Friday, June 6, 2014


You know those videos where the parents casually ask kids, what do you want to do today/for your birthday/this weekend?  And then the kids say wishfully, Disneyland.  Then the parent says, get in the car, we're going!  And then the kid cries they are so happy?  Yeah, Sean says he wants to do that with our kids.  I decided to do a test run and I did it to him.

My brother was so kind to give us two park hopper passes.  When I was casually asking Sean if he would be off on a day during the week he asked me why.  I then showed him the tickets.  I honestly wish I recorded it because he was just as happy as those kids.  He was a kid himself.  Needless to say, we were excited to go Disneyland.

It had been over a year since we'd gone and we planned to make the most of it.  We got there early, luckily the park opened later so traffic wasn't a problem.  We always try to do new things at the park, whether it is doing a new ride, attraction or restaurant.  We'd never been on Winnie the Pooh so that was one of our first.  Another one of my firsts was eating a Dole Whip and Sean had Bengal Tiger for the first time (even though he's seen me eat a ton of them).  We also hit up Innoventions which was Sean's first time.  They had a meet and greet with Captain America but Sean didn't want to wait in line.  I knew it wasn't Chris Evans but I thought it would have been fun.  We hit up almost all the big rides, some multiple times.  We even got a few rides in at California Adventure.  The Mater ride (my new favorite) was down which was very disappointing.  We had a long day but felt very satisfied.  There is nothing like a day spent at Disneyland.
I do not like the dropping feeling so it took a lot for me to do Splash Mountain

Winnie the Pooh, we may have been the only adults in line.

I really enjoy Space Mountain, but not standing in the 95 degree weather!

At Innoventions we were able to see the suits from the Iron Man movies.

We decided to splurge and ate at the Blue Bayou.  This is such a fun place to eat!

Indiana Jones

We really like the Racers.  We also really like the short single rider lines.

I was so disappointed that the Mater ride wasn't open.
We got to see a 10 minute sneak peak of Maleficent.  They even gave us horns.

Eating my Bengal Tiger.  Yum!

The Morning Hike When I Almost Died

Ok, maybe I wouldn't have died but it definitely wouldn't have been fun.

I went hiking in Quigley Canyon with my friend Sherri when something caught my attention just 3-4 strides in front of me.  To be honest I thought it was a cow pie, which my immediate thought was, there shouldn't be cow pies here!  Then it took a second longer for me to realize it was a snake.

I had immediately stopped and backed up.  Sherri was puzzled on why I had stopped and I told her there was a snake in my path.  It was a bit hard to see because it was curled up in the dirt in the shadow of a bush.  After looking at it she informed me it was a young rattlesnake, the most venomous kind.  Geez, thanks for telling me that, now I have to walk past it.  Needless to say I was a bit nervous after that.

I then preceded to tell Sherri of my experience encountering a Gila monster (the only venomous lizard in North America) which then reminded me of another poisonous encounter in Jordan.  She asked me, was it a scorpion?  Actually, I do have a scorpion experience but that wasn't the story I was going to share.  After telling her about my three poisonous creature encounters and my one coyote encounter, Sherri questioned her welfare being in my presence. I assured her I wasn't a magnet for the dangerous.

The hike had a nice view of Melody Ranch, a western filming backlot.

There were many trails along this hike

Some of the trail had lots of bushes.  This only made me more nervous after my encounter.

You probably cant see it here, its in the middle group of shadows.

Here's a better shot, I didn't want to get too close!

I survived!
So in case you were wondering about my other poisonous animal adventures here's the scoop.  When I was in Jordan doing an excavation I was sifting through dirt retreived from our site.  I was using my hand to help break up the clumps and get them through the sifter.  My director was watching me then all of a sudden grabbed my hand.  He pointed out a spider that is very poisonous.  It was huge and, thinking it was dead, took a picture of my finger with it.  Seconds after I pulled away it started to move.  Nope, not dead.

I don't have a picture of the scorpion I encounter but I've included a picture of the grave I was digging in.  After I dug out a corner of dirt I saw this little movement of yellowish color.  I didn't know what kind of creature it was but I suspected it was a scorpion.  It looked different from your typical scorpion.  I had someone go get the supervisor who informed me it was, indeed, a scorpion.  I jumped out of that grave in no time.  I learned later, the lighter the color the more venomous they are.

Sean and I visited Arizona for baseball spring training.  You can read the highlights here.  We visited a national monument and on our trail we came across the Gila Monster walking across our path. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Another Saturday Outing

We had to go into Beverly Hills for an errand a couple of Saturdays ago and I decided we couldn't miss the opportunity to do something local.  It was a bit to early for most things to open so we headed to Franklin Canyon and did a small hike.

It was a gorgeous area with different kind of floral than is typical of southern California.  I guess that is why shows have been filmed there.  I recognize it from the Andy Griffith Show and Murder, She Wrote but of course more modern shows have used its location. 

After we spent some time there we headed home but we first stopped at the Nethercutt Museum.  This was kind of a hidden gem.  It's FREE and its close by.  There are two aspects of the museum, the actual museum and then the collection.  The museum basically was a huge room that housed tons of old restored cars.  The collection has some more cars, vintage musical instruments and other random collections.  We enjoyed seeing the cars, especially noticing how large the earliest cars were!  They had a motor home that you could walk through (it was so tiny!) and there was this awesome music box that played the violin.  It was something I never seen before.

I believe this was the smallest car they had on display.
I loved these limos, they're so classy!

Inside the Motor Home, it was toted as a two bedroom.  It had an ice box and a teeny bathroom.

Outside the motor home
This was a violin music box.  There were pins for where the fingers would go and constant rolling cushions for where the bow would be.  They even had a pedal where it would make the vibrato.

Cowboy Festival

My parents grew up in Idaho.  My mom grew up on a farm.  For a family reunion once, we attended a rodeo.  So when I learned about the Cowboy Festival in Santa Clarita I knew my parents were the perfect invitees!   

I knew it would be a fun outing because the festival takes place at Melody Ranch, a working western backlot.  Apparently it is only open to the public during the festival.  What I didn't expect were the crowds!  It took us almost an hour just to load the buses to transport us to the Ranch.  When we got there were saw plenty of sights.  There were a range of people.  Some people were dressed up because they were "actors" and other people were decked out just for the heck of it! 

It was really neat to be able to walk around the set.  They had a museum where they showcased memorabilia from various shows that filmed there.  The site has a long history so there were plenty of stuff to see.  Being a museum professional, though, I have to admit I thought it could have been a lot better.  Maybe I should pursue a job there! 

My coworker is in a band that was performing at the festival so it was really neat to seem him play.  We also attended a cowboy poetry reading and a performance by the Sons of the San Joaquin.  We ended the night with some dutch oven peach cobbler.  I left with one souvenir, a parasol.  Sean is a little embarrassed that I have one and swears I will never use it.  I've been wanting one for a while so you just wait and see!
Bonnie and Clyde get away car

Stagecoach used in Maverick

They had a picture showing how many "extras" they had of this.  Sooo many destroyed!

Each building had an interior, like the bank had a teller and the jail had a cell.  Kinda cool!

My coworker Sage and his band, the Lucky Stars

This gunslinger trains actors

Cowboy poetry