Monterey: Day 1

Our Spring Break is quite a whirlwind.  

We got up at 6 am in Riverside to drive home.  We were home about an hour to shuffle our luggage and load the bikes.  Then off to Monterey to meet the Conrath's.  Needless to say the kid was tired so we made sure he had some comforts.  


All across California every 4th grade class studies the missions of California.   Each student picks a mission and creates a project based on the mission.  Quinn picked La Pur√≠sima Concepci√≥n because it was the same one his teacher studied when she was in the 4th grade.  So on our way to Monterey we stopped at La Purisima so Quinn could see it in person. 





Then it was on to Monterey.  We arrived around 5 pm and met the Conrath's in Cannery Row for dinner.    The restaurant had an awesome chalk wall where Quinn left his signature. 


Odyssey State Tournament

An amazing weekend for this great group of kids (although 2 are missing in this pic).  On Friday we left school at 11:30 am to drive to Riverside for the California State Odyssey Tournament. 



We left early to get ahead of the bad traffic and also for the kids to have some fun together.  This girl  can hold her own with the boys and they love her to pieces.  



These kids had so much fun playing games and hanging out in each others rooms.


We were up bright and early Saturday morning for a 6 am departure.



Their Long Term Performance was at 8:10 am.  Here they are getting ready to go on.  The judges get the front row seats.


After the performance the judges take a closer look at all the stuff they made and also ask questions.  The judges want to make sure that all the ideas were the kids and that they made all the stuff.  Believe me, they did!


Coach Juli has a son on this team and a daughter on a 7th grade Odyssey team.  The coach of the 7th grade team, Kathryn, has a daughter on her team and her son is on this team.  Coach Juli and Coach Kathryn basically swap kids for Odyssey.

Here they are getting ready to see the 7th grade team perform.



Team Selfie!



Time to review comments and scores.  And they were really good.  


The tournament was held at University of California Riverside.  Perfect picture spot.    There were about 100 teams competing so about 700 kids plus families.



We had to get some Odyssey of the Mind merchandise.


There was alot of down time between the long term performance and their sponts.  Glad we brought a book. 


One of the fun parts of the day was pin trading with other teams.  The kids got a lanyard and 10 pins for their region.  Then they had to trade with kids in other regions until they got all the pins that spelled California!


On their way to Sponts -- which is a spontaneous problem that they have 3 minutes to solve as a team.   The Sponts make up 40% of their overall score.  Do you think they have a fun coach?  All the way there she played follow the leader to shake out all the nervous feelings.



When they get out of Sponts the parents and the 7th grade girls team make a cheering tunnel for them.

Odyssey Sponts from amy white on Vimeo.

Team hug!!


Coach Juli playing more games with the kids waiting for the awards ceremony.


The top 2 teams in each division go to the World Tournament and Quinn's team placed 3rd.  They missed 2nd place by less than 1 point!  They earned the best score for their Long Term performance but placed lower for Sponts.  SO SO PROUD of these kids for placing 3rd in the state.


Many months of hard work to get here and so well deserved.  This group is pretty amazing.




Weekend Hikes

We are still working on our hikes for the Conejo Open Space Challenge and we knocked off 3 more hikes this weekend.  We've completed 6 of 10. 

This time we took Quinn along and knocked out 2 hikes today and also found about 5 geocaches.   Can you tell Quinn is thrilled?



A look back towards Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks. 


It is so great seeing everything starting to turn green.  We enjoy it while we can. 


This was our 2nd hike.  Quinn was busy turning over rocks looking for bugs while Don and I were looking for geocaches. 



Sonic loves our hikes!


A beautiful oak tree.



On Sunday while Quinn was at Odyssey, Don and I went on a really great hike along the powerlines in Newbury Park.  Today we found about 10 geocaches on the hike. 


Happy Sonic with the ocean and Channel Islands in the background. 


Follow the powerlines. 


This hike was about 2 miles uphill.  Our turn around point was at the powerlines in the distance.  You can see the trail going  up the side of the mountain. 


A biker takes in the view. 


A  look back to where we started.  All the way back down there by the farthest houses on the left.


A selfie on top of Conejo Mountain.  It was a pretty great view up there. 



It was about 4 miles roundtrip climbing about 50 floors or 920 feet in elevation.  But a beautiful day to be out breathing the fresh air and enjoying new hikes.  We certainly got in our steps today!

Quinn's Weekend

Quinn had a pretty great weekend.

He asked if his friend Dan could sleep over on Friday night because they wanted to build an elaborate trap to catch a leprechaun.  How could we resist that request?

One thing that is so awesome about this age is that they want to do everything themselves.  They wanted to get the air mattress out of the garage, carry it upstairs (it's really heavy), and get it set up.  Again, how could I resist that request.


It was make your own pizza for dinner. 


And then out to the garage to work on the leprechaun trap.  They have had alot of practice in Odyssey using saws, box cutters, and hot glue guns that they were able to work very independently. 


The final product.  Unfortunately the leprechaun chewed his way out of the trap. 


The next morning. 


Pancakes with whipped cream. 



Dan went home and we went on a family hike.  And then we picked up Hayden and took him to dinner with us.


Everyone zonked out. 


The next morning reading and playing games in bed.    It was a pretty great weekend for our guy!  And both overnight guests were lots of fun to have around.