Friday, July 25, 2008

Wow! The end of Summer, which probably doesn't mean a heck of alot for most people, but for me, it means that it is time to go back to work.

The family and I decided to take one last hurrah with some friends of ours to the California foothills, up to my mother-in-laws house. We were to take the kids berry picking (black berry, the kind with thorns fricken everywhere!). My buddy Riley found this instead...

That aint no black berry but one really pissed off rattlesnake. Riley is good with snakes, he used own several various species of reptiles in another life, so he pretty much knew what he was doing. After the berry picking was done, we drove further up into the foothills to go to an amazing place. My wife is from the California foothills area and she had never even been there, so we were both excited. The place is this unique little swimming hole called "Natural Bridges". Basically it is a hollowed out cave that you can swim through. The water comes from run off and, I assume, a natural water table in the near by mountains. Check out the video to get a feel for it.

It was an awesome time and I plan on going back in the spring when everything is green.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Still got the magic, baby...

So my family has just recently returned from Disneyland in So. Cal. In case you are wondering, Yes, there is still magic in the kingdom! I was a bit surprised by my own reaction to the several days of walking and standing in line. Really at the patience of people around me. I never really felt that I was just "sitting around" and the the lines were really unreasonably long. We decided earlier in the year that we would splurge a bit when we got the family tax returns and buy season passes to Disneyland. Believe me, it wasn't cheap but then nothing ever is with a family of 7 (5 kids, myself, and my wife). We planned all of the trips around the our anniversary of 14 years and the kids combine birthdays. Three trips with a possible 4th during the 2009 season. If you enjoy theme parks and like going, the season pass is well worth the cost. Equate it out to maximum fun with zero pressure. You do have some block out dates to deal with but no big whup. This was our second trip this year and we set out to do a few thing that we missed or have always missed (The Tiki Room) for whatever reason. It was a blast! My five year old has been newly indoctrinated into the land of the big coaster this year. She is just big enough to ride. Last trip the first and last big ride she did was Star Tours. I thought, "Well, this should be easy, it doesn't even really move." As soon as the ride started, she began to cry....and didn't stop until she was off of the ride. I thought that I had spoiled the idea of riding coasters for her for some time. I couldn't convince her to go on another big ride. This time, my six year old convinced the five year old to go on The Matterhorn. She told her that she would, "see the Snow Beast from Scooby-Doo on the ride". Leave it to a kid to help another kid come to grips with stuff. She rode and loved it! She even rode on Space Mountain...and didn't like it, but pretty much had a blast and on several occasions wanted to ride with her older siblings. One of the highlights of the trip for me was going on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with all of my kids and my wife. My wife and my five year old sat in the back of the train/coaster and the rest of the crew sat just in front of us. The five year old sat between my wife and I. As we started to climb up the first hill, I saw all of the hands of my children go up, anticipating the coming drop. My five year old stuck both of her hands up, feeling same between mom and dad, and left them up the entire ride. Very fun and very cool. Here's a pic of our day. Cheers.