Sunday, December 15, 2013

Visiting Ron and Mary in Chico in November

 We made a trip up to Chico to see Ron and Mary last month.  We had a great time - it is a fantastic time of year to visit.
 We rented a minivan to take me, my wife, my son, and our two grandkids up there - a 10 hour drive.  On the way, we stopped and Apple Annie's for lunch in Tulare.  As luck would have it, they had a lot of riding machines in the lobby - Teo was thrilled!
 The next morning at the hotel in Chico,  here is Troy waiting for breakfast to be served.  Doing a little drawing with crayons.
 Teo is ecstatic - the food finally arrived!
 We had to stop by a drug store for something, and Troy took the opportunity to ride the elephant out front.
 At the Chico mall, we once again discovered a kid area that the boys thoroughly enjoyed.

 We visited the spot where Ron and Mary are going to be married next summer.  Here is Troy taking a look around.
 Mary's brother-in-law, Drew.
 Mary and David.
 Mary's sister Sarah.
 Troy and Teo taking Cooper for a walk.
 Mary and Ron.
 My beautiful wife.
 Sarah and Drew.
 Troy and Cooper
 Then, as my wife walked back to the car to retrieve jackets, Teo discovered that leaves can be fun!  There aren't too many leaves on the ground where we are from (San Diego).
 Wait Grandma, let me run through them again!
 A better look at where the wedding will be performed.
 A beautiful, quiet, serene spot about a minute's walk from Chico Creek.
 It is called Bear's Lair.
 Teo introducing Troy to the leaves.

 Now they've got the hang of it!

 Cooper - a beautiful pup.

 Teo attacking his Dad with leaves - with the help from his Uncle Ron.
 Troy attacking Uncle Ron with leaves.
 David and Teo reading back at Ron and Mary's place.
 Where's Waldo?
Overall, a very enjoyable visit.  Can't wait to go back next summer!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Salt Lake City Airport

Beautiful today.

Wine Nyet List

It seems that when I'm out shopping for wine, I run across so many that I've had before that I sometimes forget if I liked it or not.

I apparently am drawn to the label of this particular wine, sold at Total Wine along the east coast.  I've bought it twice now - the second time because I remembered having it before but not remembering if it was good or bad to my palate.

Turns out I do indeed like the taste, but the alcohol content appears to be lacking.  After the second glass, I remembered what happened the first time:  I don't feel the effect of it at all.

Usually after the second glass, I am nice and relaxed and am done for the night.  But with this wine,  I might as well have been drinking water.

So I am starting this post to remind myself next time which wines I'm not fond of and why.  I'll also start a post of wines we ARE fond of and why - but that'll have to wait until some other day.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Disneyland! Troy and Teo's first trip

 Autopia  One Thursday this month, we took Troy and Teo on their first trip to Disneyland!  It was the perfect time to go as the weather was wonderful and the crowds were virtually nonexistent.  We started the day on the railroad around the park (Toon Town was closed until about noon!) then went to Autopia by the train station.  Get ready for a truckload of photos!
 There was some waiting involved, but never more than about 15 minutes which is short by Disneyland standards.  Here is David, Troy, Teo and my wife before they discovered I had the camera on.
 Note Troy surveying the crowd through the railing.
 Surveying in the other direction.
 I've been discovered!
 Troy finishing up his drive of the car.
 He can barely see over the dash!
 Of course, that means that Teo can't see over at all!
 No, Dave isn't in the car by himself.  Teo is actually sitting there driving.
 King Arthur Carousel  From there, we had lunch (burgers!) and entered Fantasyland.  We did Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (Teo held a map over his eyes!) and were headed to Peter Pan's Flight when Teo spotted the Merry Go Round.  We did Peter Pan, but took the kids right over to the King Arthur Carousel.  It was the highlight of Teo's trip!
 Getting ready for the ride to begin, David points me out.
 Teo didn't spot me, but knew I was there and waved.  That's a pretty big smile for Teo who is a pretty somber kid.
 All right, let's go!
 Still smiling!
 Love that smile.

 Storybook Land  Then I made them pose in front of the whale at Storybook Land.  The boys were not thrilled about being that close to the whale at all - in fact Troy is checking out those teeth in this shot.  Teo's worry is showing in his expression.
 I do coax a semi-smile out of everyone but you can sense the tension in this photo.
 David tries to hold things together as I insist on yet one more shot.
 Okay, things come apart at the seams.  Teo wants his Dad right NOW!
 My wife talks Teo back into her arms and I'm able to get one more shot of Dave and Troy.  Troy still isn't thrilled about standing there but he's a good sport just for Grandpa.  We do ride the Storybook Land ride later on, and neither boy had the slightest hesitation about riding a boat into the whale's mouth.  Go figure.
 Toy Story And now for the highlight of Troy's day - meeting Woody!  We were walking through Frontier Land when Troy spotted Jesse.  Unfortunately Jesse was heading in for a rest, but the staff told us that Woody would be out shortly, so we waited.  This is a photo of Troy seeing Woody for the first time.  He is in awe.  Teo, on the other hand, is frightened.
 Patiently waiting his turn, Troy finally gets a big hug from Woody!
 And poses for a photo.  David is there because Troy likely would have ran away had his Dad not been within arm's length.
 Reflecting on the event a minute or two later, you can still see the amazement in his face.
 Troy is still thinking about it as Teo expresses his relief that Woody did not approach him!

 We then entered New Orleans Square specifically to ride Pirates of the Carribean.  The boys gladly boarded the ride but were quite spooked by the drops in elevation and the singing pirates.  They covered their eyes at various times.  Here we see street carolers after the ride.
 Considering our next move.  We decide on the Haunted House.  Teo and my wife sat that one out, but it was beautiful and decked out with holiday (Halloween and Christmas) decorations.  Very much worth seeing during that season if you haven't before.  We also did the Jungle Cruise and sat up front by the tour guide.  The boys enjoyed the various animals but Teo about came unglued when the female guide pulled out a gun and started shooting at the elephants.  He lept into his father's arms!
 We stopped in a theater and saw Asimo the robot perform a few tricks like walking up stairs and running.  We got to sit down which was a welcome relief that late in the day.  The boys then went on Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters which I hear was a big hit with them.
 We bought the boys a few gifts and then it was time to find a spot to watch the parade.  Teo has it parked rather nicely here.
 Troy trying out his new Buzz toy.
 Teo really getting it going.
 And if you look real closely... can see the tiredness creeping into Troy's face.
 And the parade starts - about 15 minutes late.

 Teo too starts to look sleepy as he watches a float pass.
 Resting his head.

 Have. To. Stay. Awake.
 Teo in awe.

 A classic Teo point.
 Completely worn out, but such great little boys.  Not a complaint out of them at all.  Not one.

And that was our day at Disneyland.  We arrived when the park opened at 10 and left when it closed at 8.  We hadn't been in the car 5 minutes when both boys fell asleep and slept the entire way home.  Good night, Troy and Teo.