Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Road Trip - Paradise, CA

Really enjoying cocooning in Paradise with family friends Nick and Judy. It has rained constantly, but with such a cozy place to stay, we have enjoyed our stay. Today, we'll go to Chico to visit the Sierra Nevada brewery for lunch (yes, they have solid food there too). This is our last big stop before Tollhouse!

OK, I'll try to get some pictures in here:

We went to Sea World in San Diego and saw the Budweiser Clyesdales



Check out how big these hooves are!




Joshua Tree National Park





Boudin's Sourdough in San Fran...one of the bakers gave the girls sourdough turtles

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Road Trip - San Francisco

This morning we bid a sad farewell to Aunt Karen and the big city. We stayed longer than originally planned, and enjoyed every minute. Sometimes rainy, sometimes beautiful & sunny, we walked and rode all over the city. We rode the cable cars, saw the sea lions basking in the sun at Pier 39 and rode the double-decker merry-go-round. We also spent an entire day at the Exploratorium, and incredible hands-on discovery museum for kids. And yesterday, attended a gymnastics competition for Mark's niece Amanda, where she won second place at level 10!

We'll head back out to Travis AFB, pack up the trailer, and head for Paradise, CA, near Chico.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Road Trip - Headed to the Big City

Just finished a wonderful few days visiting with Mark's brother John in Morgan Hill. Now headed north to rendezvous with my sister Karen in San Francisco. This summer, the girls saw downtown Chicago visiting Mark's nephew Peter. Now every time we see skyscrapers, they said "There's Peter's house!" I'm sure we'll hear that several times in the next few days!

I know I've been remiss in including pictures (thanks, Tracey). Generally, when I'm logging in from the road, it's from someone else's computer, so I haven't figured out how to work all those moving parts yet. Mark is chomping at the bit at the moment to get on the road, but I'll see if I can throw a couple quick ones in here...
Teaching the girls how to make dribble castles. I forgot how fun this was! And my favorite...


The girls on the beach at Point Mugu, going to check out a sea lion

Friday, February 6, 2009

Road Trip - From the desert to the beach

Whew! We've spent time in Lancaster, San Pedro, Newbury Park, Point Mugu, and Santa Ynez this week. Each stop has been special in its own way.

Lancaster and Edwards AFB - a former station of ours...visited friends from that assignment--too quick, but still great. Funny...Mark took the girls to the park, and several moms remembered him! The novelty of the stay-at-home dad with the twin girls still lingers. There is such an air of adventure out at Edwards, with the flight and rocket testing, complete with sonic booms (which the girls did NOT like). It was our favorite assignment overall, filled with memories of friends and the arrival and early days with the girls.

San Pedro - visiting friends (Shawn & Katherine Brennan) from our Vandenberg assignment. The girls had such fun with their kids. I was actually born in San Pedro, so that was a fun spin on the "Connie Schlaefer Memorial Tour". We spent a lot of time outside, looking out over the ocean...not bad for military housing!

Newbury Park and Point Mugu - Visited our old neighbors, the Bucsis's, including their daughter Katherine, who just had a new little baby. Did a quick tour of my elementary schools, and some of my old haunts, including the riding stables, which was fun. The camping at Point Mugu was an unexpected gem. We were RIGHT on the beach, which was south-facing, so the waves were very small. I couldn't believe how Abigail wanted to play in the surf...she is normally reticent about cold, and this water was in the mid 60s. She kept dragging me further and further in! Mae, who is normally the water baby, was much less interested. We played on the beach, looked at tidepools, made dribble castles, buried each other in the sand, and generally had a blast. The coolest thing of all was watching the sun rise over Mugu Rock...on the Pacific! And the second coolest thing was seeing a sea lion sunning himself on the sand in the morning sun. We had the girls out on the beach in their p.j.s checking it out.

Santa Ynez - reconnected with some friends from our UCSB days. Once again, the girls had a blast with the kids, who were older but VERY patient. This is a gorgeous area, made famous by the movie "Sideways". Needless to say, we did some wine tasting as part of our cultural immersion!

Now on our way up the coast to visit friends in Nipomo, then Morgan Hill, to visit Mark's brother John.