Nate’s Notes: Lions, Tigers, and…Tea?

So I got to pull an adventure paper out of our tin, you know, that whole Drawing Game thing where you never actually get to draw.  Anyway…I pulled the paper and ran. Who doesn’t like a game of chase?   After Momma caught me and gave me that look…she took the paper and smiled really big.  I smiled back and waited…and waited…and….waited.  Tell me! Tell me!  Tell me!  I started jumping up and down and running in circles in the kitchen.  The waiting was driving me crazy…or at least that seemed like a good reason to act crazy.

Then she told me:  The San Francisco Zoo and Japanese Tea Gardens!!  Lions and tigers and bears oh my!!!  And the zoo train!  “Twain! Twain! Twain!” I shouted.    I’m not ashamed to admit I may have spit a little bit…and drooled too when I shouted train.  Come on, like you’ve never gotten that excited!?!  Don’t judge me people.

Yea, so after 2 more nights sleeping in my big boy bed, we get to go to the zoo and ride the train and see the elephants and pet the goats and and and…  Whew.  I’m so excited I just peed my pants!!!  Again…you are going to judge me??? A toddler in potty training???  C’mon!!!

Oh yea, and we have to take pictures.  Lots of pictures.  Always lots of pictures.  Pictures of this…pictures of that.   But we’ll be at the zoo so I don’t care how Momma acts!  She’ll just blend in with the animals and stuff.

Wait, what’s a “Tea Garden”?  Do we just go drink tea?  But I’m not allowed to drink tea. Oh goodness.  Hmmm…oh well, I get to go to the zoo!

RSWL: Day Trips & Adventures

One of the major changes in my life in the last year has been not only how I work or what I work on, but where I work.  Yes, I work from home, in my home, etc.   More specifically, though, I am referring to the field adventures I take for photographs.   I absolutely LOVE these.  Sometimes these are quick outings by myself into town or for a particular set of shots.  More often than not, they involve one baby on my back (or front), and sometimes they include my husband, Chad, and another baby on his back.  These field adventures range from a couple hours to a full day depending on how far away the destination.   These day- long trips, or day trips, are my favorite, seeming like a mini vacation, taking us on fantastic adventures.   

I keep an inventory of the places or subject matters we need photos of (ummm…like, EVERY THING and EVERY PLACE), and we go down the list.  Recently, we made it more of a random pick by writing all the current choices on scrap papers which we will take turns drawing from a tin in order to determine our destination.  

Our day trips might take us to the zoo, to a nearby city or town, a lumber mill, cemetery,  to the ocean, to historic forts, to nearby state parks, even national parks, to bridges, farmland, wineries, museums and more.  We are a curious and adventurous family, hungry to learn and see new things.   Our explorations teach us new things, even if it’s to a place we’ve visited 5 times before.  Each time, we see it with different eyes.  Sometimes, if we’re returning to a place, we’ll take a different route there, exploring new things along the way.  There is a surprise around each corner, if you pay attention.  

The adventures also get us involved in active learning.   Often it is worth it to do some research ahead of time when we plan our destination.   Just a half hour on Google before leaving enhances our outing and encourages us to look things from different angles and with a greater appreciation.  Day trips let us be adventurous, support our sense of exploration, and give us enough of a break from daily life to keep things interesting. 

From our location in Northern California, I think my favorite day trip destination is San Francisco and the surrounding areas because of the vast number of places to see.   We could make the 75 mile trip each weekend for half the year and not run out of adventures.   We recently went to the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field and Fort Point.   If you’re ever in the area, these are a must see for you structure enthusiasts.   Nate will undoubtedly write about it soon!  

Fort Point, San Francisco

Fort Point, San Francisco

Fort Point, San Francisco

Fort Point, San Francisco

Fort Point, San Francisco

Fort Point, San Francisco










Our whole team at The Transmogrifier is passionate about our day trips and long weekend adventures.  We also love suggestions…so anytime you have one for a location that inspires great photos, or a learning opportunity, please let us know.  

I’m off to plan our next day trip!  What was the last day adventure you had and where did it take you?

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Nate’s Notes: The Drawing Game

I know, I thought we were going to be using color crayons too.  What do you expect (wink wink- even though both my eyes still close when I try to wink) when you hear “draw”?  Well, Momma and Daddy said they were going to need my help with a game.   They called it “The Drawing Game”.   Naturally, I went to find my color crayons and tried to sneak in some highlighters and markers.  Momma quickly took the highlighters and markers away.  Not cool.  After being ignored when I threw myself on the floor thrashing in an attempt to get the markers back, I picked myself up, forgot about the markers, and decided to see what they meant.   I joined them at the table where they were writing on small pieces of paper.

I made a mad swipe at all the papers and ran, eager to see what they were about.  Daddy grabbed my overalls and hauled me back to the table.  Man.  Did I mention they are soooo serious sometimes??!!!  After resigning myself to standing there, marker-less and confused, they told me what they were doing.   Momma decided our list of field adventures for pictures was long and taking up too much room on the whiteboard in our kitchen.  She also said she wanted to add some fun to the family decision-making process and asked me what I thought about that.  I blinked at her (not winked) and thought to myself, “she DOES realize I am not even two right?  Family decision-making process?  What does that even MEAN????” .    She clearly took my blinking as a cooperative gesture because she responded, “Good!  I’m glad you like it Nate, because you get to draw the first adventure.”   Well, who doesn’t like a good game of Pictionary???!!!  THIS boy does!   So I ran to get my color crayons.  Daddy grabbed my overalls and hauled me back to the table once again.  They are SO confusing.  Do they want my help or not??

Momma said we could crumple the pieces of paper and put them in the old coffee tin.  She told me what some of them said as we crumpled.  Golden Gate Bridge;  Rodeo;  SF Zoo; Armstrong Woods; Point Reyes Lighthouse;  SF Japanese Tea Gardens;  Pier 39;  Giants Ballpark; Healdsburg Playground; Monterey; Mendocino;  Fort Ross;  Downtown Napa;  Santa Rosa Air Museum; Angel Island; Alcatraz; China Camp State Park; Yosemite;  Camping; Fort Point; Aquarium; Howarth Park; and Spring Lake.   Then she explained that “draw” is a complicated verb with many meanings.  Yes, I can draw with my color crayons.   I could even draw with highlighters and markers if she’d put on her fun-Momma cap and let me.  Well, this time, draw meant to pull out one of the pieces of paper from the tin.   Whatever- your language is so bizarre sometimes.  I’m just trying to learn it.

So, here goes…my turn to draw the first field adventure!   Got it!  And we’re going to…

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