Sunday, February 20, 2011

Snowing in Concord.....

 Well almost.  The Bay Area is pretty funny weather wise in February.  It was just two weeks ago we were talking about  being in the 70's with one day making it 80.  This week we are talking about low elevation snow.

I mean really low.  And the benefit of living in our new house is that we can look out the back of our house and see the snow on the nearby hill, not to mention the snow on Mt. Diablo.  The snow level Friday night got down to about 1,500 feet.  We are now a little over 500 feet now, so it had been pretty cold with snow/rain mix.

We decided yesterday, after service, to take the kids up the mountain to play in the white stuff.  By that time, it was now snowing at the 2000 foot level.  They had closed the road before the Juniper Campground cut-off, so it meant a little bit of a hike.

I couldn't believe how many people made the trek up the mountain.  And how many took their little ones up there without gloves.  They had the sleds though.

The kids had a great time throwing snowballs.  Emma made a nice little snowman.  Beth and I played a little snowball baseball.    It was pretty fun.  It was a wet snow, which meant we got cold and wet pretty quick. 

After a while, we hiked back to the car.  Of course, there wasn't much snow under the trees.  So the kids switched into Salamander hunting mode.  They found a few then hit the jackpot:  another Woodland scorpion!!!
Western Woodland Scorpion on Mt. Diablo
This one was pretty feisty, especially for it being so cold.  We got some great pictures of it though.

After that we headed home. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Science Fair in the house.....

The weekend before last, we worked on Emma and Sophie's science fair projects.  It pretty much consumed that weekend, however the kids had fun. 

Sophie's project was to better understand the process of excavating dinosaur bones.  To help, we got her two different dinosaur excavasion kits and she and Beth went to work.  This meant wearing goggles while she slowly chipped away at sandstone.  The process ended putting the bones together into a dino-skeleton model.  The first kit took 2.5 hours and the second took 40 minutes.  Once this was done, it was time to get the display ready, which looked fabulous.
Emma's project was to determine if the width of a wing affects lift.  This was up to she and I.  We made 8 different paper airplanes with various wing types and three balsa wood planes.  These were each flown 10 different times and were ranked for the one that flew the furtherest to the one that flew the shortest.  We graphed the results then came to the conclusion that the width of a wing is not the sole dertimining factor in lift.  Then it came time to build the display.

The science fair was last Wednsday.  It was really neat to see all of the different projects.  For grades 3 to 5, the winner in each grade would represent the Woodside in the school district science fair on February 19th.  All the kids at the school did a wonderful job and we are so proud of Sophie and Emma.  And guess what?

Emma won for the third grade!!!! So next Saturday, she will be showing her project at the District Science Fair.  Sophie is extreamly happy because she gets a ribbon for participating.  She and another 1st grader were the only ones to submit a project!!!
I will give an update next week on how everything goes.

Friday, February 11, 2011

So Cal and Surf City Half Marathon Recap

So my recap will be more of the weekend, with a little bit of the race.
The weather couldn't have been perfect.  We got to the hotel on Friday, and after a brief encounter at the Goodyear Store for a new tire and dinner at Red Robin, we headed back to the hotel, the Desert Palms Inn. 

I have wanted to stay at fthis hotel or years.  It backs up against Disney's California Adventure and you can overlook the Parks with a perfect view of the fireworks.  In fact we took the kids to the 5th floor 2 out of the 3 nights to watch them.  This was a compact suite with bunkbeds  and a pullout sofa bed in one room for Samone  and the kids and a king size bed for Beth and I.  The beds were actually comfortable too.  I think this is the first time in a long time that we actually got a good night of sleep before a race. They also have a full hot breakfast that comes with the room.  This consisted of scrambled eggs, sausage patties, you make wafells, potatoes, and other like breakfast foods.  This property is definately a value, especially when you take into consideration what you save in the cost of breakfast for six people in the mornings.

For diners, we at at Red Robin (as mentioned above), Mamma Cozza's (featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives),  and Casa Gamino (our favorite mexican food when we are in Anahiem.)  More detail on the last two restaurants can be found on my food blog: Gastro Experiements.

One of the reasons we like the Surf City Marathon is that it is in Huntington Beach.  I abolutely love this beach and it brings back so many memories from when I was a kid.  I am so happy that when my kids think of a beach, this is the one that they think of and that when we say that we are heading to the Southland, visiting the  beach is a must.

For Emma and Sophie, going to the beach this time meant body surfing.  So with a stop at Walmart, we picked up boards for them.  Mind you that the high was barely 70-degrees and the water numbed my feet; but they had so much fun.  They also got their kites out, built sand castles, and had a wonderful time.

At night, besides watching the fireworks, the kids also swam in the hotel's pool.  About 30 feet in length, Sophie would swim from end to end 20 to 30 times.  For Emma, it was about jumping in and swimming.  Even Myles got to jump in with the help of his sisters.

Not to completely leave Disney out of the trip, we did go to Downtown Disney.  There are so many new stores.  The Myles and Sophie each got a flashlight.  That is Sophie got an R2D2 flashlight including all of the screams, the beeps, and wistles that the little droid makes.  For Myles it was all about a Minnie Mouse flashlight with a twirling lit up red skirt.  It was pretty funny watching the looks as we walked back into the hotel.

The half marathon and the kids race was on Saturday.  I guess I can say I did pretty good, maintaining a 8:31 minute mile for a finish time of 1 hour 51 minutes.  This is compared to the last (and first half marathon I had ever done) at 2 hours 23 minutes.  Beth had a great time.  This was a fun race for her and she enjoyed every minute of it.  She completed the California Dreaming series, got her jacket as well as her medal.  It is amazing to me what we have been able to accomplish in two and a half short years.  We only limit ourselves.

The kids had a great time in their races also. Emma and Sophie led the pack while Myles took on the below age 7 group.

Monday we headed back to the Bay Area.  We had such an enjoyable time.  Thank you Samone for sharing this trip with us.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Having fun in So Cal....

Just a mid-trip check in.  Writing this blog as the fireworks are going on at the "Park".  We have a beautiful room and last night had took the kids to the fifth floor to look at the fireworks.  They have had such a great time at the beach  body surfing, the Surf City Marathon Expo today, eating Italian food at Mama Cozza's ( a Triple D favorite), and just relaxing!!!

Pictures comming soon.