Friday, November 28, 2014

Get to Know the Animals at Wildlife Learning Center

So maybe I am a kid at heart. Some of the simple pleasures of life include trips to the zoo and other facilities where animals are protected and cared for, whether they are in their natural habitat or out of it. Mary and I visited my sister in Los Angeles County. Instead of opting for the LA Zoo, we decided to visit the Wildlife Learning Center at 16027 Yarnell St in Sylmar, CA. 

This non-profit organization is usually open 7 days a week from 11 am to 5 pm. The website,,  keeps visitors up to date with changes, admission fees, and special events. 

A 5-year old boy was having a birthday party at the center when we visited. The parents and kids enjoyed the lovely Southern California weather and the shade of the eucalyptus trees while the kids munched out on cupcakes. One highlight was seeing Geoffrey from Toys “R” Us, who lives at the center between appearances!

 The center uses the donations and admission fees to care for and provide sanctuary to many wild animals. Helping the public learn about conservation, care, and sharing the earth with one another increases understanding and care for the other living things with which we coexist. 

The snake woke up shortly after I took this picture, and leisurely uncoiled his body so he could slither away.

 There was an inquisitive owl perched high above the visitors in the office. 

                                                    You can see the size of this shy little monkey!

Do you:

  • ·         want to commune with nature?
    ·         avoid long walks between exhibits?
    ·         prefer small groups of people so everyone can see what’s going on?
    ·         have just a short while to dedicate to something special?
Then this is the place to be! Schedule a visit at the Wildlife Learning Center in Sylmar the next time you are in SoCal.We enjoyed our visit and I know you will, too. 


Friday, November 14, 2014

Say Goodbye to Summer with Fall Decorations and Oktoberfest

Disclosure: I was given a pair of tickets to attend the Oktoberfest dinner at the Nugget in Sparks. All the comments and opinions are my own.

I like to mark the official end of summer by the annual Oktoberfest celebrations that occur around the Reno and Sparks area of Nevada. Since I’m not a beer drinker, I’ve been assured I am missing the best part of every festive event. I personally believe it’s the apple strudel accompanied by coffee and the lively music and chatter of the crowd.

A delicious feast for Oktoberfest was held in a different area of the local casino and hotel this year, on the second floor past the Rose Ballroom. The elevators and escalator made it easy for guests to get up to the event. It’s surprising how much food was set out in several buffet style areas to help diners get through the line quickly after filling their plate with traditional German cuisine. 

Desserts were neatly arranged on tables throughout the room. Yum! Apple strudel and chocolate cake were arrayed in a magnificent display.

D├ęcor for Oktoberfest 2014 consisted of barrels, silk fall foliage, pumpkins, and Western-style open wooden fences.

The scenery and music for this fete changes from year to year while celebrating the change of seasons and goodbye to fall.