Tuesday, March 23, 2010

San Fran - 2010

Out of nowhere Caskey is getting a new job for Google. Since he has to be in Mountain View for training what better way to fit in a little family time than drive to Madras, OR and visit the relatives, then drive to SF, CA for some touristy stuff and then drop Caskey off in Mountain View and drive home in the big van by myself. Sounds fun right!

So, I am running my trip plans by you, the internet world. Let me know if you have any additions or suggestions. We will only be in SF for 2 1/2 days. We arrive Thursday evening after driving 13 hours from Oregon. We will be in San Francisco all day Friday and Saturday. Sunday I will need to leave about noon to drive 6 hours home. The kids, after all, have school on Monday morning.

On Friday we plan on touring Alcatraz, Angel Island (which technically are on the same island) and Fisherman's Wharf. Any suggestions on restaurants would be helpful. Perhaps we could take the Cable Cars to Union Square for dinner . . .

Saturday will be Yerba Gardens and Fort Point. Maybe Golden Gate Park and a visit to the Tea Garden . . .

Sunday as we leave town we will stop by Coit Tower and drive down Lombard Street.

I think we will stay at the Hilton near Fisherman's Wharf. But please comment or suggest on places to eat or must see things.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wanna Go Outside of California

Outside of California

Covered Wagon Train Vacation

Largest Indoor Water Park
West Edmonton Mall
1755 170 Street Northwest
Edmonton, AB T5T 4J2, Canada
(780) 444-5200

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Not a Girl

I almost don't want to write this post because it insinuates that Alexander is unwanted or unloved. None of that can be further from the truth. He is almost 19 months old now and is all boy. I love watching him and William play catch. He loves climbing and jumping on the couch. But what I love the most is when he runs up to me yelling "MAMA" and grabs me tight around one leg. He has been the perfect addition to our family.

BUT, when I was pregnant with Alexander I was desperately wanting PINK. I longed for ruffled panties, shiny Mary Janes, pink dresses, bows and frilliness. Lainy Ann really wanted a sister. After having 4 boys in a row (Connor, the twins, and William) I was a little tired of the blue and ready for some new pink. I was so convinced that I was having a girl this time that I had agreed to boy names I didn't like because it didn't matter since I was having an Abigail Frances.

I won't bore you with all the details about Alexander's birth story except that when he crowned and the nurses saw a full head of hair, I cried. I begged Caskey to change the baby's name, so while I was in labor waiting for the doctor to arrive we went through all of the boy names again. The list is getting pretty short at this point. We have had to come up with 6 boy names (counting first and middle). Quite frankly there just aren't that many good boy names out there.

The nurses were laughing at us as we went through the short list again. I was in tears. It seems so silly now. I should have just been thankful that my baby was healthy, but all those pink, frilly dresses and matching Easter clothes floated out the window. But that was nothing compared to how upset Lainy Ann was when we called to make our birth announcement. Melanie was staying with all the kids and she announced to my eldest 3 that they had a new brother named Alexander. I could hear her crying and then she ran off to her room to pout. I was so devestated for her. Its one of those hurts that I can never heal.

Santa Barbara Mission

I have always endeavored to expose my kids to as many different things as possible. So when the question came up of what to do on a school holiday we decided to trek out to Santa Barbara and visit the mission.

I don't recall having visited the mission before, although I am sure my mother took me as a child. Its mandatory fourth grade curriculum in the state of California. I know I have driven by the mission several times too since we honeymooned and often vacation in Santa Barbara. But it was our first chance to take our kids.

I feel that the mission-system is extra important to my children; not only are we Catholic, but my children are also Native American. Its important for them to understand the history of their religion, their state and their culture. Only by know where we come from can we then truly understand how very blessed we are.

[caption id="attachment_634" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="In front of the Santa Barbara Mission, Alexander kept running off"]In front of the Santa Barbara Mission, Alexander kept running off

We took the simple walking tour of the mission. There are docents available periodically through the week, but you will have to check their website for details. The walking tour can take as long as you let it. There are lots of coffins to see and read. You can stop, reflect and pray along your journey.
Praying in the crypt

But the reality is that there is a little cemetery area outside the church, the interior of the church including the original altar, and a small walk through museum that includes tools that the native Indians used. Since we had small children with us I would guess the whole thing took 90 minutes, including running around in the grass outside and gazing at the fish in the fountain.
Alexander helping Grandma Margaret see all the sights
Looking at the sun dial in the cemetary