Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Christmas day we awoke to mountains of hoar frost and bitterly cold temperatures.

Cold but stunning.

Desolate Beauty

After we did some sledding or as us Saskatchewanites call it, toboganning, I took my camera out to the back 40 of my parent's acreage.

Crystal Beauty

It was worth it. I hope that this finds you well after enjoying a wonderful Christmas full of love, laughs and good food (the trifecta of a good holiday IMHO).

All the best from my family to yours for 2013


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What Not to Do

I did something quite dumb just the other day.  I am still mortified that I, of all people, did this but here it is.  Mostly because maybe if I air it on the Internet I will stop replaying the 1,000 things I will do differently every single time I fly from now on.  The perfect time to do this appears to be as I am trying to fall asleep.  Related: I am very tired.

I have to start out by saying that I am the one at the gate a half hour before the boarding pass even suggests boarding will begin.  Always.  Me and my husband agree on this.

On Sunday, however, after a work trip to Kelowna and spending the weekend with my aunts, mom and cousins visiting in Vernon, I did not do this.  In fact, I did what I mock other people for doing.

We arrived at the airport and I was checked in and ready to go through security in plenty of time for boarding.  Then I looked at the departure screen and noticed a delay. 

So instead of going through security, I stayed out and had tea with the aunts and my Mom. 

About a half hour before the scheduled departure of the delayed flight I went through security found a bathroom and sat down to wait for boarding.  I even noticed that the sign at the gate still had the original departure time but didn't even think anything of it. 

*smacks forehead*

Moments after I sat down, a co-worker came up and told me that they had been calling me - she had stayed in town for the weekend too and happened to be there too.  Isn't that awesome?

At this point I started to think that was weird. I approached the gate but no one was there so I waited.  Then the agent came back from the plane.

Yes, the one I was supposed to be on that was now taxing away from the bloody gate.

The point at which I knew I had screwed up royally was when he said, "You have missed your flight."

He then kindly (and I am not being sarcastic) showed me that the flight that was delayed was a different airline that was going to the same place and the original departure time was only 5 min different. My flight was right above it.  For some reason I didn't notice this - these were the first two lines on the monitor, maybe that is why. 


Check the airline and flight number much, Kami?

*smacks forehead again, harder this time*

For the record, the delayed flight only started boarding when I was finding all this out so I was perfectly on time for that one.  Hey, I feel like an idiot, I had to point that out, just for the record.

I was mortified, embarrassed and at this guy's mercy.  I apologized, called myself a moron several times and asked why they don't call people on speakers outside of security. I asked nicely, not in an accusatory tone because I was curious mostly.  It was my responsibility to get myself to the gate on time not theirs.  The airport doesn't allow it was what he told me.  Fair enough. 

Here's the part that steams me - as in I am mad at myself for.


I can see missing a flight because you get delayed in traffic or encounter an accident or...about a thousand other legitimate reasons.  But sitting in the Whitespot having tea with your mom and aunts?  That has to be a new brand of stupid.

Anyway, the WestJet agent (totally plugging the airline) was beyond fabulous.  He was very nice and treated me with respect and really went above and beyond to help me. 

He quickly checked my options and found that he might not be able to get me all the way home that day on Westjest due to full flights.  He even ran over the other airline to check if he could get me on that delayed flight (yeah the one I thought I was on).  They wouldn't do it since it was so close to departing.  I couldn't fault them for that and for him to do that? Seriously. I can guarantee that airline wouldn't do the same.

I was so thankful that I was flying WestJet.

Basically, to get home that day, I had to hope a seat would open up on the next flight out.  He gave me a 10 -20% chance of that so I didn't get excited.  This happened to be the same flight my mom was leaving on.

Somewhere in here I called Jay to tell him what happened.  I have to give him credit here too.  He could have berated me for my stupidity but Jay is Jay and he wouldn't even think to do that.  He was calm even though I know he was upset.  We all missed each other. I had been gone 5 days by this point and I had to tell him I might not make it home until the next day.  If things had been reversed I am not sure I would have been as forgiving.  Thank you honey.  It means a lot.

The agent took my credit card (there is, understandably, a fee for this kind of stupidity that is very small in comparison) so that he could scoop up the seat as soon as it opened up.  He assured me he would keep checking to see.

I sat down to wait, called Jay again and told him the status and almost started crying as I hung up with him.  I didn't though and I was proud of myself.

Then my mom walked up and I lost it.  I started sobbing like an infant.  Thank goodness my co-worker was gone and did not witness this.  It's bad enough that there were strangers there.  Awkward.

There is just something about your Mom, you know?  Even at 38, I can't help but unleash my inner distress in the middle of an airport waiting room the second I see her.  Isn't she lucky?

So we waited and I did not get my hopes up.  I was prepared to overnight in Calgary and take the first flight to Regina in the morning.  Or alternatively try and make it to Saskatoon so Jay could meet me and my parents half way in the morning.

About 15 min before the flight I was hoping to get on boarded, I checked in with, by now, my favourite airline agent ever and his exact words were, "It's your lucky day!  A seat has opened up!"

My response was, "I could hug you, but that would be inappropriate!"

What he relayed to me as he printed my boarding passes was that he not only waited for seat to open up, he actively found ways to open a seat up - he had three people flying through Calgary re-routed onto a direct flight to their destination and he was also prepared to ask a WestJet employee to switch flights if he had to.  In the meantime, a seat just randomly opened up anyway.

If that isn't going above and beyond, I don't know what is.

He even thanked me for being so understanding.  Um.  I guess that goes to show you some people can't admit they are idiots.  Me?  I have no problem with that.

I have already commended him through the feedback option on the airline website because how could I not?

So.  The lesson learned is that I will always go directly to the gate no matter what.  Oh and maybe check the airline and flight number. 

*alternate title "WestJet is Awesome"

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Seriously? And Halloween Pictures

I have a rant. A serious one that started building years ago. There is this teacher at the boys' school that makes me crazy.  She isn't a classroom teacher but teaches a couple of subjects to give the classroom teacher prep time.  Jack had her in grade 3 and low and behold, here she is again now that Kamden is in grade 3.

I was utterly elated when Kamden came home in September with the news.

And last week, he brought home is first grade from her.  Smoke may have come out of my ears as I saw the same ridiculous grading she used 3 years ago with Jack.

The subject is health, more specifically the four food groups.  To demonstrate their knowledge of the unit, they had to prepare a poster and draw meals for each of breakfast, lunch and supper.

Kamden's comment and I quote word for word was: "She gave me a horrible mark!"
Are you kidding me?
The first two categories are Graphics and Use of Time in Class.

Let me go though each in detail because are you kidding me?

"Graphics are in focus and easily viewed from 6ft away" is worth 4 out of 16 of the available marks.  That's 25%.

Let's ponder this for a second considering two things.  This is health.  HEALTH.  Not art, not media relations, not graphic design but health.

And they are in grade 3.

In no way does this evaluate their knowledge of the topic at hand.

And the second one, use of class time.  This is important but is part of an area in each report card where the student is assessed on the term as a whole, not on one specific project.

I don't think I need to say it but how in the name of Pete does this evaluate the students knowledge of this particular topic? 

Right, it doesn't.

By my estimation, the first 50% of the grade is completely irrelevant to the purpose of the project. 


Let's move on to the other 50% of the grade, shall we?

For the love of....

"Required Elements" is up next. This one might actually be a fair assessment but let's not hold our breath.  The poster needs to include required elements.  Not that she indicates what those are.  For all we know, one of them was to draw a broccoli floret like Picasso.
I am going to assume that was the one element Kamden missed and call it a day.
Next up is "Attractiveness".  This one doesn't have a hope in being relevant for a health project.  So Kamden lost 2 marks because the poster was, in her opinion, "a bit messy".  At least it was still attractive, I mean thank goodness for that.
I don't want to sound like a broken record but THAT DOESN'T EVALUATE THEIR KNOWLEDGE.
To summarize, at best 4 of the 16 marks were relevant. 
This is exactly the same crap we saw with each project Jack brought home from this teacher. I never bothered to discuss the issues with her for two reasons.  One, it's health.  In the grand scheme of things, it's not a critical subject.  And two, I have a feeling it would be futile.  I leave the above discussion as Exhibit A.
Now that I got that off my chest, here are the obligatory Halloween snaps for the Grandparents.

Kamden's pumkins
Mario with his two pumpkins.  He designed and drew them, I carved.  I love love love.
Captain Rex
And Captain Rex of The Clone Wars fame with his two.  The one on the left is his trademark face - going on 3 years I think.  The other is MineCraft themed.  Love love love.  This is the first year Jack both drew and carved his own.  He's growing up.

 Hope you had a happy Halloween free from teachers who clearly wish they taught at a post secondary art school.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What We've Been Up To

Tap, tap, tap...blows off dust. So, a month has gone by again. Remember when I used to blog every day? Yeah me too. *shudders involuntarily*

We've been busy here at the Lahti house.

My camera has been in overdrive with some fall photo shoots.  I even forced my own two men to pose.

Ma Boys
Mostly they were happy to.  You will see what I mean later.
Ma Boy
Jack is having a good year in grade 6.  He's also continuing in piano and enjoying private lessons much more than the class he attended up until last year.  Who doesn't love one on one instruction?
However, the one downside is that we discovered there is a situation that has been ongoing since sometime last year at school.  It's helped us to understand where his behaviour at home has been coming from. Naturally I feel like an arse because our approach was so, so wrong.  I am so glad it's come out and we can deal with it in a more appropriate manner.
I love this kid more than words can say.  He has so many many amazing qualities and I think one of his classmates put it best in their nomination of Jack to win the award for Respect this month at school:
"I nominate Jack because he never makes fun of other people."
Hmmm.  So what you are confirming is that other kids in the class do.  Duly noted.  And to all you kids who make fun of other kids, just wait until you are an adult and your peers finally figure out that the reason you did that was because you didn't like yourself all that much and it was the only way to make yourself feel better.  Uh huh.  See how far that gets you in the real world.
Meanwhile Jack will be travelling through time in the machine he invented because he spent his time learning in school instead of being a complete butt head.

Then there is Kamden.  I love this photo because is shows his crazy, fun, make us laugh regularly side.  This year he is continuing his love of all things sports.  He played touch football earlier in the fall and is now fully entrenched in the indoor soccer season.
He moved up an age category this fall and had to go through assessments for the first time, though we were told that all kids in their first year would be in Division 2.  We took him to the assessments anyway because he will never pass up the opportunity to play.  Turns out he was selected for Division 1.  Talk about a moment of pride.  Long story short, his coach and the parents of the other boys selected for Division 1 decided to hold them back into Division 2 so the team could stay together with the coach.  This coach is half the reason Kamden is so good so it was an easy decision.
Kamden is also doing well in school.  And another moment of pride.  One of Kamden's soccer buddies is also in the other grade 3 class at school.  His mother informed me Monday that this child is being bullied by another child.  Hence where the "situation" came out with Jack. Another reason I do not believe in avoiding the discussion of difficult situations in front of the kids.  You just never know when something will spark a conversation that is important.  Anyway, I asked Kamden to seek out his buddy at recess and invite him and the bully to join him.  The bully "plays" with the buddy and tries to keep everyone away.  It seems to be working.  Crossing fingers.  This little guy is a bully for a reason and I just hope the school can work with the family to get to the root of the problem.  His behaviour makes me (an accountant!) think he is screaming out for help.
Long winded today, aren't I?
Gorgeous Family
Okay, less yammering on about my wonderful kids (sorry but they are, can I help it?) and more pictures.  I told you my camera was busy.  This family is on their third year with me and I couldn't be happier to do photos for them.  Kamden is very successful in making this adorable guy laugh which is so helpful.
Ma Parents!
And guess what?  He is also very effective at getting Pop to smile too!  Score.  Now if we could just figure out how to have him in the same picture as Pop and also be behind the camera making Pop smile. 
The whole fam damily
Can't have everything, now can we?  At least all 11 of us are in the picture and looking at the camera.  About all we can ask for I think.  And it only took 120 shots to get this one good one.  I wish I were kidding.  A professional I am not.
My niece, Anna, was up for posing for many a shot and this is by far my favourite.  I told her to sit in the grass and instead she did this.  I think she may take over the family photographer gig in the very near future and in the meantime she can be my assistant.
The next day, we tried for a shot of the four of us. This one was one of the test shots I took before I forced the boys out to join us. It's not bad.
The family
Minus the wind blown look I am sporting, I like this one too.  It will have to do as there is no way we'll get another session out of those two.
Christmas card photo done and calendar is nearly complete.   Two things off the list.
This past weekend, I did some maternity shots of my massage therapist/yoga instructor.  Personally, I think she is the hottest pregnant lady in the history of all pregnant ladies.  37.5 weeks and she looks that good?  If I had looked half as good at 5 months. By this point, I looked like I might explode if you poked my belly button.

Baby Bump
I was encouraging her to get professional photos done but she wasn't sure. I offered because this had to be captured permanently.  I would have forced her if I had to.
37.5 week.  I kid you not
I love my hobby.
*end monthly long winded blog post about nothing in particular*
PS I can point out 100 things wrong with each of my photos, so whatever you are thinking about them, yes, I know.  I am not a professional nor do I profess to be. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

High Note

Every summer, I sign myself up for a few races because if I don't, I do not run.  I do not love running, or really even like it.   What I do like is that it a challenge and allows me to set goals to strive for. I find this very motivating and when I meet the goal, I am pretty damn happy.

Since I started running in 2008, I have steadily improved and this year was kind of break through year for me.

Somewhere in April I discovered that if I warmed up before heading out on a run, I could run so much faster and it was easier.  As in I didn't feel like dying after 2 km.  Any fitness expert is saying well duh, but me, well I was of the idea that the warm up was wasting valuable energy that I could have been using for running.

For me, that is not true.  When my heart has time to get used to the increased oxygen requirements, it adapts and keeps up with much less pain and agony.  I can run faster and feel good, instead of like I am having a coronary?  Sign me up.

In April, a team of three of us ran the Regina Police Service Half marathon in relay style.  I had a really great run coming in at 36:36 for my 6.4km leg.  I was pumped and ready for my next race, The Royal Road Race 10k on Mother's weekend in May. 

I set the goal of running it in less than 60 min which would be about the same pace as the previous race but a longer distance. That wouldn't be a personal best (in May 2011 I did a 10k in 58:37 and just about lost my lunch and another 10k last fall in 59:47) but it was early in the season so I wanted an attainable goal

The day dawned sunny and hotter than it yet had been in Saskatchewan in early May.  I started out without really warming up because I was a bit late.  I also started at a pace much faster than my goal pace.

And by 3km the f word was frequently running through my head.  As in, why the beep beep beep do you think signing up for these beep beep beep races is a good idea? The heat is my cryptonite and I was sloooooow.  I felt like I was dying a slow, painful death.  When I met Terry-Lyn as she passed me on her way back around, I may or may not have assaulted her with curses.  That's what friends are for right?

I finished in 1:01:42 and was angry even though I knew I could not have done better that day.  That was my best that day.

But it solidified that I need to train for these races if I want to attain my goals.  So all summer I ran a 10k a week not really worrying about my pace.  Just running how I felt that day and doing a proper warm up before each and every run.  Some days were fabulous and some were horrid.  A 10k in well over an hour one Sunday morning on a grid road out and back from my parent's acreage comes to mind.

But I pushed and trained and when the Queen City Marathon rolled around early this month, I was ready for my 10.5k leg.  I wore shorts and a tank despite the cool fall morning and that was a good choice because I was perfectly comfortable.  I checked my pace frequently and when I was slower than my goal, I had the energy to speed up.
I finished in 1:01:43, coincidentally the same time as the previous 10k and I ran further - yay me). And I felt great, the entire time. 

Also, in 2009, I ran the exact same leg in 1:05:23.  That's progress I would say.

THAT is why I sign up for these races.  That right there, is really rewarding and worth every drop of sweat.

We all had a good race!

As a team, we had a personal best time, thanks to the rabbits who let me, the hare, join them.

So as I prepared for today's Flatlander's 10k, I was pessimistically optimistic (ha!).  I was thinking there wasn't too much of a chance that I could do it again because having two amazing back to back races is rare, I am after all not a machine but a human.  I was still kind of hoping so though you know.  If I could, I would meet my 10k personal best time of 58:37 of over a year and half ago.  But this time, without the losing lunch part.

I warmed up good and the day was looking warmish for this time of year so I dressed in my skimpiest tank and shorts.  The more skin exposed, the more heat can escape and keep me from overheating.  Ever had goose bumps when you are hot?  It happens to me a lot when I am running in the heat and it's not a good thing.

The race started slow with a narrow path and too many racers so when I had the chance to pick it up, I did.  I was feeling great.  Every time I checked my pace I was well below my goal pace.

And then I hit about the 7 km mark and then I was way over my goal pace.  Laying down in the middle of the path and resting was really appealing. But this is where I pulled up my panties and dug deep.  I pep talked myself through and reminded myself that I was almost done and the pain of another 12 min or so was worth it for the feeling of accomplishment of meeting my goal. I wasn't going to lose all that time I had made up in the first part of the race. I was being stubborn.

As I ran through the last water station, I grabbed a cup of water without slowing (sorry to the volunteer that probably got wet!) and chugged and poured it over myself and kept going.

And I was able to finish in 58:44.  Can I get a hell ya?  Only 7 seconds off my best time and no hurling or walk breaks.  I call that a win!

Flatlanders 10k

(Me, with Terry-Lyn and her friend Joline, who naturally both finished before me, but because I like to justify it, I am probably at least 5 years older than both of them.  We will not speak of the grey haired lady that passed me mid-way, she is not relevant here.)

So next year, when I am cursing myself for signing up for yet another hour of torture, I will remember the satisfaction that I feel right now.

After the race.  During the race, cursing (aka pep talks) is fair game.

Friday, August 31, 2012

It's Almost September, WHAT?

I started this post two days ago but I guess I better finish it today or the title won't really make sense.

Um dude in the white truck that we smashed into, stop signs are there for reason. We are all okay. Thank goodness. The van, however is not.

August brought a lovely car accident after which our van looked like this.

Thank goodness the van took the worst of it.  All four of us were in the van when it happened and it was at 50 km/hr that we crunched into a truck whose driver thought the stop sign meant slow down slightly and pray.  Well that prayer was not answered unless he wanted to have us hit him and push him head on into another stopped vehicle.  Thank goodness no one was hurt.  A hard lesson for him to learn - he was quite young.
This occurred two days before our planned departure to Jan Lake to spend a few days at my parent's cabin.  The Civic, which is our second car, was not going to cut it.  We do not travel light.  So we rented the only thing we could find.  Apparently a lot of people rent cars in Regina on an August summer weekend.  Who knew.

Our rented ride. Hate the boxy outside but love the inside.

The Ford Flex is awesome on the inside.  The outside just doesn't do it for me.  It's part station wagon, part box.  I liked to call it the Cragon.  You know those car/trucks from the 70's that were called Crucks.  Yeah, like that only it's car and wagon and yeah, it makes no sense to anyone except to me. 

Send help!  Not only did Jay find an 80's station but they are playing Debbie Gibson.

It had satellite radio which is awesome because we lose radio about half way - Jan Lake is north.  Like far north.  Like no cell service or radio north.  But satellite is everywhere, you know on account of them being in space and all.  Lucky me because Jay found an 80's station that played Debbie Gibson.

I  survived.  Barely. 

I love this place

Views like these are worth even suffering through Debbie Gibson.  Or what might be worse, Jay singing along to DB.  I kid, I kid.

Kind of. 

Lippy Kamo

And this view makes me laugh, Kamden  of the refusing to ever be without a funny face in a picture.  I need lots of pictures to remember this stage by. 

The life

I love relaxing in the boat and throwing a line out.  If I catch something, great, if not, whatevs.  The scenery and peace more than makes up for the lack of fish.

Island fire - Dad photobombs!

We made supper on an island over the camp fire, an annual tradition. I love that my dad is in the background.  Photobomb! 

That's a BEAR!

After a morning of tubing, we got back to the cabin only to realize I left my camera in the boat. Jay went back to get it.  On his way back to the cabin after retrieving the camera, he ran into this dude.  Yes, that is a bear.  Did I mention we had all walked from the boat to the cabin and Jay was still on foot.  The reason the bear is so small is because Jay backed the hell up from that bad boy. I had forgotten the telephoto lens too.  If he had that lens, man would he have gotten a nice shot.  

Have I mentioned that I have a phobia of bears.  And spiders but that's not important right now.

Needless to say, I am super glad I wasn't with him.  Oh and the kids too.  The drama, I can only imagine.  Jack takes after me with bears and spiders. 

But that was the only "excitement" and we even managed to see that bear's footprints in the sand on the beach the next day.  Pretty neat.

From a distance and days after the fact says Kami.

We spent as much time as the gas tank on the boat would allow pulling the kids in the tube. I am official boat driver and enjoy watching the big smiles and hearing the screams of glee.


However, I did almost drown my sister in law.  Somehow one of the bumps launched her out of the tube. Her life jacket was too big and all I could see for what seemed like an eternity was the life jacket.  No Nicole. Then her head popped up and we breathed a sigh of relief.  We, um, I, slowed down and took some smaller bumps after that.


Here we are going much slower and over much smaller bumps.  That is the only reason we have three on a two man tube. We do think about safety. Sort of.

And these two loved it fast and as bumpy as possible.  Within reason, flipping the boat to get them massive air is NOT an option.

Almost lost Kamden

My mom even wanted to try.  She did not witness the Nicole almost drowning incident which is pretty obvious given the fact that she wanted to give it a go now, 3 years after we started the tubing with the kids.

The best part was when we got out there and I asked if she still wanted to do it, she asked her grand kids if she should and they all yelled "YES!".  Kind of forced her into it, didn't they? 

Grandma is in the tube!!

We went nice and slow even hitting a few bumps. We got some smiles all around. And I didn't almost drown her. Oh no, I save that for the in laws. *smacks forehead*

It has been a fabulous summer of great weather and fun  times.  We are blessed indeed.

And today, after much research and discussion, we picked up this baby.

Our new ride
A brand new shiny Honda Pilot.  The van was due to be replaced any way so the accident just did us a nice favour since the damage was more than the value of it.  I try not to think of what we paid for it a mere 7 years ago because well I have a small pain tolerance.  This time we went Honda because they seem to hold their value much better.  We now own two Honda's so hopefully that continues to be true.
If you need me, I'll be out shining our new truck.
And if you know me well, you just snorted coffee through your nose because hell will likely freeze over before that happens. Cleaning and washing vehicles is a twice a year kind of thing, whether it needs it or not around here.
I will admire it through the window though so there's that.

Friday, July 20, 2012

San Diego - the Colossal Photo Post

We just got home from 6 days in San Diego, California. What follows is a whole lotta photos from the trip. Believe it or not, there are more on Flickr. You have to be a Flickr friend to see them so if you are not, just let me know.

Up Up Up where the clouds disappear

Somewhere between Regina and Denver we had a beautiful view up above the clouds.

We arrived late Thursday night so in the morning we scouted out a place for breakfast and found some cool photo ops around the resort.  We stayed at The Lawrence Welk Resort in a beautiful condo (bigger and nicer than our house, I never wanted to leave).

Loving Brothers
There are these rocky hills on all sides.  They make for stunning views and backdrops for photos of brothers who like to annoy the snot out of each other.  As you can see, Kamden is not amused.

A note fountain.  Ha.  Neat and good for tourists to take photos of.

Legoland was a hit!

Day 1 we took in Lego Land and true to form, these guys did not go on one single ride.  They do not take after me.


They did enjoy the Star Wars exhibit however.

Really big Millenium Falcon

Over 10,000 pieces went into this Millennium Falcon.   It was about 3 feet long.  That's a lot of Lego.  And also, how do I get a job playing with Lego?

Captain Rex

Captain Rex is a favourite of these two. They are Star Wars fans but they really love Star Wars The Clone Wars best.  What the difference?  I haven't a clue but they sure seem to know.

Lombard St in Lego

There was a mini San Fransisco and I enjoyed Lombard St without having to actually walk it.  Boot camp on the hill anyone?

Lovin' the 3D nerd glasses
We got a kick out of the nerd glasses.  Or 3D glasses whatever.  Also note Kamden.  Always with the poses, that one.  You will see a theme.

The King for Granddaddy

For Granddaddy.  He's even doing the hand thingy.

Resort Spray park

Day 2 we hung out at the resort because um, they had this, beside a beautiful pool surrounded by hills and it was a beautiful day.  Oh yes.  It was lovely.  The boys loved the spray apparatus above.  It had 6 pails up in the air that would fill with water and randomly dump it over their heads. Personally, that sounds like hell but what do I know?
9 am. Vacation all I ever wanted

9am.  We had the place to ourselves so I relaxed on a lounge chair whilst they frolicked in the pool.  (I may be channeling my inner British side)

Yesterday.  All day.  Dudes are tired.

They only got out to eat.  And when their eyes were bloodshot.  Even the salt water pools irritate the eyes.  And it dries the tar out of our skin. We have to shower and slather on the  moisturizer. Is it just us?  I thought these salt water pools were supposed to be so much better.

Later that night, we took a drive to the coast to see the ocean.  It was not swimming weather, rather what I would call chilly.  I see why people wear wet suits to surf in California.  We kept chuckling that it was hotter back home in Canada than in California. 

Handsome dude

I love how sometimes pictures do not tell the real story.  We probably only spent 15 min at the beach and I have the most pictures from there.  It's was cold so we went off in search of ice cream and for me?  Fish tacos.  Oh yes.  I am currently obsessed with fish tacos and where better to get them than a California beach town.  They were good and I even shared them with Jay.


Apparently waves are exciting.  If that doesn't make you laugh, I don't know what will.

Loving the view

It wasn't much of a beach, more of a jetty.  High tide I think?

bye condo, we loved you

Can you guess who was less than thrilled about posing for a family photo?  So using this one on his wedding day.

Day 3 we had to bid our glorious condo goodbye.  The conference I was attending was downtown, more than an hour's drive away so we moved to that hotel.  It cost the same and we had one room, two queen beds vs. two bedrooms, two bathrooms, living room and kitchen.  I guess you pay for location?

self explanatory

The zoo happened to be on the way so we spent the day touring around and saw about 1/3 of it.  It's huge!
Giraffes are cool

Our favourites were the elephants and the giraffes. So neat to see them up close and personal like that.
Bull.  Big.  Awesome.

Huge Cactus

I was in awe of the plants or in this case the cactus.  That is the size of a tree.  Honest to goodness a first for me.  The ones that grow on my parents land are the size of a small ball.  I love experiencing the differences in landscape when we travel.  California is really beautiful in so many ways.


These were in the lot as we waked to the car at the zoo.  The flowers look like daisies but the plant is not like the daisies we have.  So pretty regardless.
I am loving all the amazing foliage. So different from the Canadian prairies SoCal is gorgeous.

This was on a tree and the bloom is the size of my hand.  So neat.

Our Hotel - Hilton San Diego Bayfront

A view of our hotel downtown.  It was located adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center which was hosting Comicon.  We saw some, um, interesting people that night.


And about 5 Batmobiles.  There was one for each Batman movie ever made.  I think they were the real thing, but really who cares, so  neat to see.  I couldn't care less about Batman movies but even I thought this was cool.
Comicon - Is that the Penguin?

I swear that guy is the Penguin.  Jay didn't think so but now that I see the picture, I think it even more.
Typical California

Snapped this one on my phone while lounging in my hoodie by the pool.  Too cold to swim for me!  The breeze off the water was chilly.
A day at the zoo and they are back I'm the pool.
The boys however, had no trouble swimming at any time.

My view during coffee break at the conference.

Bridge between our hotel and Petco Park

This is already Day 6.  I was in the conference on Day 4 and 5 and apparently I am the only one who takes pictures.  The boys hit SeaWorld, the Science Center and the Museum of Space and Aviation without me.

The last night we headed over to Petco Park to watch some MLB - the boys first game ever. 

Padres vs. Astros. Boys first MLB game!!

The Padres won and it was a pretty exciting game.  We all enjoyed it.

Padres vs. Astros

It was our first time in California and we enjoyed it.  I have to say that travelling is so much fun with these three.