Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Turtle Bay, Redding-July 10th

Traveling with kids is an adventure. You can plan your heart out, or see where the road takes you. In planning this trip, I wanted to compromise. I knew how long we had to get to Oregon in time to spend a full weekend with family, and I knew how long our kids typically are okay in the backseat of the van. Factor in sightseeing we wanted to do, I planned on covering about 300 miles per day. That put us in Redding, CA for  the night. I didn't make hotel reservations until the night before (and we lucked out in location, price, and amenities). The kids took advantage of the pool there, and we also did some sightseeing both as we entered town, and before we left the next afternoon.The main stop here was Turtle Bay Exploration Park. It was a tsteamy hot day (105 degrees to be exact) but that didn't stop us from exploring the museums, it just meant we had more of the park to ourselves, and the employees took time to explain science and animal facts with the kids. It was well worth the admission fee had we paid for it here ($56 for the day) (but it was considered part of the reciprocal museum pass program, so it was free!) Here are some photos from our adventure the first day we spent at the park.

Rebecca and I at the wild animal show

Matthew was an audience volunteer for the animal show.

Matthew has a bird on his head!
Each of the boys donated money to the park for the care of the animals, so they had the opportunity to be up and close with them.

Rebecca could have stayed here all day, the water was cold (and the weather was HOT!)

Matthew learned about waterways.

Gabriel learned about dams and water flow.
Robert and Rebecca check out the water spigot.
We tried taking a decent picture, and with the combined heat of 105 degrees and four hot little bodies, this was the best shot we got after standing there a few minutes.
We spent quite a bit of time at the Butterfly House,  I think it was one of our family's favorite exhibits. There were butterflies, so many, it was breath taking. It was hot, but there were misters on, and the temperature was significantly cooler inside the netted "house". Here are some pictures that I took inside the "house".

The boys were able to see butterflies that were still chrysalis, and were in the process of emerging from their cocoons. It was amazing for them (and me too!) to see nature as it happened. I have to mention too that we had a conversation about God, and seeing all that He created. My kids teach me so much about how they see the world- I don't always know  wrhere they get their questions or comments, but it makes my heart happy to see their minds developing this way.
Rebecca and I inside the Butterfly House.

It was a once in a lifetime experience to release a newly emerged butterfly into the world.
Matthew's eyes were so big- he enjoyed every second of being up and close with the butterfly.

Gabriel is one of those kids that jumps right in for activities, so seeing him standing still, in awe of the butterfly,was quite a difference.
The boys and their butterflies.
The butterfly crew

The Allen Family and butterflies

Pure joy!

Daddy, boys, and butterflies

Taking a break in at Paul Bunyan's Forest Camp exhibit meant air conditioning, books, and animals.

A quiet day in the park means extra perks like seeing the animals up close (like they do during summer camp there!)

Inside the museum

Rebecca was running strong all day, taking everything in with her eyes.

The roots of the living tree inside of the museum :)

Robert taught Matthew how to play checkers.

Rebecca was eager to get behind the wheel at the agriculture exhibit.

Elijah was all smiles too-and he looks so much older than 4 1/2 here :)

We ended this day's adventure by walking through the grounds of the park. It was local resources used in a way so you felt transplanted in a different time, away from the city life. It was considerably cooler than the Sundial Bridge and Botanical Gardens (which we saved for the next day) and hearing the birds above, it was picture perfect.

1 comment:

Dana said...

What a great place! I love reading your descriptions. We will have to stop there on our trip up to Mt. Shasta next summer. :-)