Thursday, December 20, 2012

A White Christmas - Sort Of...

Well, I was dreaming of a white Christmas, so when I came down the stairs this morning and saw the dusting of white on the lawn, it was such a fun surprise!  Not quite the same as the snow I had as a kid - it was only frost and it lasted about an hour but - I'll take it!  It gave me the same A-Ha Oooooo feeling and that's what I was hoping for.  

It's the little things, I guess.

Very grateful that we don't have to shovel it ;)


Monday, December 17, 2012

I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas

I never thought I would be dreaming of a white Christmas after we moved to California ummptyump years ago, unless we made the 5 hour drive to Lake Tahoe, that is.  But now...it's a possiblility at the lake...  Dave says it's way too warm this year but we did have a surprise snow during our first winter there - 
and...I'm hoping...
I sort of miss the excitement I had as a kid, waiting for Santa and looking out the living room window at the colored lights shining up and down our street and reflecting off the snow.  But...fast forward to me driving blindly to college classes in snow flurries and then later, desperately trying to make my way into work by 8 a.m. through icy freeways and swerving, spinning cars.  
When I was 23 and we moved to California, I felt like I was in la-la land where the weather was balmy in December and snow was an event you drove 4 hours to get to so you could ski and have a blast with your friends and then drive home to clean, clear roads and comfortable temperatures.

Well, still...I do sort of pine for some snow...
I started to get pretty excited last weekend when the fog rolled in at the lake and it became really chilly.  So...we'll have to see what happens.

Here are a couple of pictures of the snow in 2010.  We were told it happens maybe once every 10 years!


The snow lasted a day   :(

The Summer view

Now, here's the fog rolling in last weekend.
Only fog - wishing for snow.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Catching Up

Thanks "Friday" is what I was calling it.  This year we switched things up by having our Thanksgiving dinner on Friday so that we could have everyone over at once.  It was Lauren's idea because she only had a few days home from school and she wanted to have all of us gathered around the table instead of running in and out to other various houses.  It's hard to get us all together now.  Some of us had two days of big dinners so there may be a few extra pounds added - a rough start to the holiday eating season!  

Lauren cooked up her famous corn casserole and Giovanna made the yummy stuffing.  


And, here you have the 'Guy' version of prepping for dinner:  
Actually, Kevin was probably still trying to recover from his big dinner from the day before.


Kevin's sister-in-law, Krissy joined us this year.  She and Lauren (daughter Lauren) are two peas in a pod and, if they weren't overwhelmed by studying, they might have more time to be up to no-good.  Hmmm...they'll both be graduating this year...Krissy is finishing up her graduate degree in physical therapy so we are all duly impressed with her brains and hard work.  In a few months, she'll be Dr. Krissy.  Wow.  

The Newlyweds!  


After all that cooking, my darling hubby took me off for a weekend in San Francisco.  He found a great deal online from Living Social, where Giovanna now works.  This is not a wonderful picture because I took it from the car but you get the idea - this is Union Square where all the stores are and it's all decked out in Christmas color.  There's even an ice skating rink right beyond the Christmas Tree.  We haven't skated there but maybe....

Gorgeous day with the fog lifting and a view of the Golden Gate.  We spent a few hours at The Presidio beach and it was glorious!


The view from our hotel room...that was the Living Social deal...we stayed at The Griffon, along the bay and had a water-front room for a great price.  Loved it!  The room was small but really, really nice.  And it was quiet too. There's a good restaurant downstairs too called, Perry's.  We didn't eat there this time but I would love to go back sometime.


The view from The Presidio beach.  

The Wayfarer Restaurant - I would highly recommend it.  We had an amazing dinner and sat at the counter by the kitchen which is in full view of the restaurant.  We got to see all the dishes being prepared and saw what was most popular before we ordered! This place is really hard to get into.  Kevin is waiting 2 weeks to go here because a reservation is so hard to get.  Since we just dropped in at the spur of the moment, we couldn't get a table and had to eat at the counter but it was actually a great thing because of the entertainment value.  The check hit our wallet pretty hard at the end so we wouldn't do this too often, though.  


Ah...this place was nice for lunch the next day too.  It was Monday and Kevin was working but he met us for lunch and picked the place.  It's close to where he works in the Financial District.
Cafe de la Presse - great food.  Maybe even better than dinner the night before.


Now we're back home and I'm trying to get ready for Christmas.  This year I managed to get Dave out to buy our tree early.  Last year was a disaster - don't ask me why - but we both procrastinated about getting the tree and we didn't put it up intil the 23rd.  It made Christmas seem like a weekend instead of a season so I was determined to get going early this year.  So, I have more of the Christmas spirit this year!  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Boilermakers and Colts

A few weeks ago, Dave and I went out to visit Lauren and we were so happy that Dan arranged for us to see the Colts game in his family's box seats.  It was....amazing!

Being a California girl, Lauren decided to wear Andrew Luck's college red Stanford jersey, while Dan wore Luck's blue Colt's jersey.  Needless to say, in a sea of blue jerseys in the crowd, people were looking closely at Lauren, wondering what the heck she was wearing! But, they were both rooting for the same guy!




Lauren and Dave.  Two peas in a pod

My girl and me

Lauren and Dan

Lauren and Dan...again!

My Honey and me

An amazing thing happened in the ceremonies before the game...the stadium is incredible to begin with ...but then, in the open doors on the side of the stadium, a U.S. Military helicopter appeared and hovered for everyone to see while the American flag was flowing on the field.  It was AWESOME. Lots of cheering and good will.  If you ever read my link to Sgt. Jason Ross, http://sgtjasonross.blogspot.com/ there's plenty there to think about.


We had front row seats to the game - thank you to Jan and Craig!
Dave loved it!
One of the most unusual parts of the trip was that we got to see Dave actually using his birthday present.  He was forced into it by a very long layover :)


Good Times had by all.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Wedding Video Is In!



The Wedding Highlights video of Kevin's and Lauren's wedding is in and we were all so excited to watch it!  I struggled repeatedly to upload it here but the best I can do is to include the link, below.  It has to be copied and pasted in your address bar in order to watch it.  I just couldn't do it any other way... I think it may have to do with the fact that it's probably on Vimeo.com in the videographer's album. 


                                               If anyone would like to see it, here it is:

                                          https://vimeo.com/album/2116461/video/51497937






Friday, October 12, 2012

Jamestown...Copper and Gold Country

I don't think I've ever posted pictures of our town at the lake.  Most people on Lake Tulloch are in the town of Copperopolis.  No kidding - that's the name of the town.  Locals call it "Copper" and it was, as you might have guessed, a major mining town for copper.  Prior to World War I, it was a boom-town and one of the largest (if not the largest) copper mining producers in the country.  After the war, the demand for copper plummeted and the town went into a decline until the Stanislaus River was dammed, creating Lake Tulloch, and in the 1970's major home-building began for all the lake enthusiasts. 

However... we do not live in Copperopolis.  Our town is across the county line, into Tuolumne County so we officially live in ... Jamestown
Jamestown is largely intact from its gold mining days so here are a few pictures of the old place:  


Wooden sidewalks just like the old cowboy days

It's a pretty sleepy place - just one block long

I think this must have been the General Store at one time

And here is The Willow - the oldest bar in California, they say.  The bar, itself, is original and the locals still show up here as 'regulars'.  Well, that's not cool - in fact, some of them look like old-time gold miners with long, scraggly beards...kind of spooky... and  when you walk in, they stare at you because you don't belong.
But...the restaurant section is fine - nothing odd there.  




So, here we are doing more projects.  This one has been on my list for a while.  The cabinets in the laundry room had no knobs or drawer pulls so Dave decided to make me happy and install them. 

  

 Now all we have to do is paint the room but that's a rainy-weather, winter job.  
See the paint color patches on the wall?  I think I'm going to go really bold and go with the really dark gray color - if I don't chicken out first.

This little device was amazing for getting the knob placement consistent.

The next project is to replace the moulding along the counter/backsplash.  It's not bad in this part of the kitchen but it looks really grungy by the sink.  We figured the easiest thing to do was just get new moulding for the beadboard, paint it white and be done with it. Someday, I'll probably put in a stone backsplash but, for now, this will do.  And it probably will cost us about $25.  Oh- and some labor on Dave's part...

I think the white looks better - cleaner, anyway...

Believe it or not, this silly little project has been going on for quite a while.  It's hard to work indoors when the weather is good.

Here's my guilty pleasure - reading in the lounge chair.  I could honestly do that ll day but my conscience won't let me.  (That's a good book, by the way.)  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lake Tahoe Vacation

It's been a while since we've been on the blog and it's a combination of being away a lot, being busy and just plain laziness (I'm working on that last reason, as I have been my whole life).  But, at any rate, we went to visit some friends who have retired to Lake Tahoe. Our group 'plan' is to vacation at each others' homes because it's cheaper than vacationing in Hawaii, Mexico or anywhere else. It seems to be working so far!
We went on a hike along the Truckee River.  You can float down the river too!
There are a bunch of pictures here for anyone who might be thinking of a vacation in Tahoe.  It definitely is one of the places to visit if you happen to be in Northern California for some reason.  But - unless you're skiing, the best time to go is in the summer.  It is just so beautiful!  The weather is absolutely perfect.  We went with our friends Michele and Doug to visit Kathy and Bob at their really nice home outside of the Alpine Ski Resort. Bob is on the ski patrol - at his age it's amazing but he has always been an expert skier...and I might add, that's why they have us up to visit in the summer - because, while Dave can ski, he doesn't particularly like the cold and I never got off the bunny slope so I am definitely not welcome at their place in the winter!

The 1960 Winter Olympics were held in Lake Tahoe at Squaw Valley.  
From what I hear, they are trying to bid for the games again for 2022.

The village at Squaw Valley Ski Resort...
so quiet and serene in the summer.
In the winter, you can hardly make your way through the crowded streets - hoards of skiers
awkwardly tramping along the snow covered streets in their bulky boots with unwieldy skis slung over their shoulders.  There is scarcely  room to move around.  My favorite part of those outings was sitting and people-watching with a steaming cup of coffee or hot chocolate.  Oh - and a book ;)
  

The cables for the tram that takes skiers up the mountain are clearly visible here.  With the beginner slope up at the top of the mountain and the weather up often horrendous, I found out the hard way that it might not be a fun trip. 
Now,  I absolutely refuse to get on that tram ever again - I was stuck on it twice...swinging in the wind for 20 minutes while a snowstorm swirled around us!  Never again.  Fool me once, well, OK.  Fool me twice ...and I'm done. 
The intermediate and expert runs have a gondola ride and it's not as bad as the tram.  
The ultimate Johnny Jump Up!  I had to send this picture to Drew because he was a crazy man on the Johnny Jump Up when he was a baby. This one will take up to 250 lbs so it looks like the fun isn't over for him.

Kathy's and Bob's lovely alpine home.  One of their daughters lives in Tahoe too so they even have grandchildren around.  In the winter, the view is all white because the mountains are covered in snow.  You can hardly see the trees in winter.  The last time we visited was in the Spring and the snow was still on the mountains.
So beautiful.

Nice breakfast spot :)

We all went out for a dinner cruise on the "Tahoe Gal".  

Cocktails on the upper deck. 

Of course, we had to squeeze in a game of Bocce!

And we got our exercise with a hike.  Kathy does this several times a week so you may notice that Michele and I needed walking sticks while Kathy didn't...

My pal, Michele.  

A wine tasting event in the village at Squaw.

We wrapped up the weekend with dinner at the Squaw Valley Resort.  


There was a kayak ride too but I didn't want to take my camera with me so I couldn't take any pictures of the water.   This one will have to suffice. 

It was so beautiful that I even heard Dave mumble once that maybe we should consider retiring in Tahoe.  Well, maybe not - that silly thought went out the window after the long drive back to the Bay Area.  Then we started to recall all those snowy, endless drives we made for ski trips when the kids were small.  I don't think we could do that again. So...our Tahoe time will have to be reserved for visiting and we're lucky that Kathy and Bob are willing to take us in!