Sunday, March 28, 2010

March Madness

So the weather has finally began to be consistently good, which has meant that we can now, on the weekends, do some exploring.
March consisted 0f Beth and I running the Napa Valley Marathon, us exploring Tilden Park and discovering Sibley Regional Park, breaking out the swimming pool, and a unexpected kids party.

While it has been a busy month, we were able to have a full share in the Memorial campaign and really had fun getting the kingdom hall ready for the Memorial.

So it started with the Napa Valley Marathon. 12 weeks of training lead up to the thing we said we probably wouldn't try again after the Long Beach Marathon.

However, after encouragement from Derrick and Angela Behrens and how well they did in December with the California International Marathon (CIM) we decided to do it.

What made this weekend even more special was that this was the first weekend were Beth and I were able to leave the kids with friends and spend some time away. Mind you, this was just overnight and it was only 45 minutes away, it was something we have never done since the kids were born 8 years ago.

We stayed 10 minutes away from where we would take the buses up to the start in Calistoga.

Derrick and Angela stayed up in Napa also. They did awesome!! Derrick ran the race under 4 hours and Angela 4:16.
Jay Boettcher also ran the marathon, and came in at 5 hours. We caught up with him after the hill that began at mile 19 and ended at mile 20. He had never run any type of race!!

Beth and I did pretty well. We beat our time at Long Beach by 6 minutes; however, we felt so much better and stronger. And the Napa Valley course was soo much more difficult, with a lot more hills. It was definitely a beautiful course though. At race time it was in the 40's and by the time we had ended it was in the 70's.

The following weekend we decided to explore Tilden Regional Park. This is a huge park above Berkeley with sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay and is a beautiful park. We have never been here before, and even with another bout of Poison Oak (yes I thought I would have learned by now) it was definitely worth the trip. We began the hike through the Botanical garden. What was amazing was the number of waterfalls there were.

The main trail, if you could call it that, took us from the Botanical Garden and then around Lake Anza.

The kids walked the whole thing.

Now that they know that there creatures under every log and rock, we took many detours and found many newts and salamanders. We even found a couple more scorpions.

We found a wonderful grass hill. I told the kids the story on how when I was a kid, we used to roll down. I realized that they had never done it. No sooner what it out of my mouth, there are the kids, rolling down the hill. We had to stop them before they got to the bottom since there was a grass bog at the bottom.

In the distance we heard a steam train. I had remembered watching a Bay Area TV show that showcased the steam engines and so we set out to take the kids on the trains. It was a nice ending for a beautiful day.

After the train we made a slight detour on our way back home. When we first moved here from Washington I read about Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve and how it was one of the few volcanoes in the coastal range. We got there at dark, but just for enough time for the kids to want to come back on Sunday.

We have afternoon meeting. Also, there was congregation gathering that featured pictures taken by several in our hall. Some of the pictures were of Emma and Sophie taken by Micaela Hoo. So this meant that we got to the park latter in the evening. This park is amazing. again there are beautiful views, and the kids got a real kick walking through a extinct volcano.

What is fun is Emma is getting to the age that she is really interested in the strata and what is in each level. Sophie and Myles, on the other hand, see a perfect slide.

In the caldera we found the following design. The kids like the basalt wall and it the wonderful maze. At the top of the caldera was a beautiful view of the Bay. If you look closely in this picture you will see Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.

The following weekend was beautiful and we decided to take it easy.

The weather was just warm enough for us to get the kids pool out.

Beth went to a candle party held by Noel, so the kids and I put the pool together and they went for a swim. They had a really good time.
This past weekend was very fun. Saturday morning began with Emma and I going to the Kingdom Hall to pull weeds and do some general maintenance. Emma worked so hard and she enjoyed herself so much. She is such a hard worker and especially when it comes our worship.

After we were done, we did a run and ended up at our friends the Pollino's. They invited us back later that evening for a kids party they were having for some visiting friends from Washington. The kids were soo excited. Especially Myles because they had a jumping house. Here are some of the pictures.

That should catch everyone up. A few of you mentioned you could not post on this site. Being new to this medium, I did not know that I had a restriction on who can post. Everyone can do so now.
Hope everyone is doing good. Will be blogging soon!!!