Thursday, August 30, 2007

Our stay home vacation

My son was away at High School Cross Country camp for three days, and we already had this week planned off work. So, we decided to have a stay home vacation. We played tourist in our own backyard! When people come to Southern California, what do they do? There's amusement parks of course, but we've been to them all. There's lots of desert activities, but my hubby refuses to go to the desert during the summer. When we meet out of town people the first place they want to go is Hollywood and Venice Beach. We've been to Hollywood, but never been to Venice Beach. So away we went.

Here is a photo of part of the canal system that gives Venice Beach it's name. It's beautiful and very ritzy! Then we headed to the beach. I heard that a lot of artists make Venice Beach their home. So, I expected: art studios, sculpture, upscale boutiques, and souvenir shops. What we saw were lots of homeless, tattoo parlors, tacky T-shirt and poster shops, drug dealers, and drug users right out on the street.

Well, next stop was Muscle Beach... again another disappointment. I guess the beautiful people all have jobs (we were there on a Monday). There was only one fat guy working out.

Here is a picture of the famous part of Muscle Beach. You can see the workout area behind the stage where the guys (and girls) get pumped up. Then they come up on the stage to pose. I'm standing in the bleachers to take this photo. I tried to get my hubby to pose with his shirt off, but he wouldn't do it. He also wouldn't go up on stage alone, so our daughter had to go with him. LOL!

The next day we headed to our local beach. We go to the beach all the time to picnic, surf, and run; but thinking again of what a tourist would do, we decided to rent jet skis!

Here's my daughter. She's ridden jet skis before on Lake Havasu. She's already a real pro.

I decided not to drive. It's kind of expensive to rent one, but free for a rider. My daughter has a waterproof digital camera, with video mode. Here's a short video of our ride. We got it up to 55mph!

I took my daughter on a marathon day of school shopping. I also tried getting tickets to a Broadway play, but everything was sold out. So I got tickets for her and my hubby to go to the Galaxy-Pachuca game. It was a rough/wild game. David Beckham got hurt again and may be out for the rest of the season... MAJOR BUMMER! I watched the game on TV... double overtime and a shoot out. Galaxy lost, but it was still a great game!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Scribble Scrabble

It felt good to work on some layouts. Seems like I haven't finished one in quite a while. The 2ScrappyChix Designs store has a wonderful new paper line called Scribble Scrabble. I love the soft, rich colors.

This one is called Enjoy Life: Grab it, Enjoy it, Love it, Live it, Never take it for granted...
Journaling reads: When I asked Cheryl why she wanted to play the guitar, she said "I just had the URGE to play the guitar. That's why I draw, because I feel like it. I also want to try ice skating and diving! Oh, and sky diving too! That sounds likes fun!" {{{YIKES!!!}}}
This layout came about as an aftermath to some major drama at our house last week. There is a good chance that Cheryl will be cut from the Varsity soccer team (this is her senior year). Papa, if you're reading this, don't tell her you know. By doing this layout, I was trying to get her to think about her life and to see that there is more to life than playing soccer.

This one is called Sweet Dreams. It's another soccer layout, kind of. Cheryl works so hard during a game that the first thing she does when she gets home is take a nap. Journaling reads: "This is the aftermath of a soccer game.... Doesn't she look like an angel? Just 20 minutes ago she was bashing other angels around the soccer field."

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Book Reviews - "Deathly Hallows" and "On the Run" series

{NO SPOILERS HERE} Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Was slow to start, really slow... deathly slow... My kids made a comment that when they make this one into a movie, they won't have much to cut-out because nothing much happens in the first half of the book! But once it got going it was a fun, fast-paced, fantasy adventure that one would expect from Rowling. I've read reviews whose readers have said that it caps off the series very nicely; all questions are answered; and all conflicts resolved. I guess that's true for the most part, but the epilogue left me flat. It felt tacked on... incomplete. I think it tried to answer the questions of the characters' futures, but left out so many characters that it left me hanging...
In comparison to the other books: I liked book 1, it was fresh and fun! I liked book 2 and book 3. Book 4 was my favorite! Book five just irritated me. Book six was ok. Book seven is as good as the first books were, but the magic of Harry's world, which drew me in the first place, is conspicuously absent.
"On the Run" is a series of six books for 4th-5th graders,and I've read all six. Kudos to author Gordon Korman for creating such a fast-paced, well-written, action packed adventure series for younger kids. The end of each book will have even the most reluctant reader looking for the next book. 15 year old Aiden and his 11 year old sister Meg escape from a prison camp with the intent to prove that their parents (who are serving life sentences in prison) were framed for the crime. They are eluding state and local police, the FBI, and a mysterious man who is trying to kill them, as they get closer and closer to the truth!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Kim's Blog Challenge

Here are some of my favorite blogs that I have bookmarked:

Sprague Lab is the blog of Jessica Sprague - PS designer extraordinaire! Even if you don't do digital, her designs are so inspiring:

This is the blog for Scrapbook Oasis, the best LSS by me in Irvine, CA. They are always on top of the new products, and I rely on them to let me know what the new hot trends are:

I saw Amy Tangerine's work at Scrapbook Oasis. She crossed over her scrapbook designs to T-Shirt designs. Her T-shirts are worn by lots of Hollywood stars and go for over $200. She's are real inspiration:

Monday, August 6, 2007

The way I see it....

I really do pick quality over quantity! I was disappointed that we didn't get to take our two-week long vacation, but we had a BLAST on our little 3 day weekend! We spent the entire time together, enjoying each either other's company, playing togehter, and trying new things. We had so much fun and made some great memories!

Our Whirlwind Vacation!

We were planning a two week vacation back east, but my hubby couldn't get the time off. So, our summer vacation has dwindled down to a long weekend. We left Friday, returning Monday.

Our first stop was Las Vegas, we stayed downtown at the Golden Nugget. They had a three-story tall water slide through a shark tank! Very Cool!!! We did a little celebrating... Today is our 22nd wedding anniversary... But, it's to bed early! We are being picked up at 3:50am. We are going white water rafting through the Grand Canyon!

The van took us to the Hualapai Indian Reservation in AZ, where we caught a school bus to the river... Have you ever been off-roading in a school bus? It's a wild ride!!! From there we boarded our raft.
We shared a raft with a very nice family of four from Florida. This whole white water rafting tour is run by the Hualapai Reservation. Each raft is captained by a member of the tribe.

I don't know if the term white water really applies to the Colorado River. It's about as white as a cup of hot chocolate! Hahaha! We noticed right away that none of the guides were wearing white. And for very good reason... we all got very very wet, and muddy, and dirty! This is mild compared to other rapids we went through. We went through a couple of class-6 stretches!

Here's my son. Doesn't he look like he's having a wet good time?

The scenery was beautiful... I won't bore you with too many scenery shots, but here is one of my hubby with the walls of the canyon behind him.

We took a break in the rafting action to hike up the side of a stream; through a water filled cave; to a gorgeous waterfall!

The outside air temp was 124F, the Colorado River water temp was 45F.

At about 35 miles from Lake Mead we were airlifted out of the Canyon by helicopter.

Isn't it beautiful? That chocolate brown strip at the lower right hand corner of the photo is the Colorado River. Whew, what a busy day! We got back to Las Vegas at about 8pm.
The next morning we left Las Vegas and headed home... on a whim, we stopped for the night at Big Bear Lake, in the San Bernardino Mountains. By this time my daughter's sniffles was a full fledged cold! So, no Lake activities for us.

We went over to Snow Summit, one of the the local ski resorts, and went for a speed run! We took the ski chair lift up the mountain and rode in these little toboggan things that zoom their way down the mountain.

From there we went for a little drive.... 4-wheeling in a mini-van is not as much fun as going in a school bus. We ended up in a beautiful little spot.

Then we went for a climb to try and catch a view of the lake.

Here it is and it was really worth the climb.
The next morning we walked through town. They even had an LSS!

We stopped at the marina and looked around. My daughter's cold was no better, so we scrapped the wave runner idea. They had a little replica pirate ship called "Time Bandit." It was pretty funny... it was sooooo small! Hahaha! Major tourist trap!

So that was our whirlwind vacation. It's back to work tomorrow!