We had a great morning out at the Farmers Market. We wandered and looked alt he artwork, had some yummy donuts and hot cocoa. It was really foggy so we never got to see the Hollywood sign. Up next was the La Brea Tar Pits. We enjoyed a trek through the county park learning bout the tar pits and how they are still active today. You can see spots in the grass and parking areas where there are little tar fissures and the tar just bubbles up! We watched some volunteers working on sorting bone fragments. I was obsessed with the 400+ dire wolf skulls! We visited the Santa Monica Pier in the dense fog. We saw some unique people performing on the pier. We averted our eyes and just kept walking. We did get to ride the carousel. We headed up the coast towards Malibu and had great seafood at the Reel Inn. Finally our last voyage was through the hills with mom behind the wheel. We were twisting and turning and roller coasteering through the hills back to the campground. What a wild ride. At one point Mom even got passed by a guy on a BICYCLE! I think he had a death wish! She passed him at the bottom of the hill. Mom said that was fun but she didn’t need to do it again. Early bed tonight since tomorrow we have to be on the bus at 4am from the Rose Parade!
More Rose Parade HOP Activities
We had tickets to the Equest Festival. It was a lot of fun to see all the horses and teams performing. The group had awesome seats right in the corner of the show stadium. We loved the Wells Fargo and Budweiser teams. There were many trick ropers, cowboys and girls, ponies and so much more! The next morning was Band Fest! We received these neat little Remo drums to play along with the bands. It was really cool to see how the bands arranged and performed. We all really liked when they were fun and funky! After Band Fest we raced back to the bus and headed to the Ronald Reagan Library. This was quite a treat. We saw part of the Berlin Wall. The views were amazing! We saw the resting place of Ronald and Nancy.
We even got to see some really cool items from his presidency. This was the suit that he was wearing the day he was shot, and lived. A copy of the Oval office from his presidency. One of the outfits Nancy wore to make a point at a gala. They actually had Air Force One IN the building! We had a VIP tour so we got to skip the lines and get right into the plane. We saw a golden eagle outside before we left. It was a long day but we all had a lot of fun!
Rose Parade Float Decorating at AES
We are safely out near Pasadena, California. We are part of the Escapees HOP (Head Out Program) for the Rose Bowl parade. We have a week of fun and activities planned with the group. Today was the first big event and we were up early on the bug and headed to AES in Pasadena to help decorate some floats. We had no idea what was in store for us. We got the introduction and then were taken in groups to our assigned stations.
We would be working on the AgPHD float for the morning.
Everyone rolled up their sleeves and got ready for some STICKEE fun. We would be working with silver leaf. It is a leaf that had a silver appearance not he floats. We had to trim the leaves to take out the bulky stem and then put a first layer of a glue called STICKEE! It was very sticky! Bucket and buckets of these leaves created us at our station!
We got to work and had a nice system going with our little family. We got pulled off the line and were put to work at the next station, glueing the silver leaf on the actual float! We were excited. The task was cumbersome. Breighton got fired fairly quickly but it wasn’t his fault. He went back with Grandma and Grandpa and cut and glued more leaf. Mom, Dad and Emmerson stuck it out and stuck stuff on the float. We had to put it on a specific way. It was very well orchestrated. Except the part we had to start with required that we were tiny, limber and didn’t mind being STICKEE! Thankfully Emmerson was small enough to get the hard to reach places. Soon we got the pace and skills down. We were asked to train the next group! Oh wow, promoted already!We got to take a break and then go tour the workshop. We got to see some other projects that they were working on at AES. We also got to see the floats for the parade. They had several they were working on. I wish we had the putting the seeds on task but the leaf was a great memory. The silver leaf process finally kicked into high gear and it started flying up the silo. E made a buddy, Mr. Joe! Mr Joe and E had a system for decorating and became friends quickly! Back on the bus and everyone was exhausted! One out of place photo from Grandma! Someone actually got a photo of Mom working in the small spaces. Back at the campground for the afternoon. Some down time whittling with our new pocket knives while mom does….Â LAUNDRY!
Wrapping up at Joshua Tree
We worked hard on our books and earned our Jr. Ranger Badges at Joshua Tree National Park. We spent the morning with Grandma and Grandpa driving the Geology Trail in the Jeep. It was a great 4×4 road with no-one else on it. You could hear the wind. It was amazing! Grandpa was a great driver. I am sure he was nervous as the road was kicking us all over but he did well. Our reward for behaving int he car was more epic rock scrambling. Mom couldn’t get us out! How high can we go!
The scenery was breathtaking. I want to come back here again in the winter. I dont think I would enjoy it much in the heat of the summer. Looking for life in the bushes. Mom never figured out was I was looking at or thinking about. She said I looked peaceful! We saw a big horn sheep walk past our path at Barker’s Dam.I found the “idol” in the caves and narrowly escaped a giant rolling boulder. I made some Indiana Jones themed videos. Mom found a few canter berry bells tucked in the rocks. We had a great day out with Grandma and Grandpa in the park. We packed up and found we never did our Christmas crackers. We opened them and giggled with the crowns and silly toys inside. Tomorrow onward to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl HOP!
Joshua Tree National Park and Christmas
We checked into the campground in the middle of 29 Palms, CA. It was kind of run down but we did the best with what we had. I wanted to go swimming badly. The pool was huge, stunk of chlorine but was empty. I swam for a hour and then realized we didn’t bring towels. I toughed it out back to the motorhome. It was about 45F out. In the morning we explored Joshua Tree with Dad for a while. We loved climbing and rock scrambling. There were rocks everywhere! The called this Skull Rock. It looked like a giant ape skull! It took a while to climb up. You can see Es head to the right on my feet in the photo! He was almost up! Sometimes we would get stuck! Now how do I get off this silly rock!E opted to grab Dad’s hand and JUMP! Mom wasn’t silly enough to climb places she couldn’t get out of. Me on the other hand. I was all over! The trees were amazing. I see why there is a national park here. Santa found us on Christmas. The elves toilet papered the tree and caused some mischief. We had a fun Christmas morning. We each got some arts and crafts, legos and Nerf guns. We spent most of the day outside t the campground shooting Nerf darts at each other at point blank range! Obviously I loved the lego set E got me!