Weekend Excursions: Oakland Zoo, Mushroom Dome, Blackhawk Plaza

We took a few weekend trips recently — one to the Oakland Zoo, one to the Mushroom Dome in Aptos, and one to Blackhawk Plaza in Danville.

At the zoo, Alison finally got to see all the animals we’ve been showing her in books in real life! She was fascinated by the giraffes. (And I was too — I don’t think I’ve seen that many of them in one place before!)

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The zoo also had a neat exhibit where you could pet goats and other animals. Alison was really curious what their fur felt like.


On our trip to Aptos, we stopped by Santa Cruz. The beachfront attractions were closed and the sky looked like it was going to rain, so we took a side trip to the Seymour Marine Discovery Center. They had a touch exhibit, so Alison got to touch a starfish!

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By the time we got to Mushroom Dome it was starting to get dark, but we managed to take a picture in front of the iconic Airbnb before the sun went down completely.

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On another weekend, I took Alison to Blackhawk Plaza while Kathy was at work. There were a lot of ducks that day!

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We had been to this plaza before, but not since Alison started saying “duck”. She was also old enough to feed the ducks herself this time.

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After we were done feeding the ducks, we got some lunch for ourselves.


15 Months

Alison is beginning to talk! Her first words (roughly in order of her learning to speak them):

  • Nai Nai (milk)
  • Ma Ma (Mommy)
  • Daddy
  • Duck
  • Domo Kun (but she pronounces it “Da di du”)
  • Baby
  • Owl
  • Bao Bao (pick me up)
  • More
  • Apple
  • Auntie
  • Bubble

Here she is spending some quality weekend time with Daddy…


… and a little later:



  • Eating the grilled cheese… and feeding daddy the carrots