Wednesday, June 30, 2010

CA Vacation, Reprise - by Brad

So I didn't post day 8 of our California road trip. Besides starting the day off with Dutch Brothers, we sat in the car for 11 hours. The younger two boys only slept one hour of it. We thought they would be worn out, but I guess not enough.

Since I was limited on the photos I could post due to the lack of internet access, here are some of the better photos from our vacation.

Jelly Belly factory. We had to wear these silly hats when we went on the tour. Spencer really didn't want to, but he was a good sport about it.



A Ronald Reagan Jelly Belly mosaic...


Grandma Krueger kept the boys entertained while we stayed at her house. She read books, played games, and even let Spencer help out in the kitchen (one of his favorite things to do)...


At the Monterey Bay Aquarium Spencer was apprehensive about some of the silliest things. One of them was touching the animals. He needed my finger for moral support, so we touched the starfish at the same time...


The favorite animal of the day was the leafy sea dragon...


The Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo was pretty crazy. We all had fun looking at the cool animals and fun rides. The best show was definitely the orca show. Apparently this orca had a dolphin for a close friend. It performed better along side the dolphin, so they made it part of the routine...



Spencer would not ride any of the rides. He liked looking, but at the very mention of partaking, he would get agitated. Here is with Thomas the Train. Still, he wouldn't ride the train...


The whole day at the Six Flags was Aunt Shirley's treat. She certainly spoiled our whole family!


The boys watching a walrus swim by...


While the boys and Lindsey rode the carousel, Spencer rode the fence...


On the long drive home, Mt. Shasta was finally out (it was hiding from us on the way down). It is a pretty impressive looking mountain...

Friday, June 25, 2010

CA Vacation, Day 8 - by Brad

We headed out from Roseville with Aunt Shirley this morning headed toward the Six Flags in Vallejo. We got there right as it was opening and we were pleasantly surprised that it was not very busy the entire day. We saw tigers, orcas, dolphins, camels, sharks, walruses, birds, butterflies, fish. The older boys went on several rides (Spencer was a stick-in-the-mud) and we ate giant corn dogs. It was a very fun day. There will be more pictures when we get home... it is almost midnight and I am not in the mood to pick through them.

After Six Flags, we ate at In-N-Out Burger in Vacaville. Back in Roseville, we said goodbye to Aunt Shirley and headed north to Redding via some small back highways. We stopped at a small gas station in some hick-ville where some drunk (or stoned guy) was bleeding profusely from his forehead. The store manager was calling the cops while the bleeding man's friends were trying to take him away before the cops got there. Not sure what happened, but no pictures of that, sorry. We finally arrived at our hotel around 10:50 PM. The two younger boys were asleep, but Elliott was still going strong.

Funny quote from Spencer in the car ride...

Spencer: My feet are stinky.
Lindsey: Ewww! Keep them away from me (jokingly).
Spencer: No, for reals, I need a bath!

Not sure where he picked up the "for reals" phrase.

Tomorrow we head back to Wenatchee. Estimated 12 hours in the car. Yippee! The good news is that my sister Gail is back from Papua New Guinea and we get to see her soon! That will keep the vacation excitement going!

Day 8 Route:

CA Vacation, Day 7 - by Brad

Leisurely morning at grandmas. Cousins came over and met us at the nearby park. The boys worked out some energy before we headed up to Roseville.




Said goodbye to the Hollister family, stopped be the chocolate factory one last time for some candy apples, and then drove to Aunt Shirley's house in Roseville (just north of Sacramento). Enjoyed a nice evening visiting.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

CA Vacation, Day 6 - by Brad

8:00 - breakfast of eggs, sausage, cereal, toast
9:30 - dessert
10:00 - walk in the orchard, eat a couple apricots
11:00 - cousins come over and entertain the boys
12:00 - tacos for lunch
12:30 - more dessert
1:00 - drop boys off at cousins house
[Lindsey and I go to outlets and shop childless]
5:00 - hit Starbucks for some iced Chai
6:00 - back to cousins house for BBQ burgers
[chatting and playing]
8:00 - more dessert, cheesecake and cookies
9:00 - ride to fruit stand and pick up large quantities of apricots
10:00 - back to grandma's, consoling sad boys because we start our trek home tomorrow.
Good news is that there is more excitement to come!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

CA Vacation, Day 5 - by Brad

Today we headed out to Monterey. The boys were so worn out that they fell asleep in the car on the way. To wake them up we spent a little while at a really neat park...






Then it was off to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for most of the afternoon. Spencer was a little whiney, but they had fun overall...






After the aquarium, we stopped by the farmers market and grabbed some dinner. The boys and I had hot dogs and Lindsey got some Asian food. We topped it off with baskets of strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. The younger two boys fell asleep again on the drive back.

Monday, June 21, 2010

CA Vacation, Day 4 - by Brad

Today was leisurely. We had a nice morning including French toast made by grandma. Around mid morning, we visited the growing candy factory owned by Lindsey's aunt. We got to see them making caramel apples and we walked away with a lot of fudge and chocolates!


We continued our leisurely afternoon while the boys played with grandma and their cousins Natalie and Josh. We had dinner at the Johnson's and visited for a while.

It looks like the Monterey Bay Aquarium is on tomorrow's agenda! Maybe I'll get a few more photos tomorrow from my phone. There is sure to be a follow up post with many photos.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

CA Vacation, Day 3 - by Brad

I don't have Internet access for the next few days, so blogging from the phone might be a little cumbersome - but I'll give it a go.

Since it has become a two day tradition, we stopped at Dutch Brothers again to start off our drive. We drove a couple hours to Fairfield and stopped at the Jelly Belly factory for the tour. I haven't figured out an easy way to blog pictures from the phone so we will just have to wait on that unless I figure it out tomorrow. UPDATE: I figured it out, but it is tedious.



After the factory, we drove another couple hours to Hollister - where Lindsey grew up - to visit some of her family. We had a nice dinner and the kids played in the pool and with their cousins. At the Jelly Belly factory they sold boxes of Jelly Bellies that had disgusting flavors mixed with real flavors and made to look identical. We brought a couple and the older cousins had a good time eating vomit, rotten egg, and moldy cheese flavored candy. It was like gambling with your taste buds.

Spencer drove Natalie around in a toy truck. It was his favorite toy of the night.


He also thought he was a big kid hanging out with the older cousins in the hot tub.


Day 3 Route:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

CA Vacation, Day 2 - by Brad

Spencer has this habit of muttering random phrases immediately after he wakes up. Last night, he was sleeping on the floor between the two beds. When Spencer woke up, he opened his eyes, stretched his arm out, placed his hand on the Gideon-placed Bible and declared, "I read half of this!"

We were all packed and checked-out of our slummy little motel by 8:30. We pulled out of the parking lot, passed the strip club (which was unfortunately visible from our motel window), and another pit stop at Dutch Brothers for morning beverages.

We drove a few miles south of Bend to Lava River Butte and then visited the Lava River Cave. I didn't expect the volcanic entertainment to be so entertaining, but it was well worth the stop. From the top of the Lava River Butte, we could see a huge flow of volcanic rocks. We could also see other lava buttes like the one we were able to drive up...




We walked around where the huge field of volcanic rock flowed from the butte...


Then we moved onto the Lava River Cave. Spencer cried vigorously, so Lindsey stayed behind with him, while Elliott, Wesley and I ventured down into the cave. When we got back, she went a little ways in with the older boys showing her around...



We had lunch by the cave and then headed to California. On the way, Elliott noticed a sign and exclaimed to Wesley, "Hey Wes, we can adopt a highway!" I don't think he knows the responsibility that entails.

Later, we drove through a bunch of smoke as a house was on fire right next to the highway...



We drove by Mt. Shasta and were going to stop for a photo op, but since it was only showing its ankles, it only warranted a drive-by pic...


We stopped at McDonald's in Weed to get out and let the boys stretch their legs at the play land. While we were there, Spencer was standing on the life size statue of Ronald McDonald. I told him, "Spencer! Get of Ronald!" To which he replied, "Why, is he gonna turn real?"

Tonight, Spencer quickly found the Gideon-placed Bible in our Super 8 hotel (a big step up from last night's Motel 6) and pretended to read...



Day 2 Route:

Friday, June 18, 2010

CA Vacation, Day 1 - by Brad

Yesterday was Elliott's last day of first grade, so this morning we packed up the van and started our California road trip... beginning with some Dutch Brothers coffee (and chai for me). We drove south for a few hours until we apparently crossed the Atlantic Ocean and arrived at Stonehenge for a lunch break.







If you line up the monuments just right, it points to the sacred windmills...


After we took several pictures of our druids, we crossed over the Columbia River and drove through many tiny towns in Eastern Oregon until we reached Bend. We checked into our shady little Motel 6 accommodations and then we thought we would try to make it to the Lava River Caves just south of Bend. However, the park was closed about an hour before we got there, so we turned around and had dinner at the Black Bear Diner. The food was pretty good, and the server was excellent. He even chased us down to return our cheap pen we left on the table. There will be more written about the lava caves tomorrow.

Day 1 Route:

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Wes Quotes - Brags, Girls, Floss - by Brad

Lindsey is away for the weekend, so I have got to spend a lot of time with the boys the last couple days. For a boy that doesn't talk much, Wesley says a lot of funny things.

Wesley was bragging about a computer game last night to a friend (a girl) while we drove her and and Elliott to a pizza party.

Wes: I got the high score.
Elliott: And then I beat your high score.
Wes: Well, I beat Spencer's high score.
Spencer: I didn't even play that game!
Wes: Yeah... like I said, I beat Spencer's high score.
_________________

Today in the car.

Wes: I know how to tell if dogs are boys or girls.
[Silence]
Wes: The girls dogs have longer eye lashes.
Elliott: No.
Wes: Well, the girl dogs have bows in their hair.
Elliott: No.

I didn't respond because, at this point, I don't mind that our kids are in the dark about how to tell boys and girls apart... besides the longer eyelashes and bows in their hair.
_________________

Just a few minutes ago while the boys were sitting on the couch watching some old Pink Panther cartoons.

Brad: Wes, what are you doing?
Wes: Flossing my teeth.
Brad: With what?
Wes: A rubber band.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Yup, We're Old / 6th Commandment - by Brad

Lindsey and I went to Lake Chelan on Saturday without our kids. We forgot that during Memorial Day weekend thousands of partying college-age kids descend on the town.

We browsed a few shops downtown Chelan. As we walked into a jewelry store, the owner asked, "Are the kids leaving you alone?"

At first, we thought, "how does he know we have kids?" Then we realized, he was talking about the college-age kids in relation to us non-college-age folks! Apparently we are officially old and not easily mistaken for college-age anymore.

We did not buy anything from the jewelry store man.


-----------------------------------------------------------

This morning at breakfast, I was ironing my shirt when I heard Elliott tell Spencer, "You can't do that because that's against the 6th commandment."

Then Wesley chimed in, "and it's against the law and you would go to jail."

I went out and asked Elliott what Spencer said. Apparently Spencer had said, "I'm gonna cut off your head with a chainsaw."

I probably should have been more disappointed with Spencer, but I was proudly distracted by the fact that Elliott knew that "do not murder" is the 6th commandment.

For the record, our kids don't play any video games where you cut off heads with chainsaws. I am a little baffled where Spencer gets his "creativity". I am sure he says these things to get a rise out of his older siblings. The youngest child can be that way (personal testimony).