While we were in San Diego, we also visited SeaWorld, which is sort of like an aquarium/amusement park. It's private equity owners have recently IPO'd it, and they have really pushed pricing sky high. It's a fun place, but I don't see it as being a place one would need to visit much more than once a generation or so, especially at the tariff charged. Click on the above to see a slide show.
We still had a good time, and the live animal shows are definitely unique. Click on the above to see. It was a rainy overcast day, which is good for pictures, but bad for staying dry and having fun in a possibly wet place.
The next day we went to the park which had swings, which I. loves but her sister doesn't.
After my conference last week, we took a few days off to visit friends in San Diego, and spend a day at the zoo. It was a great visit, and the girls loved seeing the vast spectrum of animals the zoo has. Unfortunately, there was construction occurring at the panda complex so we were not able to see their signature exhibit, but it was still a full day, and we saw only half of the complex.
These pictures are the best out of the hundred plus I took, and have been scrubbed up a little. Click on the icon above to see them.
We took the kids to the food truck festival down by Land Park which had maybe 30-50 different specialty food trucks. We lunched on Chairman Bao's buns, Roti Rolls, Hot Dogs, and some ice cream. There were lots of pets there, doing their best to hoover up whatever fell to the ground.
For the first time, we tried the sunshade on the girls red wagon which didn't work really right since the shade was missing some part to make it stay aligned properly. The girls also came home with balloon animals from a friendly street busker.
My mom picked up some huge artichokes for us...and coincidentally Mark Bitman -- the NYT food writer -- had an article on stuffing them today, so we whipped up breadcrumb/parmesan/herb stuffed artichokes.
That will pair well with two pink snappers roasting on the grill right now. The cats love when we have roast fish -- it's their favorite leftovers!
The girls got up and saw that the Easter Bunny had eaten the carrots they had left for him, and in exchange, hid some eggs and baskets for them. They found all the eggs very quickly, and even gobbled them up for breakfast. Afterwards we went to Easter services, which were crowded, and then for brunch nearby. Everyone got to wear their fancy new clothes too.
Only a couple of pix. One of the girls could not resist, and had to taste the vinegar based dye. She had to brush her teeth to get the unpleasant sour taste out of her mouth. Plus a picture of a spinach quiche I baked.
So after a sunny day yesterday with temps in the 50s and bright blue skies under the sun, today was a very snowy day. It was raining down at lake level, but up at 9000 feet it was mid winter: heavy snow and mist conditions.
Very few people were on the mountain, so I could ski without worrying about people around me. Yesterday was good day for riding the ski's edges, making big arcs down the mountain, and today was a day for making smaller turns and throwing up big rooster tails of fresh powder.
All of these pictures were late in the afternoon. However at the end of the day I was completely soaked, as the snow had stuck to me, and penetrated all my shells, whose GoreTex has long worn off.
The girls got to play with their new, fast sled on our trip. Even in soft, fresh snow it goes a long way once there is the equivalent of 6 sacks of sugar of kids weight in it. Click on the above to see them playing with their new double sled, which also pulled double duty getting our gear in/out of the Kirkwood condo complex.
Today was Sacramento Museum Day, which is a day when when all the museums in the city are free, so we decided to take the kids to Sutter's Fort. This is an original fort from the 1850's which was the first trading post and settlement in the city. The kids saw how pioneers lived, and they even saw someone shoot an old black powder musket (which was very loud). Afterwards we walked over to a diner, where they munched on a messy eclair.
If you click on the picture above, you can see a slide show.
The kids got their sleds out and played in the snow which has been coming down very heavily. I was up on the mountain which had very severe conditions. Visibility was about 15 feet and temperatures were under 20 degrees and of course -- lots of heavy snow. I actually got disoriented on some trails which I thought I knew pretty well but ... when everything is white it's hard to tell where you are. Sometimes it's hard to tell which way is even down.
So it's too windy to ski today so we took the girls on a sleigh ride (which was also very windy). The horses were Belgian Draft Horse which weigh 2000 pounds each. Unfortunately one of our cars has stopped working so we have to figure out why. We will probably have to stay here an extra day since the highways are closed. They are expecting 3 to 5 feet of snow and winds up to 100 miles an hour at the top of the ridges.
It is good to be inside a nice warm house right now!
The girls got to play in the snow today in their new ski suits. We tried ten (!) different rental shops but were not able to find ski boots that fit their small feet (yet). So instead they played and ran around while I skied the Nevada side of the mountain. They love riding the gondola while wearing their new ski passes.
Today was the first day of Advent, so we put up the Christmas tree, lit our candles, and wrangled all the accouterments out of the attic. The girls munched on JoJo cookies, spilled their hot cocoa, and broke one glass ornament (each!) during the process. The cats were torn between playing with the paper and Styrofoam scrunchies, or snoozing by the fireplace.
It's been raining for 3 days, and that seems to have caused problems with our exterior lights timer, so those have stopped working, with rather poor timing. I've been preparing for months for an exam (taken yesterday) so today was the first family quality time in a while.
I took a few pictures with the Canon, and if you click on the picture above you can see them.