The views from up high!

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Finally, I had a free weekend to relax with friends and the family as I have finished my essay writing at the moment, so it’s time to catch up on my To Do list! The weekend was absolutely stunning with its sunshine and warmth – not enough to take off your cardigan yet, though! I spent time hanging out down at the park knitting with my friend and the kids created a tree sculpture in the sandpit dedicated to the environment entitled ‘Protect the Trees’. They kept on finding pieces of foliage and rocks and twigs around the park to add to their group installation.

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Sunday being our family day we went out for a hike up to Sierra Azul Preserve in Los Gatos. Another hike we haven’t visited in our 10 years of living here. Little did we know what to expect once we started hiking…

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Look for the hangar in the centre of the pic, and we find our house

 

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A perfect place for a picnic or to camp – though you would have to haul it up here!
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A dragon cloud
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Walking in the woods

 

 

We ended up hiking 4.5 miles up the hill as you can see from the pictures we were looking over the whole valley from where we were from Palo Alto to San Jose. The urban sprawl at its finest on this beautiful and bright day. It was a great hike for exercise walking for miles uphill though the kids constantly wanted to stop!

 

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“No!! We can’t walk another step!!”
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“This is boring, my legs are tired,” say the kids!

 

It was too hard for them to walk up and up and up. In the end, we decided to walk to the oak tree on the trail which was 2.25 miles, and from there the kids were a bit annoyed as it really was not that exciting for them to see the oak tree.

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The good thing was that once the hike was done and we saw the tree we went back downhill – it is hard on your legs and knees. I would totally recommend this hike for a family who wants a bit more of a workout on a hike as it is all uphill to the top the views are perfect on a bright day, and it is so good to see the valley from up high!!

Oh, and the bonus was that I watched two really wonderful films – Hello my name is Doris and Girl Asleep. Both quirky and a lot of fun. A favourite character was Doris as she was an older lady with such a crazy fashion sense who is cracking onto her co-worker. This leads to some funny scenes and the best being when she joined him for a gig out to see an electro-pop band, that outfit is the best!

Girl Asleep is an Australian film set in the 1970s so I loved the film from the beginning seeing the clothes and the 1970s cars in Australia. My favourite sequence of the film is when Greta had her 15th birthday party and everyone who came danced their way into the room and then it was all on – a scene of dancers at the party, I gave this film 5 stars just for this scene of 1970s dancing!

It’s a sun sunny day!

 

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Enjoying the rays with the family

 

As the rain has been keeping us inside most of the time for the last couple of weeks! Sunday was literally a sunny day so we took full advantage of the morning and went for a wander to explore more of the bay. Over the week a friend of mine told me about a park with amazing views of San Francisco, Oakland and the bay where she volunteers to feed a feral cat colony! I was so excited so we went on a mission to look for it via Seal Point Park and it is right next door to Ryder Park – named after my nephew! It is a dog park with a hill with sweeping views of the Bay all around. Plus the added bonus is that the trail is perfect for riding so one day we will have to catch the Caltrain over there as it is 12 minutes away from the stop – it is a 21-mile bike ride via the Bay trail from Shoreline Park, whew I get sore legs thinking about it!

The pics above are from the top of the hill and looking down onto the sights, like San Francisco on the left behind all the fog. On the right is a pic of some of the sculptures along the trail.

Now, this is what we need more of here where I live super cool looking interactive sculptures. The two discs act like an echo chamber and it’s so good to go in there and sing! This lotus looking sculpture looks like it would spin if it is windy!

 

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A giant pokemon in real life in front of the binoculars
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Attack of the wild fennel
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The San Mateo Bridge and a fishing bridge (the old bridge!)

 

We decided to go and find Project Baycat to see if we could see any cats but unfortunately, they had partied Saturday night and there were no cats to be found. I will just have to go with my friend when she volunteers – I can’t wait! Still, it was a lovely morning to spend with the family in the sunshine.

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A beautiful Hindu statue of Vishu, the protector and preserver of the universe, and when someone places his statue at a particular location, it means they’re asking him to watch over the place and its inhabitants, and to ensure harmony – sweet!

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And did I say planes – all of the planes that come into SFO fly directly overhead so if you are into watching some planes, check out this Seal Point Park right next to Ryder Park – the water park in the summer!

 

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The bearded chicken!

 

And speaking of volunteering – this bearded chicken was left by the farm where our coop is and she has been adopted to our flock! In times like these, giving back at a local level is the best thing. I donated cat food to Project Bay Cat and I am still making pussyhats for my friends who supply the yarn and they donate to a non-profit for the hat. My favourite gig of the week volunteering with the kids and teaching them sewing. It is the best thing to see them create with a needle and thread, and a lot of the time I even learn from them!

 

Day out to Lake Elizabeth in Fremont

It was hiking Sunday and the weather was just fine and sunny so we decided to enjoy a day out with the family. The plan was to go to Mission Peak, Fremont and hike up there but by the time we got there it was choc a block with people everywhere and no where to park in a neighbourhood full of ugly million dollar mansions, so we blew off that idea. So we decided to take the kiddos to a park instead and found Lake Elizabeth at Central Park, Fremont. The funny thing about Lake Elizabeth is that it is named after Elizabeth it’s sister city in Australia. We have driven through Elizabeth on the way to the Barossa Valley and all I can say is that I saw a lot of p*rn and hydropnics shops. If you like that sort of thing great, but not my bag at all!

We met a few locals of the lake and this gaggle of geese were quite noisy and my son overheard someone say they bite so we left them alone.

Honk Honk!

The 2 mile walk around the lake was just lovely and it did take us ages with snack and nature breaks but it was Sunday and it is nice to relax. Seeing the first signs of spring in the blossoms I enjoyed as it was the first time I took my 25mm to 105mm lens out for a wander. I just love it!

Come on Spring do your thing!

The kids were keen to enjoy the playground with the treehouse after our walk so we spent ages over there. This playground was super cool with a redwood replica play structure and huge boulders made out of fibreglass for the kids to climb – they just loved it. Here is Missy hiding in one of the many caves.

Missy hiding in a cave

We finally left as it was way past lunch time and time to go as there was one more event to go to in the afternoon – Chuck e Cheese, be warned that place is a zoo on a Sunday afternoon. We left with the gaggle of geese saying one last farewell with their loud honks. I am sure they just want to make friends 🙂 but we weren’t willing to risk a nip of a geese’s beak.

Gidday to you guys – Lake Elizabeth is cool right?!