15 December 2008

Seasons Greetings!

Since it's too late for a Christmas card, we just decided to post it on the blog. We wish everyone a happy holiday season. Hope you like our picture of Lucy...it took 33 takes.

07 December 2008

Flea Find

Today, at the flea market in Alameda we found an old fire extinguisher. We've seen a few and this one was in the best condition and the lowest price, so we had to get it. 

06 December 2008

"Winter" Events

Thursday night was the annual holiday light parade in Lodi. Janelle and I helped put together General Mills' float. The parade was made up of over 80 floats made by businesses and local organizations. There was an estimated 50,000 people along the parade route.

Tonight I did something that I never thought possible.... played golf, at night, in December. I went to the local driving range at 6:00 and hit a bucket of balls, chipped and putted. It was 46* which may explain why I was the only person on the range. I plan on going to the driving range at least once a week over the winter. Matt, Andy, Jones, Fors, watch out next year!

01 December 2008

Heath Ceramics

Saturday, Janelle and I drove to Sausalito (just north of the Golden Gate Bridge) to Heath Ceramics. They offer a tour of their facilities every weekend. It was a great tour that walked us from making the clay through firing.

This is a picture of the pitcher we bought. They had a lot of interesting pieces as well as custom tile.

One of Heath's kilns. Dad...just think how many Rendezvous mugs you could fit in there!

After the tour we went across the Golden Gate Bridge to the beach in San Francisco. It was a beautiful day, upper 60's, sunny and huge waves!

27 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We are thankful for all of our friends, family and our 65º weather today. We can't wait to see you all over Christmas.

We have a couple of updates. After we got back from Minnesota, everything in California started turning green and our oranges started turning orange.

Last weekend we were bored and decided to built these shelves for the TV and its accessories. The TV used to sit up on the fireplace, but we wanted to change it so we wouldn't have to crank our necks to watch.

24 November 2008

A la cima del Diablo!

After hearing about Mount Diablo, we decided that we should check it out last Saturday. Mt Diablo is east of the bay and we can see it from our apartment in Elk Grove. Apparently, on clear days, you can see the most surface area of the earth second to Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.

This is from the top looking west to Downtown San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.

A view of Carquinez Straight and Suisun Bay to the north. They must be mining something here also. I wish we could have seen Sacramento, but it was foggy in the morning, and it hadn't fully cleared.

Here were two climbers on a rock east of us. On this side, we could see the snow caps in Yosemite that are about 130 miles away.

We also saw a hang glider. Mount Diablo is a great place for them to take off.

21 November 2008


I am so excited to announce that I finally got a job! I will be starting at Wolfe Design & Marketing after the new year. I can't wait to start. Everyone that I met was really nice and I felt so comfortable there. And the office is in one of the cutest neighborhoods in Sacramento...it reminds me of SW Minneapolis.

17 November 2008

M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A, Minnesota, Minnesota, Yeeeeaaah, Home

Janelle and I made it safely home to sunny California yesterday afternoon. We had a great time visiting with friends and family! It felt like we had never left! Instead of recapping everything we did while in MN, here is a laundry list of fun stuff.

Thanksgiving:  Like always, very tasty! Thanks Grandma

Hanging out with Friends:  Thanks everyone for coming. It was great talking with everyone. We'll have to do this again in December!

The Food: Davanni's, Jake's Pizza, Taco Johns, Lakeside

Chloe:  You are big!  Lucy can't wait to see you at Christmas!

Weather: Snow, rain, sun, freezing rain...and that was only the first day!

Cards:  Sue continues her push rummy dominance, wins 2 of 3 games played.

Grandpa and Mary's new House:  Thanks Mary for hosting a fun party! It was great to see your new place.

When we returned to Elk Grove we went straight for Franklin Pet Ranch to pick up Lucy. We were all very excited to see each other! Lucy loves the gifts we brought from MN (new water and food dishes and a sock monkey toy).

Thanks again to everyone that provided food, shelter and great conversation while Janelle and I where visiting. We are looking forward to coming back in December, this time with Lucy.

07 November 2008

Eye from the Sky

Well it was an early morning on Thursday. Josh and I had to get up at 2am to make it to the airport in time for our 6am flight. 

At the gate...5am. I had the pleasure of eating a dry blueberry scone and Diet Coke for breakfast.

This is Lake Tahoe from the plane. It only took a half an hour to get here from SF.

The Rockies before landing at Denver. We stopped for a couple hours and to change planes. I wanted to blog this at the airport on the way, but the internet was acting up, and wouldn't let me post.

Anyway...we're finally back in MN and it feels great! 

27 October 2008

The Gallery

I just set up a link to the right for our gallery on Flickr. You can check out our pictures that didn't make the blog and others. I think you can download them also if you feel so inclined.

Lucy, wanna see the ocean?

We can't sit still on the weekends. Yesterday on a whim at 12:30, we decided to go to Bodega Bay (on the coast, west of Santa Rosa/Petaluma). I always ask people that I meet for suggestions on places to check out. This was the suggestion of the sales rep at the VW dealership. She said this is where they filmed the movie The Birds

So we got there and it's a pretty cute little town, not very touristy, with a bunch of little houses, a marina, and little cafes to get seafood practically right off the boat. We were disappointed that we drove all the way over there until we went out to Bodega Head. Here's where the action was...we saw the biggest waves coming in and splashing over the huge rocks. 

Apparently, Bodega Head is one of the best places to watch whales migrate from late November through January (that's what I heard another woman say). I think we might drive over to catch that before Christmas.

18 October 2008

Home Sweet Home

Today I went to drop in hockey in Stockton.  Normally there is a group of guys that show up, but today it was just two of us.  It felt great to put my equipment on and skate.  I plan to play every Saturday from now on...hopefully there will be a better turnout next time. 

12 October 2008

Apple Hill

Saturday Josh and I took a ride into the foothills to get some apples. We stopped at this great orchard, High Hill Ranch, that had tons of produce, cider, pony rides, fudge and a fish pond. There were so many people visiting, they set up parking in the orchard between the trees.

So with our purchase at the farm, I made my first ever pie and Josh made applesauce.

06 October 2008

Art and Rain

Sunday, Josh and I went to the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. I have been wanting to since we got here and on Sunday's they don't charge admission, so it was the perfect time to go. The current exhibition is American Pop Art and they had some Andy Warhol pieces which I was excited to see.

The mansion was beautiful. It was a donation in 1880s along with the collection art to the city of Sacramento.

We also have an update on the weather. We FINALLY got our first rain (since we moved here!) on Friday/Saturday. Not much, but it was kind of refreshing having overcast skies. Other than that big news, it's starting to get really nice. The highs have been between 75-80 and at night it gets really cool and crisp.

25 September 2008

Yay Lucy!

Today after noon I am heading over to Franklin Ranch to pick up Lucy. She did great during surgery and was awake and well yesterday at 4:15.

23 September 2008

Think good thoughts...

After going on walks with Lucy where she would have to go to the bathroom every 20 yards, we decided to get her checked out. Turns out she has 2 stones in her bladder. One pea size, and one a little larger oval. The doctor said the best way to solve everything is surgery, so we have agreed and Lucy is going in tomorrow. We just wanted to let everyone know, so you can all think good thoughts for her tomorrow. Thanks.

18 September 2008

Visitors Round Two

On Thursday, Josh and I welcomed our second set of guests. Steve, Deb and Christine flew into SFO on the evening flight and we picked them up. We got some pizza in town and headed out toward the bridge. On our way there was one of the best moments of the trip. We took Divisadero Street down towards 101 and when we got to the top of the hill, we saw a car go down the other side and it looked like in dropped off the side of the earth (because it was so steep). As we drove over the crest, Christine was screaming in the back seat.

Friday, we went to the Lodi Grape Festival. It was pretty much just like a county fair, but in one of the buildings they had pictures made out of different colored grapes. The theme was movies and different groups submitted their image for judging.

Saturday, we made the drive over to Muir Woods. We took a long hike and then took a break on this large tree.

After Muir Woods, we went up to Stinson Beach. The water was freezing, but we had to get in. As the waves crashed against our legs, the force of the water would wash out the sand around our feet. The waves were getting bigger as the tide was starting to come in. We also saw a bunch of dead jellyfish washed up on the beach.

Sunday we made the shorter drive to Napa to try and find a place to stomp grapes. We started here at St. Supery. We walked down some of the rows to sample the grapes.

Tuesday we stopped at the Jelly Belly factory (I know you're probably pretty jealous Evan!) and took a tour. Then we headed towards San Fran for the rest of the day.

We got tickets for the public transportation system which includes the trollies, so we hopped on the first one we could and rode up to Lombard Street and over to Chinatown where we got off and walked through to Union Square. The trollies are so old and beautiful and the drivers are so friendly. We took the trolly back to the station where we started at and drove up to Alamo Square to visit the Ladies. Christine and I tried the run up the hill like on the Full House intro (above), but I don't think that's what they looked like on TV.

We dropped them off at the airport--after stopping to eat at our new favorite airport waiting place BJ's--just in time to get home and get ready for bed.

09 September 2008

Click click...click click click

is the sound of my new typewriter! Sunday we decided to head down to the flea market again to see if we could find some more great finds...and we did! I have been wanting a typewriter for a while now and when Josh spotted this one, I had to ask how much. And would you believe, the woman said $35! SOLD! And it even still works.

Here it is looking cute on my desk. It is the perfect size and color.

So after we finished up at the flea market, we took a trip over the bay bridge to SF and stopped at Room & Board, and found some gelato in a cute neighborhood (California & Fillmore). Then we took the Golden Gate north on our way home. We stopped at the lookout point right on the north side. In the picture from left to right are Treasure Island, Bay Bridge, North Beach/Coit Tower, and Downtown SF.

07 September 2008

DQ...I've missed you.

Normally going to Dairy Queen would not be an experience worth blogging about, but we live in California now, the land were Jamba Juice reigns.

I found it funny that they sold "blizzards" in a location where 65º is considered chilly.
We had to drive 30 minutes to get to our closest Dairy Queen (Janelle and I were used to being within walking/biking distance in MN)!  The $12 dollars I sent on gas to buy my $3 Cherry Dipcone Shake was well worth it!  

I never new how blessed we were in MN to have so many DQ's 

01 September 2008

We're gonna win Twins, we're gonna score!

Sunday we were really excited to go to the Twins game in Oakland and see a game outside. We went with a couple of our friends and tried to tailgate before the game, but we got there at noon and the game started at 1 so we just had a couple drinks and threw around a football. When we found our section, we saw another group of Twins fans, so we sat behind them (strength in numbers). It was a great game...we won 12-4 and we only got heckled a little.

26 August 2008

Minnesota twins take swings in California

What trip wouldn't be complete without towing your golf bag stuffed with a week's worth of clothes through airport security?  Matt and I where able to play two rounds in the eight days he was here.  Round one was played at the Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton, CA.  Matt over came a slow start to beat me by 8 (77 - 85).  The match was a lot closer before I hit two of the most cliche golf shots (the bladed bunker shot into the water hazard) on the last holes.

The second round was staged at Dark Horse Golf Club in Auburn, CA (course tour).  This course was amazing! Rated the 7th best public course in CA.  It played incredibly tough with long grass, bunkers and wildlife everywhere.  We saw (almost close enough to pet); deer, coyotes, turkeys, lizards and turkey vultures.

Matt tees off on the 17th hole. Nice balanced finish!

Hard to say what was more impressive; the picture or the swing

Matt's 5 iron second shot into the par 5 18th hole, rolls ten feet from the hole.

I was unable to close the 8 stroke gap and Matt wins the two round outing. 
Matt 77,82 159
Josh 85, 88 173

I think it's safe to say that we had a great time.  Who would have thought we would be playing golf in CA?  I look forward to a few more rounds before Janelle and I leave...Pebble Beach?

Welcome to California

We welcomed our first guests, Brie and Matt, on the 15th. Saturday we went up to Tahoe and had some lunch. We asked the waiter where some cool places were and he suggested this cove. Zephyr Cove was beautiful. There were tons of people out enjoying the lake and the shoreline had these huge rocks to climb on.

During the week, we took it easy while Josh was at work. We just read, watched TV and went to the pool.

After calling into Friday Night Party we realized we only had one more day, so we went out to Napa Valley to check out the wineries. We just stopped at one, Sterling, near Calistoga. They had a gondola to ride up to the building. Here we were able to sample 5 wines and do our own self-guided tour.

Before heading over to Santa Rosa we had to stop at Tubbs Lane. It was worth the extra five miles to take tons of pictures.

Before dropping Matt and Brie off at the airport, we tried to watch the sunset at the beach, but the fog had rolled in. It was still fun...this beach is on an old military base. It's very secluded because you have to drive through a one-way tunnel to get out there. It was kind of creepy and we felt like we were in a scary movie!

We had a great week and can't wait to host again.

10 August 2008

Hi Sierra!

Saturday morning Janelle and I decided (on a whim) to drive to Lake Tahoe. We drove a scenic 300 mile loop of two lane highways through the High Sierra. Pull out your atlas and follow our trip...

The first overlook of the day! (highway 88: 3,000 - 4,000 ft above sea level, For reference...Sacramento is 25 ft)

Mountain lake on highway 88, the air is cool and smells like wood chips (4,000 - 5,000 ft)

I finally got to use my lay back move learned at REI with Matt & Andy.

This was kinda dangerous, but a great display of balance. The scenery has now changed from lush forests to a rocky landscape. (still on 88 but getting closer to Tahoe, 6,000 - 7,000 ft)

8,000 ft above sea level!

Kit Carson, CA (highway 88, 8,000 ft)

I have lost count of what scenic overlook this is, we were stopping almost every mile on the 100 mile trip to Tahoe. Off in the distance a waterfall.

We made it to Tahoe! The lake is beautiful and incredibly blue.

How are we going to get over/around this? (highway 50 on the way back to Sacramento)

9 hours later we made it back to Sacramento and down to sea level. Janelle and I had a day of amazing views and dozens of eardrum pops.