Weekend Coffee Share – Turtle Bay Exploration Park

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that summer is here. The day temperatures have been 80-85F all week. We’re coming towards the time of the year when it’s wise to do outdoor activities early in the morning. The heat usually lingers until bedtime, but the mornings are cool. That said, would you like ice coffee today? I also have a wonderful ice tea in the fridge, that I made yesterday, Green Tea/Kombucha with honey. It’s not super sweet, but very refreshing. I drink a lot of ice tea during our hot summers. Since it’s still morning now, I’m drinking hot coffee. I’m on my second cup. The coffee in the pot today is Major Dickason’s Blend, from Peet’s Coffee. It’s a favorite. 

My daughter and I spent two days at Turtle Bay Exploration Park this week. It’s 300 acres of fun. The park has a lovely big garden, Sundial Bridge (designed by Santiago Calatrava,) Sacramento River, Hiking Trails, a museum, playgrounds, aquarium, wildlife center, seasonal exhibits, a Parrot House (my daughter’s favorite,) and many interactive learning activities for kids. We had a marvelous time, learning about Butterflies, the theme this month. Starting next weekend they are opening a butterfly house, that they are going to have open over the summer. We definitely have to experience that at some point. The weeks fly by with the speed of light with my energetic daughter. I know that I’m going to wake up one day, and she’ll be all grown up. I don’t look forward to that day. She is the greatest blessing. I so enjoy every second we spend together.

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All the photos in today’s post are taken at Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Redding (CA.) The first photo is the Sacramento River, taken from Sundial Bridge. The photo above is my daughter inside the Parrot House.

Blogging wise it’s been a busy week. I started out by participating in the 3 Day Quote Challenge, sharing some action photos the first day, some roses from my garden, and some tree art from our last homeschooling project, paired with some of my favorite quotes. It was fun! Speaking of our Tree Theme, our latest school project that we just finished, yesterday I shared a post about an experiment we did in that theme, with different methods of propagating trees from cuttings. We choose a fig tree, but the methods could be applied upon almost any tree. If you feel a need to add some beautiful trees to your garden, or balcony. 


One day with had lunch by the river, under Sundial Bridge.

I finished reading Shanghai Sisters, by Lisa See yesterday. It’s a complex, and very interesting story about two modern (for their era) sisters. The book begins after WW1, and the sisters lives  with their parents in Shanghai. The story takes many twists and turns, and are filled with tragedies, and hopes. It’s a novel, but feels like it could of very well be based on a true story. The authors writing voice is brilliant. I wish that I could tell a story like that. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. I would love to read a follow up book, the ending kind of left you hanging. I’ve read 28/52 books in my reading challenge this year. Are you reading something interesting at the moment? Books never lasts very long for me, I love reading, and I’m a fast reader. If I start reading a book, I can’t put it down, unless I really have to. I can always use book recommendations. 

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Sundial Bridge, seen from the garden at Turtle Bay.

I know I haven’t written much about my German Shepherd lately. She loves our new place, and have definitely found her spot here. Having some land to roam is the perfect setting for a dog like her. She is happy just knowing that we are there. If I’m out she likes to hang out by my side. She’s just a low maintenance, happy dog, when she gets to be with me. She doesn’t like being alone, but she accepts it if she’s in a familiar place. If we’re somewhere else, visiting someone, or on a trip, she’ll raise hell if she can’t see me, at home she’ll just go to sleep. I love her very much. She is the perfect dog for us. 

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Trying the smoke jumper simulator, at the Mill House (Turtle Bay) was lots of fun!

My rescue horses, Ghost and Fancy, enjoys their days in the pasture. I’ve been working on Fancy’s hooves, and they look a little better. My daughter still rides her, almost every day. Both of them enjoys that very much. Since Fancy was emaciated not long ago, I’m taking things slow with her, slowly building her up. I’ve been given her a supplement for her hooves, and I’m going to start giving her other supplements that will help her build muscles faster. I just didn’t want to shock her body, by starting to give it all at once. Fancy and I are getting very close. She knows that I want to help her. Even when I have to do things that are uncomfortable for her, she works with me. I really like that trait in her. I was warned that she is buddy sour, doesn’t like to be without other horses. She was in the beginning. She still loves being with Ghost, but she doesn’t freak out if he walks to the other end of the pasture, while I work her in the round pen. Most of the time she doesn’t even look for him. She is trusting me more and more. I’m starting to allow my daughter to enter the pasture by herself, and hang out with her, when I work in the garden. I can see them the whole time. Fancy is so sweet with her. Ghost still have his very personal, curious, playful personality. He can be hilarious.

One sad thing is that Ghost and I, we used to have a very tight relationship, but the closer I get to Fancy, the more he distance himself from me. It’s not like I don’t have time for him. I’d like to spend several hours a day with him, I have the time, but he’s not interested. This is a first for me. Horses usually compete about my attention. I know all the good spots to scratch them, I’m pretty good at massage, I have light hands when I ride, and I love just spending time with them. This is usually something horses appreciate. I hate giving horses human traits, but if I didn’t know better, I would say that Ghost is jealous. I can feel his eyes on me all the time, if I’m outdoors. If I try to reach out to him, he says hi, put his muzzle on me, and walks away. He have never, ever acted like that with me! Nothing happened between us, that I’m aware of, other than that I also spend time with Fancy now. This is definitely something that’s been on my mind a lot. For now, I’m just going to give him the space he asks for, but being there for him when/if he reaches out. He is a horse that could’t get enough attention, so this is a little weird. To say the least. Physically he is in excellent  condition, and the image of health. He has had a lot of changes this year, from not being handled at all in January. Maybe he just needs time. I’ve taken my book, and a chair into his pasture for about an hour every day this week. He usually stays pretty close to me. From time to time he comes up to smell my hair. It’s almost funny, now when I have all the time in the world to spend with him this summer, he’s not interested..I’m hoping it will change. I’m going to give it until July/August, and not fret about it. If I don’t see any change by then, I’ll have to start figuring out a plan B. 

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The garden at Turtle Bay, have a lovely Mosaic Oasis. It’s made by repurposed materials, donated by local residents.

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Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? I’m hoping to go on some kind of hike today. Not really sure where. Preferably in the mountains. The mountains are calling my name. Feliz Cinco de Mayo, if you’re celebrating today 🙂 Maybe I’ll have to see about getting some Mexican food later today. I know a place with margaritas out of this world..wanna go?

Thanks for having coffee with me! Have a wonderful weekend!


Ms Zen

Published by Sagittarius Viking

It’s all about experiences, and the healing power of nature. Life is about choosing happiness. I entered the magic world of photography when I was five years old. My gypsy soul have taken me to many different countries, and definitely taught me to be more humble. I believe that you are what you eat, body and soul. I enjoy growing my own food, and spending time outdoors. A Sagittarius loves to travel, have an open mind and, and a philosophical view. It motivates them to wander around the world in search of the meaning of life. Sagittarius is extrovert, optimistic and enthusiastic, and likes changes. A lot of that perfectly describes me. The fact that my ancestors, on both parents sides, were vikings, doesn’t exactly lessen my desire to explore. Maybe a slightly more mindful exploring, compared to the average viking. My blog, and my art prints is a results of my (inner and outer) explorations. Love, Maria

26 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share – Turtle Bay Exploration Park

  1. Feliz Cinco de Mayo to you as well. Around here it seems to be only a drinking holiday, so I expect it being Saturday night, the bars will be busy. I’m beyond that age and interest, however! 😉
    I love books by Lisa See. I’ve read Shanghai Girls, Dreams of Joy, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love and The Tea Girl from Hummingbird Lane. All good! I just finished ‘Promise’ by Minrose Gwin and really liked it. Now I’ve started ‘The Gentleman in Moscow’ by Amor Towles, which comes well recommended and seems interesting so far.
    Have a great Sunday. It is supposed to rain, so maybe I’ll have a day of rest from gardening. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Cinco de Mayo pretty much is the same here. I usually go out to a Mexican restaurants with friends, to share a meal together on this day. The latino population is big here. Maybe it’s just another reason for me to get Mexican food. We eat a lot of Mexican food. Probably too much, but there’s so many great Mexican restaurants in CA. This year we went hiking in Lassen Volcanic National Park instead. It was great!

      Thank you s much for the book tips! I will look into each and every one of them. I really really liked Lisa See’s writing style. Shanghai Girls is the only book I’ve read by her. I’d love to read the others. I hope your new book keep you turning the pages, maybe you get to read some tomorrow. Rest is important to 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for coffee. I’m sorry Ghost is acting strange – I hope it is just a little jealousy and that he comes around soon. I have read Lisa See’s Snowflower and the Secret Fan and enjoyed it and about to start on The teagirl of Hummingbird Lane. I’ve just finished the Children Act by Ian McEwan which was very good and the Underground Railway by colson Whitehead which I’m glad I read. Turtle Bay Exploration Park looked like fun and your daughter certainly was enjoying the company of the parrot. We used to have German Shepherds and I can totally understand how you feel. They are wonderful dogs. Hope you enjoyed your hike.

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    1. Thank you Irene. I hope Ghost comes around as well. He had a lot of changes lately, so it is very possible he need some time to just be a horse. On top of that he is very young. Traditionally many people start working their Arabians much later than for example Quarter Horses. It takes longer for them to mature (they live much longer.)

      German shepherds are wonderful dogs. I grew up with them. They are such personalities. Gretchen, the dog I have now, she’s a rescue that I’ve had for 1.5 years. She is just the sweetest.

      How wonderful that you also enjoy Lisa See’s books. I’m going to go down to my bookstore today, and look for her other books. I’ve enjoyed books my whole life, but now, with a daughter of my own, I see a double value with reading a lot. I purposely read where she can see me reading. I want her to understand how important it is to read well, and the value of books. She can read a few words, but I want to make sure I do everything I can to encourage her. She’s 5 now, the age when I learned to read. I’ve read to her every day since I become pregnant with her. I so want the treasure of good books to be hers.

      The hike was perfect. We drove up to Lassen Volcanic National Park. I love breathing the fresh mountain air, smell the pines, and enjoy the marvelous view.

      Thank you for your lovely company. Have a wonderful Sunday!


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ghost is lucky to have you. I’m sure many wouldn’t be so understanding and so is your daughter. I’d say that the example you are giving is going to give your daughter a wonderful full life full of books and nature and exercise and animals. Glad the hike was good. See you soon. Cheers Irene

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Turtle Bay looks awesome! If I’m ever on your coast, maybe I’ll be able to check it out. And mountains. They call to me as well, but it will be mid summer before I can make that trip. Have fun on your hike!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It is a nice hangout place. Locals like to meet up with their friends at Turtle Bay for picnics, concert, riding their bikes, going for a run etc.

      I hope the rest of your weekend was awesome! I went to Lassen Volcanic National Park for the hike, that was awesome! 🙂 Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Just a short FYI – I tried putting photos on Instagram your way but must have done something wrong. But then I tried plugging my phone into my computer, something I haven’t tried with my new(ish) Google phone. This actually worked great since this phone sorts by date added, not file name. The photo I put on as a test was right there. Simple. Anyway, something for you to try, if you haven’t figured out a better way.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Interesting, I agree about the advertisement part. When you pay for something that shouldn’t be an issue. I have an iPhone, but some of my friends swear by the google phone, they claim they couldn’t live without it now..lol.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m sort of odd. If a real person is trying to communicate with me, the phone can let me know. Otherwise, don’t make a sound or give notices. The phone should be my tool, not the other way around. Yet everyone I know seems to be constantly bombarded by sounds their phones make and jump at every sound. One reason I deleted Twitter a long time ago – I would turn off all of the sounds and notices, but every time it upgraded it would turn the notices back on.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. I love Calatrava’s Redding bridge and have stopped to admire it and walk along it on the way to Mount Shasta. It’s amazing to think that such a piece of modern design by a very famous architect lives in this little unsung corner of Northern California. I notice that the mosaic benches in your photo harken to Gaudi’s work in Park Güell, Barcelona.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sundial Bridge is wort admiring, that’s for sure. The first time I saw it, I did not know who the architect was. My friends, who took me there, had no idea who the architect was (sadly that is true about a lot of people living nearby. I’d say if you stopped everyone walking over the bridge in a normal day, less than half would know who designed the masterpiece they’re on.) I remember thinking to myself that the style of the bridge feels very much like the City of Arts and Sciences, in Valencia. I was thrilled when I found out that the bridge was indeed designed by Calatrava. I’m happy you got to enjoy it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s too bad that people in the area don’t know he built the bridge, but at the same time not surprising. Calatrava is one of my favorite modern architects, so I was thrilled to be able to see his Sundial Bridge.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Great to catch up with you again and hear about your trip with your daughter and how the horses are going. You write so beautifully about your horses and clearly have a way with them. I hope Ghost starts to come out of himself again soon.
    Best wishes,


  7. Time with our kids IS truly precious. My daughter is in high school so I am cramming in as many adventures with her as I can 🙂 Turtle Bay sounds like a fun place to visit, I am putting that on my list when we head up north to explore this summer. Thank you for sharing this.


    1. It is! It truly is. We never get that time back. Turtle Bay is worth a visit. There’s several RV Parks within 10 minutes form the park, if you feel like staying the night, and so much to see in the area, if you do stay. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Turtle Bay looks amazing!! I love the Sundial Bridge, also.. So happy to hear about Fancy and I pray Ghost just needs a bit of time to adjust and comes back around..


    1. Thank you! It is an amazing place. I hope you can visit one day 🙂 Thank you for your kind comment. Fancy is as sweet as ever, or more, but had a tough week this week..with Ghost biting her.


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