Saturday, February 27, 2010

Little Italy

Our little excursion today did not turn out as planned. We were supposed to go and volunteer in Little Italy at Amici Park to bag seeds, design cards, etc. for the Disney "give a day, get a day" promotion. However, even though it wasn't raining when we got there, the park was empty with not a clue as to where the group went. Well, since I got the family all out of the house on a rainy day (quite an accomplishment), I might as well make the most of it...we walked a couple blocks down from State Street onto Date Street and found Caffe Italia for some Gelato (Italian Ice Cream). If you haven't been to Little Italy, this turned out to be a great time to go, with little traffic and a free parking space. It would have been neat to see the italian old guys play bocce ball in the park, or experience the Farmer's Market that was just ending. If we had more time I would have taken them to Filippi's Pizza Grotto down the street, since I like the store inside the restaurant; or Carol Gardyne's Studio to see some of her hand painted silk scarves (Carol lives around the corner from me and travels to France often for inspiration and merchandise).

But with a limited amount of time and money, Gelato was a perfect adventure for my crew! We bought 5 small cups for $16 and got dark chocolate, strawberry and butter pecan flavors. The strawberry is my personal favorite, followed by the chocolate. The cool part was listening to a group of italians enjoying life at the table next to us. Even Scott liked listening to the foreign language. Or seeing a couple old italian guys chatting away in Italian as they walked down the street (probably mad the Bocce Ball pit was washed out). Hence, if you don't like crowds, go outside on a rainy's wonderfully refreshing!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rose Family Ping-Pong Tournament

Last Christmas, the kids received a Ping-Pong table, Pool table and Air Hockey table. They have been enjoying these new toys immensely and are feeling quite proud of their improving skills. Well, since we were short on time today for a little adventure away from home, and in the spirit of the Winter Olympics starting today, I thought we would have a Rose Family Ping-Pong Tournament to get us outside and moving. After much laughter over Scott's bouncing form and Greg changing the color his paddle showed after each hit (red then blue, etc.), it came down to Scott vs. Kara. Kara is quite the competitor and wouldn't let Scott's antics ruffle her feathers, winning the final game and becoming the overall winner and earning the "Skill Award"! To make things a little more fair for Lizzie, we added a running race too. Lizzie set the course in the back yard and her agility and speed over the obstacles earned her the winner of the "Speed Award." It was a fun break during the day!

After the Rain

One of my favorite things to do with the kids after a "rain storm" in San Diego, is to go across the street and walk through the canyon. It is amazing how after a couple of days of rain (especially if there is lots of rain and wind) the canyon is completely alive with character! There were quite a few eucalyptus trees down, a little creek throughout, flowers and colorful mushrooms, and even a few surprises (like a new tree swing). I made a little trail mix with some mini-marshmallows, chocolate covered raisins, pretzels, etc. and gave them each a little baggie to munch on while we expored some nature. Lizzie loved the adventure the most and we have made a few return trips since then to explore and swing. It felt great to get out!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Multicultural Festival

San Diego Adventure #2: On January 16th, I heard nothing but whining for a good 1/2 hour when I told the kids it was time to leave the house (and their Ping Pong match) to go to a Multicultural Festival along the Martin Luther King Promenade in Downtown. I thought this was a good way to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, plus it also crossed off a boy scout requirement for Scott. None of us were quite sure what to expect, but I hoped for the best. Luck was on my side though...sunny day, found quick parking for $5, saw Native American, Chinese and Polynesian dancing (the polynesian group was the most entertaining), free tasters, crafts for Lizzie and prizes at booths, etc. In fact, the kids totally enjoyed the two hours we spent collecting/winning items and eating. They won big skittle packages from Smart and Final booth, water bottles from the Geico booth, Padre hats and jerseys from the Padre booth and more. It really pays to get there early - no lines and lots of stuff for free. We all had smiles on our faces as we left and it cost less than $20 for the parking and some international lunch. A bonus...No more whining, too!

Rockets and Pumpkins

San Diego Family Adventure #1: It was extremely easy to get my kids out of the house on January 9th. All I had to say was "we are going to launch rockets and smash our pumpkin." They were very excited as we headed to the middle school for an activity that made us look way up and way down. The sky was blue, sun was shining and light wind - perfect conditions! The first thing we did was smash the pumpkin we grew this past fall. Kara launched it from the top of about three stories worth of steps. The smash was awesome. Usually we smash our pumpkins from a hill in the canyon across the street to "enrich the lives of the animals." But the explosion is not the best. This time the kids really liked the results. We picked up the remains and threw it in the trash and headed off to launch our rockets. Scott and Kara love pressing the button to launch the rocket (Lizzie hates the noise). And then they all three start running to catch the parachute. Not only was it cool to see how high they go, but the kids got great exercise running around the fields and catching the rocket. Great day!