Thursday, September 26, 2013

More Parks

Looking at a map of our area, you'd see a few million places labeled, "park."   Then if you were to drive to said "parks," you'd find a piece of grass with a sign, stating the name of the so called "park."  

A piece of grass, with nothing in it.  I suppose that's important to have in a city, (a green area), but to me, this is not a park.  A park has to have a playground and other "stuff" in it.

Then a friend showed me where I could go online and find parks by features, such a playground and restrooms, another must.

So with a narrowed down list, our search for a park continues (even though we've found 2 great ones already).  Our search continues, just for the fun of it.

 This is a very small park, called, "Fifth Street Park." 

Of this park, Taylor said, "It's not very much fun, but I like it anyway."   So I guess this park is a no-go.

Then there was "Rosa Park."  The park, not the person.  It's located on Rosa Road.

The kids liked this one, but there wasn't much of a place for me to walk around.  That's one of my criteria that the kids don't take into consideration.  I like to do laps while the kids play, but I have to be able to keep them in sight.

 So even though it gets a thumbs up from the kids, it's another no-go.

A park near Whole Foods is another one the kids love.  It's a huge park, with a splash pad too.  

It's a little out of our way though, as we don't go this way often, 

but when we do I think we'll have to stop and play awhile.  

 It's only draw back is that it doesn't have a path around it that I can walk. 

So it's one of those parks where the kids play and I actually sit down and watch them, which is okay, occasionally.  

So our search continued to a park we passed by many times.  Finally the weather cooperated long enough to ensure...

dry dirt bumps.  

Of course the kids really loved this park, especially Logan.  

Our ability to come here depends on the weather though, so I'm afraid with Fall in the air, we won't be here very often.

Taylor rode her loop several times and then set her bike aside...

 to play at the actual park.

Meanwhile, Logan rode around...

and around...

 and around the "dirt bumps." 

Smiling the entire time.  He was in heaven.  We're having a bit of rainy weather right now, but hopefully we'll be able to make it back here before our rotation ends.  

Currently it's not raining, so I think we're going to go check out a couple more parks today.  We'll let you know if they're worth writing home about.  


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Our Day at the Beach

Our day at the beach was no picnic.  Although it was supposed to have been.  We knew there was a chance of rain, but we went for it anyway...

  and got rained on.  

Haystack Rock doesn't look that far away.  Turns out, it was a mile away. 

Look at that dark gray sky!  Welcome to Fall on the coast.

Getting closer.  We had a tailwind on the way there and didn't notice how much it was raining.

Logan was both fascinated and disgusted watching this piece of nature (a gull eating a crab).

Then we turned around and realized how far back we had to walk in the pouring rain.  We were drenched by the time we got back.

Luckily for the kids, we keep a couple of towels and a change of clothes in the car for them at all times.  

Unluckily for James and I, we don't do the same thing for ourselves.  We're going to start.  We had to drive all the way home wearing our wet clothes.  

I didn't take any pictures on the way back.  I tried to keep my phone as dry as possible.  

We did have our little picnic under the protection of our car.  

A cute little piece of nature nobody was disgusted by.  We saw this bunny before we were soaking wet, so we were happy to take a few minutes to watch him. 

The weather was cold and wet, but the company was wonderful.  And it made us appreciate the warmth and dryness we usually enjoy. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Jenkins Estate & Fanno Farmhouse

Ralph Jenkins and his wife, Belle Ainsworth Jenkins, had quite an estate built back in the early 1900's.  

The main house is a 7-bedroom structure modeled after old hunting lodges of England.  

It features a wrap around veranda porch.  (I'm so jealous).  It also boasts a huge stone fireplace.  We didn't really get to go into any of the buildings.   We have to make an appointment for that, which I keep meaning to do, along with a gazillion other things.  

Some of the other buildings on the estate include the "Carriage House,"  which now house John Deere tractors,

  the half buried Root Cellar, 

and a beautiful, old Gate House.  (Again, so jealous.  I'd love a home with such personality).  

This "Tea House" was said to be a favorite spot of Mrs. Jenkins to come and enjoy the outdoors.  I must say it did seem very serene.  (Of course, Mrs. Jenkins didn't have any children).

The Stables.  It's as big as the main house.  The stables also housed the staff who worked with the horses.  This was back in the days of horses and carriages, though cars were becoming more prominent. 

Inside the stables.  We just took a quick picture and ran back out.  Turns out we weren't really supposed to be in there, (shhh, don't tell anyone), I didn't stick around to make sure I got a clear picture.  

The Jenkins Estate is known for it's plants and trees and has it's own herb garden.

 The herbs are planted in groups and labeled "culinary," "medicinal," "industrial," and "aromatic."  We've never seen such a garden before. 

 I don't know the real name of these flowers, but I call them, "Grandma Flowers," because my grandma had them at her house.

 Logan found some Crocuses growing in a shady part of the grounds. 

And Taylor found a tree with a unique bark pattern.  During the original landscaping, many trees and plants were imported from all over the world.  Maybe this is one of those.  

The kids found a large cedar tree, 

while walking on one of the many graveled paths that wind around the grounds.

 They also found a pond near the Tea House, with real fish in it.

 They spent several minutes running from one side of the bridge to the other, following their fish.  

While the kids were chasing fish, I found the "Primrose Path," but we didn't take it.  

Instead, we headed to a playground in another part of the estate.  

 We all loved this park.  It's so much fun and has so much to do.

It's a little isolated, so it's not too busy. 

It also has a path surrounding it, so I can walk while the kids play.  Win, win.  

After having so much fun at Jenkins' Estate we thought we'd find another historical building in the area.  

Augustus Fanno was one of the original settlers of the area.  His land claim was for over 600 acres.  

It's another one of those beautiful old homes with such personality.  I'd love a house like this someday.  Oh, have I said that already.  Sorry, I didn't mean to repeat myself.  

Unfortunately I do have to repeat the part where we weren't able to go inside the house.  It's now a preschool.  (It makes me cringe to think of little preschoolers running around this house when I would take such good care of it).  

 I don't think I'd like my neighbors though.  

The Fanno Farmhouse is surrounded by city.  With no land, no park, no trails, no indoor tour, this place was disappointing.  (Still love the house though)!