Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sometimes pictures need their own post...

And this is one of those pictures. Probably my favorite picture of Isaac in the last few years. It totally captured his personality.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

San Francisco Randomness

Last weekend was our 9th annual BFF weekend in San Francisco.
It's the weekend I look forward to every year and it always ends way too quickly.
This ended even quicker than usual as we both had things happening at home we needed to get back to.
But...we still had a wonderful time and I have pictures to prove it!
Golden Gate Bridge 

Bliss Statue on Treasure Island 


I'm totally intrigued by these locks and who put them there. Telegraph Hill 

 A perfect view from Telegraph Hill
We are already planning next year's weekend!

Friday, June 27, 2014

The day I landed my best friend in jail....sorta

My best friend's husband has warned told her for some time I would land her in jail. Apparently he thinks I'm a trouble maker!
So I figured I would prove him right and I booked us tickets to Alcatraz.
It's the closest I will ever get to a real jail cause in real life I'm quite an angel.
<enter evil laugh here>
I absolutely loved Alcatraz. I know that sounds weird but the history of "The Rock" is incredible and there are so many stories to share.
The walking tour with the little head phones was awesome. They have done a great job at sharing the stories of the guards & prisoners'. It was such an interesting tour.
Plus...the view of the city...can't be beat.
 Hard to believe this is on the island...the grounds were beautiful!
 There are these little windows on the block that housed the worst prisoners'. Torture to have to look out them all day and see the city.
Approved reading material in prison.
I was surprised at how small the prison really was. It's only 4 blocks long. I loved how they gave each block such pretty names.
If you haven't gone to Alcatraz, GO! It's so worth the trip. The tickets sell out weeks in advance but it's so worth going.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wine Tasting Paso Robles

When my mom and mother in law were up for Matt's graduation, we took them wine tasting in Paso Robles. As always, we visited our favorite wineries and tried a new one that is now a must stop of us.
My mom took most of these which was nice cause that meant I'm actually in them - LOL

 Me & my mom

Chris & I at Tobin James - we had our first date here & two years later got engaged here.

 We had to take Isaac with us. He was a trooper and had fun checking out all the places we stopped.
The best photo bomb of the day...
Here's some of the pictures I took....

Monday, June 9, 2014

Allensworth State Historic Park

Every so often I kick myself for not visiting a place sooner....
Allensworth is one of those places.
Located between Bakersfield and Hanford on Highway 43, I have driven past Allensworth many times. I knew it  was a community built Colonel Allen Allensworth and four other settlers and founded, financed and governed by African Americans but that is all I knew. With my mom in town, we decided to take our cameras out there and see what it was all about.
The small farming community was founded in 1908 by Lt. Colonel Allen Allensworth, Professor William Payne, William Peck, a minister; John W. Palmer, a miner; and Harry A. Mitchell, a real estate agent, dedicated to improving the economic and social status of African Americans. Colonel Allensworth (1842–1914) had a friendship with Booker T. Washington and was inspired by the Tuskegee Institute and development in its neighboring town. Allensworth hoped to develop the "Tuskegee of the West".
Uncontrollable circumstances, including a drop in the area's water table, resulted in the town's demise
Allensworth Family Home 
In 1908, United States Army veteran Lt. Colonel Allen Allensworth and Professor William Payne, Rev. William Peck and John W. Palmer, and Harry A. Mitchell sought to build a town where African Americans could own property, learn, and live the American Dream. They chose an 800-acre Tulare County site for a new town near the present location of Earlimart, California, and about 45 miles north of Bakersfield. The site was chosen for fertile soil, adequate water, and its location along a railroad corridor. Black men and women — craftsmen, artisans, businessmen, farmers, ranchers, retired military — moved their families to the newly purchased land.
Elementary School 
In 1908 the southwest corner of Tulare County had abundant water from wells drilled into the then-shallow water table. The artesian wells and water mains laid throughout the residences during and since 1912 were controlled by Allensworth Rural Water Company, a state corporation. But water problems began developing in 1912 and by 1914 had become serious. The declining water tables throughout the area and increasing problems with alkali salts helped to doom the community. As the original settlers moved away, the land values declined, some of the houses were left empty, and others were rented or sold.
First Baptist Church
In 1968 Cornelius "Ed" Pope, a former resident of Allensworth, worked in Sacramento as a draftsman and planner for the California Department of Parks and Recreation. With the help of a professor at California State University, Sacramento, he wrote a proposal to restore the Allensworth settlement as a state historical site.  In 1972 "Allensworth Historic District" was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Finally, in 1974 then-Governor Ronald Reagan authorized the department to establish the park. Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park was established on 240 acres (97 ha) in 1976. 
It's not a destination stop by any means, but if you find yourself in the area and have a few hours to spare this is worth the stop. The buildings are far enough apart that walking may not work for everyone, but you can drive through the community and stop at the homes. The bathrooms are clean, there is a visitor center and park benches if you want to take a break and eat your lunch.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Class of 2014

 Let's talk Graduation....let's talk about what will go down as the
 worst/best event for 2014...
See the line in the picture below?
That's the line to get into the stadium...1 hour before graduation even began.
Yes my have to arrive 3 1/2 hours early to actually sit in the bleachers.
We didn't know that secret so when we showed up an hour early...this is what we saw.
And I let out a sad whimper of frustration....

I stole borrowed this from another parent's FB know one of those parents that actually knew to show up 3 1/2 hours early.
See the bleachers?
Yes...both sides were that packed with 1,000's of others (ME)
standing 5 deep on the sideline fences.
This was my view....
yet more sad whimpers....
After walking 3/4 mile to get here, waiting 45 minutes to get into the stadium, our water confiscated (and no concessions to purchase another bottle)
only to be greeted with this,
my husband took his mom and my mom back home
and they watched the graduation online...
they saw Matt graduate....
me - I missed it
because of where I was standing I couldn't see nor could I hear
more whimpers....
Yet another picture stolen borrowed from FB....
Fortunately we have a very gracious son who wasn't too upset his mom
missed most of the ceremony.
At least he came home afterward so we could get some pictures with him.

It was a very proud night for us. Not only did he graduate but
he was awarded with three college scholarships.
 His first two years of college is paid for.
Hooray for free money!!!
Congratulations to my to adulthood you go!

Friday, June 6, 2014

7th grade....NAILED IT!

Well....we survived another year. And it really was a great year. 7th grade came with a new school (4th on 4 years) but he adjusted quickly and made good friends. His teachers were awesome. I really loved his teachers and fortunately one of the teachers will be there again next year. The special ed program at his school was so good and he really flourished in the setting. Next year he will mainstream two classes instead of one like this year.
He was actually sad when the school year came to an end. He is already counting down the days until 8th grade starts.

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