Micronaxx The adventures of Finn & Henry


Seal Team Nack

To make the most of our free Sunday with Grandma Nack, we fired up the new Westy and headed over the mountains to Santa Cruz, grabbed lunch in nearby Davenport, and then headed north to meet the giant elephant seals who congregate at Año Nuevo beach. Everyone was game for tromping through a couple of miles of sand & trails to get out there, and you can see a bit of our adventures in this little gallery.

Año Nuevo 13

Año Nuevo 10


SF Zoo Crew

We took advantage of President's Day to make our first-ever visit to the San Francisco Zoo, meeting up with the guys' longtime pal Magdalena & her family. Some fun bits:

  • While there we learned that some rhinos prefer to file down their horns (like the guy we named "Stumpy") and that some owls' ears are positioned asymmetrically on their heads (one high, one low) to help them hear creatures above & below them.
  • We cracked each other up by noting the absurdity of calling what amounts to a raccoon a “red panda” and then extending that “logic” to other animals. For example, we dubbed a house cat a “furry four-legged land octopus" and a flamingo a “soft-skinned pygmy rhino." The more ludicrous, the better!
  • After being thwarted in previous owl-quests (e.g. at the Oakland Zoo), Henry was thrilled to see some real live owls, one of which was named Athena. He happily trundled home with a little stuffed owl by that name.

Here's a gallery from the outing.



Zoo Crew, Panda Hullabaloo

The last leg of our summer vacation in Southern California was a trip to the San Diego Zoo. We arrived bright and early in the morning, with strollers, camera, and snacks in tow. We had already discussed the various animal exhibits at the zoo with the boys, and unsurprisingly, our man Henry decided we should see the panda bears first. So, off we went to Panda Canyon. Henry could barely contain himself! We got to see two panda brothers eating their bamboo breakfast, and we heard the zookeeper mention that there was a third, one-year-old panda lounging at the top of a pine tree. That little guy was only visible from the sky gondolas, so after we spent some close-up time with the big guys, we hit the sky ride to view the little one from above.

We spent the rest of the day wandering around the beautiful zoo, checking out almost all of the other exhibits (minus the reptile house, which none of us were too excited about). We definitely got our fill of elephants, big cats, birds, hippos, giraffes, koala bears, and native Californian species (including the human spectators!). Here's a gallery from our day.


West Coasters

We spent a delightful day at the Oakland (or as Henry kept calling it, "Oklahoma") Zoo, checking out lions, learning more than we might've wanted about elephants' pooping ("He must have a really large large intestine!" noted Hen), and hanging out with the Wiggii. We all braved the semi-fearsome Tiger Coaster, as you can see here:

What started small a few weeks back is quickly becoming an addiction, and the guys are clamoring to check out the rides of the San Jose Winter Carnival tonight. Wish us luck!


“Seventy-Hundred Dollars'” Worth of Bacon

On Saturday the lads & I got down & (very) dirty at Rancho San Antonio, checking out old vehicles ("Not zooming," notes Henry; "Non-zooming," corrects Finn), trails, and animals. Having learned where bacon comes from, Finn dubbed a pair of hogs "Makin'" and "Fakin'."

A wiser, more discreet father would've probably edited out the middle section of the clip above; unfortunately you're stuck with The Nack Daddy & his inner 3-year-old. ;-p


Gettin’ Buffaloed

The other day we took the boys to Woolaroc, a former ranch/wildlife preserve of an Oklahoma oil baron, which is now a local attraction. There are plenty of indigenous and exotic animals to see, a fantastic Western art and artifact collection, as well as some vintage oilfield vehicles like fuel trucks and aircraft. Here's a little gallery of our adventures. Henry, of course, went running after the big orange fuel truck on display and was just dying to climb aboard, while Finny was fascinated with the oil pumps, the 3-story high observation tower, huge stoic buffalo, and kid-sized old-west style playground. His enthusiasm for the old west has now resulted in him "jailing" us (the "bad dudes") for offenses such as stealing lion blankies and stuffed monkeys, even though we've been framed by our local pint-sized sheriff!

Although the kids' petting zoo was not officially open, our dudes did manage to get a little face- and fur-time with a few goats, sheep, and chickens. One of the great things about Woolaroc is that the wild animals are just roaming around freely on the grounds, and so we got some great close-up views of buffalo, deer, and elk from the car as we drove through. We even got to see some zebras, an ostrich, some llamas, and a zonkey (zebra + donkey, which looks like a zebra that just hasn't bathed in awhile!).


And Around We Go

Our man Finno is a born wheelman--at least when it comes to holiday carnival rides. Little Henry has to put on some inches before joining in the action, but boy will he be ready when the time comes. The video below combines two rides--one at the Zoo Lights in Oakland, the other at the SJ winter festival. Enjoy!


Zoo Lights!

"Neither rain nor cold nor gloom of night will stay these cherubic buddies from the swift enjoyment of their date with the zoo..."

After our first attempt got rained out a week earlier, on Sunday evening the Nack Pack rallied & met up with pals Bettie, Quade, and their folks Tara and Andy at the Oakland Zoo. Here you can see us enjoying the groovy nighttime zoo train, sighting a wallaby & a Macy's-float-sized Henry face. 🙂


“Oh no, don’t EAT me, goats!!”

Someday, technology will allow us to jump a few seconds back in time (TiVo-style) to record marvelous moments that have just transpired. And given that by then we'll also have time machines (right?), I'll return to last week & capture one of my favorite Finny moments ever.

Last week the boys and I, together with Grandma & Grandpa Nack, headed over to Happy Hollow, the nearby park & petting zoo. This time I came loaded with quarters, all set to buy handfuls of snacks for the various goats, sheep, and donkeys on hand. Everything went great until the end, when instead of a mere handful of food, I gave Finn a whole Ziploc bag. The horned amigos made a beeline for the big guy, prompted him to start panicking, "Oh no, oh nooo, don't EAT me, goats!!"

I put down my cam and quickly broke up the pack, knocking the chow to the ground & drawing the goats away from Finn. Poor dude--but he recovered fast, and ever since we've been laughing it up about those hungry, hungry goats. Here's our gallery (HTML).


Pet Sounds from Way Out

On Sunday we & the lads enjoyed a visit to the recently re-opened Happy Hollow petting zoo. It was a lovely warm, sunny day, and we all had a great time roaming around the park. We saw goats, mules, sheep, lemurs, and parrots, and we didn't even make it through the whole zoo! We decided to buy a family membership since it was obvious we'd want to come back many times.

Here is a little gallery (HTML) of our adventures. Finno and Dad-o decided to feed the goats--happily no trolls were spotted. Even Leo got in on the action! (We were a little worried that one of the goats might make off with Leo and have him for a snack!) We found a big water pump just like the one in Finn's favorite book Hogwash. After a break for sandwiches and fruit, Finn and Dad-o made their way to the carousel where Finny got to ride on the big giraffe. On our way out, Finn made the acquaintance of several large brass animals that were gleaming in the sun.

[These days Finn is just as taken with inquiring about drainage pipes, wires, etc. as with checking out animals. Seeing (and announcing) "Lemur pooping!" was a highlight, however, as was his spontaneous attempt to drink from the goat watering hole! --J.]


Giraffes, Beating Sticks, & More

Finn has been really into giraffes lately, loving to watch all kinds of YouTube clips about them. He especially loves how their super-long tongues can scrape leaves off of "beating sticks" on trees. This has led to lots of horse--er, giraffe--play involving the zookeeper (Dad-O) and the strings of his hoodie sweatshirt: