Jan 30, 2020

My Birthday Weekend

It looks like the Dog Walker volun-told me to tell you all about my birthday weekend, although I did have a nice one and I don't mind sharing it, I'm just not sure when he got so bossy...

So my actual birthday was on Saturday and as you know, that day is covered with Jr. Jazz games, but I did manage to slip in a few more things. Baby Doll had the first game at 9:00 and the other team forfeited although we loaned them a player and we still beat them.

Since Curly's game wasn't until 3:00, Grandpa, Curly, and I went to the Draper Temple. Together, Curly and Grandpa did 8 baptisms and I did 10 names in Initiatory. We got back with only a few minutes to change before we had to leave for the game.

Curly's game was crazy with one kid who was fouling everyone, but the official "didn't see it." We were down by 3 and Curly threw up the final 3-point shot to tie and it bounced in and out. He was pretty devastated, but I was fine with it. The boys played hard and I was proud of them. They even sang to me! (Mostly I think that is because Curly bribed them with Dunford chocolate donuts...)

Back at the house, Beauty and The Beast showed up with their boys. I had planned to go to Sport's game at 6:00, but when they came, I thought I would skip it this time. Then Sport called me all frantic about 5:45 and said both their coaches were out of town and could I please come and coach his team.

His buddies are all great guys and it was actually pretty fun! Strangely, the game came down to a 3-point shot, just like Curly's game. One of our guys was fouled, but he missed it and our plan to bounce the second shot off the rim and put it back in was lost. Then we decided that tossing in the 3 was the best plan. Sadly, that same kid missed the shot, in and out just like Curly's, and the game was over so we hustled back to the house.

We had planned a pizza party for Saturday night and a bunch of the kids came over and we watched the 1st Jumanji (not the Robin Williams version) so my sweetie could see all that he had missed. It filled in all the holes for him and the pizza was good too, but my favorite part was the carrot cake and the sweet singing!

Then we had the rare opportunity to set off fireworks because it was also Chinese New Year, so my sweetie brought home 4 aerials and the Dog Walker brought a big box of the pop-it type. It was so much fun thinking that the fireworks were just for me.

I was going to squish both Saturday and Sunday into one post, but it looks like I got a bit excited about the basketball games, so I guess we will just have to wait...

Jan 27, 2020

Food For Thought: Apple & Banana Salad by the Dog Walker

Mom has asked me to write a post for her, because she figured that I remember that there was one thing that she used to do every Friday on her blog and that she hasn't done it in a long time: Food For Thought. She always tells everyone about her delicious recipes that she makes for the family and that she likes to share them with her followers who want to give them a try. For a long time, she thought that she got all of her family recipes posted on the blog, but I did tell her that there was one recipe that wasn't mentioned on this blog, Apple & Banana Salad.

I quickly made this salad for Mom's birthday party and everyone really liked it, just like they've always liked it. Mom will tell you about how her birthday weekend went.

This fruit salad is not like any other fruit salad. It's a very simple and quick recipe and it turns out very delicious that you want to keep eating until it's all gone. So this is how the recipe goes.

All you need is;
One bunch of ripe yellow bananas,
Five apples
Three containers of Cool Whip
Raisins (Optional, since mom likes to add those to hers)
Walnuts (Optional, again, mom had it this way as a child)
Pomegranate Seeds (REALLY Optional, Grandma used to put them in hers)

Chop bananas into round slightly thin and slightly thick circles

2. Chop apples into small cubes (Note: Makes sure you take away the core!). Some of the kids like them peeled, but I think it takes too much time and I don't even notice the peel anyway.

3. Put the chopped apples and bananas into an appropriate size bowl.

4. Pour in the cool whip and stir it all up, until the fruit is all covered (you might not need 3, depending on the sizes of your fruit, but I like lots of Cool Whip on mine.)

5. Enjoy!

Jan 25, 2020

Happy Birthday to Me...

I was sort of watching the clock, my Christmas stocking I was stitching, my phone, and the TV all at the same time. Some of my kids are super competitive about who gets to make the first birthday wish. I was not surprised to see this cute wish from the Dog Walker at 12:02.

Teach was a close second at 12:16 with her fantastic emoji wish.

Happy birthday!!!!! 🎉🎊💃🎈

Fifty-five seems to be a major birthday although I'm not sure why... because it ends in five? I'm feeling a little knocked around lately. I can't seem to get my body to obey me. As soon as I solve one problem, something breaks somewhere else.

Did I tell you I have a longitudinal tear in one of the tendons of my foot? I'm not sure when it all happened, but it's finally decided it wants to be fixed and that means surgery. I'm trying to hold off until after Jr. Jazz season is over. I don't want to let down my teams. But we only have a couple of weeks left after today's games and I have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday. It might be time to finally write it on the calendar.

Anybody out there ever have this surgery? Did it work?

Jan 23, 2020

Go San Diego - USS Midway and the Beach

Today is our last day in California and we couldn't leave without seeing the beach in the daytime. So right after we packed up our stuff and checked out of the hotel, we drove back over to Belmont Park. It was too early to walk through the park, so we parked in one of the side lots and walked back to the entrance to the beach.

The water was beautiful and cold, with big pounding waves. In the summer, it might have been full of surfers, but not today. We walked out to the water line, but not quite close enough to get our feet wet. There were a few random pieces of seaweed on the hard-packed sand. I was surprised that we didn't find any shells or much of anything really. At least these beaches were clean and well kept. It appeared that someone was making a movie a little way down from us (may that is why it was so clean!) In the opposite direction we saw a few couples walking on the beach like we were.

We finally left the water and drove down to the docks to we could board the USS Midway. This is a gigantic aircraft carrier that was finally decommissioned and turned into a museum. My sweetie really wanted to do this part of the trip and today was the day.

First, let me just say that we were astonished by the size of it all! They have little audio sets that tap each sign and then they have stories from the actual people who walked through the hallways. It was so interesting. I'm glad we planned to spend the rest of our time there until we left for the airport, because I think we could have gone another hour easily.

As it was, we were there over 3 hours, exploring as much of the carrier as we could possibly see.

The top two floors housed all the airplanes and the shops and simulators. They had elevators and were easily traveled by someone with a bad foot. The bottom floor was not, but it had some of the most interesting stuff: like the cafeteria and the laundry.

My favorite part was the top where the airplanes and helicopters were housed. I hadn't realized the nostalgia I would feel when I first saw the CH-46. Back in the day when I was working as a technical writer, our company made flight simulators for the government. The CH-46 was my baby. I modified all the documentation for two contracts.

See this flight panel? I edited and wrote procedures and troubleshooting documents, operations and maintenance manuals that included every one of those panels.

This helicopter could have had one of my books in it with the modifications from our company!

So weird. Once I even flew out to Tustin to see the simulator in action (I got sick on the simulator), but my sweetie did a great job!

When we were finally nearing our absolute time to leave, we said goodbye to the Midway and hurried to get gas, turn in our rental car, and take the shuttle to the airport. Our trip was over... but I want you to know how things worked out with our Go San Diego passes. We tallied nearly $600 for our 7-day trip and they only cost us half that. I'd say it was money well spent.

Jan 21, 2020

Go San Diego - Knott's Berry Farm

It's interesting that some of the Go San Diego attractions are not even in San Diego. When we first looked at the list, we had absolutely no plans to drive up to Los Angeles for Knott's Berry Farm. Even though we had driven past this park multiple times when we have been at Disneyland, we have never opted to go inside.

San Diego Temple out the window on our way to Los Angeles.
 So today my sweetie suggested we make the 3-hr round trip and check it out. We arrived sometime around noon and we were a little surprised at the number of people. It was almost like visiting on a summer day. I have no idea that a school holiday like Martin Luther King Day would be like that. We wandered around until we found a cute little cafe so we could have lunch.  I had been a little queasy all day, so I didn't really eat breakfast.

We waited in line forever and then we it was finally our turn. We were seated out on the porch right by the line of people waiting to get in. It applied a certain amount of guilt to the meal, but I enjoyed it anyway. My sweetie got some sort of roast beef sandwich and I got a sourdough bread bowl full of chili. The bread was so good that when we left, we took one with us to go without the chili.

My sweetie kept saying he just wanted to scope out the roller coasters to see if he wanted to bring the kids there, but we didn't ride any of them. We went a couple of times on the miner's track (I seriously have no idea of the name...) and we also rode on the big train around the park.

We eventually made our way around to the fiesta area and we rode the carousel. This was one of the most beautiful and different carousels that we have seen. We stopped at Johnny Rocket on our way back to the gate and had a shake and shared a batch of their amazing onion rings. That turned out to be our dinner after the hour and a half car ride back since neither one of us wanted to go again out after we had gotten cozy back at the hotel. 

Our super fun Go San Diego trip is almost over. We have chased around like crazy so we could get our money's worth and we are way over $500 on the activities we have attended. I think we really wanted to prove that these passes are a great value. The only downside is that in the wintertime, almost all of the venues close around 5:00 pm.

Jan 20, 2020

Go San Diego - Church and Balboa Park

This morning we got up early and went to church just like we would have done at home. We learned a long time ago that it is important to worship at home and on vacation as well. The San Diego ward we attended was large and not quite as friendly as some of the wards we have been in. Maybe they are just used to visitors since they are the first ones up on meetinghouse locator.  But they seemed like nice people and I really enjoyed both talks, one from a soldier and one from a surfer

After we went back to the hotel and changed our clothes, we drove over to Balboa Park. This gigantic park is where the San Diego Zoo is located although we didn't go in even though we had free tickets with our passes. We decided to visit some of the unique and eclectic museums that we also had passes to. We try not to spend money on Sundays and since we paid for the passes weeks ago, we felt like we were trying. Although we did end up buying some food in the park and for dinner later on.  

We bought churros from a little street vendor. They were awesome!
They have more than a dozen museums there, but not all of them worked on our passes. We picked the ones we wanted to visit most. Parking was free all around the edges and a little tram took us where we wanted to go. I'm just going to list them for you and yeah, it was crazy and my feet still hurt... 

We started in the hospitality center so we could get a map because there were so many people in the park that my app didn't work. Then it was the Museum of Photographic Arts (I have to admit that I still don't understand good photography.) 

The San Diego Model Railroad Museum was next. It was one of our favorites with all of the different types of trains running all over.

At the Fleet Science Center we watched a 4D movie in their IMAX theater on Super Dogs and it was awesome! It was also a nice way to rest our aching feet for just a minute.

Then we caught the tram and rode back down to the San Diego Automotive Museum. They had an amazing display on Low-Riders, but I don't think it was supposed to be there forever although I'm sure something good will come after. These cars had amazing paint jobs!

Our last stop in Balboa Park (besides the parking lot) was the San Diego Air & Space Museum.  This one is an affiliate with the Smithsonian and they had some pretty big airplanes in there. We watched a quick show in their 3D/4D theater with motion chairs and that was fun, but we didn't have much time there since things were all shutting down at 5:00. 

 We were tired and hungry so we drove to Chile's for dinner and then back to the hotel. We watched some TV and spent half an hour in the hot tub that is just outside our back door. Mostly we are just so tired. Tomorrow is our last full day here. It has been busy and crazy and full of activities. It's a good thing we like to hang out together...

Jan 19, 2020

Go San Diego - SeaWorld and Belmont Park

My feet hurt!! And I can't imagine how my sweetie is still upright... wait, he isn't... but today was a crazy fun busy day!

Since Hotwire got us reservations at Dana on Mission Bay, we have had to adjust our thinking. It has advantages, like the shuttle this morning to SeaWorld and the closeness to all the action including the water. And it also has disadvantages, like no free breakfast and the $39 resort fee... per day!!

But I digress...

We got up bright and early and ate a quick breakfast in the room before climbing on the shuttle to SeaWorld. The sun was up and the weather was beautiful. We arrived shortly after the park opened and things were pretty quiet. My sweetie decided he needed to rent an electric scooter for me to keep my foot from hurting. I protested, but only for a minute. There was lots of walking at SeaWorld and just getting off to see some of the different exhibits was hard enough.

I'm pretty sure I told you about the last time I was at SeaWorld. We had only been there for a few minutes when Baby Scout fell in one of the splash zones and split her chin open. After a taxi ride to an urgent care, several stitches and another ride back, it was almost time to leave, so I never really saw SeaWorld. My sweetie says that after a dozen or so years, lots of things have changed, so we both had a relatively new experience exploring the different areas.

We loved seeing all the penguins.
We started in the Arctic Wild and I think that was my sweetie's favorite part of the entire trip. We came up to a display where the walrus and his wife were "mating" right there in front of a fairly large crowd. Lots of moms were covering their kids eyes and hustling them off, but the dads (including my sweetie), all seemed to be laughing.

He's totally in the zone...
 The first real show we saw was the dolphins. I got to sit in the handicapped section because of the scooter and I was very grateful to only be splashed a little. My sweetie sat behind me in the first row of seats. After the dolphins, we wandered around until it was time to see the acrobats. This was a special show put on for Chinese New Year. It was fun, but the theater was inside and I have to admit to dozing off a few times.

My sweetie wanted to see the entire park, so we systematically hit each venue and crossed it off our list. My very favorite thing was the Sea Lion show. It was so much fun! Lots of acting and dancing and being silly... the kids would have loved it!

The last place we stopped was to see the Orcas. We didn't have time to wait for their last show, but they are amazing! We did watch them feed and they did a few little tricks. We finally left SeaWorld about 6:00 pm and caught the shuttle back to the hotel. We were tired and not sure if we wanted to go back out for the evening or just stay close to the hotel. Besides all that, we were freezing! OK, I was freezing... my sweetie never seems to get cold.

After I had finally warmed up, we realized that we needed something for dinner, so I bundled up in some warmer things and we headed back out. Belmont Park was just down the street and since we had passes, it seemed like the perfect spot. After waiting in line for about 20 minutes at the ticket counter, we were disappointed to discover that we had to check in before 5:30 for the passes to work. I think the girl felt bad for us so she comp'd us 20 free tickets (or the equivalent of 2 rides each) and we made our way into the park.

I had a coupon that got us BOGO hamburgers, so we bought dinner and settled down to eat. When we were finished, we decided to explore a little. The Belmont was a fun and exciting place with rides and food, lights and shopping. We wandered through and around and down to the beach and boardwalk. We stayed out of the sand mostly because of my ankle and partly because it was dark.

We finally decided to spend our ride tickets at the bumper cars and after our first ride we had so much fun that we returned to the entrance and rode again. One last stop for a funnel cake to share and then we headed back to the hotel. It was a perfect ending to a fun and exhausting day!