Illuminating Stella

September 2013 archive

Atlantis Play Center

Stella and I met up with my friend Sharla and Stella’s friends, Keegan and Grady at the Atlantis Play Center on Sunday. The park is in Garden Grove and it took me about twenty minutes to get there from Long Beach. We had a beautiful, warm day and Stella had a blast exploring the park with the boys. It’s a pretty large park with an Atlantis/Ocean theme. It kind of reminded me a little portion of a big city park, like Golden Gate Park with wooded paths, winding trails, little bridges, sculptures, murals and nooks all over the place. Each pathway leads to yet another new play area with different sea life sculptures and play structures for the kids. Some were more toddler friendly and some for older kids. I think next time I go I will just bring my keys in pocket, my camera and lunch in a disposable bag and be free to just chase Stella without the stroller in tow.

We picnicked in one of the pavilions, I also saw some people picnicking in various grassy areas too. It was not crowded at all. There are many trees and lots of shade which made me happy. Admission is $2 for ages 3 and up, so our two littles were free.  One nice detail, children are not admitted without an adult and adults are not admitted without a child. There is a splash pad area that is fully operational in the summer, though the three of them still had fun playing in the area without the water. We didn’t even get to do the whole park it was that large. We will definitely be going back. Sharla and I have been friends since seventh grade, it makes me so happy to see our kids playing joyfully together. Keegan said that I can babysit him anytime, I know that’s a high compliment from a four year old. Life is sweet.

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The 40 Year Old Virgo

Our friend Mike, or as Stella calls him “Good Guy” turned 40 last weekend. He wanted to celebrate with a low-key, poolside BBQ by the shore in San Diego. His family spent the weekend at this little gem of a hotel at the edge of the Marina in Oceanside. We were able to go down Saturday morning and stay the night. The weather was perfect and the views from the hotel were amazing on all sides, either boats coming in and out of the Marina, the Beach or full-on Ocean. Mike grilled street tacos on the grill right next to the pool.  On Sunday we had breakfast at a table overlooking the water while the kids loved running around on the greenbelt. The rest of the group headed to tour a local brewery, but we decided there was no way Stella going to be mellow enough to do that. So we just took our time driving back up the coast and stopped for lunch and took a walk to the beach in San Clemente. It was a great little getaway!

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Fall Bucket List

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Today is the last day of Summer and tomorrow is the official start of Fall. Thank goodness the temps have dipped a bit. Now my sister can finally switch from an Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte to a proper hot one! Okay here goes our Fall Bucket List:

*Tanaka Farms Pumpkin Patch

*Apple Picking

*Photo Shoot of Stella in Halloween Costume

*Pumpkin Carving

*Make a S’mores Trifle for some event, possibly Thanksgiving

*Make some Halloween Decorations

*Belmont Shore Art and Chalk Walk

*Boo at the Santa Ana Zoo

*Annual Halloween Party at Grady and Keegan’s

*Oktoberfest at Alpine Village , probably during the day when it’s kid friendly :)

*Take a drive to the Mountains or up the Coast

*Watch It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown with Stella and my cute nieces!

Halloween and Thanksgiving last year. Time sure flies.

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