FInd Quinn

I\’ve been working with Sonic a little bit to teach him to Find Quinn.  I started by putting the blanket over Quinn and now we have moved to Quinn hiding and Sonic using his sniffer to find him.

We\’ve had a couple of successes and it\’s really interesting to see Sonic really sniff him out with his nose to the ground.  We had another success this morning although I\’m not sure Sonic used his sniffer that much.  See it on YouTube here.

8 Mile Hike

My hiking leader also teaches a hiking class at a local college and Sunday was their final exam.  The kids had to hike 8 miles from Newbury Park to the beach.  Lucky for me, she invited her other hiking class to join her and 3 of us took her up on her offer.  

A couple of us met her at the ending point on the Pacific Coast Highway at 7:15 am.  It looked a little like this.

Then we drove to the starting point to meet up with the rest of the group.  There were about 14 of us in all.   The start of the hike is wide and paved and the hike is almost all flat or downhill.

I guess I didn\’t take any pictures in the middle of the hike but we reached the beach.  

I found a hiking partner and we held down the back of the pack.  We chatted the whole way and counted down the miles with an iphone app.  Our legs were aching by the end but it wasn\’t too bad.  I would do it again.  

Talking to the college students who hike on Mondays before us, it was good to hear them complaining about how hard the hikes are and how Sharlene really pushes the pace.  It made us ol\’ ladies feel a little better.

And the proof.

This and That

On Saturday Quinn had a birthday party in Ventura at a bouncy house.  It\’s great that he is old enough to drop off so I can do this instead.
Sometimes it takes alot of effort to get Quinn to join us in the pool or hot tub.  But recently he has decided swimming is fun!  Sunday while we were grilling dinner he decided to have his own pool party!

It wasn\’t freezing but I wasn\’t about to jump in.  66 degrees outside.

My Monday hike.  Sometimes it\’s bad knowing the hikes because you know what\’s ahead of you, like this very steep hill.  Our hiking leader calls this hike the \”roller coaster\” and for a good reason.

That\’s Sharlene our leader.  She\’s a 54 year old grandmother.  She\’s also an assistant coach for the Thousand Oaks High School Cross Country Team and teaches at Cal Lutheran University (CLU).  This was her second hike of the morning.   She had already done a trail run on this trail with her CLU students.  By 11 am she had run/hiked 9 miles and would probably run another 6 – 10 miles with her high school kids after school.  She is one tough grandma but is always so positive, supportive and encouraging.  Still loving my Monday morning hikes!

That hill doesn\’t look so daunting in pictures.  Today I decided to check my Health app on the iphone because the iphone has an altimeter.    We climbed up the equivalent of 50 floors.  Elevation is my nemesis!

When Quinn gets home from school he loves to be with his buddy.

Little League at Dodgers Game

Sunday was Little League Day at Dodger\’s Stadium and there were teams from all over the LA area.  Thousand Oaks Little League (TOLL) had a big group of kids participate but our team only had two kids but it was still a great time.  

We had to arrive a couple of hours before the game started.  There were lots and lots of people there.

We finally got on the field around noon.  TOLL Rocks!

Selfie fail!

And then we got a little help.

Quinn didn\’t think he wanted to walk around the field but once he was out there it was alot of fun.  We walked all the way around the warning track.  They kept up moving!

Our seats were pretty good and we had a great view of the field.  A nice perspective to explain the game to Quinn.

We were rooting for the Dodgers (vs. the Colorado Rockies) and Quinn really enjoyed the clapping and cheering.   If you asked him his favorite part of the game he would probably say the ice cream 🙂

We stayed through about 3 innings before we headed home.  We had already been there about 4 hours.   But a fun day!

Our Week So Far

Quinn just doesn\’t understand why Sonic has to ride in the back of the car all by himself.  Why can\’t we put Quinn\’s carseat back there?  And get a doggy car seat for Sonic so he will be safe.  These two.
Quinn and I were away when our last set of Painted Lady caterpillars turned in to butterflies and were released.  So I got another set so we can watch them go through the whole process.  

Yesterday I volunteered at the school book fair and since it was right at lunch time I popped in to say hi to Quinn.  Here he is with his pals Nate and Cade.  There were a handful of girls at the table too.

Thursday afternoons are generally baseball games or practice.  Coach recruits all the parents to help and I usually run one of the pitching machines.  Here\’s Coach Dan helping Quinn with his swing before I started pitching.

After practice a bunch of the boys went down to the creek behind the park and made makeshift fishing poles to catch some crawdaddies/crayfish.  I think one of the parents came equipped with the supplies…stick, string, and safety pin.  The kids stuck a glob of chewing gum to the safety pin which the crayfish would bite.

Hard to believe that there are crayfish in this creek but here is the proof.  Catch and release.  No Jambalaya for us.

Ojai Raptor Center

Barbara was kind enough to come out and hold down the fort while I was on the East Coast.  She make sure Don and Sonic were well taken care of and fed.  Quinn and I got home on Friday and had a couple of days to spend with Mae.

On Sunday we we drove up to Ojai and visited a Raptor Center that takes in and rehabilitates injured birds.  They take in about 500 birds a year and release as many as they can.

Ojai is about 45 minutes from us and is really beautiful.  It\’s known for it\’s crunchy attitude and spa retreats.

We learned about this huge beautiful hawk Rosie who had fallen from her nest and broken a wing which never healed properly.  Usually broken wings heal very quickly because of the birds hollow bones and the birds can be released back in to the wild.

Checking out some dead birds on a stick.

Quinn\’s wing span.

We watched a good bit of a talk about raptors, which went a little too slowly, but full  of great information.  Quinn sat through probably a good 45 minutes of it.  He really enjoyed it.

In the background you can see the Great Horned Owl Forrest who they thought was a boy but is actually a girl.

Checking out the various feathers and wings in their huge aviation area.

Make like a bird.  You can see just a portion of the open aviation area.

It was a day well spent.

And a lovely Mimosa blossom.

The Green is Gone

I posted this photo in January from a hike in Wildwood Park.  So green!

And this was from my Monday hike this week.  It\’s only April and the green is just about gone.  That\’s the same trail leading up to Lizard Rock.   Wow, what a difference.

Family Time in Maryland

Quinn and I took the train from NJ to MD on Sunday and went right to Pam & Jeff\’s for Easter Dinner.  It was great to see the whole family including Alex and his gal pal Bianca.   
Monday was a beautiful day so we spent some time at a local playground.  
Tuesday we celebrated Alex\’s 25th Birthday!  It was great to be able to see Alex 2 times in one visit.  

I kinda love this picture of Ben and Alex.

Grams and 3 of her 4 grandsons.

It was great to have another girls dinner out with Stacey in Frederick.  We always pick up like old friends with lots to talk about.

Out for an after dinner walk after spending most of the day inside.  Showing off my new fashionable glasses.  BTW, Quinn requested that the picture only include half of his face.

And saying goodbye to Aunt Pammie.  We were lucky that Pam had a couple of days off while we were there so we got to spend lots of time with her.  

Home sweet home now but loved our chill stay in Maryland with Mom and the family.