Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spring Break 2013

Spring break was fun filled with several hikes and runs and a visit from my sister.  I had a long deserved 4 day weekend, which was extremely relaxing.  Pretty much an awesome spring break.

The kids had fun with their friends, with a hike on up in the Briones with the Berhens.  The weather has been perfect, with the hills in beautiful emerald green and mustard yellow.

One of the highlights of the Briones for the kids are the salamanders and newts.  This hike was no exception, with the hills alive with the amphibians.  Of course they found the typical California newts; however, they also came across tiger salamanders, which have florescent green eyes.

Our rain pattern here for the last few weeks has been one day of rain a week.  For the Briones, this means some pretty muddy trails.  The Berehens wanted to have our kids see some pretty awesome single track trails that were created for some mountain bikes.  Needless to say, they had a pretty hard time keeping upright, but they certainly had fun playing in the mud.

On Wednesday, the kids went for a hike with a family in our hall, the Hash's.  They are new to the area (from Ohio) and we have been showing them of the fun things we like to do.  A couple of weeks ago we took them through Castle Rock Regional Park.  This time, Beth met them at the Lafayette Reservoir.   The kids had a great time on the loop, which ends at the awesome play area.

On Thursday, my sister Melissa flew in for a visit with her friend Lisa in Napa.  We picked her up at the Oakland Airport and took the long way around to Napa.  First stop was at Ghiradelli for coffee and hot cocoa.  Next, we took a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge to have lunch in Sausilito.  There is a nice deli we discovered a couple years back and they have awesome sandwiches.  Melissa also bought some Smarties (the English style M&M's) and I was tempted to buy some Coffee Crisp but resisted.

After Sausilito, with a brief stop at a new running store where we bought some bread (longer story here) in Mill Valley, we drove up to Sonoma.  Emma had visited the mission here for 4th grade California state history, but Beth and I have never been.   It is a really nice town, and I can say that I prefer it much better than Napa.
All people prior to the 1900's were this tall! Except Abe Lincoln and Wyatt Erpp, no one believed me!

We visited some of the historical buildings, like the mission, the barracks, and looked at some of the shops.  It is a really quaint town and worth a trip up.  

After Sonoma, we dropped my sister in Napa with her friend Lisa.  Thank you Lisa for arranging this for her.  It really means a lot, giving her some time to decompress.  Thanks again.

I took a pretty good face-plant, good times.
After Thursday, we spent some time up on Mt. Diablo.  On Friday, Beth and I took a run on a segment of the 50K we will be running in a couple of weeks, off of Camino Tassajara.  With the rain we received on Thursday, it was pretty slick but a good run.  There was a lot of poison oak showing up by now, but somehow we made it through the run incident free.  This is beautiful country, and very jungle like. 

On Saturday, after field service, we took the kids on a hike nearby up to Eagle Peak.  After hiking through the meadows of Clayton and past a new pond we discovered, we begin our climb up through the pine and the chaparral.  This is a single track that leads up along to the ridge that overlooks Mitchell Canyon, Back Creek Canyon, and Clayton and Concord.  It is a beautiful hike.

Once we got to the top, we decided to come down the Mitchell Peak trail, which was pretty awesome.  For the kids any hike up a mountain means running down, and this was definitely a fun trail to run down.  

The wild flowers are in full bloom on the mountain, with reds, purples, oranges, yellows popping everywhere.   The meadows are so green, contrasted by the flowers, and topped off by the red rock.  It is certainly awesome country.

Once we got home, we watched Old Yeller.  Emma recently finished reading it and I had told her about the movie.  It has been nice that free -on-demand have been adding some of the old classics.  It was also fun to see how much of the country shown in the movie looked exactly like what we had just hiked through.

The kids made it through tear free, and I removed myself from the climax of the movie.  Oh well.

What an awesome spring break, now back to school and work!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

March Roundup

To say we were busy in March is an understatement!  With the visit of the Circuit Overseer, the Memorial season tract work, One Day Special Assembly day, as well as the Memorial, we were very busy spiritually.  We also managed to get some hikes in as well as a 30K for Beth and I and another race this past weekend for the entire family.

Not to say we didn't have much down time.  Myles has for awhile been asking for a fort in the backyard.  Beth came up with this ingenious way to create a Teepee and wola! Myles had his sanctuary of solitude.

The Memorial, as usual, was the highlight.  The kids are getting so old and there dresses reflected that.  Emma, because of her height, is now shopping in the women's section.  

As with previous years, we met with Lafayette and the kids got to see their friends.  The girls are playing fantasy baseball this year, as well as a couple of young brothers in Lafayette, so there was a little bit of trade and smash talk going on after.  On the way home, we swung by Burger King for $0.50 ice cream cones.  I had planned to get the sundae fixings; however, they preferred this.  We have awesome kids.

This past Saturday we did a run.  It was was great and was Goonies themed.  Myles ran the 5K with a sister in our hall.  Emma, Sophie, and Beth ran the 10K, with this being Sophie's first 10K ever.  I ran the half marathon.  Everyone did awesome.  One of the features of this run was that there were a couple of cameras streaming live video and a lot of the family jumped on and watched

Sophie has a big grin in every picture that was taken on the course by the volunteers.  And this was a tough 10K with over 1K feet of elevation climb.  We are really proud of her.

Before the run, the kids found a rope swing that, when swung on, would have a kid dangling 10 feet in the air.  It was Emma who came crashing down.  But she came out of it with the air knocked out of her, minor scrapes, and a sore wrist.

That pretty much closes March.  On to April!