Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ready for summer

June has been SUCH a busy month for us. We have been so busy traveling around and doing girls camp and everything else - we are pretty excited for our nearly empty July. Yesterday was our first day that wasn't swamped with things to do, so we headed out to the dentist and to trade out our snow tires for our all seasons (finally) - which means we were gone ALL day long. While the girls' teeth were great, I had a cavity, and the Dr. just happened to have some time right after lunch. So I got to go twice yesterday and did I mention my serious dental anxiety? It doesn't matter that my dentist is my cousin and that I love him...for some reason dental work is really traumatic for me. I had to go hang out in the bathroom trying not to throw up after I was finished. It was so not fun.

Anyways, we are being audited by the IRS next week (and I can't find that one check register that I need) - which will be an exciting experience. Not really, but we'll be relieved to be done with it.

We are planning on spending some time with my cousin later this week camping. We'll be hanging around a nearby state park, but because it is so near, we'll be spending time around home as well.

So, after our audit next week, we will have nothing on our calendars other than gymnastics and swimming lessons and bike riding and park playing and our summer can really officially begin!

Bring it on, or come visit!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Kitchen

Here's the Lodge where we basically lived other than to sleep and shower

Where everyone ate (getting there early in the am). There were five (yes 5) fridges in there for us to use!

I have a confession. I have a new love.
Here it is - six burners and a GIANT griddle. It was like heaven. Seriously. Unfortunately, the oven thermometer was broken and it didn't heat so evenly inside. The good news is that there was an electric range there which did heat reliably. But that stovetop, oh bliss!

Here's the whole kitchen and serving area

We cooked for 20 people, breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 4 and a half days. The kitchen was often hot despite the fans and boy - it was SO much work, I couldn't believe it. To top it off, somewhere along the way, our recipe folder was lost - I think it is lying along the interstate somewhere. One sister headed down for some forgotten medication and retrieved a few recipes from my online blog, and later I was able to find a landline connection at the caretaker's cabin where they let me review a few other recipes we needed.

We enjoyed going up to the camp and seeing all of the girl's skits in the evening and participating in their faith walk.
We took a break in the afternoon to play games, go to the craft tents where the girls made friendship bracelets and visors, and one afternoon the headed off with the girls to the lake to play with the zip line!
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Girl's Camp

We were asked to attend our stake's Girl's Camp this year to cook for the stake leaders. They decided that our girls could join us and set us up in a cute little cabin. We thought it would be a great family service project and were very excited.

Here's our little cabin - it had electricity, running water, a flushing toilet and even a shower. I'm pretty much happy camping as long as I have the shower bit.

Our cabin had a little lake adjacent to it

While we'd hoped to have some time to fish, it just wasn't so.

Here is our early morning view heading down to the lodge to start our cooking for the day

Finally, here's the playground our kids lived at while we lived in the kitchen. They had horseshoes, a sandbox (complete with trucks), and our kids were pretty much in bliss.
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La Jolla Cove - the last trip

As we headed towards home, we just couldn't resist one last stop at La Jolla Cove (we liked it that much!)

We can't wait to head back again

We headed out and spent the night in Las Vegas - definitely NOT a family town, then came back home. Yes, a lot of driving, but we really enjoyed spending our time together and loved not having a schedule, just sort of winging it.
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Balboa Park 2

My favorite of everything in the park was the Spanish Village - every single shop was so diverse and it was so fun to walk into each shop and see a differnt art genre just waiting for us

This was the "egg" shop. It was completely full of handcrafted decorated eggs - why someone would want such an egg, I just can't fathom, but I think it was one of my favorite shops

I saw these black flowers in people's yards from the road as we drove by. I thought they were made out of some sort of metal, but no - these really are black flowers. I would have LOVED these back in high school! They were really fascinating

Finally, the rose gardens. I have no idea how far the rose gardens went, but they were lovely. I especially loved this little gazebo type arbor I don't know what to call it, but it really was beautiful.
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Balboa Park

We could have spent days at Balboa Park - there was SO much to do and see!

We started out in an art museum

Here's an original Rembrandt which they believe is a self portrait

The famous lily ponds

Some really cool architecture
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Seaworld Highlights

One of our favorite memories from Sea World happened at lunch.
See the pretty bushes there behind our laughing daughters?

While daddy was eating his hamburger, some of his lettuce dropped out of his burger. Our little one thought it would be funny to play a joke on her daddy, and she quietly picked some leaves from the bushes and placed them on his plate while he was trying to guard his food from the seagulls.

Here he is when he realizes something is wrong because the girls can't stop laughing.

Apparently he scooped up his lettuce onto his burger again, and ate it all up. The girls were almost convulsing with laughter. He didn't look so good!

A while later, we stopped to hang out on a knoll and the girls started working on their cartwheels. They decided to teach daddy how to cartwheel.

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Sea World

Watching the dolphin feeding
One actually came right past us and we were able to reach out and touch it here

The Shamu Show

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Snorkeling at La Jolla Cove

We decided to head back to La Jolla Cove (we love that place!) and try some snorkeling

Heading out for the first time kiddo #1

Kiddo #2 heading out

Remember that story about how to boil a frog? Yeah, start out with cold water, then increase the heat...something like that?

My husband had been out for about 40 minutes snorkeling around when two different men approached him and told him that he was postively purple. Yep - purple. He decided they might know something and got out. His teeth were chattering and he wasn't completely logically co-herent...I think he was in the beginning stages of hypothermia! It was amazing that while he was out there he couldn't recognize how cold he actually was. He did see some cool fish though and have a great time.
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Birch's Aquarium

As if we hadn't had enough, that afternoon we headed to Birch's Aquarium
For more tide pools!

Cool urchin

Shark encounters

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Rock Skipping and Naval Graveyard

You can see the cool cave behind my husband here.
We taught the girls to skip rocks and spent a couple of hours doing so

We climbed up on this big rock overlooking the ocean and had rock throwing and skipping contests - it was a blast!

Finally - because Cabrillo is on a military base, we were surprised to realize that we were driving past the naval graveyard. This is the view which surrounded us on both sides of the street for about a mile. While I'd heard about Arlington, I've never seen it. Passing through here definitely gave me a stronger appreciation for those who give their lives so willingly in the defense of the freedoms which we so often take for granted.
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Cabrillo 2

See all those people in the background? They were trying to figure out how we got down to the cool places where we were - they were SO jealous!
Here's a girl with her daddy

Our oldest child learning to take pictures

We weren't allowed to take any shells from this beach. Here are the coolest ones that we REALLY wanted to take, but kept the rules and left there
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Shells and Anenomes

In the tide pools we found lots of crabs and loved touching the anenomes and having them grab onto our fingers.



We also came across these cool clusters of shells - surrounded by the sea lettuce...yum!
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