Monday, November 17, 2008

Family adventures

Most of our adventuring is done by the kids and me as Martin is busy with his classes and studying. But we have done a number of things as a family. One of those things was going for a ride on the Tilden Park Carousel on its last day of operation for the summer months. It is beautifully restored and housed in a special round building. We went again for the Scary-go-round at Hallowe'en with our neighbours Marianne and Katie. We went when it was still light out and there were many costumed little people running around. I had planned to have a night off of cooking by getting burgers (I had heard they were really good) from the kiosk attached to the Carousel but burgers were not being offered on that day. Luckily Katie and Marianne invited us to their place for dinner instead! I think we might have a rather regular swapping of dinners with them as we did Saturday eve at our place and sunday eve at theirs again this weekend. It is such a relief to have dinner at someone else's home and lovely to have guests over too.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

photos of things 1

Here are some of my photos from our life here

Mushrooms galore at Monterey Market

T-rex skeleton in the lobby of the Paleontolgy department at UCal

log steps at the discovery museum
Living Hut at the Discovery Museum - made of dead and living willow branches.
Miriam enjoying some apple-juice when we were out for fish and chips with Helen and Frank in San Francisco (or Transfersisco as Ami was calling it for awhile)
Ami's Hallowe'en costume which I made instead of doing a grant application! Mimi gives it a go!

Friday, November 7, 2008

pressure to blog has worked!

Fran and Helen at the Lawrence Hall of Science (or "Lauro hollow science" as Ami likes to call it)
Abundant heritage tomatoes at Monterey Market

Golden Gate Bridge from Sausalito

Gran, Phoebe, Ami and Mimi (and Bodhi too) outside our door on the courtyard

The MacPappas visit - Berkeley Pier

it has come to my attention that there are folks out there eager to hear more about the adventures of the MacElferts in Berkeley. My humblest apologies for disappointing you!!! i would feel even more inspired to write if YOUR blogs were updated too!!!! why not start your own?

October has come and gone since I last wrote and we have been up to all sorts of things. Hard to summarize really. Let's see.
October was a month of visitors with only one party actually logging their visit in our guest book. (I must do better remembering!)
First we had Caitlin and Panos who were with us over Canadian Thanksgiving
Second we had Helen and Frank Elfert
and Third we had Sue MacRae!

It was a busy month but the kids and I were able to see things in our new town that we hadn't ventured forth to see before. Perhaps I could write on those things in a later epistle but first I think i must tell you about one of the places we have been that is amazing. Early in the month, (and before we had visitors) we visited the Discovery Museum in Sausalito which was really fantastic. The first wednesday of the month is free and so now we have been twice! The image of the golden gate bridge posted above is from the vantage point of the museum. It is rather a difficult "museum" to define. It is an outdoor/indoor adventure "park" for the 0-7 set which is all about experiential learning. We spent a long time fishing for plastic fish, loading plastic crabs onto a crab net which you could then crank up to a dock where you stand, playing with a massive train set complete with ferry-boats (the best part for Ami). Then there were outdoor things with a real fishing boat for play and (human made) tidepools and a cave and a crow's nest climbing structure and a sandbox with hidden treasure in an old wrecked boat. Then there was the tot-spot where indoors there were these wonderful creations that were akin to water beds. They were blue and had big leather lily-pads on them. The kids can pretend they are walking on water and fall and wrestle and fool around without getting wet, knowing how to swim or hurting anyone!
All around the indoor part of the tot-spot they have buttons on the wall which you can press to make the sounds of what ever creature is depicted on the button. Things like frogs, ducks, crickets, owls...
The other side of the indoor tot-spot has a sort of underground theme where you can climb through an ant tunnel - Ami particularly likes this for some reason, the challenge is appealing i guess. I think he will miss the tot-spot when he gets too big for it. Oh yes, in the indoor part there are all sorts of cute costumes of bugs and small creatures that the kids can just put on and play in. There are also lots of puppets of animals, bugs etc.
Here is a picture of my favourite part of the Discovery Museum this last time. HUMMINGBIRDS!! whizzzing and buzzing over all this wonderful hummingbird and butterfly- friendly vegetation.. so cool. They would sit for long periods in one spot and show off their luminescent colours. It meant that i could get this great shot! I just wish Mum/Gran/Gan stayed for an extra day just to come to the DM to see the hummingbirds!!

Let me know what you would like to know more about!!!!