Monday, November 04, 2013

Google and Great America

George, Scott and Zoe at Google Headquarters

Some of the iconic statues adorning the courtyard
 Palo Alto is a beautiful city and we feel lucky to have our daughter Zoe and her family live there. The weather was very nice (as it was in Tulsa) with mid 70's during the day and cool at night. George works at Google so we had the pleasure of visiting him there and having lunch. He chose the traditional Asian restaurant (they have over restaurants on campus - all free) and it was great. Outside in the garden we enjoyed statues of the icons of google world. This has become a tourist attraction.
Our grandsons, Nick (10) and Tommy (6) were in school this week. The Palo Alto school system is wonderful and they live only blocks from their school. But on the weekend they had a flurry of activities. We all went to a really fun Halloween Party at their Aunt Kyrie's, all in costume. Nick was Merlin and Tommy a Knight. George and Zoe came as Star Trek's Captain Kirk and Lt. Uhura. Scott and I weren't very prepared but managed funny hats to sort of look like Mrs. Santa Claus and Indiana Jones.
On Sunday we took the boys to Great America Amusement Park and we all had a great time, although it made me really appreciate how good the Disney Parks are.
Tommy carved his pumpkin in the park with his Cub Scout
 The boys favorite attraction by far was the foam pit! It reminded me of the corn box in Tulsa. Sometimes the low tech simple things allow the most creative fun.
As always it was very hard to say good-bye to both families. We sure wish our kids were closer to us, but they've chosen great places to live and flourish.
Nick rides behind me in a small roller coaster

Scott and Nick had a boat to themselves for two trips
over the Waterfall - Yahoo!

Hang on!

Tommy loved skippering the radio controlled boats

Nick and Grandpa on the Centrifuge

Slushies and Snoopy

But the big hit was the Foam Pit

They both had a fabulous time and got
totally soaked from head to toe

That's Nick rising from the foam for a breath

We had a lot of fun just watching them play, but we
weren't tempted to join them.

Afterwards they rinsed off in a water
attraction and then the full body dryer 

We finished off the day at Round Table Pizza. Luckily
there was a video game to play with while we waited.

Last post from Oklahoma!

We were busy every day in Tulsa. There is so much to do and with five grandchildren, lots of energy needed to do it. Ariella "Cookie" had her 9th birthday and we had a family celebration on the date. We also visited the Tulsa Children's Discovery Lab and the Gilcrease Museum - both excellent. This was the first year for Daniel, Ariella and Jonathan "Uzi" at the University School and we were impressed with the facilities and the amount and quality of work the kids did during our visit. They get tons of homework (well, maybe not Uzi). But a week was soon up and we were off to our next visit with Zoe, George, Nick and Tommy in Palo Alto!

That Maya, Heather, Daniel, Ariella, Jonathan, Scott and Shira

We visited the Tulsa Children's Discovery Lab 

First stop was to make things from recycled materials

Everyone dove right in and made a creative something

Heather took a brief rest on a bed of nails - ooch!

There was a big play structure and the exit was fast - that
is Ariella at the top, then Uzi, Maya, Daniel and Shira.

Ariella "Cookie" did some animation in
another area of the museum.

Another day we visited the Gilcrease Museum. This is a
fountain in the beautiful gardens.

This statue represents the warrior that sent an
arrow into the air on the death of the founder,
and himself of Indian heritage, Thomas Gilrease

Scott and I stopped by the October Fest, a big German
heritage Celebration on the river.

Scott making a Oreo Cookie Ice Cream Cake for Cookie's
Ninth Birthday

And here it is with the beautiful Birthday Girl

Maya models her new pj and bathrobe
combination from the Grandparents. We just missed her

And Cookie also models her new outfit
and looks very elegant.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Solving The Corn Maze and other fun stuff

The parking attendant welcomed us
 We had a hugely fun time visiting a local ranch/farm that puts on a corn maze every year (The Tulsa Corn Maize - Well at least the years where there is enough rain to grow corn. They had canceled the event the previous 2 years and the corn wasn't even close to "an elephant's eye" our year, but there was lots of other things to do - all very low tech. First up was the rubber ducky race - the pictures tell the story here. Then ages having fun in the corn box. Who knew you could have so much fun with dried corn kernels! And you come out pretty clean.
Next were the hay jumps. You jumped into one hay covered mattress hole and it was like a trampoline. Daniel was able to jump in and bounce right back onto the lip - very athletic. The other was a series of haystacks and you jumped from one to the other (there was hay in between). Later we went on a "cow" ride and then a hay ride. The later was the most fun. We had a guide that gave us the spooky tour through the fields with ranch hands caught up in the hay baler, a graveyard and a big spider. The corn maze was fun too and took us a while despite being able to see over the corn. Cookie was the first one to make it through.
This is the office/snack bar

First off, the rubber ducky race!

Daniel manned both trenches

Shira did some cheer leading for the girls

While Uzi munched on some popped corn

This is MUCH better than being buried in the sand

Daniel was totally covered at one point!

The kids couldn't get enough of this

And got buried several times

Shira's all ready for the "Cow Ride"

Cookie starts out on her own

But then joins Grammy

A brief rest before tackling the hay jump

"Is she that heavy Daniel?"

Maya strikes a pose

And Shira wants a quick way down

Michal and Uzi head out into the corn

Now the hay ride through the fields

With spooky cowboys caught in the bales

And some that didn't make it...

There's a spider loose!

We visited the next door airport and watched them fly these
radio controlled planes - pretty awesome maneuvers!