Saturday, January 30, 2016

January 8th - Walker Ranch Preserve Trail. I took a walk.

I like to take walks every couple of days.  Where we're staying is right alongside the San Diego River. Last year, they opened the Walker Trail.  There had many decades ago been a dairy farm along the river here, and the city had bought the land to turn it into a park and wetlands preserve as a part of the ongoing projects all the way down the river to the ocean.

We had just had a major rainstorm lasting a couple of days. (It never rains in Southern California, It pours, man, it pours) The day was sunny and the river was muddy because of all the runoff.  It is a nice smooth trail with a lot to see.  I walked for a while and took pictures.

Geochaches?  Yes, there are some.  I wasn't interested in collecting finds because I was by myself.  I easily found a couple,and knew we would come back to get them for real.

Along the trail are pieces of history including a sand dredge.  Plaques talk about the history, the wildlife, and the vision for the future.

Here's a site from a local newspaper talking about the history of the ranch and where things are going today.

Looking down from the bridge on Magnolia Avenue

Just inside the park

The San Diego river

A bicycle repair station

In the distance, the Santee Drive-in movie screens

The river bed used to be flat and dry.  This sand dredge was used on it.

The hills to the north

Side trail leads under Magnolia Avenue.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

December 28 - 30th Heading West

As the month and the year came to a close, We loaded up the Jeep and the truck and headed out.  A brief stop at the farm to leave our truck in a snow-covered driveway, We drove west with Alexander and all we needed.  A brief stop in Devils Lake to drop off Alex where he'd be leaving from to go back to Texas.

It was night and it was stormy.  We drove for a while and stopped in Montana.  There was a lot of night driving and nasty weather, so we didn't get a lot of pictures.  Besides, as we were doing the normal I-94/I-15 route, there wasn't a lot of new stuff to see.  We did make a stop in Montana at a rest stop where there was a spectacular view of the Yellowstone river working on it's annual freeze-up.

Idaho and Utah were fairly uneventful but we managed to get geocache finds in all three states.  It was late evening when we passed through the Virgin River gorge in Arizona.  Too dark for any good pictures, and there was construction that made a mess of the traffic so it took forever to get through.  We made a stop for the night and then pushed on the next day into Las Vegas.

We spent the night in a downtown hotel and had a great night there.  Usually, when we go through Las Vegas, we ind ourselves walking and touring the hotels and casinos on the strip, Las Vegas Blvd. This time we were downtown and saw all the changes they've made in recent years.  The huge hotels on Fremont street are still there, but what has changes it that they have constructed an awning that floats between the hotels about three stories up.  Under this awning, they took up the asphalt of the street and paved it as a walkway mall,  There are many small kiosks and a couple of music stages.  There were two different bands playing live that night we were there. It was really fun.  There are lines running through the air and you can pay to zipline down the couple of blocks under the awning.

We got dinner in the Four Queens hotel where they have their own craft brewery.  The next morning we walked around some more after check out before continuing on to California.  We arrived safe and sound here in Santee California just days before Laurie had to begin work at yet another hospital.

Somewhere in eastern Montana off I-94

The Yellowstone river

From our window at the Plaza Hotel


Fremont Street

New York, New York Hotel

Sunday, January 24, 2016

December 26th continued - The great Lego challenge.

Our family has always been a lego family.  The kids have always gotten Legos for Christmas. The Grandkids got them this year as well, continuing the tradition.

Of course, we had to get something for Alexander as that is just what we've always have done.  This year had a twist.  We bought two identical Lego kits. The kits could be built in either of two ways to create two different construction vehicles.

We gave the two kits to Alexander and Dustin.  They had a challenger where they would agree on which thing to build, and they sit down and race to see who could complete theirs first.

The race began, with Legos flying and hearts pounding.  After a little more than an hour, the dust settled and the bulldozers were completed.  Dustin Jordahl had won the first great Lego challenge.  Good work, Dustin.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

December 26th - Christmas arrives!!!

Due to work schedules and all, Christmas morning for the little minions came a day late.  I don't think they will know it was late.  It's been so long since I did a Christmas morning with little ones. AS normal, they got up full of energy and smiles.  Babies in PJs.  We sat them down against a wall spread out so they would each have their own space for opening presents.  As if that would last long.  Eager smiles and feverish digging into wrapping paper while they uncovered and discovered each new treasure.  Daddy and Uncle Alex helped them to open things and then Mommy, Daddy, and Uncle Alex helped put together items that needed some assembly.  Play time came as they spread the presents around the room exploring the abilities and possibilities of each toy. Mimi and the rest played along with them.  It was a very enjoyable Christmas morning made bittersweet with the knowledge of our impending departure.

The tree

Santa has been here.

Inspecting brightly covered, huge boxes

Digging into stockings

Ready to begin an orderly unwrapping process.

It begins...

Daddy helping

Presents from Uncle Alex and Kaycee

Presents from Nana

"I can't believe this is mine!"


Some assembly required

Playtime with Mimi

"Look at all this stuff!"

"But I love the basket!"