Monday, June 29, 2009

Dog Park at Laguna Beach

There is something really wonderful about watching dogs play together. It reminds me of little ones when they play. Full of joy.....Fully present in the moment....
No inhibitions.....
and able to make friends in five seconds while completely unaware of any differences!Living the life in California!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fishing Contest at Wilderness Lakes

This morning Nathan and Austin got up at 6 am to start competing in a fishing contest they were having at the campground. Some time later, I joined them. Ok, so it was much, much later. And I don't think I missed anything because Nathan had ONE bite when I joined him and zero fish. We still had fun.
The rest of the day we hung out here and had fun doing lazy summer day things. Swimming, talking to new neighbors, playing pickle ball and cooking out on the grill.There are so many things we experience day to day that I don't guess I think are worth writing down and most of those things tend to be things we do when just hanging out and not going places. I've been pondering more and more whether I want to take the time to capture more of them or whether I'll find it incredibly boring later on when reading it. I've also pondered whether I should be taking more pictures of these slower lazy days as we call them. Well tonight while playing pickle ball and Aubs was talking to some people that she is helping with dog training tips and Ace was chasing down our balls for us-a baby bird got caught in the fence around the tennis/pickle ball courts. He must have just been learning how to fly. And he couldn't figure out how to get his wings spread out while sitting there because of the position he was in. Nathan tossed the pickle ball racket to Aubs and she laid it out flat under his tiny feet and coaxed the baby to step on it. From there, he could fly off again, aided then by his mother.

This was just a small moment and the kinds of things that happen almost every day but I had this awareness in that moment that this is our life as much as the other stuff. I mean, I knew this before and I truly love these days as much as the days we visit national parks and museums and aquariums. It's more that my brain went aha...why wouldn't I stop and capture these memories too.
So, I am going to try to stop and take time to write this stuff down too. Because some day it will be cool to remember that we helped a bird while it was learning how to fly. And that the baby boy next to us was so deliciously chubby that his leg folds were white in contrast to his tanned legs and Auburn and I sat and admired him for the longest time because we couldn't take our eyes off his sweet face. And that people sitting around fishing is a beautiful sight. Even when the fish aren't biting. Or perhaps even present.
God help us all because I am publicly announcing that I will be using even more words on this blog. You've been warned!

Living the life in California!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Fab Four

Tonight Nathan and Austin did what is most likely going to be Austin's favorite thing out of the whole US trip. They went to see The Fab Four, which is a Beatles tribute group. You can visit the group here: The Fab Four

From Nathan:
Tonight Austin and I attended a Beatles concert. Well, at least an incredible facsimile of a Beatles concert. Having been born a few years too late to attend one on my own, and Austin being born a few decades too late, we did the next best thing by attending a tribute band performance.

"The Fab Four" performed at the Pechanga Casino in Temecula, CA and did an excellent job of recreating the experience. "Paul" even played left handed.

They played about 30 songs spanning the Beatles career, changing outfits, instruments and hair at 3 intervals during the concert. The band produces all the music live on stage using guitars, synthesizers, harmonics and a piano.

Since we purchased the tickets very late, Austin and I didn't get to sit together. We actually got much better seats than we would have otherwise. When I went to buy the tickets we couldn't get 2 tickets together even in the last row, but by purchasing single tickets Austin got a front row seat, and I was in the 4th row.

Austin wore his Beatles shirt, which got the attention of the band and a comment from Paul on stage of "nice shirt". We both had a great time, but Austin was especially into it, at one point interacting with the band about Ringo, and getting to give Paul a high five as the band was leaving the stage. He claims he will never again wash that hand.

The Fab Four are extremely talented, making it easy to forget that they were not the real thing. I was once again impressed with the amazing creativity and talent that went into the music the Beatles produced over the years. Sometimes and superficially their (the Beatles) music does not seem that complex, but as you see and hear the band's transformation over the years compressed into a few hours, and then realize that even after hearing 30 or so wonderful songs there were still so many great songs left unplayed.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Good Stuff-Beignets

We learned about these delightful treats while in New Orleans. We bought a mix while there and made up a batch today. Yummy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Aubi's Back Home!

Aubi's back home and Ace is in heaven. He licked her face non-stop for a solid half hour when he saw her. He is a little torn between her and Nathan right now, but I'm guessing she'll take care of that quickly. Poor Nathan is already feeling sad over the thought of losing his adoration so I am guessing that means we will soon have a dog too.
Living the life in California!

A Site With a View

A word to the wise, and in this case we are the newly wise having learned things the hard way, if you see a site that looks great and no one has taken it yet-there is a very good reason. If the site is huge and level and has lots of gravel on it, that doesn't cancel out the fact that it is right next to the very big dumpsters. And you will soon have flies so thick on your RV that it looks black instead of white. Especially if this is located right next to the campground:Yes folks, that is a dairy farm complete with hundreds of cows complete with the stuff that cows produce beyond the milk. This is what I see when I am sitting outside my RV.

Fortunately, this is what is behind our RV, so we just hang out here instead. Oh, and we are no longer right next to the dumpsters. While it is not fun having to move two days after having settled in, it sure does beat having about 50 flies inside my RV. I only have about 10 which is what is to be expected in summer, when living next to the dairy farm.

Living the life in cow country!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

San Onofre State Beach

For Father's Day, Nathan wanted to head over to the beach. So we drove over and spent some time at San Onofre State Beach. Just gorgeous and he and Austin loved watching "real" surfing up close and personal.

Living the life in California!

Trip Map

Mette asked me some time ago if we had a map of our trip so far, and I have been searching for one I could share on here ever since. Tonight I found one and it is posted on the side bar. If you click on the "more" button, it will take you to the full sized map. As you can see, we like to stick close to the beach. It'll be interesting to see if we roam and move inland at some point.

Friday, June 19, 2009

On the Pet Front

We've had some pet changes around here lately. First off, we are grieving the loss of Shine, who was Austin's cat. Shine decided some time ago that he wanted to be an outdoor cat and kept trying to escape and roam outside. He had been declawed, so this was not a smart or safe option. But he was following his animal instinct and wanted outside. We had a harness on him to put him on a leash, and that still was not good enough for him. He ran past us one night and we couldn't catch him and that was the last we saw him. I am getting teary eyed just writing this because I adored Shine. Even Miss Mimi seems lost without him. I am hoping that someone picked him up and gave him a good home rather than the alternatives like coyotes.Beyond that, we also have had some changes in that Auburn is staying with Ambir and so we have Ace. Lucky for us, he's a pretty easy one to babysit. We bought him this toy and he carries it around like it's his security blanket. He brings it to me to play tug of war with him. Nathan says it is because I make dramatic (his words, not mine) noises when I do play with him. Nathan likes to tease me a lot about the way I use words. Diana graciously told me today that it's what makes me a good writer. I love Diana. I'll have to remember to tell her that it's what makes me a great tug of war player too!This is another favorite toy. I don't get this one at all, but I'm not a dog so I'm not supposed to get it I suppose. I never thought I would enjoy having pets so much, but I really do love having them around. They have definitely become family members of ours. If you talk to Austin, I'd love it if you'd give him some sympathetic words about Shine. He is still very upset about losing him.

Otay Mountain

Before we headed out, I had Nathan stop so I could snap this scene because I was so impressed that this is the mountain that he and Austin conquered when they went hiking one day. If you look at the mountain that has the winding road on it, that is the one. Living the life in California.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jamul CA to Menifee CA

Today we traveled a whole 53 miles, which I think is the shortest drive we have had so far. It was such a short drive, Nathan even managed to squeeze in pickle ball this morning before we left. So far, we really like this area. We are amazed at how much hotter in is, given only how far we drove. I am thrilled to say we have internet again! We did not have phone or internet service at the last place and we began to feel a bit lonely due to that. I will be attempting to catch up on my blogging and share all of the neat things we saw while in San Diego.

Living the life in CA!

Mingei International Museum

Mingei International Museum is another museum in Balboa Park and we visited there today. This is Southern California's largest and richest collection of mingei-art of the people. It was bright and colorful and very interesting.There were so many different things, from different countries that it gave us a broad view of folk art.
My personal favorite was A Palace for Wednesday. A Palace for Wednesday is the fabulous work of art above that is about four feet tall. It is a fantasy village for Wednesday and 60 of her friends. All of the creatures are made of fabric which is incredible when you see the detail involved. A few more close up shots of this:
When I spotted this, I instantly thought of Jaci who is someone I met on an online homeschool group (and just became grandma to a second cutie pie), because she does cool things with faeries also. I would love to dabble in something like this someday just to see what I could do. In the meantime, I'll just admire the art of those who are doing it.

Overheard Today

We still don't have decent internet here, so I am way behind in my blogging. Since this doesn't have any pictures with it, I think this will post ok though.

Overheard today during lunch, as a woman was sharing with her lunch partner about her family starting from her mother/father down to great grandchildren being over 100 members: It's really great when you have that many people because you can pick your favorites and spend lots of time doing things with them. And the people you don't like so much, you don't really have to do much with at all.

Coming from a large family, I laughed because it's so true in a way only those of us with large families can relate to.

Another overheard between an elderly woman and a middle aged man: Is Robert still alive?

Guessing she and Robert aren't real tight.

I could people watch/listen to all day long.

Living the life in San Diego.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Botanical Building in San Diego

This gorgeous display of plants was housed in Balboa Park's Botanical House. There are more than 2100 permanent plants here and we thought they did an impressive job of utilizing the space.Out front there is a beautiful lily pond and behind is a large tree, that I think is a type of fig tree.
We spent quite a bit of time just sitting and looking at the plants from a distance, and then getting as close as possible to see the detail. It was another wonderful day when we went here!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden

While we were eating lunch, our waiter clued us in to this gem. He told us to go past the fountain, cross the bridge and go to the other side. He said hardly anyone ever goes over there and he was correct from what we could tell. I can't imagine why though.
As I strolled through here, soaking up the sights and scents, I thought of Diana and my mother-in-law who both have beautiful gardens in their yards. I think they would have loved this garden too.

Timken Museum of Art

When Diana and I visited the Ringling Museum together, we were discussing how we never get to visit art museums due to having children with us all the time and the fact they are less than enthusiastic about them. Today, I was actually able to visit one. Nathan and I visited the Timken Museum of Art and enjoyed every minute of it.
From their website:
Located in San Diego's beautiful Balboa Park, the Timken Museum of Art houses the world-class Putnam Foundation Collection of European old masters American art, and Russian icons.

Artworks in the collection range from 13th-century altarpieces through 18th-century portraits to 19th-century still lifes. Represented are the works of Dutch, Flemish, French, and Italian painters, including Rembrandt, Rubens, Petrus Christus, Fragonard, Jacques-Louis David, and Veronese, as well as American artists such as John Singleton Copley and Eastman Johnson.

Admission to the Timken Museum of Art is always free.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Japanese Friendship Garden

One of the things I loved to do back "home" was to visit Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, so I was delighted to see there was a Japanese garden in San Diego. When you first walk up, you see an outdoor patio where people are sipping tea. And that is neat enough even by itself. But there is more greatness inside when you walk past the gate. I was surprised that there were far more people outside than inside, but that just made it seem as if we had the place all to ourselves.The Japanese Friendship Garden originated as a teahouse and now lies on two acres in Balboa Park. Along the winding paths are fountains:
an exhibit of Fujiko Isomura's work and a zen meditation garden:a bonsai exhibit:a ceremonial gate and a light of friendship:
There was such a calm to this place, and everything there was so beautiful. Even the scents in the air were so soothing. This is the kind of place that I love to visit and just sit quietly and listen both internally and externally. I enjoyed the art work that was on display here also. It had surprising elements that made it very interesting. I loved this place!

Balboa Park in San Diego, CA

Balboa Park is a cultural park that has fifteen museums, gardens and the San Diego zoo. It is a wonderful thing in my mind when you can walk from one museum to the next, so I love this place.