Thursday, October 12, 2017

First week in LA

Bobby started work with his new company on October 2.  While Daddy was at work, the boys and I had to run a few errands like hand in paperwork at the District's Enrollment Center. What a neat looking building:
And California has the coolest looking trees!
And the loveliest views:
And I am slowly discovering Charlie's funny faces while browsing through my camera!  The boys are constantly taking videos and photos on my camera. Too funny :-D
We find a park to have lunch:
There are trees to climb:
Fish to poke at with a stick:
Bean bags to toss around and bury under:
Unique decor/items to tinker with:
Furniture to test out and approve:
It's tough being a kid!  At the end of the day, Graham and Charlie are rewarded with some time at the playground:
I did mention about the "coolest trees" didn't I?
I think the boys are tired :-)
We did managed to find the boys their first bunk bed:
Right now, Graham is sleeping on top but Charlie wants the top bunk too. So I told them that they can swap after every week. We'll see how that goes!  Speaking of how it's going - Bobby is really enjoying his new hybrid car!  Funny enough, he has changed the way he drives (more conservatively!!!) in order to maintain or gain "Efficiency Leaves":
I just have to laugh when he is so proud of the 100% he earns in 1) Braking, 2) Acceleration, and 3) Cruising.  And speaking about cruising, love it with the sun roof open!  Can't get enough of this lovely SoCal weather :-)
Back to the hybrid car, we haven't found a lot of charging stations, but when we do - even Graham knows how to charge it!
And in case you are wondering what else these kids do while we are not looking...
Action cam! Charlie is taking photos while trying to fight off Graham. Ha ha!

Monday, October 9, 2017

First weekend in LA

After a good night's sleep, we are ready to hit the beach!  Well, just to see for now as we have an appointment to see our new apartment later.  Graham and Charlie are ready for the cooler weather!
Nice to be able to finally use the sun-roof again in the minivan:
We hit the pier of Manhattan beach as that is the closest one to our hotel:
The boys are excited for sure!
Loving it!
It's really neat just watching the surfers:
There were a couple "dudes" catching the waves on their paddles boards too.  It is tough enough just standing on the board, let alone trying to catch a wave and maneuver it with the paddle!  Some day perhaps... :-)
Okay, time for us to hit the beach!
Happy Charlie!
And happy Graham!
Graham really wanted to play volleyball, so he borrows a ball from a group of people that are playing nearby.  We even get a little tip on how to actually set your hands when hitting the ball:
After a little while (and having to drag the boys off the sand), we are off to look for a car for Daddy.  We first stop by Volvo but leasing one is too expensive!  So we stop by the Ford instead - which was our original intention anyway. Somehow I managed to convince Bobby to get the C-Max hybrid. I was excited about the fuel efficiency and also with a special sticker on the car, he is able to use the carpool lane!
Right now, Bobby is averaging 41mpg in the 8 days of leasing it and he has not had to get on the freeway once to get to work!  And if the car was fully charged up, he would be averaging 98mpg. Yup, you heard right - 98MPG. That is just amazing!!! And definitely would save us lot of money as gas it so expensive here. I would say about at least $3/gallon.

The car leasing takes almost the entire afternoon and thankfully the boys are entertained with cartoon on TV and free popcorn for Charlie. At this point, Charlie has already had 3 bags full:
Once all that is done, we swing by to our apartment complex to check it out.  The views along the way is spectacular!
Look at all these houses up on the hill.  I bet they have a really nice view of the ocean:
Graham and Charlie are back at it again, on "Daddy's phone" while we wait for the leasing agent:
We continue to take in the scenery.  Ahhhh.....
I have no idea what this flower is called, but it looks so much like a bird somehow!
We take a peek at our apartment and well, if anything 1,100 sq ft will be a quick one to clean compared to our 4-bed 4-bath apartment in Abu Dhabi!

More amazing views of Palos Verdes Peninsula, which rises 1,457 ft (444 meters) above the South Bay region of Los Angeles. I can't quite figure out where our new apartment is yet.  Hmmm....
This photo below of Charlie probably captures it all - enjoying the sunny and cool weather of California! Both boys love having their windows down and sticking their arm out:
Before the end of the night, we swing by a Best Buy.  This seems to be the boys' favorite store.  They love playing on the phones and computers in the store. Even Charlie recognizes the store logo now. I am trying to convince Bobby to buy one of these robot vacuum cleaners. I wanted one when we lived in Abu Dhabi. But is it really worth USD400???!?
I think this one is much cheaper and Graham and Charlie are able to operate it. Even better. Ha ha!
What a day/weekend!  We find some good restaurants, although parking is a nightmare at these shopping malls!!!
Still waiting for our stuff to arrive but the fun starts with looking for some new furniture. Yay!!!

Los Angeles - here we come!

All I have to say is, thank goodness for a minivan!  I am able to put a few things away in every nook and cranny of this vehicle.  Here is the under-storage in the backseat:
I am not exactly sure why I am bringing my sewing machine too, but perhaps it might come in handy when our drapes arrive from Abu Dhabi???
I did mention every nook and cranny, right?  Completely forgot to bring along Charlie's balance bike! It was a hand-me-down from one of our AZ neighbor's kid:
And after piling in all that stuff, I realized we could have used our Thule!  Next time.  I am sure there will be more round trips back and forth from LA to Phoenix:
Here we go! A bit of a late start. I took this photo a bit later after departure, so technically it is over 400 miles:
The boys start out by watching a couple of DVDs.  Look what happens when we decide to turn it off. Yup, fast asleep!
So many windmills along the way.  Graham was asleep but I am glad Charlie was able to take a few photos:
We find a Vietnamese restaurant along the way for dinner.  Both boys are wide awake and playful now:
And... back into traffic!
We finally make it to our hotel and booked ourselves in for a week.  Going to see our new apartment this weekend (Sept 30)!