone and look forward to seeing them again soon in July in Michigan!

Back in Claremont Annie has been enjoying the California wildflowers popping up all over the place.

Annie poses next to the California poppies