Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Super bloom March 2019

With the extensive rains this winter there has been super bloom conditions in the hills around us. 

There have been pictures all over the internet of people visiting the Super bloom with news coverage extending to the other side of the country and photographers coming in from all over to take pictures. 

I was at the gym with my friend Mary Ann and when she told me of her plans to go and visit it I told her I would love to come too and we made a morning of it.

Some of the areas had been closed off and roads had been closed over the weekend because of the amount of people but we went in the middle of the week and went somewhat early and we were able to get in, though it was still pretty crowded when we were there. 

They even had porta potties, caution tape everywhere and trails to keep people out of the poppies so they will still be there in the future. 

The more we hiked the more views we enjoyed with poppies as far as you could see. 

The poppies were intermixed with these purple flowers as well. 

You can see the freeway in the distance...

We hiked up as far as we could go which was actually pretty tiring with other visitors. We saw a few photographers with their clients coming up to take pictures. 

One family we walked with had the mom wearing a dress and high heals walking the same trials we were!

It was interesting to see that often one side of the hill would have more poppies on it than the other side. I theorized that it had to do something with the sun or the way the wind blew the seeds but you could see a definite difference between one side of the hill vs. the other. 

Thanks for the invite Mary Ann!  Best morning ever. 

January 2019

While Ashley was still on Christmas break we decided to take a 2 day trip to San Diego to be able to hang out with the Oleson's. 

We are lucky to live in Southern California with mild winters where a stroll along the beach in January is nice and you only have to wear a sweatshirt. 

Our favorite time of day at the beach is the sunset. 

As we were walking we came across these rocks that were stacked up. It's amazing that they could be balanced this way and still be standing. 

This is the guy that stacked him. While we were there he did a demonstration of what he could do and it was pretty impressive. 

Dean, Virginia and Ashley.

We ate dinner together and then went back to the hotel and played games in the lobby.  One of the games we played was Catan which was a new one the boys wanted for Christmas. 

While we were in San Diego we decided to go to Mexico for a few hours before we headed back home. Ashley wanted to be home for the New Year's Eve dance so we didn't want to get caught in Mexico too long. Instead of bringing our cars we walked across the border so it would be quicker coming back. 

Crossing the border. Jeff is in the US and Ashley is in Mexico.

While we were there we went into this funky wax museum. There was quite a collection of people represented from leaders of countries, to actors and actresses, Mexican historical figures and even horror monsters. You never knew what you were going to find as you walked around the corner. 

Some of the likenesses were better than others. This was Michael Jackson, John Lennon and maybe Tom Cruise...some were hard to tell. 

The museum didn't feel like it was air conditioned and some of the figures looked a little melted and maybe were missing a hand, ha ha. 

We got invited to a couple of birthday parties this month including Charlotte Guyaux who turned 94 and Al Brown who was turning 80 something (I don't remember). Both were at restaurants and both were surprise parties. It was fun to meet up and celebrate them and visit with people young and old who loved them.  

I hope I can be as 1/2 as sharp mentally as Charlotte when I get older. 

Someone else had a birthday. Ashley turned 17 this month!

She wanted to celebrate having a party at our house, without parents. Well she ended up getting her wish because Jeff and I had his yearly kickoff awards night celebration and he was earning agent of the year. 

I helped get the party all set up and then we got back about 9:30 to be home for the rest of it so nothing got wild (they are all good kids so I wasn't worried about it) and we both got to have our evenings. 

Congratulations to Jeff for earning agent of the year...earning the most amount of everyone in the Inland Empire general office. 

He got to give a speech and walked away with multiple awards including this eagle to display in his office. 

Meanwhile Ashley was partying at the house for her birthday...

There was games and dancing and a group of friends to celebrate with her. I had stocked up on food but there was still a lot left at the end of the night. 

( Its always hard to plan for how much teenagers will eat or not eat. )

All in all it seemed like they had a fun night. 

In Janauary we also got to use our theater tickets to see Wicked. Jeff bought group tickets and invited whoever wanted to come and gave tickets to his secretaries for Christmas. 

We had people all over the theater who were with our group. We even had Joel and Virginia come up, Jeff's mom and more. 

The show did not disappoint. Wicked was great as always!

In January Ashley got to go to Mormal with friends. It ended up being on the same night as midwinter so she had to choose which one she wanted to go to and she ended up with Mormal since that's where all her friends were going to. 

Beautiful friends together.  I think that Ashley is blessed with good friends that are a support to her through these teenage years. 

While I was student teaching I taught a unit on astronomy which had be more informed and interested on it. I found out that there was going to be a lunar eclipse in January and it was a super blood moon as well (the moon was close and it was going to look extra red). 

We ended up catching some pretty good shots of it (actually Jeff did) with our SLR camera. 

It took a lot of finessing but he got a few good shots. This was something that a phone camera couldn't do!