Sulphur Creek Nature Center: Good place for a kid’s birthday party

Tired of kids’ birthday parties at pumpitup, Indian restaurants, etc. Here is good alternative in the bay area (Hayward): Sulphur Creek Nature Center.

Nice place to host kids birthday party. Kids will have fun. They bring in some animals/birds, talk about them, have a puppet show etc. You can see some snakes, birds, animals etc (in a zoo type setting) and the place is nice, cool and green.

I had never seen a guinea pig before. Saw one at the Sulphur Creek Nature Center. Also got to see an owl, real close for the very the first time.

Post Office mail hold is not reliable!

If you are planning to go on vacation and put a hold on your mail at the Post Office here are a couple of tips.

  1. You can put the hold on the Internet via the USPS website. But this doesn’t always work or if it does, it doesn’t work well. We used this method to put mail on hold. It was on hold for 2 days instead of 7 days! The net effect being that our mailbox was stuffed with mail when we returned.
  2. You can fill out a form and send/drop it off at the post office. Last time we tried this method and it didn’t work very well either. We ended up wit a stuffed mailbox again!

So, if you are planning to put your mail on hold I would suggest doing both of the above just to be on the safe side!

Conversation with my 2 year old

While driving my two year old kid to day care, a typical conversation goes something like this…

Kid: Papa, where we going?
Dad: To school.
Kid: Why?
Dad: Because you can have lots of fun….
Kid: Why Papa?
Dad: You’ll get bored at home
Kid: Why?
Dad: You won’t have anyone to play with at home…
Kid: Why?
Dad: eh.. eh…Because your sister has gone to her school
Kid: Why?
Dad: Because she wants to…
Kid: Why? Why does she wannu
Dad: Because its lots of fun…
Kid: Why?
Dad: She gets to play with her friends…
Kid: But why, Papa?
Dad: Because they all go to the same school…
Kid: Why?
Dad: Welll…eh..eh…its a good school…..Oh! look at that school bus.
Kid: Where, where Papa?
Dad: There, there…
Kid: Okaaay…I saw it.
Dad: Ok, your school is here.
Kid: But why?
Dad: Say Hi to Miss Heather….I gotta go, bye I’ll see you in the evening…

My understanding is that most kids this age act and behave like this. However as they grow older and get influnced by adults like me -(: they loose their persistence and curiosity. Is it just me or something about growing up and adults in general?

Jelly Belly Factory

Check out the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, CA if get a chance. If you are headed to Napa this can be a nice stop over for the kids. Unlike the regular robot infested factory floors, this one is so vibrant with all the colors of the jelly beans. Beware, they give you plenty of sample jelly beans that are bound to drive the kids completely hyper if you don’t ration them out!

Dentist: To remove or not to remove?

According to most (possibly all) Dentists in the US it is recommended to remove the wisdom tooth on both ends and their counter parts on the top row. That is a total of 4 teeth! The claim is that they are not used in the chewing process. I have never heard this from Dentists in India.
In general, the attitude of Dentists in India is to try and save every tooth as far as possible. Dentists in the US on the other hand love to do an extraction at the slightest excuse. Someone told me the supposed rational for this approach. If you remove a tooth then they are free of law suits. If you try some fancy exercise on the tooth and something goes wrong, Dentists are likely to get sued! Also, given the crazy health insurance racket in the US, I believe an extraction is easy money. I am curious to know the experiences of anyone around here on this.

Bonfante Gardens

Looking for a nice place to visit with your kids on a weekend? You live in the SF Bay area and don’t necessarily want to drive a whole lot? Bonfante Gardens near Gilroy might be your answer. It is just south of San Jose after Morgan Hill. The park has plenty of rides, games, gardens, boat rides, train rides, etc. You can easily spend an entire day there and have lots of fun with the kids. The rides are not high pressure rides and hence perfect for smaller kids.

And finally the best part. The park is not well known. Very few people in the bay area are aware of its existence! The positive of course is that its not very crowded, which makes it an even better place to visit!

Its cheaper to get your tickets online.

Further increase in toll!

Read over the weekend that come 2007 the toll on bay area bridges are going to be increased by a dollar. The toll will be $5 for the Golden Gate bridge! This toll increase is simply insane. Combined with the ever increasing gas prices, simply getting to work is slowly becoming such an expensive affair. No wonder jobs are going overseas!