Monday, May 24, 2010

Procrastination Perfected

I've been working on my procrastination skills for many years now. In fact, in my "senior quote" of my 1983 Bellingham High yearbook, I listed (among other things): procrastination grades 9-12. So with that, let me now post pictures of our Spring Break trip to Oakland. Sure, the trip was about 7 weeks ago. That's where the procrastination part comes in. I was putting this post off because I needed to organize my pictures. And, I was putting that off because, well, because... I just didn't really want to sit that long at the computer. I had baseball, birthday, spring break, Itsuka's visit, irish dance, and assorted other stuff all still in my camera card and I just didn't want to sit down to the task of making individual files and sorting. Until today.

So now, without further procrastinating, are my favorite pictures of the trip to Oakland.

It's a Loooooong drive to Oakland. 12 hours to be exact. It gets even longer when the passes are full of snow!

Chapel of the chimes is amazing and beautiful. It's a mausoleum, filled wall to wall with shelves of containers of ash remains of many, many people. Sounds so creepy, but this place was so beautiful. Peaceful. Pictures don't give you the feel of how the building is like a maze; one hall leading to another, room after room of shelves.

Ok, now you're wondering why on earth we visited a mausoleum! Our friend, Michael, upon visiting this place was inspired to write a novel; Julia Milan and the Chapel of the Chimes. It's like Twilight Zone meets Nancy Drew, written for kids probably 4th through 8th grade, although older kids would enjoy it too. We are excited to hear news of the publication of this book!

One of the many courtyards within the building. A glass ceiling lets in lots of light, keeping the feeling of the rooms from being dreary.

Amazing architectural details throughout the building.

Behind this pillar you can see a wall of shelves filled with urns.

Flowers placed next to a loved one's remains.

See how the shelves appear to be lined in books? The "books" are actually book shaped urns. There are also the traditional vase shaped urns peppered throughout the mausoleum.

The actual chapel part of the building. If not for being connected to a mausoleum, it would be a beautiful place for a wedding!

These two always crack me up!

After visiting the Chapel, we walked the Berkeley campus and took a stroll down Telegraph Avenue. Amazing to think of how different this place is now compared to 40 years ago!

This place (below) was crazy! Full of old and then really old games. Pin ball, Ms. PacMan and Asteroids, to name a few. It was fun to place some of my old favorites again.

Centipede! I'm just as bad now as I was back in the 80's.

Waiting for lunch; Emily, Amanda and Michael.

Approaching the Golden Gate Bridge in the mighty Sienna

We parked, then walked across the bridge. Thomas and I walked about 1/3 of the way, about where this picture was taken. Then he decided the height was more than he needed for the day, and he and I walked back...

...where we met this bridge worker. His job was to monitor the air hose which was connected to painting equipment at the top of the bridge. People were up there, painting the cables. He said it's a great job. "Sunshine, working outside, meeting people all the time..."  I believe he had most of his teeth.

Painting equipment and a rinsing bucket. Not really "golden" but more of a red.

Once back to the park where the car was, Thomas and I enjoyed the sunshine and took pictures.
A trip to Alcatraz was probably the highlight of the trip for me. If you go to the Bay Area, Alcatraz is a MUST SEE!
I'm thinking about initiating some new rules around our home. Maybe we'll start with these...

My three and Michael, all locked up in D block... extreme isolation!

The gardens were a beautiful surprise on the island.

And now, for the food report. Eating is reason enough to visit the Bay Area.

Nanking... best food in China town

Thomas eating sesame chicken... delicious!

Bakery items... chocolate thing (seriously, that's what it's called), cherry/oat scone and a "sweet sally" shortbread

Up close of the chocolate things. A yeast roll full of chunks of chocolate. Hellllooooo lover!

In N Out Burgers. Another new love I discovered on vacation. How do I love thee? Let me count the calories. 1, 2, 3, ... 850. Gulp. 

We went to the Mariner's season opener in Oakland. A horrible stadium, but we won the game. Had to enjoy the winning record while we had it. *sigh*
Amanda's view of the game

Amanda, Emily and Michael

I don't know these people.

Ok, There. That's it. I blogged about spring break. Thanks Michael, for being such a great host!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Eight is GREAT!

This past weekend we celebrated the fact that the youngest of us is now EIGHT! And, what a weekend it was!

Highlights (in no particular order...  I've always wanted to say that. Reminds me of the Academy Awards):

1. Thomas had a baseball game on Saturday. His team, the Rainiers, triumphed over their opposition; 7-0. Seriously, I don't think his team has ever actually won before! In the days of T-ball, we never kept track, but it always seemed that the other team got many more to home plate than we did. Last year was the first year of kid-pitched baseball, and again, although we never kept score, I don't think Thomas's team ever won. This was a glorious and long overdue win!

Check out Thomas's pitching... he had a no hitter game. Sweetness.

2. Dinner with Carlsons on Friday. It had been tooooo-oo-oo long since we had spent any time with them.
By request: Safeway bakery sugar cookies, shared with the Carlsons
By accident: One big candle because I forgot to buy the cute little birthday type

3. Birthday party Saturday at Laser Fun Zone. WHAT A BLAST! If you haven't been there, you need to go. Coming out of the game, we all commented that we felt a little like Jack Bauer as we rounded the corners, ready to shoot whoever stood in our way!

Ryan, Forrest, Joseph, Kyle, Thomas Justin and Garrett
Laser tag hostiles!

The new bike!