Sunday, April 29, 2012

Horseback Riding

Last Friday, my Girl Scout troop went horseback riding at a horseback riding ranch!

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I love horses, and I have always wanted one. Since I don't have one and there is no chance of me getting one any time soon, the next best thing would be to go to a ranch where you can pay to horseback ride.  Luckily, my Girl Scout troop planned such a field trip last week. You can only imagine how thrilled I was! The whole day I could hardly concentrate on my school work in anticipation of the outing right after school. 

When we got to the ranch we were asked to stand in a line, so the horses could choose their riders! This sounded a little strange, but according to our guides if a horse paid attention to you or made eye contact with you, you were the one he/she wanted as its rider! The first horse that was brought out chose me! His name was Gambler and he was a beautiful chestnut colored horse with a mahogany mane.
Once all the Girl scouts, volunteer moms (including mine), and guides had mounted their horses, we started on a one hour ride on a trail through the beautiful hills of the Santa Monica Mountains. It was a beautiful day, and I really enjoyed the lovely scenery. All the horses were very sweet and gentle. The only problem was that mine and a couple of others were very hungry and kept going off trail to eat! No amount of pulling on their reins would make them move! Thankfully, we had three very experienced guides who would come to our rescue and would force the horses back on the trail. I had a wonderful time horseback riding and was sad when it ended. I can't wait to go back.

Me riding on Gambler


The trail
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Have you been horseback riding before?

If so, when was the last time you went and where did you go?

If not, would you like to go horseback riding?

Monday, January 30, 2012

My Field Trip to the San Buenaventura Mission

On Friday, I took a field trip to the San Buenaventura Mission with my class!

San Buenaventura Mission

A big part of the California fourth grade standards are to study California's history. Right now we are studying California's 21 missions which were established in California between 1769 and 1823 by Spanish Catholics. They were places where missionaries taught Christianity to the Native Americans of California.

Each student chose a mission to study, I chose San Juan Capistrano which is about an hour and a half from my house. In the next month or two I will be visiting it with my family. But for a field trip my class visited the San Buenaventura Mission.

The San Buenaventura Mission was founded on March 31, 1782. It was meant to be the 3rd mission founded, but its founding was postponed due to lack of military escorts for thirteen years, making it the ninth mission.  Its founding father was Junipero Serra, who founded eight other missions before San Buenaventura. During the mission's peak year they had  23,400 cattle, 12,144 sheep, and 4,493 horses. Today only a small section of the original mission still stands.

My class took a tour of the mission, and we learned a little bit about how the Native Americans and the missionaries lived and worked.  During the visit, one lady taught everyone how to use a loom to weave. I thought that was the most fun part of  the field trip.  We also learned how to process wool into yarn through a series of combing steps called carding. The cards look like brushes you would use on a dog!

I really enjoyed my visit to the San Buenaventura Mission and can't wait to visit the San Juan Capistrano one!

I am weaving

Carding to process wool into yarn

El Caballo, one of the oldest structures in California.
It is where Native Americans would filter their water.

Had you heard of California missions before reading this post?

Have you been to a mission?

If you are a California fourth grader, what mission are you doing a report on?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Ski Trip to Arrowhead and Big Bear

Every year during the winter holidays my family goes on a ski trip. This year we stayed in Lake Arrowhead, and skied in Big Bear, California.
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Last year, during the winter holidays, my family and I skied at Cyprus Mountain and in Whistler, British Columbia. This year we decided to stay local. We stayed in a beautiful resort in Lake Arrowhead and skied in Big Bear Lake. 

Lake Arrowhead is a beautiful mountain resort located in the San Bernardino Mountains, California. It hosts about 4 million tourists a year, who can enjoy backpacking, hiking, bicycling, both water and snow skiing or just walking and shopping in its cozy village.

During my family's stay in Lake Arrowhead we walked by the lake, shopped and enjoyed good food in the village, spent some quality time in our beautiful hotel, and went inner-tubing in the snow at a nearby inner tube park .

Leila and I on the dock at Lake Arrowhead

For two out of the four days we spent in the mountains we went skiing in Big Bear Lake. We would wake up early in the morning to beat the crowds and the traffic and then drive forty-five minutes to the Snow Summit ski resort in Big Bear Lake.

Big Bear Lake was inhabited by Serrano Indians for 2,000 years before explorers arrived. It got its name because it was populated by Grizzly bears which unfortunately have not been found in the region since 1908. Just like Lake Arrowhead, Big Bear Lake is also a beautiful mountain destination, offering everything Lake Arrowhead offers plus two wonderful ski resorts, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain. 

My family skied at Snow Summit which has more intermediate runs, where Leila and I are more comfortable. This was not a good year in terms of snow fall, but all the resorts were making snow, so skiing was still pretty good and we had a wonderful time.

I am looking at a beautiful view on the deck of a restaurant on top of Snow Summit

Leila and I at the bottom of the mountain

Do you ski or snowboard?

If so, what is your favorite part about the sport?

If you ski or snowboard where do you usually go?

Have you ever been to Lake Arrowhead or Big Bear Lake?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Green Bag Project

The last project my Girl Scout troop (4th grade) and my sister's Girl Scout troop (3rd grade) participated in to help the community was  The Green Bag Project.

Mr. Walton with all the bags our troops donated
The Green Bag Project, which is an organization that helps the homeless, was founded by Duffy Walton about five years ago. It all started when he had gone to downtown Los Angeles to watch a show. When he saw a homeless person and decided to give him his running shoes (he is an avid runner),  his wife, who was with him, told him that he should do that more often. That's when he decided to start the Green Bag Project.

Here is a synopsis of The Green Bag Project in Mr. Walton's words:

I have a small community action grant from the Alcoa Corporation. In looking for a way to maximize the impact of my limited funds and broaden the awareness of the monumental problem of homelessness, I hit on the idea of the Green Bag. I supply the empty canvas bag and a list of suggestions. People then take the bag home and fill it with stuff usually found in your house - something to wear, something to eat, a way to get clean. This permits one to think about what being homeless means, what you would like in the bag if it was you, perhaps write a note of encouragement, even pick up a toothbrush at the market. I collect the bags and store them here at Alcoa,  Simi Valley  until I have 50/100. We then take them down to Skid Row and pass them out on or near  5th Street  to people living in cardboard. I say "we" take them because part of this program is taking people to skid row to see for themselves, actually hand out bags, talk to people, receive thanks from someone who really needs and appreciates a gift. That is what this program is: a way to bring a small gift to the least in our midst. And the bag is part of the gift.  A way to carry stuff that reminds them of people who care.  It is not just a bag of old t-shirts and canned goods: it's a bag of hope that says there are people who wish them well and hope they can climb out of poverty and despair.

Mr. Walton came to one of our meetings and talked to us about the need to help the homeless. Each girl was given 3-5 bags to take home to fill up and we met with him 2 weeks later to return the bags. We did this project right before Thanksgiving and it was our way to give thanks and give back.
Filling up the bags was a very rewarding experience for Leila and me. We went shopping with our mom to buy some of the items such as toiletries, food that is easy to open, small bottles of water, and first aid items. We went through our parents closets for some gently used clothing to donate. One of the moms in our troop generously donated all the dental hygiene items. I think the best part for me was writing the note of encouragement that we placed in every bag.
Mr. Walton's truck is filled with our donated bags

Bags being distributed on Los Angeles Skid Row

If you would like to find out more about The Green Bag Project you can contact Mr.Walton at or go on the New Basin Blues.


Have you ever heard of or donated to The Green Bag Project?

If not, have you heard of any similar programs?

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Trip to Europe!

I had a wonderful trip to Europe last week, and I would like to tell you all about it!

The first part of my trip was to Essen, Germany to visit my great aunt and my mom's cousin. Essen is a small industrial town, and the purpose of our visit was only to spend time with our family. After a few days of relaxation we headed off to Paris where all the excitement began!

During our four day stay we visited several magnificent landmarks, such as: the Eiffel Tower, the Basilica of Sacred Heart, the Louvre, Palace of Versailles, Arc de Triomphe, and the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

Named after it's designer, Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower was built in 1889, and is the tallest building in Paris. It is the most visited paid monument in the world, and I can see why, because it's truly magnificent. My family and I took the elevator to the top and loved the spectacular view of Paris.

The Eiffel Tower 

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic church.  Located at the summit of Monmartre which is the highest point in Paris, it is a very popular landmark. Construction on the Basilica started in 1875 and was finished in 1914. Monmartre is the artistic center of Paris, where you see many artists drawing and displaying their art on the street. We enjoyed a lovely dinner at one of the many restaurants there.

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart

The Louvre Museum is one of the world's largest museums, and is the most visited art museum in the world. It is housed in the Louvre Palace and has almost 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century. My favorite painting in the Louvre is the Mona Lisa, because of her mysterious smile and because regardless of the angle, it always seems like she is looking at you!

The Mona Lisa or as the French call it  La Joconde

Arc De Triomphe is a very famous monument in Paris. It is located at the western end of Champs Elysees which is one of the most famous streets in the world. It honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars.

Arc De Triomphe

I hope you enjoyed my little tour of Paris!

Have you ever been to Paris?

If so, what is the favorite place you visited?

If not, where would you want to go in Paris?

Can you add any other facts about the landmarks I mentioned in this post? 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Universal Studios


Yesterday, my sister, my mom, and I went to Universal Studios!

Universal Studios is a studio and theme park in Los Angeles, California. Movie production first took place in 1912, but 1915 was the official public opening of the studios. From the start, Universal Studios offered studio tours which included a chance to buy fresh produce since Universal City was part of a working farm! In the early 1930's, when sound films came to Universal the tours were discontinued. 
In 1962 accountants suggested a new tour would increase profits. As a result, in 1964, the modern tour was establised. Over the years, the tour grew into a theme park.

In the past year my family and I have gone to Universal Studios five times. Usually, we get there early to avoid long lines. We start by going on my favorite, The Simpson's simulator ride. Simulator rides are a type of amusement park rides where you are shown a movie while you seat moves to the action on the screen.
After the Simpson's Ride, before the lines get too long we rush over to the Studio Tour which is about 45 minutes long. The tour is led by a tour guide on a tram which goes through Universal's backlot, the world's largest working movie studio! During the tour you see sets and props from many famous movies and TV shows. There are also some special demonstrations such as an 8.3 earthquake, a flash flood, a look inside The Mummy's Tomb, an encounter with the shark from Jaws, and most famous of all the King Kong 3-D show.

Our next stop after the Studio Tour is The Jurassic Park Ride which uses 1.5 million gallons of water. A lot of people wear parkas on this ride, we didn't have any so at the end we were soaked! 

Next is The Revenge of the Mummy. It is a super fast ride in a very dark place, it has scary sound effects, and at one point it blasts you backwards!
Our last stop is usually the Waterworld show which I think is amazing. The stunts are truly unbelievable!

Here are some pictures from yesterday:

This is the beginning of the Flash Flood.

This is the scene of the plane crash from the Movie War of the Worlds.
They used a real Boeing 747 and then demolished it!
This is the famous Bates Motel from the movie Psycho.

Here is the set of the Water World show.

Have you ever been to any of the Universal Studios?

If you have what is your favorite attraction?

If you have never been to one, would you want to go after reading this post?

Monday, May 30, 2011

My New Blog Mascot


Hello! I am Popsicle, Hannah's new blog mascot! I am 1 year old, and I was born March 23, 2010.  

I have lots of blog mascot friends:
Panda, Bunny, Mr. NYMr. CA, and Angel Face!

I do a lot of things with Hannah. Here are a few:

I helped her make her sculpture of Sally Ride for Open House.
 I spend time with Connor and her.
I do homework with her.
I bake cupcakes with her.
If you had a blog, what would your mascot be, and what would you name it?
For those of you who have a blog, what is your blog mascot, and what did you name it?