Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Word! -le

My friend Sara had one of these on her blog and I thought it looked pretty cool! So here is one from all of my blog entries. I somehow don't think this is quite right though, cause I don't think I talk about Alcatraz that much, do I???

Alexis is totally not feeling the love on this one! She says I love money more than her! ;)

Wordle: Rays Days

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Empire Mine

On Monday we took advantage of another beautiful day off to do some exploring a little closer to home. Gold was discovered around here in 1848 and there are tons of gold mines within just a few miles of our house. So we decided to go to the Empire Gold Mine.

Here's the Queen of Sheba herself, Addison. Matt put his sunglasses on her, but like just about everything else on her head/face, she quickly took them off.

"Here, I don't need these."
They've got cool old machinery set up to look at, and in our case, climb on.

Addie thought she'd check out what it feels like to be a gold miner. A gold miner that loves her tongue.

What won't we do for a fun picture?


Christian had fun trying to get the wheel moving, which he succeeded in doing quickly. There's that hood again! Ugh!

Addison trying out Gold Mining again. She's very inquisitive!

Here we are in the place where they would travel down into the mines. It was kinda creepy and I can't even imagine how scary it would have been 150 years ago, ridin' along roller coaster style!

Here's the seat thingy they would ride on. At some points they were as far as a mile under ground! Crazy, huh?!

This is the "cottage" where the owner of the mine lived. We took a tour and one of the figures that stuck out to me was that they owned the water company that supplied San Francisco and ended up selling it for $40 million! Back in the 1800's! I can't even imagine having a fraction of that! Money, money, money!

I thought this was such a cute picture! It's like Addie's looking back at us cause she's hangin' with the big kids!

After the mine, we went over to downtown Grass Valley. Most of the people that worked in the mines were Cornish immigrants and each day their wives would pack them "Pasties" for lunch. A pastie is like an empanada with meat, onion, potato, really whatever you want in it. Anyways, they would pack them pasties, all wrapped up nice and warm and the men would take them down and eat them in the mine. So we thought it was fitting to try them for lunch on this day.

The shop was super cute and had tons of food from England.

So of course we had to get some dessert! At $7.75 for 6 small cakes, I quickly had buyers remorse over our dessert! Oh well.

After we got our food we had to rush over to Alexis' tennis lesson, so we enjoyed a nice lunch of Pasties on the patio. Yummy!

Whew! There, now I'm all caught up on my blogging! That catches me up just in time to get ready for our 3rd visitor tomorrow! Hooray, Amy's coming to town!

Weekend in San Francisco

We took advantage of our last free Saturday before Christian's basketball games start to drive over to San Francisco. It is so nice to be able to drive for 2 hours and get to such a neat city! Not that Lubbock isn't neat, but you know! :)

A few weeks ago Alexis had asked if she could spend Friday night at a friends house and go with her to a talent show on Saturday so she chose to stay here with her friend. I hated not having her with us, but I know she is growing up and it was her choice to make since I had already told her she could go. And I remember when we lived in Germany and my mom and sister went to Paris and I declined to go so I could have a friend over! I totally regret it now, but it was my choice to make!

Anyways, we left on Friday as soon as Matt got home from work. We stayed just a few blocks away from Fishermans Wharf so we didn't waste any time going down there. Parking anywhere is super expensive, so we parked at the hotel (which was $26!) and walked everywhere. We walked along the water and looked at all the cool boats. Christian is totally into boats right now and can't wait to own one and sail to Hawaii, so he had such a good time looking at all of them.

Then we stopped for some fresh seafood. I have never been a huge fan of seafood, but I like to retry it every now and then and I really wanted to try something fresh by the water. So Matt and I ordered this platter...

I like the shrimp and crab legs. I tried the clams, oysters, and calamari but they are all too slimy and chewy for me still. And as far as the shrimp and crab legs go, I'd be just as happy, if not happier with chicken. It was good to try though! So here is Matt doing his best to finish off all the things I wouldn't eat! :)

Then on our way back to the hotel we headed over to Ghiradelli Square for a delicious Sundae. That place is like Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory and it smells sooo good!

This shop reminded us of the one in Seattle so we had to get a picture!

Here are some from our hotel window. There's Christian there with his hood on. Always with his hood on! We really had a great room and the best part of it was... it was FREE! Free rooms are the best! When I made the reservation I chose the top floor (the 11th) not knowing how very much noise you can hear from the heaters/air conditioners and whatever else they have on the roof. It was so loud I started to feel some anxiety! But I was tired so I got over it and went to sleep pretty quickly. :)

I scheduled our Alcatraz cruise for 9:30 so we could get there before it got too busy. So we got up early, ate breakfast and walked down to Pier 33. And because we're gluttons for punishment (and we thought it would be cool) we walked down Lombard Street. But before we could walk down it, we had to walk up it! What a workout!

But very much worth it to walk down this beautiful street! Christian is kind of anti-posing for pictures lately, so here is walking down Lombard. With his hood on of course!

Christian waiting for our boat to Alcatraz.

He was so fascinated by all the boats. He really wants us to buy one!

Addie's second boat ride!

Hangin' with dad.

Looking at Alcatraz just before we got there.

Posing in front of some of the ruins. They stopped using Alcatraz as a prison because of the high cost of maintenance and immediately tore down some of the buildings there, but some have just deteriorated with time.

During our self guided headphone tour we got to go into some of the cells. Addie hated being in the cells! Don't have to worry about her going to jail anytime soon! As soon as I stepped into the cell she started crying! So cute!

The boys all locked up. Just where they belong. :)

This is all they had in their cells. That's enough to make a person crazy. Except I think that a lot of the residents here were already crazy.

We took a headphone tour that was so interesting. Christian was fascinated! Okay, we all were fascinated, it was a really good tour! And worth the price!

In front of the prison kitchen.

Sample menu.

Just in case we tried to smuggle anyone out with us!

Here is a view from one of the paths on Alcatraz Island. You kind of can't see their faces, but the view of the city is so pretty! I had no idea Alcatraz Island was so very pretty!

Okay, so money burns a whole in Christians pocket. Always! And I am forever trying to get him to save his money and not blow it on junk. So to bribe him to take some pictures, I told him the next thing he wanted to spend his money on, I would let him. Lucky for me, he wanted to buy a book! The youngest prison guard ever to work at Alcatraz was there the day we went and he was autographing a book that he'd written. He stood up at the gift shop and started talking about his experiences and Christian decided he wanted to buy this book. And he was able to get it autographed. The man wrote "Stay out of trouble!" So cute!

Before we left, we had to get a picture in front of the big sign out front.

After Alcatraz it was off to lunch in Chinatown. On our walk we had this great view of the Coit building (I think that's what it's called).

Everything was decorated so cute and people were busy getting ready for Chinese New Year on the 25th.

We bought Addison a little Chinese hat (since I forgot her sun bonnet) and she hated it! As soon as we put it on she would yank it off! Little bratty!

I was inside a store and came out to find my lovely husband flirting with a little Asian lady, who was also holding my baby! J/K, he wasn't really flirting with her, but she did come up to him and ask to hold Addie. She liked that Addie was all dressed in red and ready for Chinese New Year.

We walked past some fish markets and Christian saw this huge vat of frogs. It was so gross! Matt wanted a picture in front of it and I made Christian take it because I didn't want to get too close. It was pretty foul!

Since Christian was feeling anti-picture, he took control of the camera for this ride. So here we are on the cable cars. I was kinda nervous someone was gonna fall off!

Matt being goofy on the cable cars.

Christian gettin' artsy on the cable car!

After a delicious and authentic lunch in Chinatown and a ride on the cable car, we headed over to Golden Gate Park. Addison was asleep as soon as she got into the car and we didn't want to get her out and wake her up again, the poor girl hadn't had a nap all day! So we took turns posing for pictures and then got right back in the car.

We took the long way home so we could drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. Soooo cool!

The ride was nice too, we got to see some things like this....

You can kind of see San Quentin here. I took this picture because we were all hopped on our prison kick after seeing Alcatraz. I had absolutely no idea San Quentin was so close to San Francisco! I guess I didn't know where it was!

Here's the super long Richmond Bridge (at least I think that's what it was called) that we crossed over on our way home. So pretty!

We had a great time! I came to San Francisco one other time when Christian was 2 and Lexi was 3 and had a wonderful time then too! It is such a fun city! The only thing that would have made it better would have been Lexi-lu!