The Gonzalez Family Herald

Headlines and commentary from a Northern California family of seven.

Monday, August 15, 2005

We went on an explore

So I have been thouroughly irritated about being stuck in the house. There is something about nice weather and me being a man that makes me want to, well, get out. So I decided that the family would hit the road and see what was in front of us. Actually, I talked it over with my wife and we decided that Tilden Regional Park near Berkeley would be an excellent place to go with the family.

We packed a picnic lunch, got in the van and hit the road. And I must say that my wife knows how to pick a field trip. Tilden Park is a very nice area. It is a large regional park with lots of activities for the kids, trails for everyone, a lake, a carousel, a really cool visitor center and a neat little farm for the kids.

So we got there at about lunch time, so the first thing we did was park in the nature center parking lot and ate lunch. That was an adventure because unlike what I believed was going to be great weather we actually managed to go to this place on a very cold and windy day. So our picnic took place in the van. Now I like our Mazda MPV as much as the next guy, but with seating for seven, a family of seven is a little cramped in a van like ours. But hey, we were exploring. We toughed it out and managed a complete indoor picnic in the comfort of our van.

Our next stop was to the visitor center. Man, I was impressed. This place had a lot of hands on learning for the kids (and for us too). We spent about a half hour in the visitor center enjoying the scenes and sites, then went to the little farm. That was another cool experience. Check out a few pictures...




So after the farm we went to the carousel. That was another very cool experience. The kids had a blast. The baby was comfortably sleeping on my chest throughout the entire thing and our youngest daughter loved every second of the ride.



After the carousel came the botanical garden, a beautiful collection of hundreds of native California plant species in a nice little safe area. The one bad thing about the gardens was that it was all over a hill with few ramps. This meant that our family was able to view the perimeter of the gardens and that was about it. Oh well, maybe next time.

Then came the mini steam train ride. Another very cool adventure. Pictures of the train ride did not come out so good so you're going to have to take my word for it.

Anyway, the entire event went well. We had fun, learned a lot and had a great little rest sitting in the van stuck in two and a half hours of traffic on the way home. When this application gets better I will post the pics. Until then, hasta la vista baby.

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