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Monday, January 16, 2017

August Rewind

We hit the ground running in August.
Our school district adopted new curriculum for English Language Arts so we spent some extra time coding the curriculum.

It was a beast.



We enjoyed the last few weeks of the "dog days of summer."

I continued to read.



 Our peach tree offered quite a bounty this year.
We tried to get to them before the birds, and the dogs.


We spent some more time at the Lake with friends.






We celebrated Steve's parents 40th wedding anniversary.

They celebrated the start-of-school-German-tradition by presenting the kids with a Kindercone.




I read some more.

We started school.
Macy a 7th grader.
Zachary a 3rd grader.
I'm still teaching Research and Technology in the Library.










I spent many days outside talking to my succulents.
They had a great year.

Although we had technically finished "travel ball" for Sierra, Zachary joined the CS Travel Ball team and we ventured to Morro Bay for the weekend for a tournament.


We ate at House of JuJu, because we like food.
Not sure if there is enough evidence in this blog to support that, yet.













 After a long day of baseball, we had dinner at Taco Temple.
One of my all-time favorite restaurants.
Legend has it, there is a tortilla at the bottom of that taco.


We breakfasted at a cute little coffee house down the street from our hotel.
I fail to remember the name.
Curses.


We had friends over to hang out.



 We also celebrated Hotpants birthday.  I also somehow failed to document that.
Curses again.




Sunday, January 15, 2017

July Rewind

July we did stuff.
Lots of stuff.
I'm on vacation from work and it's kinda of month to GO.
Oh, we went.
This onslaught of pictures makes me so happy.
We went.
We said yes to opportunities.
We took pictures.
We ate new foods.
We made memories.

After our trip to Sequoia/Kings Canyon I was certain I wanted to get in a trip to Calaveras Big Trees to see the actual setting and location from the book I had read, At the Edge of the Orchard.
The author totally did her homework.
Everything I saw, smelled, touched took me right into parts of the book.
It was totally worth it.

On the trip up I really wanted to stop and see my grandma.
We surprised her and it was so wonderful to spend some time with her, albeit short.
 We booked a room in Angels Camp so that we were centrally located to other California mining towns I had on my list.





 Big Stump.
They held dances here.
















 Mother and Son Tree.





 Father of the Forest.







 Tree hugger.
 I'm so grateful that we were able to take a picture under the Pioneer Cabin Tree.  The hard rains in California this January 2017 were too much for the tree to withstand as it toppled in the harsh weather.

The Mother of the Forest still stands as a reminder of the need to protect these giants.  Her bark was removed and put on display, making her susceptible to fire and disease.















After our hike we had worked up an appetite and along with MANY other visitors, felt the need to stop and eat at GIANT BURGER.





It wouldn't be a Lloyd Family Vacation without stopping by a library.
It was the perfect stop to sit and relax for a bit.






Next, we stumbled into the amazing little town of Murphys.
We loved it so much that we promised to return.

 As seen on Cupcake Wars....
Macy was in cupcake heaven!

After picking out some cupcakes to have for a later dessert,
we ventured back to Angel's Camp for a much needed nap.
The Secret Life of Pets had just come out so we decided to
check out the local movie theatre.


Up bright and early the next day, we bought tickets to Jamestown's historic Railtown.
We went on a great tour of the trains and hopped on the train for a little ride.











 I must have said, "Sit up straight!"....









One of my favorite memories of July was going with my dad to see James Taylor.
My dad treated to floor seats!
James Taylor did not disappoint, he was witty, had a great set of songs, and acted like a real person to his audience. So much fun with my daddy.



We had a few days of "home" before we left for our big trip of the summer to Mexico.

Boat nights on "The Rookie."
 One of my many volunteer tomatoes.

Headed to the airport.



Driving into Villa del Palmar in Loreto.
















 I know we are smiling in all of these pictures.
Can I just confess how freaking HOT we were?
We might have just been a little cranky.






 Food and strategically placed fans makes everything better.
Also, Mi Loreto has the best food in Loreto.
Hands down.

 I had plantain chile relleno.
I texted my dad this picture and told him it was so good I wanted to roll around it it.
Truth.
Total pig-style.





 This is what happens when you have someone else take your picture.
They capture your total mom moment finger placed, "STAND HERE, NOW.  IT'S HOT SON, NOW."


Also, this was one of the longest experiences of my life.
We decided to try and save some money by going to the grocery store to get groceries/supplies to carry back to the room. 
Without a shopping list.
People, I don't shop without a list very well.
We didn't bring a list because we didn't know what would be available.
I tried to make the list as we went, to organize myself.
Nope.
No bueno.
So, my Spanish sucks.
I nearly almost bought some mystery meat instead of turkey.
This was hard.
I have serious respect for all those who venture into unfamiliar territory and make life work.

 After serious frustration from the shopping trip, and heat sucking any ounce of "joy" I was feeling...
Steve suggested we eat our feelings with cold popsicles and frozen bananas.
I was momentarily food-happy.
 After finally making it back to the sister-hotel to catch our bus back to the resort, I sink-bathed in the bathroom (honestly, no shame here) and found a library!

Total truth here?
I spent most of my time either in the air conditioned room reading and drinking coffee, or out at the pool reading and drinking libations where every 15 minutes I had to jump into the tepid water to cool down.
I sound like I'm complaining.
I know.
It was a beautiful trip, one that we were so lucky to take.
But hot.
Really hot.
Did I mention that it was like the Devil's Armpit, hot?
Caliente.






See how there is no one taking a refreshing dip in the ocean?
There's a reason for that.
It's name is Jellyfish.



 The view from our room.




 There's something very iconic about drinking something out of a coconut.
We all had to try it out.



This book is by far one of my favorites of all time.
Everyone should read The Storyteller.
Maybe not if you are gluten-free, because it will make you want bread.
Alllllllll the bread.

 Macy's 11th birthday happened to take place during our trip, so we celebrated by swimming in the Sea of Cortez with the yellowtail fish.








 This little man was having loads of anxiety about swimming in the ocean with sharks.
Once we got to the cove and he could see all around him, he was infinitely more confident.



















 I am not an ocean swimmer.
Even when I can see what's right in front of me.
Those yellowtail nip.
I got nipped.
As soon as I got nipped, I got out and drank a beer.
It's how I roll.

Macy enjoyed Mi Loreto as much as I did, and she requested it for her birthday lunch.
We were all too happy to oblige.









 We loved the lady who worked there.
She was the sweetest.





 We did some fun activities around the resort.











 Happy 11th Birthday, Macy!
 Or Maecy.
Or Mauy.
Or Macey.
Either way, happy day to you.



 Yes, it was a happy birth.

 Well hello my not so welcome little friend.
Vamanos.
Arriba.
 Mas books.

On our last day Steve convinced one of the front desk gentlemen to take us for a ride and show us the rest of the golf course that overlooks the other side of the island. Such a pretty view.  We learned so much about the infrastructure of building a resort where there is very little water and how they take the ocean water to desalinize nearly all of the resorts water and how much they capture back to clean and put back into the ocean.






 
Time to go home.
I snapped this picture right before I left my phone on this van.
As we went through customs I quickly realized I was without it.
Again, Spanish isn't my strong suit, but I DID remember the lady's name who drove us and since it's such a small town they knew her too and called her.
She brought it back to me.
I felt silly.




 This little gal finally pulled out a tooth she was talking to us non-stop about.
We bribed her to pull it out for $20.
Money well spent.

Just a few days after being home, and my head still stuck in one of the books I had read, I had to make bread like the main character.
I had to.
So I made my first ever Challah bread.
It was yummmmmmmy.



 The next day I made Brioche buns.
And then I had to stop.
Because, well....pants.
 And because we were on a book-food kick, Macy and I decided to try out an Indian Carrot pudding from a recipe from one of the books she and I both read in Mexico.


 This was AMAZING.
UHHHHH-MAY-ZIIIIIING.



Macy really wanted to have an outing with her friends to celebrate her birthday, so we ventured to Clovis, Tulare and Visalia to celebrate.

Donuts at Liv's Donuts in Clovis.






Ice Age movie in Tulare.


Lunch at Quesadilla Gorilla in Visalia.


Later that night, Steve and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary with FOOD.
What better for a food-lover than a FOOD EXPO.
It was fun.




We celebrated the end of the Sierra Baseball Travel Ball Season with a party.

Zach was awarded Most Improved Player.

Steve and I decided to sneak away for a jam-packed weekend in LA to celebrate our anniversary.
Our first stop was a Studio Tour at the WB.











 The sound stage for Fuller House!





 Lunch at my new favorite....Tender Greens.


Then, off to a Dodger Game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  In honor of the Diamondbacks, I had a Sonoran hotdog. It was, eh.



We stayed in Anaheim and Steve found this super fun coffee shop called The Ink and Bean.



 Next, we headed to the Angels Game.
This is a great stadium.
Very family friendly.

 
They had cool swag gifts.
Not a great pic.
Oh well.

For the remaining days of July, we spent some "down days" reading and catching up on house projects.