Afternoon at Wild Island

The last week of summer vacation… The reality hit hard this morning, and I decided we needed to Do Something Fun today. I called Jp and we settled on getting out of work early to take the kids to Wild Island, a water park just east of Reno. The park was only open from 3:30-7, and there were hardly any people -it was in the high 80s, no lines- perfect conditions. The last time I took the kids there, 2Read more

a lazy sunday

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. – John LubbockRead more

running with ghosts and swimming with seals

After having the worst day of my adult life yesterday, and waking up to more complications this morning, I found myself repeating expletives in my head as I drove my son to his 3 hour soccer camp.  After I got the kids checked in, I checked out, and hit the back road to Martis Valley. I forgot how fast I can run when fueled by anger. I climbed the trail up towards The Strand (Glenshire), crested the top, and then turned back towards Waddle Ranch instead. TheRead more

July 4th weekend

July 4th weekend, we went camping on Donner Summit. JP’s sister and her boyfriend own 300+ acres on the Yuba River, so we headed up there for a couple days. It was nice to go “on vacation” only 25 minutes from home. The Yuba River was perfect for fishing, swimming, and doing long “water hikes”. Stephen and Avian each found real arrowheads while hiking in the granite. Gerard taught the kids how to drive a tractor.     We had a blastRead more

Thanksgiving in Oregon

Thanksgiving 2013, the kids and I drove up to Prineville, Oregon, to visit my brother Marcel, sister-in-law Anne, and nieces Louisiane and Lily Rose. We spent about 5 days with them, and although Stephen and Avian were out of school, they had a LOT of independent study work to do (which turns out to NOT be independent work at all). The girls were very into ballet and teaching each other moves from the Nutcracker. Stephen and Avian were also veryRead more

Milwaukee to Truckee on Amtrak – the return trip

After 8 wonderful days with family in Michigan, Stephen, Avian and I headed to Milwaukee with my mom and Aunt Margaret to begin our 48 hour journey back to California. Aunt Margaret provided entertainment on the 4-hour drive to our hotel, and brilliantly taught AB and SB how to crochet chains out of yarn (hours and hours of fun for the train). We stayed in downtown Milwaukee and had a nice evening walking around by the river.   The nextRead more

Truckee to Chicago via California Zephyr

As a child, my family always traveled on Amtrak for our big trips. I have countless fond memories from these vacations, and many of the most vivid were from the experiences of train travel itself. Here are a couple pictures I drew as a kid during these trips:  This time, I decided to take my 7 year old twins to Michigan on Amtrak.   Our town of Truckee is right on the route for the California Zephyr, which runs from Chicago toRead more