We have 2 wonderful, inspiring patriarchs in our lives, my dad Richard Mudrow and Mike's dad Emile Holeman. This blog is devoted to our travels and celebrations with them. HAPPY TRAILS!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Good bye California, hello Oregon

For our last dinner in San Marcos - fish/shrimp/scallop tacos!

Isaac cut his hand when a glass broke in the sink - ew.
After dinner we sat and talked and talked about family adventures and favorite books we shared when the kids were growing up. Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl was a universal favorite so we ordered used copies online to be sent to each of the grandpas.

Here are 2 random photos I wanted to include. Mariah and Greg have lots of cool artwork in their home, some of which you've seen in the backgrounds of other photos. The set of paintings below (maybe 8 feet across?) was created by Mariah for the large wall above the kitchen counter; the canvases are different depths and each would be an interesting stand alone painting. I'm happy that despite a busy work schedule she still has time to create.
This morning we packed up and then relaxed on the back patio before heading to the airport. Seems to me we often have interesting animal sightings at the end of a vacation; here's a beautiful beetle that landed on the outdoor carpet at our feet.
Mariah says goodbye to the grandpas at the airport.
Last view of Southern California...
...and 1st view of Portland with the Columbia River and Mt. Adams in the background.
At PDX I saw Mike and Emile off on a shuttle to our car at the Embassy Suites and my dad onto a Hut shuttle heading toward home before hopping aboard my shuttle to the vehicle Isaac left at the Park n Fly before his flight - last details falling into place.

As I type, Carlos is boarding his last flight - San Francisco to PDX. Isaac will stay in San Marcos for another week before heading to Nairobi, Kenya.

This vacation was pretty much perfect - great company, great weather, comfortable digs, terrific food, and just the right balance of trips afield and time to relax and converse with best beloveds. I am deeply grateful to Mariah and Greg for hosting us and to our dads and our sons for joining us. HAPPY TRAILS!

Monday, August 15, 2011

San Diego Zoo!

I haven't been to the San Diego Zoo for more than 50 years so my memories are antiques. We had a wonderful visit today and I've posted some of my favorite photos.

The koalas were very cute and sleepy; they'd wake up and look around all squinty-eyed, then snuggle back to sleep.
The giant pandas are a big draw to this zoo, impressive animals.
Isaac tried out the Footsie Wootsie foot "massage" station.

Apparently the mountain lion dislikes wheelchairs - s/he charged over and was all hisses and bent back ears.
The polar bear swam up to the window which protected us from his shaking.
A round trip gondola ride over the zoo and back was a highlight; the basket (or car - not sure what to call it) behind us (left) carried Mike, Isaac, and Emile.
Here's a bird's eye view of a monkey cage from the gondola.
There is a cool fossil/tar bed display.
Yes, there really used to be eagles that big.
The zoo is also certified as a botanic garden; it has an internationally prominent collection with more than 4,500 species of plants and much of the green food for the zoo's animals is grown and harvested on site.

This baby giraffe was born March 22nd.
The gray bird with long legs is a baby flamingo, not yet pink.

Wow - really big tortoises!

All tuckered out. :-) Happy trails!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Happy weekend

We've had a relaxing, fun weekend here in San Marcos. Saturday morning Carlos (just exiting the plane) arrived at the small airport in Carlsbad, about 15 minutes from Mariah and Greg's house. He left The Dalles at 2:30am and arrived just after 10am.
The weather has been wonderful every day - in the 70's with a slight breeze, comfortable inside and out. We spent most of the day outside playing Yahtzee (I had double yahtzees 2 games in a row!) and enjoying their beautiful garden; a resident hummingbird and some more flowers, large and small, are pictured below.

Clues to the sizes

Mariah and Carlos made salsa verde (green sauce) from grilled tomatillos from Mariah's vegetable garden...
...and we barbecued burgers for dinner.
We watched "The Kings Speech" (recommended!) and then listened to a recording of the original speech by George VI online - almost indiscernible from Colin Firth's rendition in the movie. Mariah is pictured below having a conversation with Pearl.
Sunday morning we headed to the beach in Carlsbad, south of Oceanside, 15-20 minutes from the house. Here's Carlos with the grandpas.
Mike takes a turn with Greg's kite, aided by Mariah.
Greg and Carlos play frisbee.
The seagulls and I watched the surfers.
Pelicans fly overhead.
Proof I was there (not sure what the small tracks are - too small for cat or dog).
Rock sculpture by Carlos
We enjoyed fish and chips at a beachside restaurant...
...and picked Isaac up at the airport before heading home for more Yahtzee and the finals of the PGA Championship on tv.
Greg is leaving on a business trip early tomorrow so this is the only night we'll all be together - say "cheese"!
It was meat fiesta night; here are Greg and Carlos manning the grill.
Ready, begin!! :-) Happy trails!

Friday, August 12, 2011

USS Midway & personal pizzas

Yesterday we enjoyed the Maritime Museum but ran out of gas before we checked out the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier. We decided to head back today to take care of that and were glad we did - it is a massive, impressive boat and made for an interesting day.

The USS Midway was commissioned at the end of WWII in 1945 and was active through 1991 when it served as the Flagship of Persian Gulf air operations in Operation Desert Storm and rescued 1,800 Americans feeling the Mt. Pinatubo volcanic eruption in the Phillipines. It opened as the USS Midway Museum in San Diego in 2004 and last year surpassed 5 million visitors. It's 1001 feet long, 258 feet wide, and weights 69,000 tons - the 1st ship too large for the Panama Canal.

There are 5 main levels with additional levels accessed by stairs and ladders. We started on the Flight Deck where we walked around dozens of planes from different eras. In the foreground of the photo below is a chart that shows the letter association for each flag; we were able to decipher the message of the flags flying on the bridge in the background: "Midway, home of the brave".

Some of the planes have wings that fold for storage.

Emile and Mike requested this photo to show a little scale; where they're standing was a narrow section near the bow which is less than half the total width of the boat.
I made some friends along the way. ;-)
You could spend days perusing the historical displays and exploring the living and working areas of the boat, some with life-size dioramas.

Dinner was wonderful (again): personal pizzas. Here's Mike on the back patio firing up the barbecue for the chicken.
Topping choices included fresh herbs from Mariah's garden [not pictured: pepperoni, salami, and chicken].
We each filled out an order form and Mariah made the pizzas - on panini bread - to order.
Here's Emile's.

The salad awaiting company at the table.
Dig in!
Another day well spent. :-) Happy trails!