Friday, July 27, 2012

In Heaven There is No Beer

In Heaven there is no beer
That’s why we drink it here
And when we’re gone from here
All our friends will be drinking all our beer!

Shiner Beer

I grew up living about an hour away from K. Spoetzl Brewery, the home of Shiner Beer, but I had never visited the brewery before.

Until yesterday that is!


A FREE tour with FREE beer?  Why didn’t I make a trip to Shiner sooner?

I loved hearing the history of the brewery and seeing some of the areas where they make and bottle the beer.


I thought of driving to Brenham’s Blue Bell Creamery after the brewery tour, but then I thought better of it.  Beer and Blue Bell aren’t all that appetizing together!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Texas State Aquarium

Our first weekend in Texas took us down to Corpus Christi to the Texas State Aquarium.  I last visited this aquarium back in high school, and my how the place has changed. 

The inside of the aquarium houses tanks of fish, turtles, sharks and coral from the Gulf of Mexico.
There is also a fun Amazon exhibit that my kids really enjoyed (once Trenton got over being cranky about being hungry – that’s what happens when you decide not to eat lunch!).  They love a good game of “who can find the snake?”!

We wandered outside to see an alligator, birds, otters, dolphins, and to check out the touch tanks.


The boardwalk gave us an up close view of a barge being pushed into the port by a tugboat.  The USS Lexington was also moored to our left.  There are various shows throughout the day, and we watched a bit of the dolphin show.  The stadium seats were packed, so we opted for the air conditioned underwater viewing area.

Once the kids got antsy, we headed over the biggest hit of the day – the splash pad!


Uncle Bradley hung out with Trenton and even got a little wet himself!


Charlotte was a little iffy about playing the fountains.  She stayed close to me watching everything for about 20 minutes before she finally decided to get wet.  But once she did, she had fun!


I loved the new updates to the aquarium.  It was a great place for the whole family!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Leaving on a Jet Plane

We ditched the Monterey Bay cold foggy weather and are back in Texas soaking up the sun (and the humidity – hello frizzy hair!) for the week.

Jarrod had to stay back for class, but the kids and I boarded a plane in San Jose late last week and headed west.

We were up at 4:15AM and at the airport by 5:15 to catch our crack of dawn flight.  But that didn’t keep us from being excited about our trip!
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We had a slight delay at the gate, but we were soon on board and ready for take-off.

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This was the first time that I used the CARES system.  I didn’t have a lug carseats on board, and I felt safer with the kids in these than in just lap belts.  Plus, the kids weren’t able to wiggle around!

Charlotte sometimes gets an unhappy stomach when travelling, and our last flight to Texas was not pretty.  Thankfully she didn’t get sick on this flight.  She took a good catnap and then drew me some pictures with her color wonder markers.

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You would think that waking up at 4:15 would make a kid tired, but Trenton was a busy man on the flight.  Between playing with toys and watching movies on the iPad, he was asking me if we were back in Texas every 10 minutes.

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I am so glad that I had an easy flight with the kids (minus trying to fit three people in the airplane lavatory!), and I’m hoping for another easy flight back to California next week!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I Wish I Were an Oscar Mayer Weiner

Look what we found last weekend!

Someone wasn’t too sure about the big hot dog truck and didn’t want to get close enough to take a picture!

We were on our way to a children’s event at the local mall/shopping center, and we noticed the Weinermobile in the Commissary parking lot as we drove by.  Of course we had to turn around to go check it out!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

If You Give a Kid a Camera…

You never know what you’re gonna get!

A trip to the vet through the eyes of a 3 year old with Mommy’s iPhone.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sugar & Spice

And everything nice?

I’m pretty sure that whoever wrote that didn’t have a little girl in the middle of her terrible twos!

The terrible twos version goes more like this..

A whole lot of spice
And a little bit of nice
That’s what two year old girls are made of.

At least that’s the way it is in our house right now.

Little Miss Charlotte can go from this


to this


in 3.457 milliseconds.


I can deal with crying, but the past week Charlotte has started with this shrill deafening screaming.  And throwing herself on the floor.  All out tantrums.

Nothing that I’ve done has worked.  If anyone has any tips, my ears are open! 

I’m hoping that this onset of crazy tantrums is being caused by teething.  Charlotte hasn’t gotten her last set of molars yet, and I’m wondering if that’s part of why she’s so mad.

I mean this could be a clue, right?

Foot Eating

At least I’m hoping that it’s teeth and that these screaming bouts aren’t the new norm.

Especially since I’m taking this tantrum throwing diva on an airplane along with her brother in less than two weeks – without the Hubster.

And I’m praying that we aren’t like the family that got kicked off JetBlue.

I’ll let you know how it goes…


Monday, July 9, 2012

Scottish Games

We went to Monterey’s 45th Annual Scottish Games and Celtic Festival this weekend. 

I’m pretty sure my little man could have shown those boys on The Bachelorette a thing or two about some of the games.

Caber Toss

Stone Put

Weight Over the Bar

And who needs a rose?  My little guy got a blue ribbon!

Think Trenton’s head looks bad?  You should see the other guy (a door frame)!

The only thing Mr. T was missing was the kilt!


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Happy Independence Day {A Little Late}

I’ve been taking care of a sick kiddo, so this is a little late.  Better late than never, I guess!

We had a wonderful 4th of July.  We started off the morning in downtown Monterey for the 4th of July parade.

It was a great small-town parade!  Bands, military units, veterans, community organizations, and of course, rescue vehicles.

A fire truck loaded up with a bulldozer carrying Smokey the Bear – definitely the hit of the parade with my kids!

I want to do this when I’m the same age as these ladies!

We loved watching the parade!  There was something for everyone!


After the parade, we headed back home and grilled out with some friends for lunch. 

I tried a couple of cute treats that I found on Pinterest – Rice Krispie Treat Sparklers and Patriotic Cookie Bark. (Clicking on the pictures below will take you to the respective Pinterest links.)


We had a fun time with good food and great friends.  So much fun that I didn’t even take my camera out.  But I guess that’s a sign of a good time!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Garrapata State Park & Angels

We met our friends, Jim and Amanda, at Garrapata State Park last weekend for a hike.

The kids were with us, so the 7 mile loop that included A LOT of steep climbs and descents was out of the question.  Instead, we hiked the Soberanes Canyon trail (this part is normally the end of the loop trail).  We went in about 1 3/4 miles and then came back out the same way we came in – making this our longest hike to date with the kids.


The trail was very well-maintained and the scenery was beautiful.

An old barn near the beginning of the trailhead provided the perfect backdrop to snap a quick shot of this little man.


The trail quickly made its way into the canyon.  We had the ocean behind us, and the Santa Lucia mountains in front of us.


Vegetation on Soberanes Canyon trail varied widely.  The beginning of the trail was strewn with cacti, the middle of the trail had brush and wildflowers, and then we walked through a beautiful redwood forest.


Trenton hitched a ride on the Piggyback Rider for maybe 25 yards, and then decided to walk on his own.  There were far too many fun stream crossings and he wanted to be the hike leader. 

Charlotte rode in her backpack most of the way, but got down and did some of her own hiking too.


The kids loved taking a break at the stream crossing on our way back out of the redwood forest.  They didn’t seem to be bothered by the cold stream water.


There was a huge redwood trunk laying across the stream about four feet off the ground.  Trenton wanted to go out and sit on it, so I took him partway across to check it out.


Of course once Trenton went out on the log, Charlotte wanted to check it out too.  I led Trenton back to the bank, grabbed Charlotte, and started leading her out on the log.


Charlotte and I were almost to the middle of the log when I heard some shuffling behind me.  I looked back to see Trenton sitting on the log trying to scoot out to me and Charlotte.  And in a split second, he was losing his balance falling backwards off the log.  None of the adults were close enough to catch him.  He caught my eye as he was falling, and he looked so scared.  It was like he was falling in slow motion, but there was nothing I could do to help him.  Talk about a horrible feeling!  Trenton fell onto the bank on his back with his head landing only a couple of inches away from a protruding rock.   I scurried down the log with Charlotte, handed her over to our friends, and went to check on Trenton who was being comforted by Jarrod.  The fall hadn’t even knocked the wind out of him.  He told us that he wasn’t hurt and that the fall just scared him.  He and everyone else!  I was so thankful that Trenton wasn’t hurt, but boy did I feel like a horrible mom.

It didn’t take long for everyone to calm down, and we were back on the trail headed to our cars.  Trenton and I took the lead.  Jim found a lizard for the kids to look at.  After it scampered away, we were on the lookout for more.  Trenton and I came around a corner and I saw this in the trail.


A Northern Pacific Rattlesnake.  Not the kind of lizard we were hoping to find!  I am surprised I didn’t have a heart attack!  How were we going to get back to our car with a rattlesnake blocking our way down the trail? 

Jim broke a big branch off of some brush while the rest of us backed up.  Jim poked at the snake until it retreated far enough into the brush for us to make our way by.  The snake wasn’t really big, maybe two feet long, but boy could it rattle those rattles! 

We made it safely down the trail and back to our cars with no more issues.  I’m pretty sure we had angels watching over us on our hike.  It was a wonder that no one got hurt.  We made sure that our prayers that night included thanking God for keeping us safe.  Trenton thanked God for keeping him safe when he took his tumble, from the snake, and from the “smoking volcano that didn’t have hot lava yet.”

(The fog started rolling in as we were finishing up our hike.)