Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Family Adventure

Whenever we have a long holiday weekend, I always feel pressured to do something fun as a family.  Not that we don't do fun things together every weekend, but you know, mostly our weekends consist of getting things done around the yard or house.  Add in any birthday parties or baseball games we have to attend and that's pretty much two days.  However, when you have that extra third day with the husband and the kids home, you feel like you should spend at least ONE day doing fun things together as a family.  The problem is-what to do?

Sure-we live in Southern California, so there are a ton of things to do here; the beach, Disneyland, Universal-the Studios or just the City Walk, Knotts Berry Farm, The Zoo, The Long Beach Aquarium, The Getty, Santa Monica Pier...the list is endless.  However most of those things need to be planned in advanced.  At least for me.  I'm not so good with waking up on a Sunday morning and deciding at 8:30am that we should head over to Disneyland.  No, no.  I need time to prepare, mentally, as well as getting together everything we need for said outing. Turns out I'm not a very spontaneous person.  Then again, show me a mom who is and I'll show you a mom who never has anything she needs.  Either way, I'm a planner.  Always have been.  So this past Sunday when we were faced with a day of nothing to do, we started to go down that list of fun things we could do.  Without planning ahead of time, the list shortened up quite a bit.  

Then I remembered something I've been wanting to do with the girls for a while.  Something, that until recently, I didn't think they would be able to handle.  Well, at least not without a lot of whining, complaining and Andy or I carrying one of them eventually.  The nice thing about where we live is that here in Burbank there are hills.  And in those hills are quite a few hiking trails, not more than a five minute car ride away.  So when I suggested that we should go on a hike, it was met with much enthusiasm from everyone.  Fantastic!  These was an easy outing.  All I had to do was pack up some snacks, water and sunblock, and we were off.  

At the base of the trail that we were hiking is a nature center.  We walked around there for a few minutes and looked at the tarantula and King snake they have there, before we headed up the mountain.  As we walked, we chatted about the plants around us, what we would do if we came across a rattlesnake or bobcat, and how far we think we would hike.  We hiked for a bit, stopping at various points to see how high up we were.  It was a gorgeous day with perfect weather.  Sunny, 75, breezy.  Yes, our weather here does rock.  I might have heard one comment (complaint) about it being hot from someone (Lana), but the comments didn't go any further than that.  

One of our stops along the way.  I wouldn't let Sonya get any closer to the edge.

The man of the mountain and his girls.
There were some markings on the trail that pointed us in the direction of a lookout point.  It took us about half an hour to get up there and when we did it was awesome.  We could see the entire city of Burbank, into Los Angeles, all the way to downtown.  If the day would have been a bit more clear, I'm certain we would have been able to see the ocean.  But this is Los Angeles, so yes we do contend with some smog most days.  Still not as bad as it used to be!  

We stopped at the lookout point and ate our snacks while chatting with another family who had made their way up there.  They had three kids as well, but their three consisted of a 5 year old little girl and a set of 9 month old twin boys who the parents backpacked up there.  Yeah, that's why I waited  until all mine could walk on their own.  

After eating and spending some time admiring the view, we headed back down.  We debated going further up and along in the trail, but it was getting later in the afternoon and we wanted to get home to cook a big Sunday night dinner.  I think Andy and I could have kept going, but I know the girls were starting to poop out.  I have to say though, they were great.  Other than the few "it's hot" comments, we didn't really get any complaining or whining.  They all really enjoyed it.  The way down was of course easier in some ways than going up.  Except for the part when Georgia was running down the hill and fell.  She just skinned her knee, but it was enough for her to work up a couple quick tears and garnish some sympathy from me.  

All in all we had a fantastic time doing something together as a family that required no money and was more or less in our backyard.  As an added bonus, it didn't take up our entire day and I could do it spontaneously.  Any of you who live here in SoCal and haven't taken a hike with your kids, I highly recommend it.  There are so many places to do it around here and the best part about it, besides being with your family, is that you're all getting exercise too.  Another way to teach our children healthy habits!  Something I am always looking to add into our lives more.  

I did take a few pictures I took along the way.  I bought a fancy new camera for my birthday and I am still trying to figure out how to use it.  No, I am not the best photographer, but I try!  Enjoy!

Checking out the view.


My camera has a timer on it-hence the only picture I'm in.  

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