Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Everyone is now here

Goodbye Kim.. Safe travels back

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Alice has arrived

The boys are looking somber, just told them off for giving Alice bunny ears on my first attempt of a photo.... Ahhhhh. Anyway, we are all having lunch.. Outside but not for long as Hurricane alex is making his presence felt.. Meant to hit land at 8 pm tonight. Of course my Alex is very excited about a hurricane named after him. Lunch is a goodbye one to Kim who leaves us today, but worry not Cara is driving to Houston later today to collect Vicki and Gemma.. House full for the summer... What a great welcome .. Hurricane Alex

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Heading home via the Grand Canyon

We are in the Mojave desert, crossing east California . Temperature is 104f in the shade and we are glad the A/C is working. The boys are happy watching their DVD's and have had enough of sand, cactus, miles of nothing and are very content.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Last night.. Making smores

Making smores on the grill.. Sorry no flash on my iPhone.. But wanted to catch the moment...

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Off to see the statue of marshall..the person who first found gold

The person who first found gold and started the gold rush, was James Marshall, he found a piece when they were building a mill in Coloma, to get more timber to build Sacremento..and then he found that first piece which started the California dream, although he died in poverty..did not handle the gold, money and enjoyed the liquor too much.
He is now honoured in the village of Coloma, and they have put a statue up which we got the boys to all hike to from our picnic spot..Victoria and I cleared down the lunch and drove up..which i would have to say there were groans and moans about..but Allan led the way and exercise they had.

We panned for gold....

So went to the visitors centre, learnt a lot about the native Americans who were displaced by the gold rush..but are almost back to there original numbers...saw a film in the theatre, bought our pans and spoons to get us started..and off we went..Aaron was the first to find gold, and then Jordan and Alex became experts at finding the flakes..and really got into the whole 'gold' we will be rich...but the sparkling flakes were hard to catch and the nuggets were nowhere to be found...better luck next time!!

The men removing a dead tree

The boys had to stay on the decking..out of the way..good reason to eat brownies( Cara makes the best) and cheer the older generations on..we now have more logs for our fire place and no worries about the tree coming down at an inopportune moment.

More on dad's visit

dad only came out for a short visit, but long enough as he had just had a hip replaced 7 weeks earlier..our pool was great for his physio the sight seeing hard on the hip..hopefully the grandchildren good for the soul.
I took him down to the Alamo, in San Antonio, we went to the Capitol in Austin, had a variety of foods, saw the bats by boat under Congress bridge and he bought himself a stetson and cowboy are some photo's from that visit.
We also went to a Crawfish boil at our old house with Connie and Mark, and our old neighbours, which was fun.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Another day over only one more full day to go...sad to be leaving

tomorrow we are going to pan for gold..Alex is obsessed with the fact that gold prices are rising and if he can find 1oz he will get a $1000..which one of you wants to tell him the odds of his mother..I am going to roll with the day..minds you his dad will be looking just as hard...I will post more tomorrow..then it is heading home time, we will be driving all day Wednesday,, then Thursday we are at the Grand Canyon, and Friday we are on the final to see Cara and Tex...via the Capitol building in Santa Fe if I can sweet talk Allan...the blog will tell you who won that round...but of course it is marriage and not a competition

Salmon feeding..or rainbow trout..both love a nickle of food

We went to feed the salmon after Jelly Belly..being state run..and the State of California is BROKE..big time...they closed at we fed the salmon and Rainbow trout but did not get to go into the visitor centre..(Jelly Belly won on our time!!!) so we just fed them..which they loved..and the boys did as well. then we walked down by the river, and generally had fun today...

Jelly Belly much fun

We went of tot he Jelly Belly factory today..I learnt all sorts of things..jelly belly were making candy well before Jelly Belly..chocolates, candy corn...a whole mixture of candy( sweets for those in UK who are worrying about me right now). They went through the recession and collapsed, but did not give up, and restarted a company again, ..they do not throw away the ones that fall on the floor, they give them to the local farmers for the animals feed, they do not sell the rejects as jelly Belly's they call them Belly flops..I bought a load of them today..just love the name..who wouldn't. The kids had a ball..they enjoyed trying the newest flavour of honey..mum it is lovely..really honey..from now on you need a brandy, a lemon and a honey jelly belly and you will never suffer from a cold again( Tamzin's medical opinion)..and we all know what I think of the medical profession..
I love the name Belly much..have bough a heap..think Cara should give them to the kids on her swim team..not sure they will appreciate it..but I do

On the Lake

we had a fantastic time on the lake yesterday..lake Folsom, we spent time anchored and just swimming, jumping and drinking, snacking and laughing..a great day..very relaxing.
The weather was super, the water was delightful and the sun was dried off really quickly which was great.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Allan .. Island.. Beer .. Happy


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Boating on the lake

Champagne lunch on the lake.. Boys so happy,

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

House of senate

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At the Capitol building

The house of Representative kids

So off we went to Sonoma, Allan and I did Napa a few years ago when we were out, so this time we decided to do a champagne day over at was a lovely day, started out overcast but it burnt off and turned in to glorious day, magnificent views, great company and just a delightful day all round.
We started in Domaine Carneros, which is owned by Taittinger...and is in the foothills of Napa..but on the way to Sonoma..we then moved on to an olive plantation, and did anotehr winery..which I was not so impressed with, Gloria Ferrer, and then went for lunch in Sonoma town itself, and for the afternoon we went to a Vin yard on the outskirts of Sonoma town, a wonderful day..the last picture is from the last vinyard...Gundlach Bundschu..which they iconed out on t-shirts..a gun, a lock, a bundt, a shoe..very impressed. Lovely place.

Feeding the Giraffe

We went on an extra tour to see the animals up close in the huge enclosures..and we fed the giraffes..which was so much fun. Ben was unsure at first, but soon got in the spirit of the whole thing, which surprised em as he is my adventurer and Alex is more likely to hold back until sure..but not on this adventure..he loved the giraffe and being up close...although the Rhino decided to come over and check us out, and rubbed his horn on the truck..which was a little scary as we could tell the three rangers with us were all watching very carefully..and the photographer was standing back but we were not sure what could happen but decided it might have been fun..