Flagstaff Trip

Lots going on this month. My father unexpectedly had open heart surgery – and he’s doing amazing in his recovery! He’s walking nine miles each day, getting stronger every day. The kids had the first two weeks of the month off (well, Sophia had only one week). We decided to explore Flagstaff for a couple of days, with a few days in Phoenix to visit family.


2015-10-05 13.08.03

We stayed in a little cabin at the Flagstaff KOA. It was tiny – a bed with two bunk beds, a small fridge and microwave. That’s it! It worked for us. The weather did not quite cooperate…it rained our entire trip. There went our plans to visit Wupatki National Monument and other outdoor hiking spots. Even with the rain, we had fun – in fact – any weather other than HOT was fantastic.

2015-10-05 14.31.22 2015-10-05 15.39.56


We visited a couple of breweries in town. The Lumberyard Brewery had tasty food to go with their tasty beers. The Lowell Observatory didn’t have any hands-on activities for kids, other than watching a short film. We decided not to visit. We also visited Beaver Street Brewery after working up an appetite at the park during a lull in the rain, which was more like a restaurant than a brewery. But it was good too!2015-10-05 16.52.18

We ate breakfast at Crown Railroad Cafe one morning. Yummy pancakes and lots of trains!

2015-10-06 08.39.53 2015-10-06 08.41.32 2015-10-06 11.51.57 2015-10-06 13.58.22 2015-10-06 14.49.32 2015-10-06 17.04.28

And we watched the many trains roll through town. Endless fun for the kids…2015-10-06 17.05.26

We stopped on the way back to Phoenix to visit my grandparents.

2015-10-07 10.27.04 2015-10-07 10.27.22 2015-10-07 10.28.00 2015-10-07 11.11.56

And then back to Phoenix to celebrate my Mom’s birthday! It was so good to see everyone!

2015-10-07 16.45.54 2015-10-07 17.29.36 2015-10-07 17.34.30 2015-10-07 17.58.43

Olympic Peninsula

Jon flew in for twelve days. We picked him up and headed for the nearest ferry to Bainbridge Island. We explored the cute town, and stayed in Fey Bainbridge, a park right on the water. The next day, we headed up to the Olympic Peninsula to visit Port Townsend, Sequim Bay, the Dungeness Spit, and of course the Olympic National Park. We visited Lake Crescent, hiked Marymere Falls, and played on the Juan de Fuca straight. It was a much needed time for our family together.

bainbridge island (4) bainbridge island (5) bainbridge island (7) bainbridge island (9) bainbridge island (13) bainbridge island (16) bainbridge island (35) bainbridge island (36) bainbridge island (39) IMG_20150706_144128

beert tasting (4) camp dinner (1) finnriver (7) finnriver (8) finnriver (12) fort wordon (3) fort wordon (8) fort wordon_PT townsend (7) fort wordon_PT townsend (14) fort wordon_PT townsend (18) IMG_20150710_151033 lake crescent (3) lavendar instag (1) lavendar instag (2) marymoor falls (1) marymoor falls (3) more pancakes sequim bay (13) sequim bay (22) yum

sewing for the airstream trip

We’re leaving for our big month-long airstream adventure with two kids and a dog… That will be quite the adventure.  But first, some sewing projects had to be completed, mostly because we had some lovely new floors installed inside the trailer. The floors really brighten up the whole space!

old yucky floor
new bamboo floors

Suddenly, I felt the need to sew new curtains…the bedroom area curtains are sewn on the blackout curtains I originally purchased to help us get a little more sleep!I used velcro on the bottom of the curtain and also on the wall – to secure the curtain to the wall and make it even darker inside. I just fell in love with the fabric print and it was on sale!

And a new poof for our outdoor area! I’m bringing more yellows and blues into this area – I’ll post some pictures of our set-up once we’re underway.

there’s even a little handle now…

I spray painted my mom’s granny cart a lovely color…and made a bag for it. It should make things easier to carry all our gear to the beach and to the farmer’s markets.

I made the bag out of painter’s drop cloth from Ace Hardware and some Anna Maria Horner fabric I had in my stash – I had just enough!

City of Fog and Food

Back from our latest San Francisco adventure, I have to admit that I am exhausted.  Perhaps it was the many hills I climbed (really, those streets are steep!) or the fact Sophia was so off her schedule, that we didn’t get the rest of the afternoon nap that we are both accustomed to.  And I do mean we on this point.   I use nap time to regroup and focus on me time, something that did not happen on this trip.  But we still had a blast.  San Francisco is a great city, even in the rain we had for three days.  We still explored and walked, despite the rainfall and fog.  I gotta say though, that fog is beautiful.

We visited a playground every day – rain or shine.  Thankfully, there was an indoor playground or play area to visit during those rainy days.  Or the rain stopped long enough for me to wipe down a slide with one the the hotel’s trusty towels I carried around for that very purpose.  Sophia loved having time to run around and play with other kids.  I was grateful for a chance to sit occasionally and even chatted up some local moms, which was nice.

Golden Gate Kid's playground
Golden Gate Kid's playground
Golden Gate Kid's playground
playground near north beach
playing inside the randall museum (free!)
the "playground" momma made inside the hotel room
playground in chinatown
momma and dada playing around at the exploratorium
sophia loved this puppet at the exploratorium

Our first night found us having dinner at one of our favorite’s – the Woodhouse Fish Company. We had clam chowder, oysters, crab cakes, and cod fish.  Yummy!

When we weren’t playing at playgrounds, we explored different areas of the city.  Sophia and I walked all through Chinatown (walking all the way from our hotel at Union Square) up to North Beach here we ate lunch at Cafe DeLucchi.  Lunch was tasty – spinach raviolis in Gorgonzola cream sauce and bread (Sophia only wanted bread). Chinatown was just jammed packed with people at the markets.

We had dinner with Jon (who had giving a talk at AGU that day) and a friend at New Delhi – a place we went last year mostly because of it’s close proximity to our hotel.  While the food was pretty good, it was a bit pricey and the service was not great.  We will likely not be going back next time.

The next day was raining but it didn’t stop Sophia and me from catching the F trolley out to the Castor, where we visited the Randall Museum (which was free and lots of fun) and the having lunch at Ti Couz, a french crepery. I do recommend taking the steep short cut through the playground rather than walking the long steep walk up State Street, which was never ending. Escpecially if you are carrying your child. Sophia slept on me all the way down the hill and over to near Mission Delores, where the restaurant is located. I had a bowl of vegetable chowder, which was great.  The crepes are huge, so one could have easily been split between two, if only Sophia wanted something other than bread.  Again.

Jon was able to join us all weekend long.  We walked through Chinatown again, visiting a different section than the one I visited the day before – and found a playground, which Sophia thought was great.  We eventually caught a bus over to the Exploritorium.  Sophia had fun exploring, but we didn’t get much time to read the exhibits before she moved on.

We walked along the beach, with foggy views of the Golden Gate Bridge, before catching a bus over to Fisherman’s Wharf.  We visited Ghiradelli Square, where Jon and Sophia enjoyed the free samples of peppermint bark (Momma only likes the milk chocolate caramels).    Then we caught the F trolley down to the Ferry Building to buy some Acme bread and Cowgirl Creamery cheese before heading back to our hotel to rest before dinner out at the Oriental Pearl. Sophia slept through most of dinner, which was tasty and had huge portions.

Sunday, our last day, found us and out the door early, heading back to Golden Gate Park to the Academy of Sciences.  It was a bit early for the Academy, so we visited the de Young museum to see the art, which worked great until Sophia woke up (I had been carrying her again).  We went up to the tower, where she run around charming people and allow us to see the amazing City views.  We didn’t get to see most of the museum and didn’t pay the special price to see art from Musee D’Orsey , but the views from the tower were worth the $10 general admission price.

The Academy opens late on Sundays, something I did not realize (due to the lack of sleep), so we had some time to kill.  Sophia helped everyone out by making sure they knew the floors were a bit wet.

After getting in, the rain forest and aquariums were a hit, but the best place was the Little Explorer’s Cove, which had an actual ship to play in and a TON of toys. A hot lunch was had at the Academy Cafe –  many choices available.  We had Moroccan Lemon Chicken with mashed potatoes and brown rice and a steam vegetable bun for Sophia, who naturally only ate a peanut butter sandwich I packed for her.

After making our way back to the hotel, I knew I didn’t want to go far for dinner.  We made our way one block down to Johnny Foley’s  Irish Pub.  Good beer, fresh fish, and crayons – what more would anyone ask for on their last night in the City?

Going to San Fran!

We’re off tomorrow for a San Francisco adventure! Jon has a conference, so Sophia and I are tagging along to see the city, as we do every year.  We plan on staying in the city all weekend as well, just exploring.

My computer is going in the shop this afternoon.  Therefore, there will be radio silence on this blog until we return and the computer gets to come home too.


I know San Fran  will get me in the holiday spirit – all the pretty window shops to look at, not to mention the flagship Anthropologie store on Market Street!!!!  We’re going to have to hit the Ferry Building, not only for Cowgirl Creamery Cheese, but Health Ceramics moved in as well. Now we don’t have to go all the way to Sausalito!


And did I mention it will be cold there?  Unlike the 80 degrees we’ve been experiencing here lately…

We plan on visiting: Golden Gate Park, Chinatown, the Main Library (free story time!), some museums, and lots of yummy good food places. Oh I am so hungry just thinking about!  Or that might be Amy’s cookies calling me again that she dropped off – melt in your mouth delights! Maybe I’ll get luck and she’ll share the buckeye recipe…so good!



While we’re gone, you might enjoy reading our adventures from year’s past:






See you when we return!


Kezar River Alpacas

Remember I mentioned we visited an alpaca farm while in Maine?  Well, we meet the owner Stephi at the local farmer’s market and she invited us to take a took of her farm – Kezar River Farm.

Stephi and her family built their farm as a home school project. It just amazes me that they built such a beautiful post and beam and straw bale house and then the barn house (completely off the grid, mind you – installing the solar panels was also a home school project) and have raised such beautiful alpacas.  They’re currently rehabbing a wooden workshop/office space to create a new fiber studio – and they plan on using alpaca fibers for insulation.  Pretty amazing. Some of us all dream of leaving this city lifestyle and making a new life on a farm, raising animals, and living more sustainable.  We try to accomplish this dream, given the limitations we have on space and and what livestock animals we are able to have on our land…and here are some lucky people who have gone and done this.  I know it takes hard work and it probably still is a challenge to make everything work, but what they have accomplished is impressive.

Here are some more great photos from that visit.

NM Photos

We arrived home yesterday around noon, feeling the heat of the day.  Summer is definitely here in Tucson! While we miss the cool breezes up in the pines, it’s nice to be home.  It’s less nice to think about the 10 loads of laundry I’ve already done…and the next 6 that need to get done.  How we managed to generate so much laundry, I’ll never know.

We had a nice trip, enjoyed the weather, and even got to spend some time with Jon on the weekend! I had a quiet birthday on Sunday – we had breakfast at the local restaurant and then a 2 hour nap, since Sophia did not sleep well that night.  We joined Jon for some scouting in the Caldera and had lunch next to the river.   Jon made a fire and we had some smores – a pretty  nice birthday in all.

i forgot the high chair...

More photos can be seen in the flickr sidebar.

NM Trip Update

After a stop in Socorro, we continued our journey north.  Socorro has a nice little brewery – check it out if you’re ever in the town. Sophia made friends with everyone in the building and one guy at the next table even came over and sat with us because he was having so much fun talking & playing with her! He said he missed his 2 year old and 4  month old back home (he was in town doing some geology work too).

We had to make a few stops along the way, looking for items for Jon’s experiments in the Preserve.  We went to Wal-Mart in Socorro, then tried to find the Home Depot in Albuquerque, ended up at a Lowe’s, then Bed, Bath & Beyond for more angel food cake pans (I’ll explain another time) – and then  Wal-Mart again to return the angel food cake pans we originally bought at the first Wal-Mart in Socorro!  I won’t mention that once we were on the road (finally!) to Jemez Mountains, we drove right by another Home Depot…luckily, Jon thought it was hilarious! I think Lucy thought we would never arrive! Or get out of that truck!

We arrived in La Cueva (north of Jemez Springs) yesterday afternoon.  We weren’t sure if the truck would make it up the very steep slope into the RV Park!  The owner helped us out and managed to get it up the hill in four wheel drive!  He even backed our trailer in our spot for us, since he was driving!

Sophia and Lucy and I took a walk up the road this morning to look around.  It is so pretty here.  We’re upslope from the creek that runs along the valley.  Lucy doesn’t like the big gusts of wind that blow through the trees!

It’s pretty amazing – both the scenery and the gusts of wind!  We aren’t going to put the awning out.  I have this huge umbrella I got at Costco and it provides lots of shade over the baby corral.  I’ve been sitting in the sun to stay warm all day! Not that it’s cold, it’s just those wind gusts freeze me out!  Next time, I need to bring more sweaters to wear.

Sophia’s cough is better, but now she’s at the stage of her cold where there is a LOT of snot.  I have never seen so much snot in my life!  She’s not eating as much solid food as she was when she was well, but I know that will change when she’s all better.

She’s napping right now, and when she wakes up, we’ll all go for a walk again. The little store is a mile up the road.  I’ll probably take the stroller, but pushing it up the hill to get back to the park will be a workout!

I’ll try to upload photos next time, but the connection is tempestuous at best. At least we’re able to watch movies I brought, for when it gets too cold to sit outside at night (not to mention all the books & crochet projects I brought too!) If I thought I could make room for the sewing machine, I might have considered bringing it.  But then, well, we probably wouldn’t have made it up the hill! Oh well!  Those sewing projects will have to wait until we return!

New Mexico Trip

We’re off tomorrow on our latest adventure: to the Jemez Mountains in New Mexico.  Jon has field work to do in Valles Caldera Nation Preserve, which is kinda funny because I was there in 2001 doing work!  It’s a beautiful area and I can’t wait to see it again.  We’ll be at about 8,000 feet and the weather calls for mid 70’s during the day and lows in the 40’s.  Should be lovely.  We’re staying here.  Sophia, Lucy, and I will be exploring the area around the rv park during the day by foot, since Jon will have to drive in each day. We’ll have to borrow his truck one day to do laundry and buy groceries in Los Alamos.

My only concern about this trip is that Sophia has been sick this week.  She had a high fever on Tuesday and we went to the doctor. It came down pretty quickly, but it was scary for me.  She’s been pretty unhappy all week as a result.  She’s also had a slight cough, which has developed into phlem-y type cough.  We visited the doctor again today and they think it’s a mild form of croup.  They gave her an injection of steroids to reduce the swelling in her throat so she won’t have such a difficult time.  She was up for a couple of hours last night and at one point, coughed so hard she threw up!  I felt so bad for her!  The only way she was really comfortable was when I would hold her upright…which I couldn’t do all night. She eventually feel back to sleep for another two hours until I had to wake her to take her to the doctor’s.  She’s on nap number three of the day right now.   The doctor’s are confident that this will go away soon – her lungs and ears are clear – and they don’t think she’ll have any trouble at the elevation.  We’ll just keep our fingers crossed that tonight goes well, so we both can get some sleep.

I have to finish packing the trailer, so adieu until we arrive in the Jemez Mountains. I just realized today that the park has wifi (Thanks for reading the website Mom!)

Two Months Old…

Sophia had the first of her vaccinations on Friday – poor thing.  She cried and cried at the doctor’s office and then fell asleep in the car.  She seemed fine when we got home.  She ate some food, played, and went down for a nap, until she woke up screaming.  We ended up giving her some baby tylenol and she fell asleep on my shoulder and then slept most of the night. She then proceeded to have little interest in napping, sleeping, or eating the rest of the weekend. Her parents were not thrilled…

Jon thinks the lack of interest in eating part was due to testing out some new bottles & nipples that were different from the ones we have been using. That maybe she just couldn’t figure them out and was not getting enough food to eat.   I’ve stopped using those bottles, even though they are suppose to reduce the gassy issues she’s been having. I guess we’ll just have to live with the gas…

She’s much better since Sunday, although the naps are still short.  Forty-five minutes or so.  Enough time to eat or do laundry.  She’s napping again now – though she wasn’t really sleeping and seemed to keep waking up, I just soothed her and let her there.  I can see her waking up a bit and making sleepy noises on the video monitor, but she’s getting some sleep.  For a few minutes anyways.

Everyone told us that “12 pounds” is the magic number – once she hit that, she’ll sleep longer at night.  Well, she’s 12 pounds 4 ounces and 24 inches as of last Friday…and still sleeping for a five hour stretch and then a three and then 2 to one hours…  We’re hoping for more sleep soon. But she does the cutest thing – when you put her in bed – she just lights up and smiles at you.  Hard to be frustrated with those smiles…

sitting w daddy

She’s also reaching out for things and grabbing on.  She smiles when you smile at her and she loves to watch other kids at story time.  She’s much more interested in the world around her now.

We had some special company last week.  Sophia had a great visit with her Great Grandma Irene (who is 91 years old and flew on a plane from the east coast to visit!) and Great Aunt Diane. We all went out for lunch one day and went to the bookstore.  We also had a picnic adventure in Sonoita. A short visit – but a great one!

with aunty diane (5)

With Aunty Diane

with memere (7)Eating with Memere

We even took Sophia wine tasting…gotta start the wine education young we think…and no, we did not give her any wine…she just enjoyed the company and the sights.  I finally got over my “red wine” aversion that arose during pregnancy!  Thank goodness!

wine tasting w daddy

Drinking with Daddy! Such a happy girl!

Most pants are too short for her – such long legs! These are suppose to be down to her ankles…

alseep after wine tasting (1)Asleep after a long day…

I’m heading back to work part-time next week and I know it will be hard to leave this little girl.  She’s got a great nanny that really loves to spend time with her.  At the same time, I’m looking forward to getting back into my projects.  We’re all looking forward to some cooler weather soon (hopefully) and time for some more short trips during the fall.

We still can’t believe this little grl is two months old…time just flies by…