Sunday, July 5, 2015

Spring Break 2015

Building sandcastles

I don't seem to be living up to my New Year's Resolution to post to the blog more often in 2015, but that isn't going to stop me from at least trying to catch up. 

For those of you who get email updates, I'm not sure why the "Swinging from the Mast" post from 2012 went out this morning (When I write a new blog post, Google automatically sends an email to folks who sign up for it by an RSS feed). I was trying to catch typos in the older blog posts, but didn't think Google would consider that a new post.  

Backing up a few months to late March and early April to Spring Break -
We made a pilgrimage back to the ocean, to California. We decided back in November 2014 to go to the beach for Spring Break. November is when you have to make reservations for Spring time. Ken secured us camping sites at South Carlsbad State Beach Park for the first half of the week and at Campland on the Bay in San Diego for the second half of the week. For clarification, I mean "camping" from a well outfitted camper on the truck not camping in a tent.     

Ken drove the truck/camper out to California, leaving on a Thursday and arriving on Sunday at South Carlsbad State Beach. He had Biscuit, our dog, to keep him company on the drive. Kyle and I flew to San Diego on Sunday and met up with Ken.  

Camping Locations

 Some highlights from South Carlsbad State Park. 

Boogie boarding.

Where is that wave?

Ken had a nice view from atop the picnic table.  Biscuit - in the shade.

Kyle on the beach
South Carlsbad State Park is ideally situated just a few miles from Legoland. Kyle is a big Lego fan and this year we decided we'd spend a day there. When Kyle was smaller he didn't seem as interested in going to the mecca of Lego but this year he was ready.

The welcoming lion at the front entrance. 
Mt. Rushmore

Christina and a lion statue at the entrance to miniLand. 
Full size R2D2

The day after Legoland we picked up stakes and moved to Campland on the Bay. You might be looking at the map and wondering what Campland on the Bay was like. In short, it was urban camping. What possessed us to try "urban camping"?  Well, of course it was for me. I thought it would be nice if we didn't have to cook and wash dishes every evening since we get to cook and clean every evening when we are at home. So being in San Diego made it easier to go out and also easier to do in-town tourist things. 

It was very kind of Ken to humor me and give Campland a try. It was the densest camping I have ever experienced - too dense. We had to be careful not to hit anyone as we drove in or out. There were kids on bikes, on scooters, on skateboards and on foot. People were crowding the campground roads up until 11PM, when the Campland speakers announced that quiet time started. Luckily everyone was good about the curfew.  Too bad it didn't start at 9:00 or 10:00PM though.  Ken strategically reserved a spot for us that at least backed up to the Kendal Frost-Mission Bay Marsh preserve on Fiesta Bay - which wasn't quite as nice as the beach spots, but was better than wall to wall campers. 

Kyle and I went out in a peddle boat we rented from the Campland marina. 

Red arrow is our camping spot on the marsh, green arrow is the marina, .

Kyle on the back of the peddle boat (foot pedals)

Swimming behind the peddle boat.  

We also went into San Diego and toured the Midway aircraft carrier. We parked about 10 minutes away and walked through the South Embarcadero Esplanade Art installation.

Someone needs practice being the photographer

We took the audio tour of the USS Midway. We could have easily spent the whole day on the ship but unfortunately only had about two hours on the meter.

In the brig for insubordination. 
Downright roomy junior officer's quarters. 

And back at our parking area (after feeding the meter), we took some time to enjoy walking around and climbing trees at Tuna Harbor Park (I refrained from climbing).

Kyle and I flew home at the end of the week since Kyle had to get back to his last month in third grade and I had to get back to work.  Ken and Biscuit took another week to enjoy a more leisurely drive back.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Kristin and Matthew's Wedding

We attended a wonderful wedding in early January 2015.  My beautiful cousin, Kristin, married her beau, Matthew, here in Santa Fe.  Kristin and Matthew are two of the most generous and kind people we know.

The ceremony had Quaker and Suffi elements. During the Quaker period of silence, the guests were encouraged to speak. Family and friends spoke eloquently about Kristin and Matthew. My favorite speech was when one of Kristin's family friends, Zander, stood up and talked about how Kristin has been like the mother he never had, Brigid has been the sister he never had, and Thomas, his best friend, is like the brother he never had.

A few days later, Ken, Kyle and I were talking about how much we liked the speeches. Kyle's favorite was when Zander's dad, Randy, welcomed Matthew's dog, Shilo, to the family.  Kyle said, "If you would have encouraged me a little, I would have given a speech to say Kristin is the best eye doctor and I will never go to another eye doctor in all of Santa Fe."  (Kyle has had a couple emergency visits to see Kristin - she is a godsend!).  I told Ken and Kyle that I was getting my nerve up to give a speech about how Kristin has been like the sister I never had, but didn't stand up and speak because I was hoping there would be speeches after the reception dinner - especially since a version of the "like a sister" speech had already been done so well. But I missed my chance when the dancing directly followed the dinner.  Sigh. 

The reception dinner was delicious.  It was followed by a delectable wedding cake made by Matthew and his father and dancing into the wee hours.  

A few pictures (some professional) and videos (definitely amateur) from the ceremony:

The flower girls and cousin Pamm coming in. 

Nina, Matthew's Dad, and Matthew's Basset Hound, Shilo, coming in.

Brigid and Thomas coming in.

The Bride and her father.

Leaving the chapel

At the reception -
My mom, Ken, Kyle, and me
Uncle John and Kristin - before the reception (Dottie Lopez Photography)

Cake cutting (Dottie Lopez Photography)

Looks Delicious!  (Dottie Lopez Photography)

Wild dancing (Dottie Lopez Photography)

Kyle and Lily dancing (Dottie Lopez Photography)

The lost shoe dance (Dottie Lopez Photography) 

One last video - Kids dancing before the official dancing started: