Half Moon Bay, California November 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Day out with Uncle Kelly and Uncle Robert

Saturday, Septemeber 22, 2012:

San Francisco scares me.  Why?  Because the roads are narrow.  The roads are very steep - both ways!  Roads randomly (to me!) goes from 2 ways to one way! Parking is limited.  It is very crowded!  BUT... we have some amazing friends who live there (our dear high school friend moved there with his family too).  So every now and then I suck it up.  Vince helps me by driving because I wouldn't go any where near there if I had to drive.  Then we get the family out for the day.  Frankly, if it's that big an ordeal for me -- we are going all out and making it an entire days event!

This Saturday we left the house early.  We set the directions on our trusty GPS and visited our dear friend, Kelly and his partner, Robert.  They just moved into their new home in Glen Park and were very excited to show off their place.  Selfishly, I just wanted to see Kelly again.  We have known each other since 1996 when I started my teaching career.  We don't see each other as often as we should (or would like).  He has been an important person in my life (he graciously offered to sing at our wedding!) and I really miss him!  So, for months we have been saying, "yes, let's get together."  But then something came up and something came up... then the children started school.  And he started school.  He is a school administrator- an amazing one at it.  If I go back to teaching, I would totally work for him!

So the day finally came and I was very excited!!!
After showing us around their home (beautiful by the way and i should have taken pictures!) we talked about what we wanted to do.  So we decided to walk to the BART station (a mere few blocks from their home) to ride the cable car.  Here they are waiting:
 And the ride was an experience all together -- not sure the children will want to go back on it again!  It was VERY crowded.  I liked the entertainment provided by the passengers and the conductor.  But the children were hanging on for dear life.  MG was leaning on me.  I had to hang on to E the entire time.  My back was hurting.  MG said she felt nauseous.  My legs were feeling wobbly by the end of the ride.  Poor Kelly had to hang from the car on the OUTSIDE!  Then MD kept complaining his legs were hurting.  People were bumping from every direction.  And even though I felt we were packed like sardines... the ticket guy kept saying, "sure, I can take a few more."  And he would direct the group further into the car!  Seriously, it was PACKED!  All I have to say is, good thing I showered... wish I could say the same about others around me.  HAHAHA!  (just kidding!)
This is one relieved girl...
 When we exited at Pier 39, everyone was so happy!  The cable car stayed a few minutes so we grabbed some photos.  The noise makers!
 Our wonderful group:
 While walking around the pier the children ran toward this bubble maker -- I think I may have ingested some!  :)  After this we walked over to lunch at a small fish and chips place that Robert and Kelly bragged about.  I will have to agree with them and Yelp  -- WONDERFUL meal!
 Photo opp:
 Dad got an ice cream cone at Dryer's Ice Cream.  They only wanted the whipped cream off his sundae.  I couldn't imagine HOW he was able to eat this after having such a huge lunch.  I was completely full and wanted a nap! ;) (no, really, I did!).  But we walked on...
We took some photos with Alcatraz in the background.  I'll have to ask Kelly to send those to me.  We had originally planned to take the ferry but it was sort of rough in the bay.  And it was cold! So we changed our minds and just walked around the pier.  We of course, had to stop and watch the sea lions.  They were VERY entertaining!
 At one point we witnessed one sea lion get out of the water and bully ALL the sea lions that were sun bathing because he wanted that particular spot.  It was bullying at its best.  He was able to convince about 2 to 3 others to literally leave the plank and find another spot or even dive into the water to get away from him!  It was hilarious!
 They had a naturalist out at one of the tables talking to the children and educating them about the sea lions.
 I wish I had known about this so that MG could have visited and asked questions for her report last year!  (She did fine, of course, but it would have been more exciting!)
 They found this huge display a fun place to play!  They all played a game right behind them (spin the wheel) and E won a free pass to the aquarium!  (I guess we'll be back!).
 This was a fun structure to climb.  Hello there everyone!
 Then it was back home to Uncle Kelly and Uncle Robert's place.  We left around noon and returned home around 7pm.  It was a long day!  The children walked from Pier 39 to Pier 1 and down Embarcadero.  So as you can imagine, they were exhausted and were ready to kick off their shoes and socks and rest.
Kelly and Robert showed us some of their home videos from the various trips they had been on while the children played for a bit.  We saw pictures and videos of their trip to China, Italy, and trips home for a few family weddings.

It was way after 9:45PM before we got home when MD realized we did not have dinner.  So he and MG ate left over fries from lunch while I put E to bed.  He, of course, fell asleep on the ride home.

Thank you for a wonderful visit Uncle Kelly and Uncle Robert.  See you during fleet week!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Trails!

So, I signed the children and myself up for the Santa Clara County Park's Healthy Trails Challenge!  It sounds a bit intimidating, but it really isn't.  What it is is FUN!  Well, we've only just begun but I know they will like it!
We were given a guide book with all the Santa Clara County Park and Trail names and maps.  We are then challenged to hike, bike, walk, etc. on just five trails out of the entire book.  See... not so intimidating, right?  We are also given the choice to either venture out on our own or attend a ranger led hike.  Since it's our first, I thought it best to go at our own pace.  There are a few events that might be interesting to attend as a larger group (which will encourage my 3 to follow along better).

Today we started with an easy hike, a trail that we are very familiar with -- Vasona Lake/Los Gatos Creek Trail.

They stopped to check out the view using these binoculars (E brought his own too!):

 They spent quite a bit of time here.  They also packed their own snacks, so they stopped to have a bite (or in MD's case 2 or 3!):

 Then we reached the half way point!  (This is where the dam is)
The entire loop around was 3 miles!

They did well, considering MG and MG rode their bikes.  (Looking back I found it quite amusing that MD rode his bike like he was late to some appointment.  His motto is "need for speed."  While MG rode her bike like she was in no hurry what so ever.  She rode with such ease.  She seemed so prim and proper on her bike.)  E had to follow along on his scooter.  I thought he kept up fairly well.  (He complained a few times but kept chugging along in the end when he had no choice.)  I walked.  But let me tell you, walking while the others were on wheels... made me wish I could ride a bike.  This might be my main motivation to learn how to ride a bike soon!

I'm looking forward to the next hike already!  (oh, did I tell you that they will receive something "special" once they finish this challenge?  I'm not sure what it is... but we'll see!  It's sponsored by Kaiser Permanante and Santa Clara County Park.  So it has to be something healthy!  After we signed up we were each given a bandanna (which we used to wipe off sweat during our hike!) and a whistle (which MG got to keep since E has one built into his camel-back and MD has 3 in his!)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Big Boy! (off to PreK)

He's been waiting... (actually, I've been waiting longer! hahaha).  He was truly excited and ready this time!  So, in the end, I'm so glad we waited...

Ready to go!!!

Look at his smile!  He was so excited to see his name!
 Once he was signed in and found his name badge, he sat down and began playing with play dough... in his favorite color!!!!
 I stayed for a  bit to listen to the teacher's introduction.
 And he played... and check on me a few times.  Then I kissed him and went to run some errands near by.  2 and 1/2 hours fly by if I roam too far!
 I picked him up and saw the biggest smile on his face!  This is his teacher, Mrs. Victorine.  She seems very soft spoken.  :)
He seems so grown up to me now.  I am so proud of him!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Our favorite banana bread recipe

E and I are doing a lot of baking these days now that we are home together for a longer period of time.  This is our favorite banana bread recipe.  The children love it and can eat up a loaf in a day!  Today we decided to make banana muffins.

Quick Recipe:
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C oil
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas
1 1/4 C flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
pinch of cinnamon

1. start with 1/2 C vegetable oil (I use olive oil) and 1/2 C sugar

 2.  add 2 eggs (one at a time)
 3. mix it up....
 4.  While eggs are mixing with oil and sugar.... Combine:
1 1/4 C flour, 1 t baking soda, 1/2 t salt, and pinch of cinnamon in a separate bowl
 5. mix that up
 6. peel 2 bananas
7. add one banana at a time
 8. Lastly, add the dry ingredients from the bowl - a little at a time
 9. While all the ingredients are mixing, line the cupcake pan:
 10.  Oops, forgot to take pictures!  Anyway, add batter, pop into oven, bake for 30 minutes or so... Stick a toothpick in and if it comes out clean, you are done!
11. Enjoy!  :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

E and Tae Kwon Do

September 4, 2012

He was hesitant to take the class.  It wasn't with MD so he wasn't too thrilled.  But he knew that the teacher was also MD's teacher.  So that made it better.  He walked in the studio very nervous... But then he was given his uniform and after putting it on, he felt a bit more prepared.  And... after his first class, he loves it and asks every day when it will be Tuesday again!  :)  That's my boy!  :)
Check out what he did:
He started out by telling his instructor that he had a hot dog for breakfast!  What?!  Goes to show you their short term" memory!  He was actually telling her what he had for lunch!  Oh well...

 Then they started out with stretching exercises:
 How cute is this?!
 Then they learned a few ready positions:
 Then they started with punches!  See how he's actually letting out a yell too?  (so cute!)
 And other side:
 Then his favorite -- learning the upper punches.  That's  Master Edmonds trying to trick him.  She's seeing how quickly he can react to her using that soft bat to "hit" him and he is suppose to quickly decide which arm to use to protect his head.  He liked that a lot!  :)
 Lastly they practiced their kicks.  That was fun too!  When they kicked the paper it made a loud, thundering noise.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

An outing to himself

August 24, 2012

Big Sister and Big Brother have been busy at school... We've been kind of lonely without them.  But we "managed" to do fine this day.  ;)

He rode this all by himself (I meant, without his siblings).  And do you see the "smirk" on his face?  It's there because he realized that he was offered the "adult" or "big children" seat today.  He also noticed that he was the "biggest" child there on the ride.  Gotta love that he feels so much bigger without his siblings around!

 One happy boy today!
It was nice to just do things "his way" today.