Tag Archives: Adventures

Pioneer Chicken

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This was a somewhat historic day. We lunched at “Pioneer Chicken,” an establishment I thought went the way of all cholesterol-raising greasy spoons. But lo! There it was on Sunset Boulevard, in all it’s tacky 1970’s decor and glory.

Pioneer Chicken was a mecca for me and Julianna, my best friend growing up– for all intents and purposes, my sister. As little girls, we begged our moms to let us ride our bikes down to the corner of Saticoy and Louise to pool our quarters together for some french fries (probably where my obsession started!) and chicken strips. We marvel now that our moms let us go at all knowing now the fretting that motherhood brings!

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I don’t make it a point to frequent “B” grade restaurants, but this was an exception. I’ll never forget the devastation we felt the day that they closed our neighborhood franchise down. It was even worse when they eventually demolished it and turned the space into a parking lot. When I spotted this one just down the street from Maddie’s hospital I couldn’t believe it could be true! I called Julianna right away.

It was exactly as we remembered it: same twisty brown chairs, same pictures on the menu with the dude in the wagon, same BBQ sauce… We might as well have entered a time warp!

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We passed the joy of the fatteningly delightful breaded chicken and crispy golden fries on to our children. The legacy lives on… except we’d never let our kids ride their bikes here in this neighborhood!

Carpinteria Seal Rookery

There is a seal sanctuary in Carpinteria which hosts Harbor Seals each winter during their birthing season. We went with a whole slew of friends to witness a little bit of magic. They are quite a site to behold. You have to be extremely quiet since they’re very affraid of humans. In fact, one little seal pup, born that morning, was left behind by its mother when she and all of the adults fled from an ignorant human who took a walk on their beach. The docent there wasn’t sure the mother would come back. Very sad.

But the experience of seeing these animals was wonderful. We loved spending time with friends at the beach and then outdoors for lunch on such a glorious and warm day.

Thanks Julianna, Seth, Laura, and Ryan for coming up for another wildlife adventure!

Beautiful Butterflies

Just around the corner from us is the Ellwood Butterfly Preserve. We took a Friday morning to walk down with Julianna, Seth, Laura, Ryan, and some other friends. It’s quite magical there as the Monarchs soar around the eucalyptus trees. The loop back home took us along the bluffs overlooking the ocean. Winter here is too kind to us.

This dialogue made me chuckle:

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We loved spending time with you, our pseudo family! Adventures are more fun when you’re around.

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Lizard’s Mouth

A family hike (well, walk actually) on Saturday took us to the top of the mountains overlooking Goleta. Lizard’s Mouth is an amazing assortment of huge boulders and caves to climb in, under, and through. A child’s dream come true! One cave, that looks like the open mouth of a lizard (hence the name), requires repelling gear to access. We look forward to tackling that adventure, at some point. This time around, we just enjoyed climbing atop the earth’s natural jungle gym.

This is pretty much the starting location of the Goleta “Gap Fire” which burned through much of July 2008. The top and bottom right corners of the mosaic above show some of the damage done. Trees burnt but still surviving! Really, it’s quite amazing how well the foliage seems to be recovering, overall.

We had a fantastic time!

The Magic Kingdom

Toontown
Toontown

We took Warren to Disneyland for the first time yesterday. He didn’t know what hit him. From the parking lot tram ride to the drenching drop of Splash Mountain, Renny walked around in a sort of dazed euphoria. A three-year-old’s dream come true: Mickey, Goofy, and all the gang, talking, dancing, and cavorting just steps away. It was definitely a different experience taking my own child and watching through his eyes.

Which is probably why I started seeing those “kiddie rides” in a new light. Call me a stick-in-the-mud but I thought they were over-stimulating and more than a little frightening! Crazy lights, things jumping out, and noise, noise, noise. I know that Renny felt the same way because he covered his ears and eyes during most of them. Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin was the wildest one by far. A bunch of bad news weasels pouring toxic waste “DIP” around your car and Roger Rabbit running around in a frenzy?

“That one was scary, Mama.”

Autopia
Autopia

Indeed it was. But I guess that’s part of the fun, right?

However, Colin is the master of getting Warren to do things that he would normally shy away from. So, we were able to convince him to go on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Star Tours, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh before he caught on to us.

The hit of the day: Autopia. We went on at least 3 times! He loved being able to steer the car, even if Colin and I had to push down on the gas pedal for him. Not an easy task, I tell you!

Dumbo, the Teacups, the Rocketships, and the train around the park were also favorites. Believe it or not he loved Gadget’s Roller Coaster in Toontown so much that he asked to go on it again… and again… and again.

Luckily for us the park was pretty empty and it was an absolutely beautiful day– blue skies, and a very warm sun. Hooboy! Was it hot!

Teacups
Teacups

We ended the day with the “Parade of a Million Dreams,” which we watched from the sidelines of Main Street. Such a fun way to cap off the whole Disneyland experience.

He was a trooper. The whole day, from 10 to 8, walking around, sans stroller. As you’d expect he crashed in the car as soon as we got on the freeway. He’ll be talking about this day for awhile!