Donkeys!

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My sister keeps her horse at a lovely stable called Foxfield.  As children we both learned to ride at Foxfield and were regularly seen running about, cooing to all the horses & ponies, braiding ribbons into their manes and dreaming about having our own horses one day.  I am sure the stable hands (and owners) grew weary of us from time to time but they never let on.  They were always kind and we received an education in horsemanship and riding that is second to none.  

Anywhoo, to my knowledge there have always been donkeys at Foxfield.  Many years ago the donkeys were allowed to wander freely, I think there was a posse of about 4 donkeys back then, these days they have a pen that they live in but they do come out for exercise, baths and special occasions.  So without further ado here comes some donkey cuteness!!!!

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hey cutie!


Malibu Beach

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Beach Life

We spent many a day at the beach in Malibu.  Just to sit on the sand and soak up some salt air and sunshine was such a wonderful treat.  The boys had a wonderful time, as was expected, and my sister and I enjoyed our picnic lunches and some time in the water as well.  We also tried our hand at paddle boarding which is amazing!  No pictures of us on the paddle boards though as my camera is not waterproof and I hadn’t thought ahead to purchase a disposable waterproof camera. :(

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Boys enjoying the surf!  Nothing better than being a kid at the beach.

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My sister made the most delicious picnic lunch on our last day at the beach.  We had a few uninvited guests try to sneak in on the feast.  Three of the most brash party crashers are pictured above.  

Anyway, back to the food…..fresh salsa & chips (the boys favorite), turkey sandwiches with a yummy chipotle mayo – cut into quarters, and a broccoli salad.  Everything was completely wonderful.  I will post the recipe for the chipotle mayo – it had just enough zing that even Morgan (my youngest) was able to eat it.  He usually does not like spicy food, or green food, the list goes on and on.  It is actually quite a challenge to get him to eat anything beyond mashed potatoes, chicken nuggets *shudder*, plain hamburgers or chips & salsa.  I am hopeful that he will outgrow this soon.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week of good summer weather and you have a chance to get outside to explore and soak up some of the beauty all around us!


Morro Bay & Central Coast – California

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Hello All!  We arrived back home from beautiful California on Thursday of last week and I still have not finished unpacking.  How is it that no matter how carefully I pack we always need more stuff (clothes, wetsuits, hair goo, etc) when we reach my parents house.  I came home with a large suitcase FULL and there is more stuff for my dad to ship to us.  C’est la vie!

I don’t know where to start with photos from our vacation, there were so many wonderful moments.  Hiking at Malibu Creek and in the Santa Monica Mountains, days spent in the surf & sand at Will Rogers State Beach in Malibu, family dinners and bike rides, swimming and barbecue at the pool, dinner with my sister at some wonderful restaurants.  The list goes on and on….

To begin I will share pictures from Morro Bay and our trip up the central california coast.  There are the cutest sea otters at Morro Bay.  I managed to get several photos of them, the mama otter wound herself up in seaweed and floated with her babies while a big male otter floated on the current grooming himself and staring back at all the tourist.  I wonder what he must think of all the people snapping his photo?   

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DSC_0024It is difficult to see how large this male otter actually is as there is nothing in the photo to show scale.  There was a tour boat in the channel but they did not get too near the otters.  I am guessing that it is because they don’t want to disturb the mama and her babies or upset this big guy above.  From where I stood on the shore I would guess he was anywhere from 4 to 5 feet long.  The female otter was smaller but she was so tangled up in seaweed and pups that I really had a hard time distinguishing just how many pups she had with her and how big she was.  

Morro Bay has this huge rock jutting out into the sea from its farthest point of land.  It looks to be a nesting site for all kinds of gulls and there are several areas where fisherman cast their lines into the channel on one side and into the pacific on the other side.

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My sister and I (along with the kids) continued up the coast to Hearst Castle.  It was quite a long drive but beautiful at the same time.  Miles of golden rolling hills and oak trees.  I love the wide open spaces of the California coast.  The vistas are breathtaking.

DSC_0030The above was taken from the pier at William Randolph Hearst State Beach in San Simeon.  The smell of the salt air and crashing of the waves was almost hypnotic.  The boys ran along the shore for a while as we set up a picnic and enjoyed some time on the beach.

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You can see a small part Hearst Castle in the top left of this photo.  I was really photographing the landscape and caught a bit of it.  Originally the total land owned by William Hearst was 250,000 acres but today I think it is about 130 acres.  Still impressive and the castle is a wonderful piece of american history.  If you have ever been to Hearst Castle then you know how beautiful the area is and how it seems so isolated.  Aside from the small town of San Simeon there is no real development here.  Just the castle, the beach and the rugged coastline.

DSC_0034Above is a picture from the Hearst Memorial State Beach across to the entrance of Hearst Castle and highway 1. san simeon

zebraZebra still occupy the land at Hearst Castle.  They are a remnant of the zoo that Hearst used to keep and a tour guide said there were a few dozen that graze the land.  Most of the animals were sold or given away back in the 30’s but some zebra’s were not placed and have since adapted and flourish.