Saturday, September 30, 2006

We arrived at what will be our campsite for the next five days. We are staying a little east of Groveland on hwy 120. We are 20 min from Yosemite. We had a nice easy drive across the valley. There are so many memories for me there it's like going to a ghost town - ghosts of my old life . . .

We stopped in Modesto for supplies, Oakdale for lunch and the Hershey's chocolate factory (they don't give tours any more due to 9/11 - too bad), and Knights Ferry just to check it our again. I haven't been to some of these places in over 15 years. I was neat to go back and re-discover them. After leaving Knights Ferry we turned south and climbed Priest Grade. That is probably the steepest climb I have ever done with the truck & trailer. I don't think we got out of second gear for the entire 5+ miles. We took it real slow and the truck did great. No shortage of power, but burned plenty of gas!!

We have a nice campsite with a lot of space. It is beautiful here, and we are not even at the park yet. We are headed to bed early, it's been a long day. Tomorrow we are off to the park!

First night is always Fun

(A fuzzy pic of Madison & Zoe. The cell phone camera blurred because of the low light, but that's about how accurate our eyesight was at this time of the morning)

The first night in the trailer is always hard for Madison (and us.) She is disoriented and unfarmiliar with the trailer at night. Last night was no exception. It's 6:30am and everybody is awake. Madison spent part of the night in her new bunk bed, part of the night on the couch, and part of the night on the floor with Zoe.

Needless to say we are exhausted. We are currently sitting here watching the coffee percolate with eager anticipation.

Friday, September 29, 2006

On The Road Again

We are off! Today we drove to Patterson to visit Tim & Erin. We haven't been to Patterson in over a year. We are going to spend the night with them and head to Yosemite tomorrow. It is so nice to finally be gone!!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Packing the Trailer

Nicole and I have spent most of today packing the trailer. I'm antsy to go. I hate the last couple days before a big trip. They seem to go so slow.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Out for Sushi with Uncle Ken

Tonight Madison, Ken, and I went out for sushi. We had lots of fun and lots of food! Madison likes Miso soup and loves to play with sticky rice! I don't like trying to get it out of her hair though . . .

It is nice to go out with Ken. We don't get to hang out together enough.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Zoe Bells

My pups

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Home Sweet Home

It's so nice to sleep in your own bed. I sure love our bed. We have the Tempurpedic brand "Space Foam" mattress and pillows. I don't know how I ever lived without this thing. Last week while I was in Alaska, I was sore and ached in places I don't usually. I took me a day or so to realize it was the bed and pillow I was using. I am just not used to spring mattresses any more. When I laid down on my bed last night it was like I died and went to heaven! I haven't slept that good in weeks! (staying up all night in an airplane helped too)

I spent the weekend resting and doing things around the house. It's almost unbelievable, but we are leaving again on Saturday and we will be gone for two weeks. I feel like I just got home and I am already prepping to leave again!

This is our five year wedding anniversary trip we planned a few months ago. This time I get to leave the cell phone at home!! Two weeks on the road as a family, just the four of us. It will be so nice!! I can't wait to relax at the loop for a few days! We will also be seeing Yosemite, Mono Lake, Bodie Ghost Town, Lee Vining, the Eastern Sierras, the Mojave airplane museum, and a few other things. It's going to be an action packed trip.

Frankly I can't wait to go! I'm always ready for another adventure!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Finally on Board

It is 1:05 AM. Do you know where your airplane seat is?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Acnhorage International has Wifi!!!

Horray for ANC. Finally I am able to edit the blog and clean up some of those old cell phone posts. The internet connection at Charlie's place has something funky going on with it. I couldn't figure it out and I don't have the admin passwords to get a good look.

John had to drop me off early, he had a VFW meeting to go to. I have six more hours to kill, so I bought a couple DVDs. Disney's "Miracle" (Satisfy my hockey withdrawels) and Mitch Albom's "Five People You Meet in Heaven". I read the book and *loved* it (yep I cried) but I missed the TV movie.

I think I'm going to watch Miracle first . . .

Time to gome home

It's been a very producutve week. Not much rest, but I have gotten a lot done. I wish I had a day or two more to actually relax and see some sights. I've been focused on work all week. I've really enjoyed John's company. We are becoming good friends.

Now it is time to head for the airport annd head for home.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Making offers today

We made offers on a couple houses today. Things move so much slower up here. It's frustrating trying to slow down to the pace of business that exists here. People don't move as fast as I would like.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Trouble with Alaskan ISP

For some reason, Charlie's ISP won't let me access certain websites, like or, so I am only able to post with my cell phone (and not edit at all).

Boo Hiss Crummy Alaskan ISP

Monday, September 18, 2006

Welcome to Alaska!

Had a great day looking at properties today. A lot of progress is being made. I love it here.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Waiting at the airport

Sitting at SJC. Took 45 minutes to check in and get through security. Now I am off to Alaska!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Figured out the Mobile Posting thing

This is a camera phone picture of Madison from our recent trip to Utah.

I think I got it!! The world will never be the same, heh heh.

Friday, September 15, 2006

First Moblog post

My first cell phone blog post. Sitting in a doctors office with Nicole waiting for a second opinion on her wrists.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Update on Floyd ("Papou" - Nicole's Grandfather)

(George wrote this email):

"First of all, I would like to thank you. Thanks to everyone for your prayers and concerns. You
all have been very supportive. Our Family "THANKS YOU" immensely. As you can imagine there are Positive things as well as not so Positive. Today Marie told Dad she was going to put in his hearing aids. On his own he turned his head so she could put it in. He responds to most commands. He seems to recognize everyone and wants to hold our hands and hug us. The Physical therapist came today and she said Dad did better than she anticipated. We found a Re-hab center where we would like Dad to go. They were planning on sending him today. Unfortunately his white blood count is up which is an indication of infection. They are taking all precautions to get him stabilized. There was a meeting with the doctor in charge of Dad's case regarding his long range prognoses. Here's where it gets tough and we need your prayers for
miracle and God's will.

"As of now it appears Dad is partially blind in his right eye. He probably will not be able to walk or talk again. And, probably only be able to eat pureed foods,at best, if at all. Obviously we are all prayerful and hopeful but are prepared to accept what the Lord's will is. We may not understand it immediately but we still have to remain Faithful! Again, I can't Thank all of you enough. I hope and Pray that this finds all of you and your family's well.

"The Lord's Blessings.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Growing up so fast

(This picture is from a while ago - her first night in her toddler bed)

Madison has not slept in her crib for a little over a month now. This morning we took it out of her room and put it in storage. She cried for about 2 seconds when it was going out the back door and then forgot it ever existed. She is very proud of her "big girl" bed.

She is already racing to be as big and grown up as possible. She shaves with me when I shave, she sits in the big chairs at snack time, anything she can do to be like Mommy & Daddy, she does. I remember when I was running that can't wait to grow up race. Looking back I wish I had gone a little slower.

I went and visited one of my brokers who has a 1.5 month old little girl. It seems like Madison was that size only yesterday. Time goes by so fast . . .

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Our trip to the Grand Canyon

A little over a week ago we took a trip to Utah & the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We went to pick up a travel trailer for George and also as an early anniversary gift from George. It was a great trip. It was Nicole's first time at the Grand Canyon.

It was nice going through Tehachapi and Barstow, it's like going home when I go to the loop. Madison *loved* seeing all the trains, or "Choo-Choos" from the car as we drove across the desert. We passed through Vegas, definitely not my scene - we got out of there as fast as we could. We also drove through Zion Natn'l park. That was a beautiful place that we would love to go see again. Utah was amazing, the Mesas and bluffs with are there colors were breathtaking. We went through a couple thunderstorms, one was right on top of us. The rain was so hard I though it was going to break the windshield, not to mention the lightning!!

Overall is was a great trip. 1,800 miles in 6.5 days and loved every minute of it (except the being sick part). In a few weeks we take our real anniversary trip. I can't wait to get away again~

Monday, September 11, 2006

Helping Daddy wash the car

Madison loves to help her Mommy and Daddy with just about everything. It's especially fun when it involves food or water though!!

Where where you five years ago today?

I was on my honeymoon.

We were in Oahu Hawaii. We had gone to Pearl Harbor the day before. Nicole woke up with a bad headache and asked me to get her some food before she got out of bed. I left the hotel room in my PJs and headed down toward the lobby. I was still half asleep myself. The poeple in the elevator were wispering about buildings collapsing. I couldn't quite make out what they were saying and asked them.

One lady said, "The World Trade Center building are gone." I couldn't comprehend what she was saying. When I got to the lobby, it was chaos. People running around everywhere. There were a bunch of TVs on carts lined up in the lobby with the news on. I stood there in disbelief for maybe five or ten minutes watching the reports, then rushed back to the room to tell Nicole. I forgot to get here the food . . .

The worst part was we had already booked tickets the the Polynesian Culteral Center for that day and had to go (or loose the $$). They had NO TVs inside the PCC so I was completely cut off from the news the entire day. The only evidence something was wrong was their flags flying at half staff. It made it hard to enjoy the park, but we had a good enough time.

This was near the end of our trip, and after this happened, we wanted to come home. Suddenly we went from being away in a tropical paradise, to being trapped on a rock. We were meeting people left and right who had been scheduled to be on a plane that day. They were stranded in paradise, and most were not having fun.

We ended up flying home on one of the first flights after air traffic resumed. The people that were in the plane with us were the people that were in the air on 9/11 and turned around. When we landed in SF, everyone clapped and cheered, it was an amazing experience.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Our first Investment Property

We closed escrow on our first investment property Friday. We have been landlords for a couple years, but now we are now officially real estate investors! Here's a picture from a while ago during construction . . .

New Cement!

We finally decided to have the cement poured in our back yard. We are tired of the dogs tracking the dirt and mud into the house and with fall coming I want to start working on the back yard again. The contractor we used did a great job (and had a great price). Next weekend he comes back to seal it. Nicole picked the color and, as always, she did a great job! It is so nice to walk out to the shop without going through the dirt!!

First post

I chose black because no one esle in the family has.

Plus with all the family tragedy going on lately, it seemed appropriate. Floyd (Nicole's grandfather) is still in ICU. Jim is getting an MRI for a tumor in his head. Charlie had a major heart attack and a six-way emergency bypass, his wife passed out from the stress. Plus my cousin . . .

People are being tested right now, families are being tested. It's sad when people you love, but are two degrees removed from, are suffering. Your not lost in the emotion of it, but you are still close enough to feel the pain. I can only imagine the agony of the imediate family members. But there is a selfish part of me that is very thankful that it is not my immediate family.

We went to a San Jose Giants Baseball game to try to escape from it all for a while. Joe & Mollie joined us. Had a good time. Giants lost, loosing seems to be the trend lately.