It had been years since we had visited Birch Aquarium, so today we visited the fish. It is very hard to get good photos in a pitch black aquarium though inches thick plexiglass. But, I did my best.


Connor showed off his homemade Wander Franco costume at his school’s Halloween parade, which the parents viewed from the parking lot.

Later that evening, Gavin dressed up as Shohei Ohtani for the school’s Autumn festival, which we all attended. He ran off with some friends, so I never ended up getting a photo of him.


The boys showed me the new Komodo Kingdom habitat, which I hadn’t seen yet. Then we walked around the southern side of the zoo, seeing some animals we hadn’t seen in a while.


The Midway aircraft carrier is an engineering marvel. We spent the entire day exploring the ship, and still didn’t make it to all the areas open to the public. My Grandpa Ladd would have absolutely loved it, and I couldn’t help but think about him as I weaved my way through the bowels of this floating city.


For the first time since before the pandemic, we went to some indoor museums at Balboa Park. Our first stop was the newly reopened Mingei International Museum, and then we visited one of our favorites, the Natural History museum.


We took the boys to see their first Dodgers game since they were toddlers. On the way to the game, we went to the famous Joe Kelly mural of him doing the pouty face.

And what a game it was! Max Scherzer pitched an immaculate inning and got his 3,000th strikeout. After the game, the boys ran the bases.


Downtown LA was a new experience for the boys, which is where we found ourselves this weekend. We started off with a ride down the Angels Flight funicular to the Grand Central Market, where we had some delicious tacos.

Afterwards, we spent some time wandering around the skyscrapers. The Wilshire Grand Center and the U.S. Bank Tower, respectively the 1st and 3rd tallest buildings west of the Mississippi, were the highlights.


We spent the day in Newport Beach, a place none of us had ever visited. The trip started off with a walk around the entire circumference of Balboa Island, looking at all the boats and cute beach houses. Then we drove up and down Balboa Peninsula, which was packed with people because it was the first day of Labor Day weekend.


A thick layer of clouds kept the temperature much cooler than normal, as we walked around the Safari Park visiting the animals.


Summer is officially over. Connor has Mr “B” (Betschel) for 5th grade, and Gavin is back at Oak Valley for 8th. Both are kings of the campus this year.