Free Train Rides!

E and I have been to these free train rides in Torrance before, but this time we brought along my husband and some friends. The train rides take place at Wilson Park in Torrance, CA, and are free on the first Sunday and third Saturday of every month! It is such an adorable little area, with lots of little rustic decorations. Great fun for little ones and parents too!
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Mom! Can’t you see I’m getting ready to enjoy my train ride?! This is no time for pictures!
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Afterward, we had a family picnic in the park. E recently outgrew his dairy and wheat allergies, so we were quite excited that we would all be able to eat cheese and crackers. 🙂
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Then some fun play time in the park. 🙂
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Big sloppy kisses for Daddy!
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Father’s Day Weekend Part 1

This past weekend, we decided to skip our rule of one day of working on the house and one day of fun rule. For one thing, we were a little burnt out on working on the house after spending a couple of weekends getting the house ready for the baptism party. Also, since it was Father’s Day weekend, we decided to take the whole weekend to do fun things. Our Mother’s Day weekend was a little rough with all three of us feeling under the weather (each with different problems), so a fun and memorable first Father’s Day weekend was in order.

On Saturday, my husband and E wore their coordinating t-shirts that I got for them. Below is an Instagram picture showing their t-shirts. They were a big hit all day. 🙂1010309_10151526025612535_20475506_n

We started out the day going to the Heritage Square Museum, near Pasadena, CA. My grandmother used to tell this story over and over about how when I was really little, she was driving me to her sister’s house in San Marino. As we were passing by Heritage Square on the freeway, I looked over and said, “what boootiful houses!”. I am still very fond of old Victorian and craftsman houses, as is my husband. We were crushed when we did not get the first house that we put an offer on, a big historic house built around 1919 (the house was somehow repurchased by the same owner). My husband had never been to Heritage Square, and I had not been since I was a little kid, so we were excited to go. In retrospect, I wish I would have brought some of my other camera lenses with me, but worrying about carting around all the baby gear is usually enough stuff to carry. 🙂

I always thought that Heritage Square was a previously existing neighborhood that had been saved and restored. We were quite surprised to find out that they were individual buildings that were salvaged from around Los Angeles, relocated together and restored. It is so sad that there are so many more houses like this that were destroyed over the years around the city.

E was so cute when we were inside the houses. I really wished photography would have been allowed inside the houses. He had his eyes open so big, looking at all of the details of each house and the furniture. We jokingly told him to take it all in and start taking notes so he can work with us on our house soon. 🙂

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We loved the little vegetable garden next to one of the houses. It was modeled after the WWII era victory gardens and gave us some ideas and inspiration for our own garden.BY0A9184 BY0A9185 BY0A9188 BY0A9189 BY0A9190

We met a cute cat in the garden. He followed me throughout the garden. He reminded us a lot of our cat Fluffy. 🙂
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Originally, we were planning to go to another museum in the area after we finished at the Heritage Square Museum, but after we dealt with some long baby feeding sessions and diaper changes, it was a lot later than we had planned and too late to go to another museum. We were not ready to leave and go to dinner at the place we had planned, and wanted to do something else. We decided to go for a walk around the Cal Tech campus since it is so pretty and E absolutely loves looking at trees. 🙂

When I was in high school, a good friend of mine was applying to Cal Tech. I thought that it sounded incredibly boring to go to a college without NCAA sports teams. I decided to go to USC, but spent a lot of time visiting her up at Cal Tech on the weekends and breaks. It turned out that Cal Tech was not as boring as I would have assumed, and I ended up falling in love with the school and the whole environment. I wished I had applied there myself. While at USC, I felt that the general environment was full of a lot of superficiality, backstabbing, snobbery, and everyone judging everyone else. I really do not have too many fond memories of those years, with the exception of a few good friends that I made (however, by now most of those friendships have faded away anyway after moves, etc.). A part of me always wonders if I really did not enjoy studying engineering, or if I just did not enjoy the environment where I was studying. Perhaps if I had gone somewhere else, I might have enjoyed it more. I had a lot of horrible experiences where people in my classes were spreading lies about how I was getting an A in a particular class, and even a professor who tried to sabotage me because he was angry that I got a 97% on his midterm without attending his (pointless) lectures when I had fractured my spine. My good grade brought attention to the fact that everyone who had been in the lectures had come close to failing the midterm, or had failed, and I ruined the curve. Oops!

When I would go visit at Cal Tech, people had themed parties that were more than just order a kegger and get wasted (like the parties at USC). They had open mic nights, spoken word and poetry nights, and other amazing themed parties and events. People sat around having amazing conversations, discussing philosophy, politics, and more (and sometimes science topics too). I definitely spent more of my free time at Cal Tech parties than events at my own school. It was the kind of environment that I had pictured when I thought about what college would be like. When I was busy fighting with the university because they were forcing me to live with roommates who never felt a need to study and stayed up all night partying, my friend at Cal Tech got to live in her own tiny dorm room, with no roommates, because the university understood that living alone in a smaller space was more conducive to efficient studying.

My husband does not like it when I say this, but I really hope E will consider going to Cal Tech if he is interested in science or engineering. I know it is silly to try to encourage him toward a particular college as soon as he is born, but I just loved it there so much and hope that one day I could live vicariously through one of my own kids going to school there. 🙂

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After our little campus tour, we finished off the evening with dinner at my favorite restaurant in my old neighborhood of L.A. (Los Feliz), and a drive through downtown. We had a couple of things in mind that we wanted to do downtown, but a worn out and sleeping baby made us decide to head home instead. 🙂

E’s First Trip to an Amusement Park: Knott’s Berry Farm!

My sister and her boyfriend came out from Texas this past week for E’s baptism. It was very exciting since this was my sister’s first time meeting baby E! She is my only sibling, and it was very disappointing that she was not able to attend our wedding or E’s birth due to her school schedule, so we wanted to make sure that she was able to make it out for his baptism. On their last full day in town, we met up with them for a few hours at Knott’s Berry Farm. This was E’s first trip to an amusement park, and first time on any kind of ride. He was SO excited! He absolutely loved the train rides. When the first one ended, he whimpered a little bit because he had been having so much fun. 🙂

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When my husband and E were on this little truck ride, I heard quite a few people passing by and commenting on how funny it was that the baby was so intrigued by the ride. BY0A8926 BY0A8938 BY0A8936 BY0A8934 BY0A8933 BY0A8929BY0A8944 BY0A8990 BY0A8973 BY0A8968 BY0A8967 BY0A8951 BY0A8948 BY0A8945BY0A9004 BY0A9005BY0A9006 BY0A9016 BY0A9013 BY0A9009BY0A9020
This ride was so exciting that it wore him out and he actually decided to take a nap. 🙂
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While E was sleeping, everyone else got to go on a “real” ride. I didn’t mind staying behind with E since my back is too messed up to go on those types of rides anyway (from previous spine fractures and from the spinal injection during E’s delivery).
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E did not like being “in jail”! He also did not like it when his aunt said goodbye to him at the end of the evening!BY0A9105