Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Montara State Beach, CA

Montara State Beach, CA

Santa Clara, CA -  June seemed to be quite the month for Colorado visitors.  They just kept coming.

We started off with a visit from Kevin and Chica and their brand new daughter (about 3 months younger than Keira).  Kevin was in town to run/bike/swim the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon and had finagled a sweet pad right above the Buena Vista in Fisherman's Wharf.  We headed up to the city to catch the end of the race and hang out with the family.  Kevin did fantastic, the baby was super cute, and Chica even got to pass out on the couch for a bit.  So, it was a good day all around.

Next up, Jenny came jetting in for the WWDC2011 . Somewhere in between parties, she was able to catch a train down to Mountain View and meet us for lunch at Google. I'm not sure what impressed her more, the creative college like environment or the dinosaur poo with chunks of pink flamingo in it.

And our final CO visitors were Tanya, Glen and Keenan. Tanya and Keenan were in the middle of an epic road trip all over the west. Glen was in San Francisco for a few days for work.They all met up at Glen's cousin's place in the city.  We saw them Sunday the 12th, when they all came down the coast and met us in Pacifica, for a day at Montara State Beach.

Here are some of  the photos:

Keira, Suwei, Glen, Keenan, Tanya and Josh at Montara Beach.
Our attempt at Burying Keenan Alive, Montara State Beach, CA
Washing up in a very cold ocean.
It was Keira's first time to the beach.  She loved the sand, but was not too sure of the surf.

Our day out at Montara State Beach with Tanya, Glen and Keenan
And one final shot before we return to our pineapple under the sea.
That next week, Keenan and Tanya came down and stayed with us in Santa Clara.  We were able to do a little mountain biking up at Waterdog Lake and little hiking up in Huddart County Park and a little swimming at the pool.  None of which I managed to take pictures of.  Anyway, thanks to all those guys for dropping in.  We miss our Colorado peeps!

Here's a link to the slide show for more photos of Montara State Beach:

Montera State Beach, CA

Monday, June 20, 2011

Keira - May Edition

Santa Clara - I know it's already mid-June and my May addition is a bit late, but heck, it's summer.  We're busy people.

As usual there have been stunning big changes for the little nugget this month (At least for Suwei and I... I mean everything Keira does is pretty stunning for us.)  This month she has definitely mastered rolling over.  She has gone so far as to roll herself half way across a room to get at something interesting.  Her sitting up is getting much better.  She can go unsupported until she looks up or leans back, then if dad or mom are not around, she gets a pretty good head thumping.

Every day we are seeing more facial expressions and hearing more coos and squeaks and giggles.  She still doesn't like being abandoned with grandparents, but doesn't mind being passed around at dinner parties.  Suwei and I are calling her a very good baby.

Coming soon... crawling.

Here are the photos from May:

Baby's First Haircut, Before & After.  I know it looks almost the same!  But it did manage to get rid of her mullet for a little while.

Stay Tuned for the June pics, coming sometime in July.... maybe.

Here is the link to the slideshow:

Keira - May Edition

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tour of California, Stage 4 - May 18th

Stacy Introduces Keira to the Tour
Santa Clara, CA - Just doing a very quick post of some photos I took near the finish of the 4th Stage of the Tour of California.  Stacy, Keira and I made the trek up Sierra Road in San Jose on May 18th and found a nice uncrowded spot with great views.  This was my first time as a spectator at a bike race, and although I know nothing about the sport, I found the excitement quite contagious.

Stage 4, begins in Livermore, takes the riders up and over Mt. Hamilton, then down into San Jose and finishes with a brutal climb up Sierra Road or as their website puts it, "Stage 4 is short, at just 81 miles, but what it lacks in distance it makes up with three grueling climbs. Two of the climbs are legendary in California lore."  The Sierra Road Portion is 3.5 miles at a 10% grade (1759 ft climb).  Fun to watch and honestly, these guys didn't look all that tired.  Just another ride in the park.

Race Profile
Thanks Stacy for taking us out!  Here are the photos:

The folks out front.  The photo to the left was taken just after Chris Horner took the lead.

And the Rest!
and... that's it.  Time to cruise back down the hill.
Here is a link to the slideshow::

Tour of California, San Jose, CA

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Stacy's Springville Cabin & Giant Sequoia National Monument Trip

Group Shot with Christy, Suwei, Keira, Stacy, Dawn, Michael, Tom, Nancy, Ashley, Karl and Gretta.  The only one missing is Bailey.
Santa Clara, CA - Thanks go out to Stacy for using her 40th Birthday as a great excuse for gather up friends at a sweet pad in the mountains!

For the Memorial Day weekend, Stacy rented out the Dennison House at The Three Springs Ranch, just up the hill from Springville, CA.  Springville is about an hour and a half south of Sequoia & King's Canyon National Parks and about an hour and half north of Bakersfield, putting it in an sort of California no man's land that was perfect for the busy holiday weekend.  Not only that, but it was about the same distance from Orange County as it was from the Bay Area which made it just about perfect for our group.

The Road to the Dennison House on The Three Springs Ranch

Our main goal for the weekend was to eat, drink and be merry amongst friends, anything beyond that was just gravy... and we had a fair bit of gravy even thought the weather didn't really want to cooperate.  On Saturday it was cold and overcast, so we figured a long and twisty drive up Hwy 190 to visit Giant Sequoia National Monument and the Trail of the 100 Giant might just do the trick.

Our Lunch Stop on Middle Fork of Tule River

Giant Sequoia National Monument is another one of those kinda-sorta National Monuments that Bill Clinton created (This one was established in 2000).  It has no visitor center and no signage.  It is managed by the Forest Service as part of the Sequoia National Forest and is completely indistinguishable from the rest of the forest, except that the Forest Service charges five dollars to park near the Trail of the 100 Giants and has stationed a ranger there to let you know that your National Parks Pass doesn't actually work there.  You can find it on Google maps, however, if you follow their directions, you'll end up at a tin shack near the Porterville Airport.  Anyway... as with pretty much all of the Sierras it's still well worth a visit.

Photos from the Trail of the 100 Giants, Giant Sequoia National Monument

The Trail of the 100 Giants... ehhh.  Ok, I guess.  I mean how can you miss with 100 or so giant sequoias around and it's nice that there is a trail that is fully handicap accessible, but it's looking a little over-used and definitely doesn't give you the sense of getting away from things.  I guess it's hard to get away when you are only walking a half a mile.  We got some decent pics and well... the trees are very cool.

Chilling out at the Dennison House
On Sunday it rained and we hunkered down and lazed about until mid afternoon when the sun peaked out for a bit.  A small group of us headed into town looking for a honey farm.  We never did find it.  Instead we ended up at the Springville Historical Museum where we found a very interesting selection of old and odd items on display. The highlight though, was chatting with the proprietor about everything from the odd stone castle at the town's edge to the "new" folks that have come into the area within the last 15 years (and built odd castles at the edge of town). She kept the place open an hour after closing just to chat a bit more about Springville. Very nice.

The Springville Historical Museum

Eventually Monday rolled around, the sun came out, and we all had to head our separate ways.  Thanks again Stacy for putting this whole thing together!  We had a blast.

Home Keira!
Here is a link to the slide show:

Stacy's Springville Cabin & Giant Sequoia National Monument Trip

And here is a link to one of the videos that kept us all laughing through the weekend: