A Positive Weekend Recap

One of my New Year's Resolutions this year was to spend more time outdoors. Well, I'm doing pretty good so far this year, thanks to Flat Stanely. Rather than sit at my desk and read CNN.com, I went out three days last week to take Flat Stanley to the Mission, Bubblegum Alley and out for sushi. And, this past Saturday, mom and I took Flat Stanley to Avila Beach (one of the places I had on my Thursday Thirteen list which I actually managed to accomplish).

It was a beautiful day - sunny and kinda warm! I got pictures of Flat Stanley at the beach, on Avila Pier, in front of "Beach Regulation" and "Shark Warning" signs, and at the newly opened Avila Beach Marine Institute. They actually had quite a bit of exhibits up already including a touch pool, small aquariums with fish, an octopus, starfish, and a sea cucumber in them, and true-to-life tide measure. The main lobby had information on abalone fishing, sharks, displays of vintage diving equipment, and a table with microscopes where you could look at what micro organisms live in the water. It was really very fascinating!

After walking around and getting pictures, mom and I had lunch at The Custom House. I had the Sunburst sandwich (Turkey, Avocado, Apple wood Smoked Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, and Melted Jack Cheese) with cottage cheese, and mom had the French dip sandwich and a salad. Both meals were really good, but huge, and we ended up taking half our sandwiches home for dinner. After lunch, we sat on the concrete steps by the pier and watched the waves rolling in, then, when we'd had our fill, we came back home.

Yesterday I printed Flat Stanley's pictures and put together a box with the pictures, some postcards, news papers from Avila Beach and Atascadero (I didn't include SLO's paper because they tend to print articles/opinion letters with profanity in them), a bottle of sand and some shells and a few other little knick-knacks. I mailed him out this evening, and he should arrive back home soon. I really hope the kids enjoy Flat Stanley's adventure at the beach!

The Adventures of Flat Stanley

I begin this post by assuming y'all know who (or what) Flat Stanley is. If not, here's a quick explanation:

Flat Stanely is a series of kids books about a boy named Stanely who gets flattened when a bulletin board falls on him (he is otherwise unharmed). His parents take advantage of his peculiar condition and mail him off to visit relatives in California where he has adventures. Kinda creepy, if you ask me, but kids seem to really dig it. In fact, many schools have started Flat Stanely Projects where kids make a Flat Stanely doll and mail it off to relative or friends. My original BFF's son is doing such a project, and mailed his "Flat Stanley" doll to me. I'm not sure how adventures his stay will be, but so far I've taken him to some fun places: my work (okay, not so fun, but I have to go, so he might as well come with me!), the SLO Mission, Bubblegum Alley, Atascadero Lake and plan to hit a beach or two this weekend before sending him back home. However, there are many other places I wish I could take Flat Stanley if I had the time, in fact, there's 13:

  1. Hearst Castle - One of the most famous landmarks in California.
  2. Cambria/Moonstone Beach - Sometimes seals and sea lions lounge on the rocks just offshore.
  3. SLO Farmer's Market - Lots of great produce (though maybe not right at the moment) and entertainment.
  4. Monterey Bay Aquarium - One of my favourite places ever!
  5. 17 Mile Drive - Beautiful scenery, fun, twisty curves, famous people golfing.
  6. Gilroy - The Garlic Capitol of the World! Garlic flavoured ice cream, anyone?
  7. Santa Barbara/State Street - A major shopping area where the occasional street performer makes balloon animals and sings or dances, and the last time I was there, a representative from the Reptile House at the zoo was showing off some really cool snakes!
  8. Santa Barbara Waterfront - A fun pier to walk along, funky shops to explore, seagulls and waves.
  9. Santa Barbara Zoo - What kid doesn't like a zoo?
  10. Solvang - A touristy Scandinavian-themed town.
  11. Avila Beach - Best beach on the Central Coast (imho).  Actually made it there last weekend!
  12. Charles Paddock Zoo - Our very own Zoo in Atascadero. I just don't think I have enough time to go through it with FS.
  13. Morro Bay Natural History Museum - Gotta have a little education with your adventures, right?