Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer Doings

Summer is almost over.  Isn't it crazy?  Maybe I should be relieved.  I'm not sure that I did most of the fun things I had planned to do with the kids, but I think they still had fun.
A lot of my summer could be summed up with this visual illustration.
Yup, that about sums it up.
Being homeless this past week and a half has been a bit of a slower pace, but I think that illustration will be applicable again before the end of this week.  So I'd better blog about the fun things we did this summer before I find myself in the month of November or something.

Summer
I already blogged about our trip to California.  It was Jaide's birthday not too long after we got back.  With the general craziness and uncertainty of trying to sell a house, (and the fact I sort of thought we'd be in a new house by Jaide's birthday) we decided not to have a party this year and to go to Dutch Wonderland instead.  It was insanely hot that day.  The girls went on the fun slide a couple of times and then we just spent the rest of the day at the water area of the park.  Seeing a Pizza Hut right across from the park (and maybe also because she was pretty hungry and didn't want to wait for the drive to Chick-fil-A?) Jaide decided she wanted Pizza Hut for her birthday dinner.  We gave Jaide a Scooby Doo board game that is sort of like Mouse Trap or 13 Dead End Drive.  It's been a big hit with kids.




We went camping at the end of July to Pocomoke River State park.  It's about half an hour away from Assateague Island.  We stayed for two nights and I think we all enjoyed that length of camping trip.  Bob asked the girls if they wanted to go camping again and Jaide said, "maybe next year."  I guess camping is a good once a year thing.  We spent a day at the beach on Assateague Island.  The girls really love the beach.  We played a lot in the sand.  We came to the beach for a day trip our first Saturday of homelessness too.  It's about a three hour drive each way.
our day trip to the beach

Our gym membership ended August 5th.  We tried very hard to make good use of it before then.  It was hard with all of the other things we were busy with, but the girls were very happy to go swimming often.  Jaide got very good at swimming at Grandma and Grandpa's house so she was not at all afraid to jump of the diving board or go down the waterslides into the deep end.  Kiree was much more relaxed in the pool with a floatie on.  On the day we had to take the membership cards back, I took the girls swimming and played one last round of mini golf with them.  We did not keep score and it was much more fun that way.  Jaide only lost her ball once, but we managed to find it.











The same week that our gym membership ended was the week of Jaide and Kiree's soccer camp.  That took up our mornings all that week.  But the girls had a lot of fun.  One of Kiree's friends was in the "petit" class with her.  Jaide's class met at the same time at the other end of the same field and lasted longer than Kiree's.  I managed to go back home a couple of times and get some packing done.  The girls were very excited to get two t-shirts each and their very own soccer balls.  They also liked the shin guards I bought them.  Kiree wanted to wear her's all day.  The coaches were all from England and they had fun accents and said things like "you silly sausages."

Jaide lost some teeth, but she's getting new ones.

August 5th was also the day the storage POD arrived.  We took down our beds and packed them that night. I haven't slept in my own bed since August 5th!  The kids have been sleeping on the floor since August 5th!  We packed up most of the house that Saturday and had the POD picked up on the 11th.  Then there was still some more packing of the stuff for "camping out in the house" as well as church stuff and all the other regular business.  And cleaning, there was a bit of that as well.  I did a lot of driving stuff from our house to the places where people were letting us keep it.  On the 11th we started staying with our friends and on the 12th, we sold our house.  The kids have been in heaven playing with their buddies most of the day, every day of homelessness.  We celebrated Bob's birthday on the 14th with our friends and icecream cake.
Closing on our new house is this Thursday, the POD will come on Friday, and we'll have to unpack everything before we can sleep in our own beds again.   In addition to that fun, there is also a preschool activity, elementary school open house, activity day, and a baseball game with Bob's work (all on Thursday or Friday).  I see more of this in my near future.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Kayaking- a three hour tour, and the rest

I think the kayak tour was more like 4hrs actually, but close enough
One of the things we had planned to do while we were at Lake Tahoe was to take a kayak tour. We found one online that seemed fun and which included some instruction and all the equipment. They even fed us lunch! And it was tasty lunch!
Bob and I had requested a double kayak, but they ended up putting us in separate kayaks due to Bob's massive length (you had to put in how tall you are when you make reservations). Bob was in a double kayak by himself and I was in a single.


Kayaking was hard to get the hang of at first. With some help and lots and lots of practice, I started getting the hang of it. It was very fun. The lake is very pretty. There are cool things to see. We kayaked past the Thunderbird lodge. We kayaked to a different beach and had lunch.
Then we headed back. We played ultimate frisbee until one of the doubles flipped their kayak over. I would definitely kayak again. Maybe we'll end up buying some someday.
I didn't realize it until it was much too late, but I had missed a triangular patch of skin on my left leg when applying the sunscreen. It ended up burnt or dead, well, just badly burned. It hurt and hurt, then itched and itched. It also bubbled and peeled and now (over a month later) it just looks brown and splotchy.

We went out to dinner at Outback in Reno and finally used the gift card my mom gave us for Christmas.
While we were in Reno, we bought the girls some surprises at a nearby Toys R Us.






On the way back to Bob's parent's place, we stopped at the Bodie Ghost town. It was very cool. Bob thought it would be dumb and touristy. It is actually a California state park and pretty well off the beaten path. They don't let anybody take anything, so there is still loads of stuff there. We took way too many pictures.


When we got back, we had a few more days with Bob's family.  We surprised Jaide with an early surprise birthday party.  I made Jaide a sand bucket cake.  It's like dirt cups, but with vanilla pudding and crushed graham crackers.  I also found some octopus gummies and some gummy rocks.  They were very brightly colored.  Bob wouldn't let me get swedish fish.  Bob's mom surprised us all by whipping up an adorable little quilt for Jaide's sock monkey doll.
One morning we visited some adorable goats that a friend of Bob's mom raises.  Kiree was very leery of the goats (even the adorable tiny baby one!) but was slightly less so after they let her give the baby a bottle.


While we were gone, the people who wanted to buy our house managed to get all of the inspections and appraisal done.  That was quite handy.  We only had to clean insanely well once (before we left).  And since all of that went very well, we didn't have to do any more insane cleaning again (well, not until we moved out anyway).  And when we got home, we could just sleep.  Since we took a red eye home, we got in at about 6:30am (and that was eastern time, mind you and we were all still on pacific time).  We all got back on eastern time eventually.  

Monday, August 8, 2011

I'm glad we didn't die: Our hike of Shirley Canyon

Here are two different waterfalls we saw along our hike, there was a crazy amount of water because there had been a ton of snow this winter.






















While we were wandering around one evening, we found
some magazine type things about stuff to
do in North Lake Tahoe.




One of the sections listed several trails to hike.
Going on a hike sounded like a good idea because it's a pretty area and because hiking is good exercise and because it's much easier to go on a hike without the three year old who shall remain nameless who walks 5ft on flat ground and whines to be carried.

We decided to hike the Shirley Canyon trail because it was listed as a moderate hike, about 5 miles long.









When we got there that morning, we were met with this sign at the trail head.
This picture was taken after we finished the hike of course







We paused and then decided we would just go as far as we could and then turn back.
We passed by several people coming back down. But we also kept seeing people continuing on the trail. So we kept going.









Eventually we had gotten so far that I wasn't very excited about turning around.

We still saw people going on and hadn't seen very much snow, so we just kept going.
Eventually we did go over some snow, but it wasn't too bad.




We were basically following two other groups of people going all the way to the top.

Going to the top started sounding very good because at the top, there is a cable car you can ride down the mountain in. If you hike to the top, it is free to ride down. We kept going up and up and then we started going down again. There was an icy lake at the bottom of the last mountain.


I was very tired by this point, so I sat down to rest a bit, Bob looked around a bit.












The other people continued up the mountain.






The next section was pretty snow covered.







We learned later that there had been snow and people skiing there over the 4th of July weekend (just a few days earlier).
We basically ended up hiking up a ski slope.
My legs were so sore and I kept slipping on the snow.











At one point, I was not sure I would be able to make it up or down.









looking back down at part of the most difficult stretch



















Eventually we made it up to the top.
We ate the lunch we brought with us at a picnic bench up at the top.


It was the best food we ever tasted. I felt like we had been in the wilderness for a very long time. We were quite dingy looking. It was kind of jarring to see all of the Squaw Valley Olympic stuff and lots of people who had taken the cable car up.
The 1960 winter Olympics were held there. We went to the museum and got to see the open arena where figure skating and hockey had been held.
There was also a swimming pool (it was super windy and not too many people were in there) and a hot tub (more people in that one). Apparently down at the bottom, you could pay for the ride up (like $30), swimming/hot tubbing, roller skating (on the iceless ice rink), and/or other stuff they had up there. There were also restaurants and event spaces. We stayed (and sat) for a bit and then headed over to wait for the cable car down. It was much faster than our trip up! If you look at the top left corner of the third picture in this post, you can see the cable car.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lake Tahoe




In celebration of our 9th anniversary (or 10th a year early) Bob and I took a little vacation to Lake Tahoe.







Bob and I stayed in North Lake Tahoe in Tahoe City. It was our first trip without kids since we had any.
We had a fun time.
Every night we walked to a different nearby restaurant and had dinner. During the day we did various outdoorsy activities.









I really wanted to go inside this cute little shop- I liked that jump in the lake sign- but it had very limited hours and always seemed to be closed at the most convenient times. I'm going to do a separate post about our daring do's of the trip, because I've been having issues with getting pictures to show up in the right spots with this here blogger.