Showing posts with label Santa Clarita. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Santa Clarita. Show all posts

Monday, February 10, 2014

Two years ago today: Santa Clarita

Two years ago today, I picked you up for the weekend at Barns and Noble in Palmdale, Calif., for the weekend. At the time, I was dating Jane, and so you got to meet her for the first time, though you had talked with her on the phone a few times.

The three of us then went out to eat at the Texas-themed restaurant in the Palmdale mall. From there, we drove back to Santa Clarita, where we were staying in a hotel for the weekend.

We spent the weekend doing a lot of driving about - on Saturday morning we drove to Lancaster to look at apartments and then headed back to Santa Clarita for the afternoon. On Sunday, we drove into Los Angeles, and then on Monday morning it was back to Lancaster to drop you off at school.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Two years ago today: William Hart home

Jan. 22, 2012, William S. Hart ranch.
Two years ago today we visited and toured the museum ranch and home of silent film cowboy star William S. Hart. It was in Santa Clarita, Calif.

The visit started with going through the petting zoo, where we fed some animals, in particular a big brown swiss cow and and mule deer fawn. There also were various chickens and hogs, but none of them were hungry.

Then we hiked up the hill to the ranchhouse. I was so impressed by your good behavior on a tour that semmed to run a little long for my tastes!

Afterard, at the gift store, you got a collection of cowboy and Indian toys. These became the characters of your Sheriff Jack stories!

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our adventure!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Recall Johnny Rockets in Santa Clarita?

Johnny Rockets in Santa Clarita, Calif.
After enjoying Johnny Rockets with you on Saturday at the Mall of America, I began to think about all of the times we've been to one. I think the one you probably remember most is in Santa Clarita, Calif., though we've both been to the one in Rancho Mirage, Calif., too.

The Santa Clarita restaurant was near the Borders bookstore in the Valencia Town Center. We'd go there every couple of months to enjoy a hamburger, fries and a malt.

You always liked that they made a smiling face with the ketchup in a little cardboard container. Sometimes the staff also would break out into song and a small dance when certain songs came on; the one that I remember that the Santa Clarita staff did that to was Donna Summer's "Last Dance."

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Remember Borders in Santa Clarita?

Entry to Borders in Santa Clarita
One of the many places you enjoyed going to when we lived in California was Borders bookstore in Santa Clarita. Sometimes you'd even ask if we could go to Santa Clarita, which meant going to the mall and Borders!

Outside of Borders was this great water fountain that you loved to watch. Water spewed out of balls positioned along the fountain's sides toward the central geyser, and sometimes you'd hold your hand over the nozzles in the balls to keep the water from coming out!

Borders had a great childrens section on its second floor. Part of it were raised, carpeted steps where we could sit and read children's books together.

They also had an elevator that you loved to go up and down in! You especially enjoyed pressing the buttons to get us to the right floor!

Unfortunatley, the Borders in Santa Clarita - like all of the Borders nationwide went out of business. That was too bad; I have great memories of the Borders there, in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and many other cities.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Recall your Star Trek Pez dispensers?

Do you remember your Star Trek Pez dispensers? They were a set of eight dispensers of the major characters from "Star Trek: The Original Series": Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu and Chekov with the USS Enterprise.

I bought them at World Mart in Santa Clarita, I believe. They came with Pez candy, which after you ate up I didn't replace so as not to spoil your dinner! You didn't seem to mind, though - you were more than happy to play with the dispensers as if they were action figures.

Later, I got actual action figures of all the ST:TOS characters for you at Christmas 2011. Unfortunately, I don't have all of the dispensers or action figures any more, but I'm certain one day when you're older you'l be able topurchase them as a collector, should you wish.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Your trips to the state of Arizona

A few days ago I wrote about the times you'd been to Oregon. I've decided to continue writing about the states you've been to with a look today at Arizona!

You were to Arizona three or four times. When about 18 months old, in September 2008, we drove through a corner of the state on the way from Las Vegas to Santa Clarita, Calif. We repeated that about month later but in reverse.

Then in March 2011, you and I drove across the northern part of the state on I-40 a couple of times over four days. We stayed both times in Flagstaff, Ariz. Along the way, we stopped at some Indian traders, where you discovered cloth handmade Navajo dolls. We got four of them, and you pretended they were they Beatles!

The picture above shows us at a fake teepee at a roadside stand near Winslow, Ariz., in late March 2011.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Rcall your Imaginext dump truck?

Do you remember your Imaginext dump truck? I believe you got it for your first birthday and picked it out all on your own when at the Target store in Santa Clarita.

By pushing a button, the bed of the dump truck would rise. We'd put blocks in it and watch them fall out when your truck arrived at the pretend construction site.

The truck also came with a couple of construction worker guys. I think you actually like the guys better than the truck! They had shovels and other neat hand tools. We often used those guys with our firemen and space station soldiers when playing with our other Imaginext toys!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Recall our visit to historic Fort Tejon?

At the First Sergeant's desk in the barracks.
Three years ago today, we went to the Fort Tejon State Historical Park north of Santa Clarita, Calif. You loved it!

The park is a collection of historical buildings, with exhibits and displays, from when an Army fort was at the site in the 1850s. The day we were there, several re-enactors also were on hand demonstrating how people lived during those times.

One of your favorite things to do there was to "play" Army and "Star Wars" in the buildings. You looked at them as a giant playground!

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our adventure!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Our spring visit to Aquarium of the Pacific

Two years ago today, we visited the renowned Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif.

The day did not start well for us, though! You got ill in the car and threw up! I had to stop at Target along the way to buy you new clothes.

You seemed to be OK while we were at the aquarium. One of the most exciting parts of the visit was when you got to feed the lorikeets. A few moments after the photo at above left was taken, the greedy little bird decided to use you forearm for a branch. When the bird jumped onto your arm, you screamed and spilled the nectar!

On the way back, you were feeling a little under the weather once more and threw up in the car again! Fortunately, I was able to get you cleaned up at a Burger King in Santa Clarita.

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our journey!


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Recall our hike along Lake Piru?

Watching a bug cross the road near Lake Piru,
Calif., on April 28, 2010.
Three years ago today we took a hike along Lake Piru, a reservoir near Santa Clarita, Calif. The water is held in a canyon, so the mountains rise straight out of the water in a really cool effect!

For me, the highlight of the hike was seeing a condor fly overhead. We spotted one searching for food near the lake; even at 500 feet above us, its wings dwarfed those of the raven that sat on the road just 20 feet away.

For you, though, the highlight was watching this huge bug cross the road in front of us (see picture at above right)! You must have spent close to a half-hour following it and were so disappointed when it finally disappeared into the grass!

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our adventure!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Hiking the Waterfall Trail

Three years ago today we hiked to a waterfall on the Waterfall Trail in Placerita Canyon near Santa Clarita, Calif.

I was so very impressed by you - you walked the entire way to the waterfalls and back, which was about two miles! For the previous year or so, I'd mainly carried you on my back in a child carrier during our hikes. But you were having lots of fun exploring and didn't mind walking at all!

We had tried to reach the waterfall twice before but were stopped first by rain and then by me making the mistake of taking the long route, which was too far your little legs. But this time we took the "best" route.

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our hike! The picture at above left is of you hiking down the trail alongside Placerita Creek.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

RVs, So Cal roads/hikes and Seve Austin

Last night I watched a DVD of "The Six Million Dollar Man" and was taken back to all of the drives and hikes we took around Southern California. The episode involved Steve Austin driving around an RV, and bad guys were trying to capture him.

The countryside they drove around looked alot like the area around Agua Dulce, Calif., near Vasquez Rocks (though the "Kirk Rocks" never were shown) and the an area north of Santa Clarita in San Fransquito Canyon. We've driven and hiked both areas! But the episode was filmed in 1977, and the area has changed a lot in the past 35 years!

The RV also brought back memories of you. I'll always remember how much you liked to go to RV shows and check out those cool "homes on wheels"!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Early morning drive to your preschool

A year ago today you woke up in a hotel room in Santa Clarita! You'd spent the weekend with Jane and me (We were staying in Santa Clarita so we could visit sights in L.A.), and we had to get you to preschool because Monday had arrived!

While I went down to get us all breakfast, Jane woke you up. I came back and got you all washed up, and we enjoyed some muffins and juice (well, I enjoyed coffee) while Jane got ready. While I loaded up the car, she dressed you for school. You looked like the coolest kid that day in preschool!

On the drive to Lancaster, you fell asleep in the car. We had to get up really early because your school was an hour's drive away! When we left, the sun was just beginning to come up.

After dropping you off at school, Jane told me what a great little boy you were and how much fun she had with you. I think she felt like the luckiest woman in the world that morning.

I know I certainly felt like the luckiest man, for I had a great girl friend and the best son one could ever wish for!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Our big weekend in Santa Clarita

A year ago today (Feb. 11, 2013), we spent the weekend in Santa Clarita staying in a hotel with Jane. We had a grand old time playing "Star Trek" with one another at the hotel, which had doors opening to the outside and was on two levels. You and I snuck around the floor and down the stairs looking for Klingons as we played with our phasers.

That evening, we went to Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant where the three of us enjoyed a big Italian meal of lasagna and your favorite, tiramisu. You might remember that we had a long wait, but you and Jane (who you'd just met for the time the night before though you'd spoken several times with her on the phone) got along swimingly and kept each other entertained. Watching you guys get along so well was a lot of fun for me!

One of my favorite photos ever was one taken of the three of us at the dinner table - you made the silliest face for it! The photo on this posting is the seocnd photo taken in the series; I have to unpack the actual photo and get it scanned in one day.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Recall visiting the William S. Hart home?

Feeding the mule deer fawn
One year ago today we drove over to Santa Clarita and visited the museum ranch and home of silent film cowboy star William S. Hart. He was one of the first great stars of the western motion picture, and you were really into cowboys at the time. It seemed like a perfect fit to tour his home!

The ranch included a little mini zoo where you could feed the animals. You got to feed chickens, rabbits, a mule deer fawn, and a big Brown Swiss cow. The pigs were sleeping, though!

After the zoo, we hiked up a hilltop to Hart's home. I was very impresed with you - though it was a long tour, you were really well-behaved and very interested in everything there.

On the way down, we stopped at the gift store, where we purchased the toy cowboys and Indians set that included Sheriff Jack, the Deputy, Calamitous Jane, Luke the horse, and Baby Kieran.

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from the visit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Living in Santa Clarita, Calif.

While Grandma and Grandpa Bignell took care of you from December 2007-September 2008, I moved from Eureka to Santa Clarita, Calif. While the job I took at the Santa Clarita newspaper wasn't any different than - I was still the copy desk chief - Santa Clairta offered some great opportunities. I was tasked with redesigning the newspaper and with setting up new software for reporters and editors to work on. In addition, it was in sunny Southern California, where I longed to live!

In September 2008, you returned to live with me in Santa Clarita. I met you at the airport in Minneapolis, and we drove cross country through Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California! I remember the first time you saw the mountains - you were so impressed with how they soared so high. You'd tap me and point at them!

I was so happy to finally be reunited with you. Though I'd missed seeing you learn how to walk, what began was three years of wonderful time spent together!

Unfortunately, the economy crashed in autumn 2008. I was laid off at the newspaper in November 2008. On the plus side, I was able to dedicate all of my time to you as a stay-at-home father!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Photo shoot of you in Santa Clarita

Here's an old picture I found of you from 2009. We were at the mall in Santa Clarita, Calif., when walking past a photography studio and were asked if they could take pictures of you with no obligation that we purchase the photos. Of course, we took them up on the offer.

Some of the photos taken were of you sitting on a toy car, playing with a green frog, and looking at the flower (see photo at left). You actually had a lot of fun being the center of attention in the photo shoot!

Of course, we bought the package of pictures anyway! One of the photos of you was turned into a black and white and framed; I had it hanging in my office at our green house in Lancaster and in the trailer I rented in Encinitas. I still have that great picture of you, so you'll soon see it hanging in my new place once we are together again!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Places you've lived

Although you're only five years old, you've lived lots of places!

Here's a list of them:
g Crescent City, Calif. (birth to Sept. 2007)
g Eureka, Calif. (Sept.-Dec. 2007)
g Knapp, Wis. with Grandma and Grandpa Bignell (Dec. 2007-Sept. 2008)
g Santa Clarita, Calif. (Sept. 2008-Feb. 2009)
g Lancaster, Calif. (the "green house") (March 2009-March 2011)
g Palmdale, Calif. (April 2011-May 2012)
g Plymouth, Minn. (May 2012-current)

Where will you live next?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Remember the Pumpkin Festival?

Pumpkin Festival 2010
Two years ago today we attended the Pumpkin Festival at Lombardi Ranch in Santa Clarita, Calif. It was a Saturday, a little warm even for California, and we had a great time!

You got to walk through straw bale mazes, touch and feed llamas, goats and a calf at the petting zoo, took a tram ride through the corn maze with its scarecrows, and played on an old fire engine. We even brought home a pumpkin for Halloween!

I always liked to go to the Pumpkin Festival because with autumn and its farm setting it reminded me of the Midwest where I grew up. But given the vegetables sold at the market there and the heat, it definitely was a California experience!

One neat thing about us now both living in the upper Midwest is that there are tons of autumn and Halloween festivals to go to. I can't wait to take you to a whole bunch of them next year when (hopefully!) we finally can be together again.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Your sand toys through the years

As I promote my new book, which contains a poem set at Ventura Pier, I began to think of all of our great visits to that beach and the sand toys you had. You're always in my thoughts, it seems, no matter what I'm doing.

Your first sand toys weren't meant for the beach at all but for the big sand pits at the local playgrounds. The Santa Clarita park near where we lived when you were a year old had a great sand pit to play in around a huge castle-like play equipment. most of the other other parks had good sand pits, too, though of varying quality.

We mostly took our sand toys to the beach, though - lots of shovels, buckets, and a few plastic trucks that we could build roads for. There also was this great colorful toy that you could dump sand into and it would go through a funnel turning a wheel below it.

The picture on this page shows you in March 2012 at Ventura city beach with the Ventura Pier in the background. These were the last sand toys I purchased for you. I had forgot to bring our sand toys because I'd been moving stuff to our new condo, so we stopped at Target and picked up these!