Sunday, August 16, 2009

Monterey and Carmel

While my family was still in town, my mom had the beach house and we, of course, had to take advantage. By an amazing coincidence (possibly John's prayers) there were three car auctions in Monterey and Carmel the weekend that we were there. So we headed down a little early to the beach house and got to attend all three without ignoring my family too much (sorry if you guys felt differently). Ethan and John were both in heaven as we got a fantastic roadside spot right where the cars were driving into Carmel off of Ocean Ave.
The best part was when the first car came rolling down the hill (pictured below), Ethan excitedly starts pointing and yelling "Train! Train! Choo Choo!" and was not about to be convinced that it was, in fact, a car. I happen to agree with him on this one, cars just don't come this big anymore. Thankfully everyone in the crowd was more than happy to egg him on.
We saw I think more than 200 cars at this show and they were all amazing. You have to be invited to bring your car to this show and many of them were one of a kind now.
I had fun just playing with my new camera and trying to find different parts of the cars that I liked.
I think my boys were in Heaven though and who knew an almost two year old could pay attention for that long?
Okay, he might have had a few distractions, after all it's not everyday that you get a stream of ants running past your leg.Ethan did get worn out my all the excitement and fell asleep in the back of the stroller while we were making our way back to the car.
The next auction, I think, was the Mecum auction, which had a bunch of celebrity owned cars, including a pink Cadillac owned by Elvis. This one was my favorite. It starred in the movie "Italian Job." Charlize Theron drove it through the beginning of the movie and honestly, this was the first time that I really liked minis. If only I were independently wealthy I would have gotten it. It was even a convertible. And the inside was super sleek, but it still had the retro look to it. Retro modern. Just my style.
I think this one was John's favorite, even though it is a Ford. This was "Eleanor" from the movie, "Gone in 60 seconds." In the movie Nicholas Cage is intimidated by the car, and evidently had a bad experience involving a car of this sort. Anyway. It's a pretty car. And it moves pretty fast too.
We did take some time away from the cars to hang out with the family. We did the walk down the beach and I couldn't resist taking pictures the whole time. It was such a gorgeous weekend. Here is my sister's family, plus John & E. I think Mark was mid-Rap while I took the picture. Too bad it wasn't a video, eh?
After awhile, Ethan decided it would be much more fun to feel the sand beneath his toes.
We got to spot lots of wildlife. Ethan has a good eye for things like that.
Maddie was more than happy to strike it for the camera.
And we had to take a little family one together too. After all, we enjoying striking it too.
E wore himself out on this adventure and no matter how many times we repositioned him in the backpack, he would slump over again. Evidently this was much more comfortable. At least he sleeps anywhere, right?
We got to take the kids to the best public park I've ever been to. They have a full on train for kids to climb all over.
And Ethan loves the slide, so he went down this one at least a hundred times.
Ethan and I had to cut out a little early though and walk back to the beach house because the vampire in him kept making an appearance. Along the way though we stopped for a little photo op and I decided not to sell him to the gypsies after all.

I could be remembering wrong, but I think this was when we had foil-wrapped dinners and s'mores on the campfire at the beach. We went down just as the sun was setting and the colors were beautiful.
This picture I know is of Maddie, but I swear if I didn't take it, I would think it was of my sister, when she was little. Something about the Billabong Sweatshirt struck a chord from the eighties. I'd never thought they looked alike until I saw this picture.
Auntie Shan and Henry, most likely watching the millions of dogs we always find playing at the beach.
Here's Owen and Jami, I did get the only picture ever of Owen not smiling, but how could I put that one on here, when this one is so cute?
Here's Timmy again, being extra contemplative. Those waves can be mesmerizing, I know.
We got to take a fantastic bike ride down to cannery row, Shannon forgot her jacket and had to borrow Maddie's. Doesn't she look fantastic?
Jami might disown me entirely for putting this one on the world wide web, but come on, you can't pose like this and expect me not to take advantage. At least I can't use it as blackmail anymore, right? She takes her riding seriously.Ethan and Tim took the easy way out and rode in the bumble bee the whole way there and back.
For only being there for a long weekend, we accomplished a lot! If only I could get the Wii movie to load, then you would have an idea of how we spent the weekend and not just what we did. If it works, it is of Jami and I playing the best game ever, "Raymond Raving Rabbids." If you own a Wii and don't have this game, you are wasting your money. Oh yes, and I think it goes without saying that I won.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Around the town and thereabouts

My sister's family came from Ashland right on down to stay with Jared and Shannon, so we got to have a little fun during the week as well. One day we played at Tilden Park and went to the carousel. This was my first visit to the carousel, and I was amazed that I actually got a little dizzy. The don't move that fast, but when you're peaking through a lens or trying to find someone as you are spinning, I was a little green at the gills.
Ethan didn't seem to be phased at all by the spinning. He begged for more and more.
Tim wanted one on the outside with the best view.
Henry was not so sure he wanted to be there, but it only took one turn to convince him that he wanted a hundred more.
Here's the crew. As you can see, my rooster totally kicks butt.
Ahh, the fine art of eating an ice cream. Sometimes you need a little instruction when you're two. I think I need to frame this one.
We do love our chocolate in this family.
Grammie Pammie and E had a fantastic time. She spends all of her energy spoiling us.
Beautiful Auntie Shan, modeling Maddie's handiwork after a brief lesson from Auntie T. I love this picture.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Visiting Ashland, and a Fancy new Camera

This marks the beginning of what seems like a month of vacations (wildly, that's not what it felt like, I think I took a total of 2 days off, but somehow having family around makes me feel like I'm on vacation all the time).
We started off the month by having a mini family reunion of sorts with my dad and his wife at their new house in Ashland Oregon. The plan was to spend some time hanging out and then some attending several plays at the Shakespeare Festival. Turns out, we had so much fun, we never got to the attending plays part.
Oh yes, and a bonus of going to Oregon is the no sales tax. I finally convinced John that with this discount (it's almost a 10% difference!) we could finally afford the fancy pancy camera I have been coveting for at least 2 years. I'm not sure if you can see the difference on the web, but this lens makes a major difference. Either that or everyone around me is fantastically prettier. I know, now you definitely want to be friends with me, right? I only have pretty friends (and family).
Here is my darling sister, first thing in the morning hanging onto my little man. Now, who looks this good first thing in the morning?Here is E's closest cousin (both in age and in proximity to our home), Henry. He is the most gentle of souls, and very good at sharing (lucky for Ethan).
A close-up of E. I finally captured the color of his eyes on camera. And it's in focus. Amazing. You even get to see the left over berries on his cheek. Now isn't that why you buy a fancy camera?
The mischievous Mr. Tim. My sister's oldest boy. Couldn't you just eat him up? You could, but you would still be hungry, he is the skinniest kid ever to be born in my fam. Oh, how I do love him though. And, he is a great phone talker, a boy after my own heart.
Outside my dad's new house, there is an amazing park complete with an area that you can claim to plant a garden for your family. I love that Oregon is full of hippies. It makes me feel at home.
This is Maddie, my sister's oldest. She is as darling as my sister, and is just as much a firecracker. And she has a perfect Spanish accent (by that of course I mean she doesn't have an American accent, well at least when she speaks Spanish). This picture reminds me of Norman Rockwell. I'm not entirely sure why, but I think it's my favorite shot taken with the camera thus far.
My sister's youngest, Owen. He's turning out to be quite the curious sort, having a fantastic knack for finding things to get into. I love that age, especially when I'm not in charge of the cleanup.
The kids all had so much fun playing at the park. We might have spent more time there than in the house, if you don't count sleeping.
Loves from Daddy are always enjoyed.
Mark (pictured below), John, Jared & Justin all bought really crappy hats to go fishing in. Mark's says "Booyah." I hope he still wears it as much as he did on this trip, although I'm not sure he might wear it where someone might recognize him.
In the Denali on the way to go fishing. We talked to some locals and got some terrible directions on the best fishing area to go to. Jared & Shannon were troupers though and didn't mind the long drive, at least we avoided the logging roads.
So along the way, I made all of us turn around because I knew I had seen a sign for the hatchery we were looking for. Turns out, I was right, it was a hatchery, but not the fishing kind. Only in Oregon do you get confusing signs like that.
We finally made it to the fishing grounds and the long drive was definitely worth it. Here's John's first catch of the day.
Ethan gives everything kisses, including the fish that daddy caught. Yikes!
I didn't shy away from fishing myself. The only challenge was giving up the camera to document the event.
Yuan even got in on the action. If you have a weak constitution, you may want to skip this pic, or just imagine that Oregon has really colorful rainbow trout.
Grandpa came to play, not to fish. Maddie seemed to be a fan of that idea as well.
Here are the boys with all the hideous hats. I wish I could remember what each of them said.
Ahh, Ashland, we will come and visit you again.