Monday, February 26, 2007

Elephant Seal Watching

Chloe delights in meeting a squirrel.

Also on President's Day, we decided to go see the Elephant Seal colony (mostly as a birthday present for Mom). Elephant seals were hunted to near extinction in the early 1900s and now their numbers have almost returned to their pre-hunt numbers. At one point, the only Elephant Seals in the world were located on a small island off the coast of Baja California. Now they have several beach locations along the coast of California with the most famous location being just north of San Simeon.

Despite the cold biting wind, the place was packed with onlookers and the girls really enjoyed watching the seals and the babies. As soon as we arrived at the first lookout point, two large males began fighting over the females. It was quite spectacular to watch. Their backs were scarred with remnants of many previous conflicts.

President's Day

After a wonderful time spent with other families with children from China, we decided to spend the night in Avila Beach. It is newly re-built with a cute little beach and a very nice playground, all just steps from our hotel door.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Year of the Pig

Happy Chinese New Year 4705! We attended our first celebration this year on February 18th in Atascadero with lots of other families who have children from China. We had more families than there was room for in the restaurant as they could only accommodate 160 people. The girls had a lot of fun and really enjoyed receiving the traditional red envelopes filled with chocolate coins and other gifts. Afterwards, the Cal Poly Lion dancers performed and our girls had to follow the "dragon" all around the restaurant.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Valentine Decorations Downtown

As is typical, our City has decorated for the next upcoming holiday, Valentine's Day. It was so cute with the big hearts and the teddy bears and of course, we could not drive by without the girls begging to stop each time. Finally, we had a moment on Saturday morning, so we stopped by and let the girls run wild. These are the pictures that resulted. Chloe and Pearl even had time to help the city with its weed control as they promptly picked all the dandelions and blew their heads off!

Later in the day, we drove them to a brand new gymnasium just 15 minutes from our home. This place looked unfinished on the outside, but inside it was PACKED! There were kids doing gymnastics and tumbling and dancing and swimming. We immediately signed both girls up for swimming lessons on Tuesday afternoons. Maybe when they are done with that, we can sign them up for beginner pre-k gymnastics. They are still taking their Monday morning dance classes at another building almost next door.