Sunday, August 14, 2011

On The Trails

I mentioned on Friday that I was taking Syd to the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach just him and me.  I guess it was a date.  We had a really, really nice time.  It was nice just being the two of us.  It doesn't happen that often actually but needs to happen more.  I didn't see much more than the back of him most of the time.  He ran a lot.  He was very busy.  Lots to see.  He liked how quiet it was too.  He made mention of it a few times actually; "mom, it's so quiet here".  He must be tuned into how much I complain about the "dang freeway noise" and was appreciating the stillness of it all :)
We usually stay home at least 1-2 days a week because well, it's just nice to have downtime at home.  But most other days we're out and about.  It's the nice thing about living where we live I guess, the endless options available to us.  Sometimes it's overwhelming but we just try to stay focused on things that are inexpensive or free, like this place!  We try to stay within a 30 minute drive and we try to avoid too much chaos.  I hate chaos and huge crowds and so does Syd, which is why I avoid the Orange County Fair like the plague.  But places like this are just our speed.  There's so much to do around here I figure we might as well take advantage of it.  If not, we might as well be living in the country I guess. 

We're centrally located too, right between Orange County and LA, so we have even more options.  This summer we've been to the Natural History Museum of LA and visited the new dinosaur exhibit, saw a Celtic Kids Concert at the Hollywood Bowl and went to one of our favorite spots, the Long Beach Aquarium.  The kids have fun and they get a little education too.  I think if I home schooled I would be awesome at organizing the educational field trips.  Anything beyond that though, not too sure...  :)     
We have a nature center right here in Long Beach not 5 minutes away from our house, but sometimes it's nice just to try something new.  I'm glad we did because this nature center was sadly, much cooler than the one by our house.  Lots of neat trails representing different parts of the natural agriculture of California.  Lots of different types of trees and plants, all native of course.  A cool stream and plenty of quiet little spots to stop and picnic.   
The main building at the Nature Center is all "green" and has cool little areas for the kids to play in and explore; animal pelts, spotlight buttons to push, magnetic walls where they can place native animals in different spots.  We spent almost 45 minutes just in the welcome center alone.  There's also a walk-in butterfly house.

This guy was not real but he looks it doesn't he?  I hate possums!
 This guy was indeed very real though and Syd loved him!
A few local friends that I told about this place were thinking it was the nature center by the Newport Back Bay but it's not.  Follow the link and you'll see it's further down off of Seventeenth Street in the heart of Newport Beach.  Fun place, give it a try if you're local.


  1. We love that nature center too. My favorite part is down at the bottom of the hill where all the ferns are. Did you know those are red woods growing there? Redwoods in OC, I love that!
    That pic of Syd holding the acorn is so great.
    Love from,

  2. Oh Wow lots of fun! Glad you are doing that. It also looks a little bit like fall.

  3. What a fun trip with your little man!! The nature center is beautiful. And so close to my house. I need to take my little man there once Katelyn starts preschool. Beautiful pictures as always!

  4. Greta, I didn't realize those were Redwoods! Crazy! So are those still considered native tress then because they're native to California, or no because they're not native to OC? Hmmm

  5. what a great day! love all the beautiful photos. even the cute fake possum:)


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