Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Getting back to normal

After being gone for a month the cupboards were pretty bare. Yesterday I went to the market and got some basics like eggs, milk, bread. I made a kind of Jambalaya out of a Spanish Rice mix. I added kielbasa sausage and peas... Ethan really liked it, he ate until there was no more. I will have to remember that one as a super easy dinner.

I just finished putting the chicken for tonight's dinner in to marinade. I'm making Easy Picnic Chicken, again. This recipe is so easy. I just put everything into a Ziploc bag in the morning & throw it into the oven on a foil lined baking sheet in the evening. Easy Picnic Chicken Recipe.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Water Fun

Yesterday we went to Legoland with Robert's brother and family. The boys had a wonderful time. I probably won't get that day blogged until after we get home, Meanwhile here is one picture from the day.

This photos of Robert and Ethan building a sandcastle was taken at Dana Point on Thursday.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Robert's brother, Adam, and his family have come to join us at our timeshare for a few days. Ethan loves to get to play with his cousin.

They were watching Hotel for Dogs.

Sun On Water

Taken from our balcony tonight.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

At Our Timeshare: I love this place!

We've been enjoying every minute here at our timeshare in Carlsbad.

Nice ocean view

We're right above the flower fields which are not in bloom right now.

I love having a fireplace in our room.

One of the walkways with a firepit.
Here are photos of the family pool and splash pad.


There's also an onsite restaurant, basketball court, shuffleboard, Olympic swimming pool, fire pits, BBQ's a picnic area, Fitness Center,Game Room & Arcade. We love it here, it's so relaxing and family friendly.

A Pool, Two Boys & Their Papas: July 15

Becky and Dave had Dad, Ethan and I over for a fun day of swimming, they invited their grandson as a playmate for Ethan. We all had a wonderful time!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Disney's California Adventure - Saturday July 18

On Saturday we got to go to Disneyland as a family, but we chose to spend most of the day at the other park, California Adventure. Robert had never been and Ethan couldn't wait to take him to Soarin' Over California.

We got a Fast Pass (reservation to stand in the short line later in the day.) Next Ethan and Robert played in the Redwood Challenge Trail, my back was hurting this day so I found a nice shady place to sit and watch them.

After that we headed back to the Paradise Pier and rode another of Ethan's favorites Midway Mania a 3d Video ride-thru game featuring the characters from the Toy Story movies.

Family Photo with Mater and Lightning McQueen from Cars.

Ethan wanted to take Robert on the River Rafting ride so he and Robert went on and got SOAKED. I sat on a nice bench in the shade and stayed dry and un-dizzy (last year I discovered this ride spins too much for my comfort.)

Next we had ice cream sundaes at Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream - The entrance is thru the automated doorway of a train car.

We rode Monsters Inc spent some time in the Animation Station, visited the winery where they now have models, artists drawings, and videos to show some of the attractions now under construction for California Adventure. We went to Bug Land - then it was time to head over to Disneyland and stake our claim for a spot to watch Fantasmic and the fireworks.

After Fantasmic (which never fails to thrill) we rode The Pirates of the Caribbean and Star Tours.

It was past midnight and we were exhausted by the time we left the parking structure, but we hadn't eaten dinner so we went thru the drive thru at In-N-Out. It was a great family day. Really great!

Don't pass up a chance to eat an In-N-Out Burger. Don't bother with the fries, just get a cheese burger and a shake... you'll be in hamburger heaven.

Carlsbad, California

We're now at our timeshare in Carlsbad and having a wonderful time. Dad is heading home tonight so tomorrow we will be car less. Hopefully I will get a chance to post some pictures.

So far:
Monday - welcome breakfast & grocery shopping, spent most the day at the family pool and splashpad

Tuesday - Robert made us a big gigantic breakfast. We drove out to the Steam and Gas Powered Engine Museum in Vista. We stopped for ice cream in the marina at Oceanside then headed down to the water for wading and sand castle building. Got home in time for the wine and jazz night in the lobby - but we're all doing showers, first.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Please excuse my appearance in all these pictuers, I have been having eye problems (reaction to sunblock I think) which prevented me from wearing any make-up yesterday.

We began with a visit to lockers and a dash to Tomorrowland where Ethan could not make up his mind which of two favorite rides to start with. We got into Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters in under 10 minutes then it on to the Star Wars themed simulator ride Star Tours.

Next we stood in our longest line of the day Finding Nemo's Submarien Voyage. A submarine ride with characters from Finding Nemo. Then we headed off to Frontierland where I could not persuade Ethan to ride Big Thunder Mountain - this is one of my favorites which I have not ridden in YEARS (because Ethan is afraid of it.)

Ethan couldn't wait to get onto Tom Sawyer's Island which has been updated to be a Pirate Lair. I think Ethan could have spent all day in the Caves.

After the island we had about an hour left until our lunch reservation so we headed toward another of Ethan's favorites The Haunted Mansion.

After that we met up with Heather and browsed around the shops until it was time for our lunch reservation at The Blue Bayou.

The Blue Bayou is a restaurant located inside the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. The setting feels like you're dining outside at night at a southern plantation house on the water. There are festive colored lanterns strung across the courtyard and boats for the ride glide quietly by as crickets chirp, frogs croak and the occasional firefly twinkles (there aren't many fireflies left.) This is an experience I remember from childhood, My mother loved to eat at the Blue Bayou and while we knew it was expensive and were prepared to split meals... we were not quite prepared for what inflation has done to the prices at The Blue Bayou. We very much enjoyed the experience but realized this will be the last time we will experience it. Heather and I split a $22 Monte Cristo sandwich and were informed that there was a $12 split charge (and this was the LUNCH menu!) So it was a beautiful setting full of nostalgia. Ethan was now old enough to remember the experience so we consider it a final farewell for us and the Blue Bayou.

After lunch we rode the Pirates of the Caribbean then Heather and Debbie were going to take Ethan to pet the animals at Big Thunder Ranch while Dad and I rode Big Thunder Mountain (at last!)

Alas when we arrived Big Thunder Mountain was temporarily closed :( Foiled yet again. So we all walked thru Big Thunder Ranch, watched a bit of a Woody's Round-up show at the BBQ stage then continued on to Fantasyland.

We rode Casey Jr.'s Circus Train where we observed (horrors) the closing of the Storybookland Canal books - another ride that always seems to be closed when we try to ride it. We rode Snow White's Scary Adventures and Pinocchio then we headed back to The Haunted Mansion and The Enchanted Tiki Room.

After that we decided it was time to head over to California Adventure since Papa had never been there, before. Heading up Main Street we were distracted by a giant slab of marshmallow goodness that was being made in the front window of the Candy Emporium (unfortunately it would not be ready until the next day - so today's Disney visitors are probably munching on it, now.)

We entered California Adventure passed under the Golden Gate Bridge and headed for Soarin' Over California a hang gliding simulation ride that flies over some of the most beautiful sights of California. Ethan loves the "smellevision" aspect which include pine trees and orange blossoms. Dad very much enjoyed looking at all of the aviation photos and equipment during the line and agreed that the ride part of Soarin' is quite an experience.

After Soarin' we were all getting pretty tired so we decided to end the day with a stop at Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream before leaving the park. As we were eating our ice cream The Electric Parade began so we watched that and the fireworks then headed home. It was a great day & I am still exhausted now, at noon on the day following.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Breakfast at Las Brisas

Way back on June 26 when I very first had arrived in California I took Dad to breakfast at Las Brisas in Laguna Beach. It's one of his favorite places to go and we always try to get down there with him when we're in town.... this time in honor of Father's Day.

table view

I love the Eggs Benedict and Vegetable Crepes while Dad is partial to the Omelet bar. The view is spectacular. You can see the whole Laguna crescent (all the way to Dana Point on a clear day!)On this day the roses were putting on a show and the air was full of fragrance. After breakfast we walked along the cliff top, down to the boardwalk then window shopped our way down Pacific Coast Highway. I bought fudge... you have to buy fudge when you're on vacation. It's a rule! The marine layer never did burn off that day, but we were cooler for it. It was a wonderful beginning to my stay.

Las Brisas is located on Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach steps away from the cliff side gazebo. We only go there for the Breakfast Buffet which is served every morning EXCEPT Sunday.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Evening with Heather

I was gettin lonely after 11 days in a house full guys. Last night my brother watched Ethan so that I was able to get out of the house with a friend. Heather and I went to Irvine Spectrum and enjoyed catching up at the Cheesecake Factory. After some good girl-time I feel so much better!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Joys of Summer

When you're a boy of 10 being out of school for 3 months is a very bit part of it, but even for grown-ups the joys of summer are simple pleasures. I think this is why we all love summer... The best of summer is much the same as when we were children... Warm afternoons, picnics, green grass, backyard grills, sunshine, ice cream cones... and sprinklers.

I have an unreasonable love of Ginkgo trees, I think it comes from so many years of hearing their leaves shimmer in the wind outside my bedroom window at my parents' house. I find a special satisfaction that Ethan loves so much to play with pods and twigs and leaves.

We had the pool out for 4 days but Ethan had more fun running in the sprinklers for 30 minutes than in all those days of playing in the pool.

Watching him play carefree and hearing the bubble of his laughter... this is what summer means for me.