Here in Berkeley there is a hidden gem of a playground in Codornices Park. Ok, so it's not really all that hidden, but it's new to me.
A while back I read about some amazing concrete slides in San Francisco. For some reason I was talking to a staff member at our local Trader Joe's supermarket (local as in the supermarket under our apartment) about these slides and he mentioned that Berkeley has it's own concrete slide. Huh? How had that slipped past my radar? As soon as I got home I got online to find said slide - to the detriment of my perishable groceries which were left out while I scoured the internet! It turns out the concrete slide is located in Codornices Park, a favourite amongst Berkeley locals. Codornices Park was added straight to my "must do" list.
A few weeks later we happened to be catching a bus that went straight past Codornices Park. On our way home we stopped off and made a bee-line straight to the slide.
Now, although incredibly popular with kids, this slide is not for the faint of heart. It's 45ft long, barely wide enough for an adult's backside and made of skin grazing concrete. To avoid tearing off skin, and to make yourself slide faster, it's best to slide down on a piece of cardboard. Trust me, sliding down without the cardboard is not a pretty sight. I had the misfortune of watching a tubby teenager in shorts slide down (very slowly) while screaming the whole way! We had no cardboard with us but luckily there's quite a lot of it left behind by previous sliders.
|Ava slides down at high speed. |
If you look to the left in each shot you'll see the tubby teenager clearly still hurting from his slide!
Ava was a little scared to begin with and would only slide down if Kim went with her. After a while though she was an expert and zoomed down the slide over and over and over. Ava convinced me to slide down once and while it was exhilarating I think I'll wait for a day when I'm NOT wearing a skirt to go again! I was so self conscious about the people at the bottom of the slide being able to see up my skirt that it made the whole thing a little awkward :)
|Ava's first go on Daddy's lap|
|A little braver this time|
|Off she goes...|
The concrete slide at Codornices Park is set amongst a lush garden and winds it's way past a lovely, sprawling tree as it goes down. There are several paths to take to the top and each one feels like you're exploring an enchanted forest.
|Trecking up to the top of the slide, cardboard in hand|
|Here comes Ava, ready for another go|
|This slide is a little more Lola friendly|
The park, which also features a basketball court and baseball field, is a popular picnic spot.
At the bottom of the park there is a tunnel which leads under the road and across to the Berkeley Rose Garden. The Rose Garden is quite pretty, although completely unaccessible with a stroller as we discovered! We ventured a little way into the garden but ended up turning around due to Lola's stroller and a wedding that was taking place at the bottom. We'll have to go back one day without the stroller and explore both the Rose Garden, and Codornices Park, a little more.
|Ava and Lola in the Rose Garden|
|Exploring the Rose Garden|
|Enjoying the sunset views over the Rose Garden. Gotta love Instragram!|
|Berkeley Rose Garden|
|Berkeley Rose Garden|