Americana Brand and Kidsplace

The other night we had Dan and Cason and their 3 kids over for dinner. They are friends of friends who have had a surprisingly similar year as us! They were just  in Europe (and Paris) for a few months, returned home, bought a  new van, and drove across the States to Pasadena for Dan to do research at the Huntington where he also received a fellowship. They unfortunately just left for home so we only had time to get together once. It’s pretty unreal that they just did what we did… only about a month behind, and with one extra kid. I can’t imagine! It was great spending time with them. The girls just loved playing with their new friends. It was quite a loud house for a while… Sydney got a little carried away sometimes. If you know Sydney, you know she gets very loud when she is excited.

While we were chatting with them, they mentioned a fun place to bring the kids on a Tuesday morning called Americana Brand in Glendale, Ca. So on Tuesday morning I packed the kids up and took off. It is a very cute, yet large, outdoor shopping  mall with restaurants, clothing stores, and kiosks all surrounding a courtyard with grass and a stage and a large fountain that shoots up and sprays water possibly to the tune of music (someone said it did, but I wasn’t quite sold). A trolley glides around the outside of the courtyard and around the during peak hours and from from 11am to 1pm a band plays kids music. It was great. The music was created for kids from 1 to 5 years old. Some to the tune of old rock music, but mostly of the bands own music, so that parents don’t go stir crazy…. one song was to the tune of an old Elvis song. Actually not so bad. The lyrics encouraged a lot of jumping and dancing, so on that patch of green in front of a little stage, parents parked their strollers sat down and all watched their toddlers jump and twirl to the music. It was a lot of fun. Sydney and Norah loved it, though they were both surprisingly shy, and they didn’t get quite as much into the music as they do at home… and they loved the fountain, so that stole their attention too.

Many of the restaurants have kids eat free specials on Tuesday afternoons too. So, as lunch time came around we walked over to Jamba Juice and had a smoothie. They have cute little cups for kids there. Sydney and Norah loved getting their own smoothie in their own little cup. Sydney drank hers up as fast as she could, without getting brain freeze… or maybe she did. At one point she said “this is cold” and shuddered and in the same breath took another sip. And then when she was done, asked me for mine. Yeah right kid! She has to learn that just because you have finished your share, doesn’t mean you can then have someone else’s. The only problem is that Daddy is more of a sucker when it comes to those sorts of things than Mommy. She can usually smile herself into some of Daddy’s portion.

I think we will go again.  It’s just too bad Richard can’t come along because it would be a nice family outing. I find that sometimes I don’t let the kids stay as long as they would like because I am bored.

Also, the first Tuesday of every month the local kids museum is free in the evening. So after Richard finished work we took the kids over to the Kidsplace Museum together. That was also a lot of fun. There are many climbing gyms with different themes and levels. The theme was bugs and there were lots of exhibits. They had quite a few Red Haired Tarantulas there (ugly suckers!), scorpions and cockroaches, etc. There was a small honey bee hive and a similation ant hill you could climb through. The favourite was of course the water fountains outside though. In the middle of the museum is a courtyard where you can sit and eat lunch while your children play. In the middle there is a small water park with rows of holes in the ground where water is shot out in sequence. Each section at different times and patterns. Sydney could not get enough of it. It was the cutest thing to watch her chase the water! We caught some of it on our camera – but not the best parts. We would watch her and then realize that we should film it, but by then it was too late… Oh well.  Unfortunately this blog won’t let me put up videos. But I will put a couple videos up on my facebook page instead.

I should also explain that I forgot the camera when we left for the Americana… so no pictures there and Richard had the camera and only took two pictures and two videos at the museum… So unlike my other posts there will be a shortage of photos rather than an abundance. Sorry!

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