This blog covers March 4-April 4 2011. Here are the last photos of our butterflies before we let them out into the freeing spring weather.
Ana competed in the City's Annual Engineering Challenge. She had to build a rubberband power "Mars Rover" that met all sorts of weight and size parameters. She ended up getting 4th place! Nice work. I especially like the gum on the CD-wheels.
Did I already mention that I came outside one day in March to find that our semi-tame running free boy bunnies had had babies? Guess one of them was not a brother! Super cute. There were six of them. We had to catch them all since the bunnies were born out in a den by the garden. Ana and Cam sold them all and split the money. We got rid of the last one two days before Spring Break. Well.... we thought it was the last one.... until I took the "momma" bunny into the forest to let her be free. When I told Ana what I had done, she made me drive back to the forest so she could say goodbye. The bunny was still there and came right up to her, so she picked it up and told me it was a sign we had to keep her. SO, on our drive back home, Ana did some "investigation" and found out it wasn't the mom bunny after all... it was the DAD bunny. The bunnies had gotten mixed up a couple weeks prior to that... which meant that the MOM bunny was running free in the yard still while the DAD bunny had been caged up with the babies. Are you following this? So that night I snuck out to the old den to see if I could catch the MOM bunny and do what I had set out to do, which was take her far far away... and I'll be darned if that bunny didn't have a whole NEW litter of babies in the two weeks she was out free! YEP. WE now have EIGHT more baby bunnies. We've caught all but one who still eludes us. Today I finally caught the mom after two weeks of Elmer Fudd-type chasing and tomorrow she is truly moving to the forest. NO MORE BABY BUNNIES! I'll post more photos in the next post though because they are super QUTE!
Welp. Two days before Spring Break, Jonah bought a car in Las Vegas on a whim and booked flights for him and Cam to fly down there. The girls and I drove them to Bellingham so they could catch their flight and I thought we'd have to go home and settle down for a week of girls only at home. So, right after Ana's Spring Piano Recital on Sunday afternoon, Jonah called and told me he had sold a car to a guy in San Diego and that the guy was going to pay me a good chunk to drive it down to him in San Diego. So, I loaded up the car on Sunday night and my nice friend offered to come feed the animals and I dropped the bunnies off at another friend's and we were on our way. Me, Ana, Elsie and Poem. It was SLOW GOIN' because we had to stop about every hour to feed the baby, potty break, do a cartwheel, etc/, but we DID INDEED drive the whole 1300 miles to San Diego in just two days. We only stopped twice for food-- once in Eugene for World Famous Voodoo Doughnuts and another time to get Ana and Elsie some burgers. (I brought all the food in our fridge and pantry so that's why we didn't have to buy any food... two bags of celery and mushrooms go a LONG way).
These pictures are from when I finally made it to San Diego. I dropped Ana and Elsie off at my mom's in Orange County and met Jonah and Cam there who had driven over in the new Las Vegas car, then we drove down and spent the night in my relative's vacation house in Mission Beach.
I dropped off the car to the new owner, and got in our new Las Vegas car with Jonah and started the drive back. It was Wednesday. I had left on Monday.
Next stop, my mom's in Orange County.
My mom lives about ten minutes from Jonah's brother Noah, so it was fun for Cam to get some good cousin time in with McKay, a.k.a. Luigi/Yoshi. They played A LOT of Wii and did a lot of swimming and playing and good BIG HEAD CLUB stuff.
It took us WAY too long to get from Orange County to San Francisco, our next stop. We hit very bad traffic in North LA, so we had to skip Santa Barbara and other places we had planned on spending some time. We did play for a few hours at Pismo Beach though and enjoyed the GLORIOUSLY warm California sun! I want to move to Central California! Wow!
We finally made it to Jonah's yougest sister Charity's cool house in St. Francis Wood in San Francisco. It was late at night and since she has five or six roommates in her house, we very quietly crashed on her four sofas in her living room. We got up early the next morning to explore SF. Since the kids have no memory of when we visited SF three years ago, it was like a whole new city to them.
They especially loves the free Silk and Almond Milk samples down by the Ferry Building. That's why they are jumping for joy!
My favorite thing to do in cities with my kids is to find a list of the 10 best parks/playgrounds in the given city and set out to explore as many of them as possible. Here we are trekking through Golden Gate Park to find the playground after a long and frustrating time of navigating the public transport system.
Elsie was not amused when she figured out she had been tricked. She LOVES hedgehogs and we used to "hunt" them in New Zealand and so she was doubly disappointed.
The guy in charge of making sure everyone followed the rules was obviously caught up in something on his cell phone because he didn't even notice these guys after six times around.
Inspired by a book Ana is reading about a girl helping collect scrap metal during WWII, Ana and Cam collected bottle caps during our drive back up the Pacific Coast.
Before leaving the Bay Area, we got to see Jonah's old roommate from Cambridge and his family. We got married within a month of each other and all of our four kids are the same genders and nearly the same age, so it is always nice to see them... but it is especially great because they are such amazing people. Cassie is one of the most subtly hilarious bloggers ever. Their blog can be referenced to the right under "Will and Cassie's Make Out Party". (No pressure Cassie on being hilarious... :)
The photo above is of Elsie and Clare who are now pen pals. The one below is the three older groups of kids attempting a jumping photo at In-n-Out.
So, we left San Fran early Saturday morning to try and make it to Oregon by nightfall. I had driven from San Francisco to Seattle last October on the I-5 and had just driven from Seattle to San Diego on the I-5 three days prior, so we decided to take the 101 up instead. This was nice because we got to stop near Napa and visit my gorgeous cousin Samantha who works at a winery there. She was a total delight as usual. She's the taller more gorgeous more wonderful version of me, so I especially love seeing her because she's what I am like in my dreams.
From there we got to go through some good Redwood country and got to show the kids the tree you can drive through, which Jonah and I last visited 11 years ago.
This is how we roll. "I don't care what you're wearing! Everybody get out and fill up water bottles!"
All was going well, albeit a little slow, and then we hit a major roadblock. Literally. The 101 was closed because of a massive landslide and the detour was four hours SOUTH. We were told we were going to have to backtrack about 5 hours!!! Over our dead tires!
Luckily, we found some semi-drunk locals who told us how to get around the Highway Patrol and take an off-the-map detour that would get us back on the 101 at Eugene. After about five miles on this road, we could see why this was not a Department of Transportation sanctioned detour. The road was a cross between the total backroads of New Zealand's Awhitu Peninsula and Costa Rica's "Cerro de la Muerte" and it also reminded me of those photos you see of Peru's tall mountain dirt roads with shear cliffs on both sides and a bus full of 80 people chugging up the road. It was one scary road through the Humbolt National Forest/residential/farm areas where I can't believe any person would chose to live and chose to drive on the road on a daily basis. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how there were houses built up there (how would the truck deliver building materials), or how there were huge dumpsters (who would the garbage truck get there) or why there were about thirty "caution, road missing ahead" signs, and they weren't kidding. I never imagined such a place existed in the USA, but it does.
Regardless, we made it out alive and I can't believe I didn't take more photos than the one above but it was probably because I was having such major anxiety, or maybe because we weren't really supposed to be on the road so we were doing our best to look like locals, although I don't know why we even tried since our station wagon was filled to the brim with luggage.
We finally made it back to civilization and we got some good BBQ and a night's rest at a hotel from 1964 and hit the road again. Took a little break to sit on Paul Bunyan's bunyans.
Stopped for a mini-hike in Redwood National Park. Wish it was St. Patrick's Day because we would have TOTALLY seen a lepruchaun.
Cam working on his Redwood Junior Ranger certification. The Junior Ranger program is a fun way to get kids excited about National Parks, Forests, and Monuments, btw.
At the very end of the hike, Cam came around the corner snorting like a wild mustang. Okay. I guess he'd had a little too much time in the car over the last week.
We did finally make it home late Sunday night. What a blessing and a relief. We had missed an entire week of rain and dreariness here so even though it was 2600 miles of driving to get some sunshine, it was totally totally worth it. The kids did great and we all had a fun time.
When we got back, we picked up two ewes and a little ewe lamb from a lady and there's nothing cuter than a happy little lamb!
When she's feeling cool, she just goes by "M".
Okay. 27 minutes over.
I'll try and post more this week to keep this poor blog more up to date.
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