Monday, October 27, 2008

Eastons in front of the Wishing Well

Drew standin on the edge of a fountain

Madison and McClain

Madison and Minnie

Grandma and Ella

It has been quite a while since I blogged, and Mike is on my case to post something. In fact he said, "I'm bringing up your blog and I want you to put something on it." He is the Blog Nazi!

Anyway, we just came back from a very brief trip to Disneyland. Debbie's children had a Fall Break, and they were out of school all of last week. They flew in from Denver for a few days, and we drove down to meet them. The weather was beautiful. In the 70's and 80's, and the last day we were there it was in the low 90's! The only drawback of the entire adventure was that I got the 24 hour flu, and was pretty much out of the picture for one whole day.

Despite my illness, we had a great time. Debbie and Michael's children are the perfect age for Disneyland. Madison (9) and McClain (6) are tall enough to go on all of the rides. Drew was almost tall enough, and he is very fearless. The second day, he wore "taller" shoes, and jelled his hair up, but he still was about an inch too short for some of the wilder rides. He was tall enough to go on the "Tower of Terror" with grandpa and his dad, and McClain sat that one out even though he was tall enough to ride. Some of the rides require not only the height, but the stomach and the nerves for riding!

Madison loved everything, and Ella enjoyed the Minnie Mouse House and Winnie the Pooh ride. Madison and Ella actually had a chance to have their picture taken with Minnie Mouse as she strolled through the park. Madison ran right up and stood with Minnie, but the sight of a full grown Minnie Mouse really freaked Ella out, and she DID NOT want to stand by her and have her picture taken.

I think my favorite ride was in California Adventure. Actually, due to my illness, it was the only ride in that section that I got to ride on. It is called "Soarin," and you actually feel like you are flying in a hot air balloon or glider over many of the most scenic spots in California. You fly over an orange grove, and they spray a scent into the air that actually smells like oranges! It's pretty incredible.

The final day, we could only stay half of the day because the Eastons were flying home, and Mike and I had to drive back to Northern California. We went to Downtown Disney, and the kids spent the money they had been saving from their allowances, birthdays, and doing extra jobs. Madison bought a cute shirt, necklace and hat. McClain bought 3 Lego sets, and Drew bought a Starwars gun. They were pretty careful shoppers since it was their own money they were spending. At one point McClain was sitting in the Disney store with all of his money on the floor carefully weighing his options. A Disney employee came by and said, "I guess he's buying lunch today!"

Not to be out done, Ella wanted a dog, a purse, makeup and gold flip flops. She finally setteled on a little Minne Mouse set in it's own carrying case. As soon as she saw it she said to Debbie, "I buy it!" It seemed to satisfy the need for a dolly and a purse, and it was just the right price, so she proudly carried it to the counter and Debbie paid for it.

Even though my time was cut short on the trip, we had a great time, and it was fun to be with everyone at "The Happiest Place On Earth."

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sonoma Birthday Adventure

For our birthdays, (Mike and I both have July birthdays) our children gave us a two day get-a-way to Sonoma. We have been through Sonoma several times, but other than the town square and the California Mission which is there, we just admired the town as another quaint part of the Wine Country. Debbie's sister-in-law Camille had told her about the Sonoma Mission Inn because her mother had taken her there for her 30th birthday.

Anyway, Mike and I had really been looking forward to it because we already knew that Sonoma was a beautiful place. It is especially beautiful right now as it is just before harvest time for most of the wine grapes and vines are loaded with deep purple and red grapes.

We started out Thursday morning and took a leisurely drive to Sonoma. It is only about an hour away, but we really meandered. Mike had his trusty camera, and since we had no time dead line, we just stopped wherever it looked like we might be able to take beautiful pictures. Around noon we stopped at a place which was a winery and a deli. We bought delicious sandwiches and ate at a picnic table under a huge spreading oak tree.

After lunch we visted Calistoga and just took in the sights. We arrived in Sonoma around 3:30 and checked into our hotel room. Luckily the night before we left, Debbie called us and told us to take our bathing suits because there were all sorts of spas and pools to relax in.

By joining the Fairmont President's Club, (which was free) we had full access to the spa area. There was an amazing spa with soothing music, hot swirling pools, steam room, sauna, shower with grape body scrub, and two relaxing outside pools. One like a small swimming pool, and the other with more warm water like a mineral bath. It was so relaxing, and you come out feeling like every pore of your body is steamed and sparkling clean!

Our room was beautiful and the bed was very comfortable. We got up the next morning, and since check out time wasn't until noon, we did the spa ritual again before checking out. We didn't get on our way until noon, but decided to take scenic Hiway 1 home just because we had no deadline. It was also beautiful along the coast. It was sunny and warm but the traditional fog was lurking just a ways off of the coastline. One of the reasons that we went home that way was so that we could cross the Golden Gate Bridge and get some good pictures. Unfortunately, because we got there just before sunset, the fog was already pouring through the gate, and the bridge was pretty well covered in fog, so picture taking was not much of an option.

I am posting some of our favorite pictures from our great adventure. Thanks to our children for giving us such a wonderful birthday gift!