Nikkei Appreciation Day: UCLA Women’s Basketball v. Baylor

On Saturday we had free tickets to the UCLA Women’s Basketball game through k’s basketball league.  We invited my parents since my dad is a UCLA alum and an avid UCLA sports fan.

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It was Nikkei Appreciation Day, so they honored a couple of pioneering Nikkei women basketball players.

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The game was pretty exciting.  UCLA trailed in the beginning, then pulled ahead.  Baylor brought it back to a four point differential, but UCLA kept the lead through the end.  According to D, UCLA was ranked #8 and Baylor was #3.

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k had fun sitting with her teammates.  However, they were not enthusiastic enough to make the Jumbo Tron.

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One of k’s teammates participated in a half-time contest.  She did not win, but it was close, and I am not sure the other competitor completely followed the rules.

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The alumni band was there.  We heard the official marching band outside practicing for the UCLA-USC football game that night.

This ended up being practically an all-day event due to horrendous traffic.  However, we were home just in time to watch the Cal v. Stanford game (us) and the UCLA v. USC game (my dad).

 

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Our Visit to Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, Part 2 #HowDoYouMuseum

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And we continued with the animal displays…

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The Wall of Fish

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D pointed out the exclusive Hello Kitty, the Paleontologist merchandise in the gift shop.

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Sanrio has just been on a roll with all of their recent collaborations!

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When we were done looking around the inside of the museum, we went outside to explore the garden area.

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We could see the rose garden through the fence, but by this point the kids were getting hungry and tired.  Next time!

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Los Angeles: You are a pain to visit with all of the traffic, congestion, and lack of free parking, but we will be back soon!

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Our Visit to Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, Part 1 #HowDoYouMuseum

We had no school on Friday, and D took the day off of work, so we took a day trip to L.A.  The plan was to use our free IMAX tickets at the California Science Center, but the projector was having technical difficulties.  Fortunately, I had also made reservations at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, which is within walkable distance so our drive to Los Angeles was not all for naught.

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I would recommend buying the tickets online before you arrive.  Adults were $12 and kids were $5 with no service fee.  At the door it appeared that they were charging $10 for kids.

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Right at the entrance to the museum you are greeted by impressive dinosaur fossils.

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The geodes and precious gems were fascinating to look at.  Can you imagine stumbling upon one of these beauties?

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This fish totally grossed me out.  I guess someone found it in the LA River??

I had way too much fun taking pictures of the animal displays.  So nice that they stand still for pictures! 🙂

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I think we need to watch Night at the Museum now!

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There was a whole exhibit dedicated to the history of Los Angeles.

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They had a staring contest.  The polar bear won.

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k is getting close to 5 feet; n is on his tiptoes!

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As you can tell, there was a lot too see.  I will do part 2 tomorrow…

 

 

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Fish Family Night @ Five Point Amphitheatre

When Irvine Meadows shut down last year, it was questionable whether FishFest would stay in Orange County.  They ended up holding a concert at the Honda Center, but we did not attend.  However, when I heard they were having a Fish Family Night at the newly opened Five Point Amphitheatre at the Great Park in Irvine, I bought tickets.  I was curious about the venue, AND Jeremy Camp was headlining, so that sealed the deal.

Friday night is not an ideal time for a concert.  D had to stay at work a little late, so he ended up just meeting us at our seats.  Good thing the parking was FREE!  (I am sure this policy will not last long).  We ran into a family from k’s basketball team so we hung out with them for a bit before the concert.  The mom had to return to her car because blankets were not allowed, so take note.  They did allow everyone to have a gallon ziploc bag with food and water, however.

We were in the back section all the way to the right of the stage.

This was only the second concert held at the amphitheatre.  D says it is a temporary structure.  Well, my main complaint is the lack of leg room.  As you can see, we were quite cramped.  If anyone in your row needed to leave, everyone had to stand up, and some people had to exit the row to let others pass.  Also, because of the way the seats were connected, I could feel the constant jostling of the kids a few seats down from me.  In was pretty bad, to the point where I felt some motion sickness!

The lineup was:

Royce Lovett–I had never heard of this artist.  His music had some rap in it, reminiscent of Toby Mac.  I felt kind of bad for him because the amphitheatre was quite sparse when he started his set.  However, everyone needs to get their start somewhere, right?

Micah Tyler–I was looking forward to “Never Been a Moment”, one of my favorite songs currently being played on the Fish.

We Are Messengers–Never even realized that this band is Irish until I heard the lead singer talk.  It is funny how people’s singing voices are different than their talking voices.

Big Daddy Weave–I always forget which songs Big Daddy Weave sings, but they have some good ones.

Jeremy Camp–My all time favorite Christian music artist.  Yes, I even read his autobiography.  He has quite a story to tell, and his performances are always dynamic.

n was pretty much asleep by the end.  We left before Jeremy Camp’s last song, so exiting was not a problem once we found our car (there were no parking lot signs!)  I am glad that 95.9 the Fish has found another home, at least for now.

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A New Decade

D and I both celebrated birthdays last month, so I have now officially joined him in the 40’s club.

I had two Knott’s Berry Farm tickets that needed to be used before the end of the year, so we made it a birthday celebration and went last weekend.

Charlie Brown in a Frankenstein costume greeted us while we waited for the gates to open.  k did not want to jump in for the photo opp–oh no, say it isn’t so!

Although fall is my favorite season, I am not too much into Halloween decor.  Ghost Town had some creepy setups, but there were also trick or treat stations, so that was fun for the kids.

With n being over 48 inches now, a whole new range of rides became available to us.  We rode Ghost Rider, Pony Express, Big Foot Rapids and Jaguar for the first time with the kids.  In addition we went on Voyage of the Iron Reef, Coast Rider, Log Ride, Mine Ride, and Sidewinder.  We tried to convince the kids to go on Montezuma’s Revenge, but they were not having it.  I think they did not like the idea of going upside down.  Next time!

We were able to practically walk on almost all of the rides except for the last one, Sidewinder (35 minute wait-time).  We were ready to go home by noon!

On our way out of the park we stopped at the onsite Starbucks to try the Boysenberry Frappuccino.  It did not have coffee like I thought, so the kids had some.  It was more like an icy boysenberry smoothie.

Now that Porto’s is in Buena Park, it is a must stop if we are in the area.  Lines were long, but not out the door.

This was my first time trying the Citrus Chicken Plate.  This was SO good, and I would highly recommend it.  The combination of flavors was spot on (I have been watching too much MasterChef with the kids!).

We brought our dessert home.  Chocolate eclair for the kids and a special seasonal pumpkin eclair for me.

D chose the cappuccino mousse–yum!

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Tanaka Farms Watermelon Tour

We have been to Tanaka Farms on numerous occasions, either in the spring for the strawberry tours or in the fall, for the pumpkin tours.  I won tickets to the farm a while back, but I wanted to hold onto them until the summer so we could go on the watermelon tour for the first time.

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D had been looking for a straw hat to wear for our housebuilding mission in Baja.  When we were browsing the gift shop, they had a nice selection for a reasonable price.  Sold!

While we were on the tractor tour, we tried many freshly picked vegetables, including sweet corn.

All of the tour guides have been friendly, knowledgeable and enthusiastic.  This one was no exception.

We stopped and sat under a tent to taste various melons.  This yellow watermelon had a slight pineapple taste.  It is not widely available because it is fragile and difficult to ship.  n did not really care for it, but he is not a huge watermelon fan in general.  The rest of us really enjoyed it, though.  So refreshing!

At the end of the tour, we each went home with a watermelon.  One boy kept dropping his.  “Hold onto your watermelon!”

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Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes @ Staples Center

Contrary to all of my recent posts about Alaska, we did do other things during our summer vacation.  I was able to obtain free tickets to the Marvel Universe Live show at Staples Center, so we went on a Sunday afternoon.

I was not sure what to expect.  There was a loose plotline and lots of pretend fighting.

We have never watched Guardians of the Galaxy, so we were not too familiar with these characters.

The aerial acrobatics were pretty impressive.

I think n enjoyed the show the most, which is understandable since I am pretty sure he was the target audience.  D and I realized how many superhero movies we have not seen in the past few years.  We need to catch up!

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Visiting The Broad Museum With Kids

The Broad museum is a fairly recent addition to the downtown Los Angeles art scene.  The Broad (as in Eli Broad, rhymes with “road”) opened in 2015, and admission is free.  However, reservations are recommended as the stand-by line looked pretty long.  D and I downloaded the museum’s app and we did the kids’ walking tour narrated by LeVar Burton.

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I liked this whimsical larger-than-life piece that greets you in the lobby.

 

Next we went up a long escalator to view the main floors of the museum.

You can not help but smile at the balloon sculptures by Jeff Koons.

 

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Interesting, and somewhat creepy statue of Michael Jackson and his monkey.

This piece was massive and makes you think about everyday life as art.

On our way home we stopped by at the new Porto’s Bakery in Buena Park.

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The ordering process is quite something

 

It is difficult to choose!

We ended up sharing a cubano, a medianoche, a guava roll, mango dessert, a potato ball and two other “balls”, but I cannot remember what they were called.  They also gave us a guava cheese roll as a sample!

Happy Father’s Day, D!

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Family Night @ Holiday Skate

The kids have been wanting to go rollerskating for a while now.  k has gone several times with Girl Scouts/birthday parties, but n has never been to a rink!

We went to Holiday Skate in Orange for Family Night.  On Sunday nights, from 6:30-8:30, it is $6.50, including skate rentals.

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After trying to take a few blurry action shots, I realized I need video!

 

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D and I took turns holding n’s hand.  With each time around the rink, he became a little more stable.  By the end of the session he was able to skate by himself on the straight aways!

D joined in on the dice game and made it through a few rounds.

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D trying to skate backwards. n's 1st time skating. #HolidaySkate

A video posted by @limbylim on

Too bad this Instagram video does not have sound.  You need to hear Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” in the background to fully experience this moment.  🙂

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Beckman High School Presents Wizard of Oz

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k really enjoys plays/musicals, so I thought it would be nice for our family to see The Wizard of Oz put on by our local high school.  The kids enjoyed it, and n managed to stay awake.  n whispered to me with wonder, “How did the witch’s skin turn green?”  So cute.  There were some serious sound quality issues during some points, which I thought would have been resolved by the last performance.  Overall, it was a fun (but somewhat pricey to me) night out.  We will have to put the original Wizard of Oz movie on our to-watch list this summer.

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If you are wondering why k is wearing a different dress in this picture, it is because we originally stood in line for tickets on a Friday night, only to realize that it was cash only.  Being as we did not have $60 in cash on us, we had to return the following night after a trip to the ATM.  They should really publicize that they do not accept credit cards!  n opted for the same outfit both nights–haha.

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