Last Day in Santa Cruz

December 30, 2015 by Adam in Family

We spent yesterday mostly walking, to the point where Joanna became completely worn out. We left our B&B and headed to the beach, walking along the coast and watching the surfers. After a long walk we staggered back and rested up. Later we returned to the beach to watch the sunset and headed downtown for dinner. I picked up a great book called Annihilation, which I'm voraciously reading. 

This morning we ate breakfast at a little counterculture place, checked out of our hotel, and headed down to the boardwalk. From there we explored the beach all the way to a little lighthouse. Now we're back in town, finishing our lunch at a quirky panino place with Star Wars decorations.

The plan is to visit The Mystery Spot and return to the airport. Home soon.

Sea Life in Chilly California

December 29, 2015 by Adam in Family

We headed down the coast to Monterey Bay, visiting the aquarium and walking along Cannery Row. Steinbeck would be shocked by the transformation into a tourist destination from the original fishery.

The displays were pretty cool wry the aquarium, especially the task tanks full of kelp and the jellyfish displays. We survived the crowds and made our way home, resting a bit before walking to the boardwalk to see the sea lions and watch the sunset. Eventually we made our way to a vegetarian space themed restaurant, which hit the spot. The night was capped off with silly television and a movie. Fun times.

Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

December 27, 2015 by Adam in Family

We're in San Jose, having just finished breakfast while chatting with interesting fellow travelers. The flight down was uneventful. Dinner was a little late, eating sushi at a local restaurant. We braved the unusually chilly weather for a walk, having back to our quirky room to watch a show and turn in.

The plan is to visit the local Center for Spiritual Living and head to Santa Cruz, visiting the redwoods along the way.

Update: We made it to Santa Cruz and checked into our B&B. Along the way we stopped in a forest to hike through the redwoods. Now we're going to a space themed vegetarian diner. Very exciting!

And sadly the space diner was closed. At the pizza place now, slightly disappointed.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

December 26, 2015 by Adam in Family

We wrapped up the last of the Christmas festivities.  We headed over to my mom's for brunch - it was great seeing Aric and Anna and catching up on their exciting lives.  The food and conversation was good and we eventually returned home to hang out, play with presents, and prepare for Christmas dinner. 

Most of the brunch crowd was there, minus Bob, Aric, and Anna, and Dez brought his girlfriend Emily along.  We ate good food, wore paper crowns, and read the awful puns hidden away in the Christmas crackers.  Afterward I took Sam and Emma up the road to meet Jamie halfway to Corvallis.  They're staying a couple days with Judy and then heading to the beach house afterward for a few days, with Isa joining them.

Joanna and I saw the final Hunger Games movie this morning, donated our leftovers to the Eugene Mission, and are slowly getting ready for our plane ride.  I hope everyone had a good Christmas - we miss you all.

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2015 by Seraph in Cortez

Merry Christmas family! We've been having a fun but quiet Christmas here in Chimayo. Yesterday we had Christmas Eve lunch with Hanni and then went to some friends for their annual Christmas Eve bonfire. This morning we got up and drank coffee until Isabell got up for stockings and presents. Poor Isa has had a small cold, so we drugged her up and plied her with presents and cookies. We're off to take a small holiday drive and then relax some more.  Hugs to everyone! We miss you all!

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2015 by Adam in Family

Merry Christmas all.  Christmas has been a typical drawn-out affair.  Right now Joanna is in a video chat with Duncan and Berry, watching them open presents in Rochester.  Emma and I have been good and waited for Joanna to get up before opening our stockings.  Emma is learning German using Duolingo while I've been wandering the wasteland in Fallout 4.

The last few days have been relatively fun.  We sadly missed chatting with Sadie and the gang while we went to the new Star Wars movie.  Afterwards we went to Jenny's.  Emma had fun watching Grease and singing along to the songs with Jenny.  Sam, Isa, my dad, and I played King of Tokyo, with Isa ending up the Queen of Tokyo.  It was great seeing everyone - a typical low-key, chaotic and happy family gathering.

Yesterday was pretty quiet.  I wrapped the last of the presents.  Sam, Emma, and I played and loved Betrayal at House on the Hill.  It's a board game with the feel of a grade B horror movie.  Once I was infected by spider eggs and another time I wandered the basement while Emma's character fought off Frankenstein's Monster herself.  Good times.

Sam and Emma hung out with their mom for a few hours.  Joanna and I went for a long walk through the neighborhood.  Later that night we watched Antman, ate apple pie, and drank egg nog with a dash of Barbados rum.  We're well fortified for the day ahead.

Snow Day

December 23, 2015 by Adam in Family

I took Emma, Kate, Sam, and Isa up into the mountains yesterday.  It was somewhat exciting, with lots of snow and chains at the end.  I was a little stressed, but it turned out well.  We sled down the hill a few times and then tromped around in the snow until we were tired and ready to go home.

Soccer Time

December 22, 2015 by Adam in Joanna

We watched Joanna play soccer last night.  She scored a goal and was generally enthusiastic.  Unfortunately the only time I remembered to take a video was when she fell over.  She's been limping around this morning.  Hopefully it'll clear up soon.

And They're Off

December 21, 2015 by Adam in Family

The last few days have been a little exciting, with lots of things going on.  Friday night Joanna and I went out to eat, ending up at The Board.  It's a new place in the building that used to be Tiny's Tavern.  I figured out why it was called The Board when my food was served on a cutting board.  It was good and different, and I think Joanna liked her scallops with octopus ink.

Saturday we spent packing up the little kids and Cecilia for their trip.  It was pretty low-key, though Sam and I spent the entire Shawn the Sheep movie downstairs talking.  Isa's having some rough emotional times and Sam wanted to have someone to talk with.  While I'm not sure I have any answers, hopefully I was appropriately calm and reassuring.  We had pizza and science to wrap up the evening, one last tradition before the kids headed off.

Sunday morning we got up early and hugged the travelers before heading to Portland, Kevin taking them all to the airport.  I went back to bed for a couple hours, which I very much needed.  We didn't do very much that day.  Isa came over and played board games with us, in between some emotional conversations.  Emma and I went to the library.  My mom came over for dinner.

Now I'm at work, trying not to move anything to live before I leave for a couple weeks.  I'm hoping to take the kids up into the mountains to play in the snow, a little nervous about the weather but hopeful I can manage.  Emma's hanging out with my mom this morning and playing with Kate in the afternoon.  Wednesday I'm finally seeing Star Wars and hanging out with a bunch of family.  Fun, fun.

Mocha Friday

December 18, 2015 by Adam in Family

Friday is here and a delicious mocha awaits me.  

The week has been relatively uneventful.  Joanna continues to make presents for neighbors, teachers, and friends.  This morning she was writing cards to Duncan and Berry's teachers, along with jam and cider.  She also ended up doing most of the work on a scarf that Berry was knitting for a friend, but I suppose Berry just outsourced the labor after doing the design work.

Sam went to Isa's choir concert last night.  Emma was feeling under the weather, but decided to stoically go to school anyway.  Hopefully the tea and painkillers I gave her will help.

Joanna and I are going out tonight and then tomorrow is a hang out and prepare for trips day.  The house will get pretty quiet soon.

King of Tokyo

December 16, 2015 by Adam in Family

The week is moving along, with the usual madness sprinkled around to make life interesting.

Of the three developers at work, one has decided to quit.  He's the new guy, relatively speaking, though it's going to put more pressure than usual on us to try and keep things together.  Hopefully we can hire a replacement.

This is the last week of school before Christmas break.  Duncan and Berry are wearing pajamas as much as possible this week.  Duncan was also explaining how he's making a Minecraft mod with Santa, and how he drops presents if you kill him.  I told him I was horrified.

I moved kids around last night, returning Isa home and taking Sam and Emma to get their flu vaccinations.  They were hysterical, talking in pigeon German and Japanese all the way to the clinic.

Joanna continues to work away at her hotel descriptions and keeping everyone fed.  We're slowly getting organized for our Santa Cruz trip.  Sam and I have been playing King of Tokyo non-stop.  Can't wait to play it with the rest of the crew. 

Christmas, Phase One Complete

December 14, 2015 by Adam in Family

Friday night was Emma's concert at South Eugene.  She played well and seems to enjoy the flute.  It was fun taking my mom along, as she dressed up and looked super fancy.

Saturday morning the little kids woke up early to open stockings, along with Cecilia, who was up early.  Joanna made her a knitted stocking with Cecilia's name on it, and she was quite impressed.  Eventually my mom and Sam arrived and we began the present opening in earnest.  I ended up with a nice big hard drive, some NFC tags to play with, and a funny book of French cartoons from Cecilia (fortunately translated into English).  Everyone else got some fun loot as well and we spent the afternoon playing with them.

The rest of the weekend had people running to and fro.  Joanna took the little kids to a movie and then off to a Christmas party.  Sam went off with Isa.  I took Emma and Cecilia to Sizzle Pie and Sweet Life, playing board games as we went.  Sunday we puttered around - I got a lot of chores down and managed some video game playing time.  Emma and I watched Inside Out.  Eventually the day wound down with a tasty lasagna dinner from Joanna.  Sam and I played King of Tokyo until we ran out of time and had to be responsible.

This is another busy week - we've got things happening just about every evening.  Next Saturday we're packing up Cecilia and the little kids and preparing them for their flight. Sunday should be pretty quiet.

20 Years

December 11, 2015 by Adam in Family

It's been a pleasant week, if perhaps a little hectic.  Wednesday night Joanna and I went to Tacovore, followed by Sweet Life.  Last night we had Isa and her mom Signe over for dinner.  Joanna slaved away making sushi, which was quite tasty.  Tonight we have Emma's concert.  Tomorrow morning is Christmas - Phase I.

I did wake up this morning, convinced it was Saturday instead of Friday.  It took Emma's convincing to make me realize I needed to take a shower and get ready to get kids to school.  

Today is also my 20 year anniversary at PeaceHealth.  I think I get a pin or something whenever Karl returns from Vancouver.

New Term Wednesday

December 09, 2015 by Adam in Family

The kids finished up their terms last week and their grades have come in.  Sam pulled off a B in his Pre-Calculus class and A's in everything else. Since he did both a Linux class and web design, Sam ended up with two credits.  He was also surprised he pulled off an A in his AP European History class.  I suggested it was his Twine game about the Philosophes that pushed him over the edge.

Emma also got good grades, with her only B in her science class.  Her art teacher loves her.  I'm going to a parent-teacher conference tonight and Friday night she has her winter concert.

Duncan and Berry are their usual selves.  I think they're getting excited for their first Christmas this weekend.  Joanna and Berry made a fancy advent calendar for Joanna, filled with sweet notes from the children.  Duncan is increasingly goofy and silly.  Cecilia took a day off yesterday - she apparently couldn't bring herself to tromp through the rain to Roosevelt.  She spent the day relaxing in a quiet house and trying to get the airline to fix the accent in her name.

We're slowly getting ready for our California trip later this month.  Even though we're flying into San Jose, I think we'll spend most of our time around Santa Cruz.  I haven't been there since visiting BJ back in the 80's, so I barely remember it.  Presumably the hair styles have changed since then.

It's a busy week ahead of us - first going to Emma's parent-teacher conference, then getting Joanna for a dinner date, and finally picking up Sam at Isa's house.  Tomorrow Joanna is making sushi for Isa and her mom.  Friday is Emma's concert.  Saturday we have Christmas with Berry, Duncan, and Cecilia.  'Tis the season.

Christmas is Coming

December 08, 2015 by Adam in Family

It was a long, three-day weekend of Christmas preparations.  I'm sitting next to a row of stockings and looking past shiny things hanging from the ceiling to a glittering Christmas tree at the end of the room.  Presents were wrapped by the dozen.  Trees were purchased and decorated.  Lights were hung outside.  I look forward to a three week respite until we do it all again in reverse.

Sam and Emma had Friday off - Jamie picked them up around noon.  Joanna and I went out to eat at a new Latin American place on Willamette and then walked downtown to visit one of the stores on the First Friday art walk. 

Saturday I struggled with headaches, but managed to help get a tree.  I mostly hung out with everyone that day, playing games and puttering.  Cecilia has a hidden enthusiasm for wrapping presents, which I put to good use.  Eventually we watched a science show and ate pizza.

Sunday began with Isa arriving in the morning and hanging out with us all day.  I made everyone play Dixit, which they seemed to enjoy.  Off and on we played more Drawful and similar games.  I managed a bit more Christmas decorations.  My mom came for dinner.  Eventually Isa returned home, only to show up on our doorstep the following morning.

Monday was pretty low-key.  We took Emma to the orthodontist - she got a six month reprieve on doing anything to her teeth.  Emma and I watched High Society.  My mom picked up Sam, Isa, and Emma in the afternoon and put them to work.  I picked up my car from the shop, with news that I should replace the battery.  Joanna left to play soccer after dinner.  I chatted with Cecilia about the future and watched Sam play Isaac.  The weekend wrapped up with sitcoms and sleep.

Mocha Friday

December 04, 2015 by Adam in Family

I'm heading into work in an hour or so, the last day before a three day weekend.  I'll try hard not to move anything into live, though I've got a ton of things going on.  The crises are coming fast and furious these days.

Sam, Emma, and Cecilia are out of school today and Monday.  I'm taking Monday off, which is probably a good thing.  I seem to have a lot of Christmas-related preparations ahead of me.  Since Duncan, Berry, and Cecilia are away over the holidays, we're doing an early Christmas in a couple weeks.  This weekend is also Father Christmas something - all I know is that presents filled with shoes are involved.

As for the rest of the crew, the week has been relatively uneventful.  Joanna got her hair dyed purple.  Cecilia taught a lesson on voodoo.  Sam had Isa over for dinner last night.  Duncan is making a Santa-themed Minecraft mod.  Sam had his last final yesterday.  All is well.

We did have a rousing game of Fibbage last night, another game like Drawful where we enter things into our phones and watch the computer screen for the questions.  In this case, it was all about who was the best liar.  Remind me not to trust anything Joanna or Cecilia say, as they are both quite devious.

Wednesday Update

December 02, 2015 by Adam in Family

We're halfway through the week.  Duncan and Berry were home from school yesterday, theoretically sick, though Joanna is gleeful they're returning to school today.  Sam and Isa continue to hang out whenever possible - they're very cute together.  I finally got a ton of projects assigned to me at work and I've been frantically getting things done.  We had a minor crisis when the consultants deleted 1,500 users in an attempt to fix a problem, but I think it's fixed now.

Tromping Through the Wasteland

December 02, 2015 by Adam in Adam's Games

I'm continuing to enjoy Fallout 4, despite the occasional "RPG lite" aspects.  Bethesda games tend to be a little low on meaningful choices and full of the Disneyland joy of exploration and meeting interesting characters in the wasteland. 

I'm busy building up my settlements and getting into trouble with the high-tech remnants of civilization.  No idea how far along into the game I am exactly, but it feels like I've done quite a bit.  Occasionally I have to stop and take in the ambiance, though.  This view of a post-apocalyptic Boston sure was pretty.

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