Maize Maze + Pumpkin Patch

Admittedly, fall is not my favorite season. I don’t like being cold, and winter is only slightly better because it has some fun holidays. Fall has Halloween. Which is cool. But leaves falling, pumpkin spice everything, and less sunlight just aren’t my thing.  I like boots and sweaters. For a few weeks.

Despite all the smack I talk about autumn, there’s just some fun fall traditions we’ve got to do. Like the pumpkin patch and the corn maize.

We visited the Maize Maze at Rio Grande Community Farm of of Montano. This year’s theme was a fractal maze, although we’re usually just lucky to find out way out.


The maze was in a different field and there were a few different varieties of corn (I guess). It seemed drier, but all that made it easier to navigate as much as possible with two crappy umbrella strollers. We made our way to an interesting metal horse sculpture and then headed back to the beginning.
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After that, my children of the corn wanted to play. Atticus, picked a pumpkin, while Cyan had a butterfly painted on her face.

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And they both played on the hay bales.
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The fall fun continued a couple days later. We went with Cyan’s class on a field trip to the Galloping Grace Pumpkin Patch in Rio Rancho, Colorado. Aside from it being far, I prefer Galloping Grace over McCall’s for the little ones.

Things like feeding animals.

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Being animals.

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Riding animals.


Animals riding each other. No seriously, these turtles decided to get it on. And I along with other shocked parents decided to document it. Due to technical difficulties, I’ve decided to spare you the video. Although I will say the male turtle, sounds like he’s trying to clear his throat. Maybe I’ll post it to Instagram, this is a family blog after all. 😉 And that my friends is how Ninja Turtles are born.

Cyan had fun making mud pies with her friend Aja.

There were also duck races, sling shots, and a tractor pull.
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Cyan’s two favorite things were the corn pit and the slide. She along with most other kids could stay there all day.
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But eventually of the little ones get tired.


Happy Autumn!






California Adventure: Part 2

Cyan and I had a real hard time finding things to do while Daddy was busy at the conference.  Said no one ever.

Being the organizer I am, I had a list of places I wanted to hit up with my California girl. And we hit them all!

We stopped at Starbucks to build a plan.  First, drive up the PCH.  WAY up the PCH.  To Malibu.  We drove through Redondo, Hermosa, Santa Monica, Venice, Huntington, and probably more beach towns, but I just can’t remember them all.  I love Malibu.  Something about the way the mountains roll steeply down into the sea.  I used to think about going to grad school at Pepperdine.  And living in one of those beach houses.  Now I’m good with visiting.  


I took my little Malibu Barbie and she had fun.


She did her thing collecting sticks and rocks.  I did my thing enjoying the ocean and loving the fact that I was not at work.

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After Malibu we drove up through the twists and turns of Topanga Canyon.  The windy roads made me feel like we were in a car commerical.  Like we were channeling Tom Petty and Sheryl Crow we hit Mullholland Drive, Ventura Boulevard and Santa Monica before hitting the ugly LA traffic.  We met daddy for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory in Newport.  Mmmm.


Our second day of adventures was educational.  We started at the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits.  I’ve always wanted to visit the tar pits (maybe it had something to do with Encino Man?).  And there they were smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles. Very cool.  And we were almost eaten by a saber.



We headed to Hollywood next.  That’s educational right?  After lunch at Hard Rock Cafe, we boarded a touristy double decker. It picked us up right in front of JKL.


Luckily for Cyan, she fell asleep.  It was a little warm and she would have been soooo bored.  But I wasn’t.  The tour totally fed my E-watching, OK-reading, celeb obsessed mind.  We cruised through Beverly Hills and I decided I desperately wished Jacaranda trees could grow in my clime.  A street lined with those lovely lavender trees would be heavenly.


We passed by all the celeb hangouts:  Chateau Marmont, The Viper Room, and the Whiskey-A-Go.  Lindsey, Johnny, Winona, River, Rock of Ages, sing to me.

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The bus turned onto rodeo (just behind the Michael Kors purse).


And I saw all the shops I can’t afford.  Badgley Mischka, Chanel, Cartier, Louis Vitton.


And then there it was.  In all it’s splendor.  The Beverly Wilshire Hotel aka Reg. Bev. Wil. I spent many hours at the Regent Beverly Wilshire in my childhood.  With Vivian and Edward and Kit DeLuca and Barnard Thompson and Darryl, and Bridget.  Sigh.


Cyan woke up about the time we were heading back.  She was all refreshed after her nap.


We drove up Vine and could see the Hollywood sign.

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Day 3 started at the mall near our hotel.  We had a delicious breakfast at Boudin Bakery.


Then we hit up all of the stores we don’t have at home:  Kitson, American Apparel, H&M and Tory Burch.



This time we headed south on the PCH and saw the beautiful homes and beaches of Orange County.  We stopped at Laguna Beach and played around for awhile.  We didn’t see Kristin or Stephen or Jessica or Jason or Talan.  Darn.

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Our final destination was Solana Beach just north of San Diego.  We had plans to meet our California cousins for dinner.  Cyan checked out the gorgeous view from their backyard and then Mike put her to work cutting lettuce from the garden for dinner.

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Everyone started to arrive from work.  While Mike and Beverly got dinner ready, Dominic, Maria, Cyan and I headed down to the beach, a quick drive down the road.  Maria played with Cyan while Dom and I hung out on the beach as the sun set.

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How many people do you know that would splash around in the water and build sandcastles with a four year old in a dress and pearls?  My cousins are so cool!

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Dinner was amazing!  So delicious.  I would have taken pics of the gourmet meal if I didn’t think it was so nerdy.  Georges and Lissette were the last to arrive home and Lissette played with Cyan while we all visited.


We said our goodbyes and headed back north, but not before we took a bag of Macadamia nuts from the tree outside.

After Allan’s conference wrapped up we were back to park hopping and our timing was right to catch the NBA Playoffs.

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They gave out free Clippers t-shirts so we were happy to be Clippers fans for the night.


We even had a celebrity sighting.  In addition to big name pros like Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrooke, Chris Paul, and Danny Granger.  Rhianna was there.  She’s court-side of course.  One of the tiny white specs.



UPDATE:  Allan found better pictures from the game, so here ya go.

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Somewhere along the way I’m sure we ate In-N-Out.  Ya know, just because.  When in Rome…

What an amazing California adventure.  No doubt we’ll be back.





California Adventure: Part 1

I’ve been meaning to write this for a long time.


We went to California back in May because this guy had a conference in Newport Beach.



And it just so happened to be that Cyan was turning 4.  We thought it would be a good idea if we tagged along.  I think it was.  I mean, can you tell this little girl was happy to be at the happiest place on earth for her birthday?

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She met lots of her favorite characters.


Her favorites are Donald and Chip & Dale.

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She got autographs from Mickey, Donald and Daisy.

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We got a hug from Sulley.  He knows us like that, remember?

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And rode so many fun rides.


Allan and Cyan rode Star Tours on our first day.  It was May the 4th.  Get it?

Some of our favorites were Peter Pan’s Flight, Golden Zephyr, Jumpin’ Jellyfish, Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, Symphony Swings, and Toy Story Midway Mania.


Unfortunately, some of the classics weren’t running so we missed Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World and Finding Nemo’s Submarine Voyage.  But we still did other classics like Dumbo, the tea cups, the Jungle Cruise, the Haunted Mansion and the Tiki Room/Dole Whip.


My least favorite was the Radiator Springs Racers.  Omigosh I was so scared.  I think Cy was a little shaken too, but she’s definitely braver than me.  We went on Mickey’s Fun Wheel and luckily I researched all the rides before because some people unknowingly rode the cars the rock and we could hear their screams.

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Nobody does a parade like Disney.

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All the shows were great…the fireworks, Aladdin and Disney Junior Live!  I still have a gold doubloon from Jake and the Neverland Pirates.


I wasn’t sure if four years old was too young.  But with the right planning you can make it work.  My advice:


Go for more than one day.  Don’t try to cram it all in.  In fact, I’d recommend half days if you can so the kids don’t get tired.


Get Fast Passes for more popular rides.  But also be prepared for long lines.  And rides breaking.  I think we experienced that three or four times.  And buy Mickey ears.  They come in all sorts of fun new designs now.  Or the classic personalized ones.


Be most prepared for your kids to be so happy.  They say it’s the happiest place on Earth.


I think it’s a close second to the homecoming that awaited us.

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Can’t wait to take this little guy in a few years.


For more fun, check out Part 2


The Wicked Mechanical Bull Tour

Fall means the end of the outdoor concert season.  And it went out with a bang!  Kings of Leon with Young the Giant and Kongos




AND it was Meghann’s birthday weekend!





The next day was a different kind of concert.  The musical theater kind.  Fall is also the end of the the Broadway in New Mexico season at Popejoy Hall.  We saw Wicked.  Again.  For the third time.  Well, the second time in Albuquerque.  It’s that good.

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Never fear, the 2014-2015 season is about to start.  Until then…