18 August 2014

Our Distinguished Visitor

Glad Merrica made the trip all the way from Tanzania!
Looking for Clams
I think nearly all of this has already shown up on Facebook, but here are a few photos from Merrica's visit:

Mariners game:

Pretty serious stuff.

Sunny cheap seats, but not a bad view:

Day at the beach:

Pretty tiring when all's said and done:

Took the ferry to Vashon Island:
on the Vashon Island Ferry
And the photo up top documents a little of our day there.

Wouldn't be a visit from Merrica if there wasn't food involved:


So much more was eaten, but it looks like that's it for photos...

Good visit all told. Come again soon!

And while Merrica moves on to Montana and the rest of her vacation, we're trying to make the most of these last few weeks of summer, with a little help from our new ride:
Riding at Lincoln Park

New Bike Seat!

Bike Seat!

Bonus flip flop shot:
Flip Flops!
Okay, summer won't last forever so I'd better go enjoy it!

11 August 2014

Our Indiana Family Vacation

Linton Mini Golf
Of course by the time Franklin warmed up to the game, his cousins were on the 17th hole... But trust me, he loved it.

Main event was the 90th birthday of Franklin's great-grandpa Frank:

Thanks to John Armantrout for these photos from the party by the way!

Plus one classic Franklin image:

And then there's the other side of Franklin, pictured here bonding with a distant relation, Matthew, who clearly knows the way to our man's heart:
Pitching to Matthew

After things quieted down a bit we played the aforementioned mini golf:
Didn't actually use this club—insisted on having one like the bigger kids of course :)

Also had a nice day trip to the charming and historic Spring Mill State Park. Didn't get any photos, alas, but we did take home some fresh stone-ground corn meal, so now we all know what the "mush" in Good Night Moon tastes like. (Answer: not bad, if served with maple syrup.)

Great to see Franklin bond with his cousins:
Amelia, Franklin, Braxton

And of course with Papa's tractor.
Tractor 2
He preferred the littler one: guess it seemed like a better fit for him?

Hope to see everyone again soon!

26 July 2014

CA 14 Pt 2:

Franklin & Emily at Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park
Glad we finally got to see Yosemite National Park! And on it's 150th birthday no less!

Had a nice stay at the Wawona Hotel (good find, Emily!).

Bit of a drive over from Oakland, though at least we had a nice break in Modesto with Dave and Diana. By the time we were about an hour from the hotel, though, Franklin started saying things like "That's a hike." And then "There's a spot! We can park there!" So, yeah, he was definitely ready to get out of the car...

Was he actually ready to hike? Well, yes and no:

We all cheered up considerably the next morning, though, when we came out of the tunnel and saw this:
Family at Yosemite
At the aptly named Tunnel View. (Also pictured up top.) Beautiful.

Then it was on to Yosemite Valley:
Lower Yosemite Falls
Did the pleasant little Lower Yosemite Fall Trail. Not bad to look at either.

Lower Yosemite Falls 2

It's a big, busy valley, but luckily it has its own bus system, so we hopped on a shuttle and started up the Vernal Fall Trail:
Hats Off!

Not much more than a mile, but here's our GPS record if you're curious: http://runkeeper.com/user/12439866/activity/397595266.

Of course since it was steep and there was a scary drop-off on one side, Franklin wanted to hike this one. We let him do about twenty yards—the twenty yards where there's a wall on the side:
Hiking to Vernal Fall 3
And then we promptly stowed him in our fancy new, lightweight, easy-to-fold (yeah I like it, so what?) BobaAir carrier.


Vernal Fall 3

For better or worse, that didn't stop him from taking over the photography for a few minutes:
Franklin Taking Pictures

Franklin Photography 3
A budding talent? Such evocative images...

Next morning, we hopped back on a shuttle bus to go and see the big trees:
Yosemite Valley Shuttle

Hiking Mariposa Grove
The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. When Emily and I did our trip to the redwoods a few summers ago, we saw the tall Coastal Redwoods. Cool to also see a few of these giants now too.

Did a bit more hiking this time:


Water break:
Water Break

And Franklin took a few more photos:
Mom's Foot

And then I took one:
Grizzly Selfie

And then it was his turn again:
Franklin's Turn Next

Luckily Emily had her phone back in time to see this deer walk by:
Deer 2

Love these big trees:
Big Tree

Big Tree, Small Pinecone

What really blows my mind is this bit from the Wikipedia description: "The seed cones are 4–7 centimetres (1.6–2.8 in) long... each cone has 30–50 spirally arranged scales, with several seeds on each scale, giving an average of 230 seeds per cone."

In other words, there are over 200 potential giant sequoias in Franklin's hand in that picture! Wild!

Oh, you can't see his hand? Try the full size version, or take a look at this close-up:
Big Tree, Small Pinecone Closeup

Well, that was our last full day. Did one more quick hike on the Bridal Veil Fall Trail, took one more look at Tunnel View, and ended the day with some delicious pizza on the way back to Oakland.

I think nearly all of them made the blog, but here's the link to all our photos just in case you want more: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjZWV5iB.

Cheers to a great vacation!
Yosemite National Park