Two Times Happier

Happy New Year everyone!

Here in Hong Kong it is 16 hours ahead of California, so I figured it out: I could actually celebrate New Years here and then hop right on a plane and go home and celebrate it there. It is a 14 hour flight so it would be cutting it close, but I could make it! However, I think instead I will watch the fireworks and maybe the ball drop in Times Square. That's Times Square, Hong Kong. Yes they have one too! So when it's 8 am, or 9 am or whatever time it is where you are from, think of me, bringing in the New Year.

A couple of interesting things about Hong Kong:

- when I see a Louis Vitton handbag or a North Face jacket, I assume it is fake. They do sell the real stuff, but why would you buy a 3000 dollar LV handbag when you can get the knock off for 300?

- they have an EXCELLENT transportation system here. You can even check your bags IN THE CITY and then take a fast train to the airport, turning a one hour taxi ride into a 20 minute train ride. The train opens up and you walk RIGHT INTO the correct terminal.

- they have mobile phone chargers in the train stations. With all the cords, not just an outlet. So even if you don't have your cord, its NO PROBLEM. They have it covered.

- You can almost walk around the entire city above ground. You know how Minneapolis has the skyways so you don't have to be cold when you are walking? They have the same thing here, but just to get you over the multi lanes of traffic. I still haven't figured it out though and sometimes I walk into a building hoping they have the overpass but instead just get looked at/followed by the security guy.

That's it so far! Happy New Year to all!


Escape: Successful

I made it safely to Hong Kong!! Its a gorgeous sunny day! Now I'm just
waiting for Mr Lovely who got stuck in the snow in Boston for two
days. Once he arrives, we head for China!

Ten on Tuesday (3)

This week I am linking up with Chelsea at rootsandrings.com for Ten on Tuesday.  

1. What was the number one item on your Christmas wishlist?
A printer that I could use to print out photos. One of my holiday time goals was to work on my photo albums. I got about halfway through. 

2. Did you get the number one item on your Christmas wishlist?
I bought it for myself because I couldn't wait until Christmas. 

3. How long has it been since you’ve had a pedicure?
Ummmmm... What's a pedicure. I clip my own toenails and do not paint them. 

4. How cold is it in your city today?
"My" city. In San Francisco it is about 50 degrees.  

5. How many pillows do you sleep with?
Two. Because one is not enough and three is too many. Unless they are really fat, then I only need one. 

6. Can you roll your tongue?

7. Do you always buy the same mascara or do you try new ones each tube?
I use whatever. I don't really care. I do like Clinic though; it's not clumpy at all, but it's too expensive. 

8. What’s your favorite cookbook?
Duh. Joy of Cooking 1960 edition. 

9. What was your first pet?
A black lab!! He was the best!! 

10. Do you wear jewelry on a daily basis?
One ring and earrings. The same ones every day; I never change them. 


Sharing is Caring

Grant & UJ playing with their toys.

Great Migration!

My Dad and I went for a drive the other day to see the migrating birds in the rice paddies between Chico and Yuba City. We couldn't have picked a better day. The weather was perfect, the waters were calm and clear and the reflections were beautiful! We got lucky because it had been overcast in the morning and it cleared up just in time for some photos!

up and away

nut orchard

big sky


Snack-a-Palooza & The City

Macy's shiny balls
I used to live in San Francisco. Every year  around Christmas time my family would come down to visit and we would walk around looking at the lights and store windows. It became a family tradition. Although I have not lived in the city for a while, my family still continues the tradition.

K, A & I at A La Turca
This year, we combined traditions. My friends and I like to wander around, eating one dish each from several restaurants until we are stuffed. This year, we only made it to two places (our eyes were pretty big at the first one) but we also went to the Tom and Jerry house on 21st St to see their wonderful decorations.

Mimie & Aila at Tom and Jerrys
The first place we went to eat is one of my favorites, A La Turca, where they have the best hummus in the city! It is a little hard to get to, as it is right on Geary and there is usually no parking, but we got a front row seat. That never happens!! Aila must be our good luck charm!

The next place we went was Mimies pick - Marnie Thai. It is down off of 9th and Irving. I had never been there before so it was a nice addition to my city restaurant tour. We had the sweet cakes, which are like coconut corn fritter things and are cooked one of those pans with multiple sections; these were round and delicious.

After that we went to Tom and Jerrys. These guys have been decorating the huge tree in front of their house as well as placing huge fake presents under it, for as long as I can remember. They have to get a building permit and no parking is allowed near it, it is that serious!

Next I met up with the Fam at Macy's where we looked at all the decorations and then wandered around the city before meeting up with my brother for some ramen in Japan Town.

All in all it was a wonderful time and an awesome Snackapalooza!


A Very Happy Soul

Originally uploaded by kyria!
Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope everyone is having a wonderful day!


I Listed a Little (Halfway Point)

A while back I wrote a post about what I was going to do while I was home. I wrote the first half of this post about a month ago, when I had completed half the items. Now, it is 3 days left before we head BACK on the road (yikes and yay!) so I am here to see if I completed what I said I would.

1.  Make cookies with my Mom. And Banana Bread. And…. I did this. I also made pies, turkeys and turkey pies. It has been very fun. I still have not gotten the nesting feeling out of my system.
2.   Get the BIG CAMERA (yay!) out of hiding and USE IT. I did this! To see some of the photos that have been the result of this, you can GO HERE.
3.   Cook a Thanksgiving turkey (actually, it will be my first time) Yes! A great Thanksgiving! A non dry turkey breast. Life is good.
4.   Meet K’s new baby A (and see K and A of course) see photos and details HERE.
5.   Have a couple of glasses of wine with my brother done!
9.  Chop down a Christmas tree (it’s a family tradition) We tried, really we did. But it snowed, REALLY hard and we couldn't make it up the road. So we stopped and bought one from the boy scouts instead.
13. Have lunch with Grandma B and dinner, and breakfast, and coffee, and more lunch! and great conversation!
14. Go to the Pig Roast in Acushnet (last year’s photos are HERE) Much pig was eaten, many stories were told. Much talk about the Patriots was to be had.
17. Make/send Christmas cards Call me obsessive, but I finished them before Thanksgiving!  Yay!
18.  Meet N’s new baby (C) and see her new house So colorful -the house. So calm - the baby. We looked through old photos of childhood -- it was a lot of fun!
25. Help Dad with the “winter” cleaning Sheet rock. Check. Window washing. Check. Shelf building. Check. I am becoming an expert with the screw gun. **Added - fix the roof, check! Caulk is my friend! (hehe)
26. Beat my parents at Rummikub. Hopefully. Beaten, they were. Play them again, I will. (I lost to my brother in ping pong though -- there WILL be a rematch!)
27.  Go see The Moth in NYC So FUN! If you ever get the chance to go, do! If you like funny stories told by real people, you would love it! 
28.   Visit my East Coast Family breakfast with Aunt and Grandma! A fabulous time!
As of today, December 24:
6.     Go to the Mission district in San Francisco and EAT a BURRITO. Yum. Went to the Mission but did not eat a burrito. Instead ate Thai, Turkish and Japanese...yum.
7.    Do a photo walk around Tobin (The Muses are doing a “where I live” series I am looking forward to contributing to) I did do this, but have not posted it online yet
8.    Make a snowman NOT YET!!! I am dreaming of a white Christmas!
10.   Drive from Quincy to Des Moines - a beautiful drive! See photos here.
11.   See Lea’s new house - so cozy! and I had a wonderful time!
12. Go to Target to re-up my travel supplies (and to gawk…I havent been to Target in ages!) I love Target!
15. Organize all my travel photos (eeek) halfway done. I did make a slideshow, does that count?
16. Finish my journal (or at least TRY to catch up) got up to August 4th...I guess I am still behind!
19. Day After Christmas breakfast with the girls In the works!
20. Take a walk on the beach on both the East and West coasts. Did it on the East but not the West.
21. Fix the roof of my house (dread) Not as bad as I thought it would be
22. Autograph Sara’s favorite photo Just did it now!
23. Read some books (I have been slacking lately) I read ONE. Review coming up.
24. Try to finally complete one of Katrinas Photo Walks (even though I am months late)

I had a wonderful few weeks at home/visiting friends etc!! Now its time to make like a tree and leave. In three days, I fly back to China for a contination of the adventure!


Sleeps With The Fishes

I have had many people ask me…where do you stay when you are on the road? I, along with my trusty notebook (where I [naturally] keep all my lists) am here to give you a few examples. FYI, we generally do not make any reservations; we just take what we find once we decide where we are going.

- Usually we stay in hostels. They are generally the cheapest option and almost always have an availible bed. For usually about 10 US dollars each, you get a dorm bed. Yes, you have to share a room with other people sometimes. But normally it is only a couple other people and for the amount of time we spend at “home”, we are not there enough for them to bug us. In fact, you oftentimes end up making friends with the people in your room and usually get along with them well enough to even hang out the next day! If nothing else, you get great travel advice this way.

- We also did a lot of camping. Unfortunately, we ended up going to a few countries where even the hostels were too expensive, so we traded a Europe guidebook for a tent (thanks S&R!!) and this is how we lived for a couple of months. The camping facilities where we were (Zambia, Namibia and South Africa) were wonderful usually. They mostly had great views, were in nice locations and were anywhere from $5 USD to $10 USD each.

- Guesthouses in some of the cheaper countries, such as India and Nepal (and Southeast Asia), are definitely the way to go! You get your own room WITH a bathroom (Hallelujah! In most hostels you have to share) for only about $1.50 USD - $5 USD. If you feel like splurging, you can get a room for (gasp) $8.

- Thanks to my job, which forces me to stay in a hotel about 9/10 of the year, we have hotel points**. Although using them is about 1,000 times faster than gaining them, we did get a few free nights at a nice hotel, which we saved for special treats OR places like Venice, where a simple hostel is about 25 Euros each!! (that’s about 32 dollars…EACH!) **if I have not blogged about these before, which I am sure I have, let me suggest that even if you only stay in a hotel a couple nights a year, make sure you sign up for these programs! You will eventually get a nice reward out of it.

- One time we slept in a car, which fortunately we had, becuase we were staying in a tent and it was pouring rain and everything was soaking wet. This was not the most comfortable night, but it was an adventure!

- Lastly, although we would not pick this on purpose, once or twice we could not get accommodation (like I said, we do it all on the fly, without reservations) and we had to pay for a night in a regular old hotel. We saw it as a treat, although that was not our first choice.

So, this is where I sleep. Some of the places are nice; some are not. None of them were downright scary, but some definitely were not super clean. All of these are great places to find out about the area, meet other travelers and hopefully get some laundry done.

Where do you stay when you travel? Do you splurge on accomodation? Or do you sleep in your car on the side of the road? What is important to you? A clean bathroom? A pool?


Crafts and Creations!

Come and visit us over on the Holiday Pals website, where we are blogging about crafts and food!!! Also, if you have a great recipe or craft idea, we always want to hear it!

Happy Holidays!

For All The Whos Down in Whoville

According to Entertainment Magazine these are the top nine (I don’t know why it’s nine and not ten) Christmas movies.

1. A Christmas Story
2. Love Actually
3. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
4. It’s a Wonderful Life
5. Elf
6. The Muppet Christmas Carol
7. Miracle on 34th Street
8. Die Hard
9. Scrooged

What is this world coming to? I mean, lets start at the top. Why is Love Actually a Christmas movie? Is it because it has a scene where there is a Christmas play involved or because Hugh Grant opens a Christmas card from the hot assistant? Maybe I have a bad memory, but my overall memory of the movie was not Christmas related.

Next, don’t even get me started on the next one. Really? Can a National Lampoon really be number THREE? What about all the others? This really tops Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life? Who is voting for these movies? 12 year olds? (I apologize if you voted for or really love these movies. I just believe there are tons of movies that are better than these.) This also goes for Elf (I am not really a Farrell fan, except when he was the cheerleader on SNL) and Die Hard. Really? DIE HARD? Excuse me if I don’t understand.

So, let’s talk about really good Christmas movies. In our family, Christmas movie watching is a sport. We usually have one on in the background at all times. My Mom especially is a Holiday movie aficionado. Here are a few movies (in no particular order) that I believe should have made the list (this list is supplemented by both of my parents as well).

1. Rudolph
2. White Christmas
3. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
4. Santa Claus the Movie
5. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (the original, cartoon version)
6. Charlie Brown’s Christmas
The above, along with numbers 1, 4, 6 and 7 above, would constitute our top 10 list of Christmas movies.

Photo Credit
What are YOUR favorite Christmas movies? Do you agree with the Entertainment Weekly list? Are you tired of A Christmas Story or can you never tire of repeating, “IT’S A LAMP!” and “Fragile, must be Italian” and “Help Me God, he had YELLOW teeth!”?


Oldies But Goodies

I have been home for the last week and on my to do list for probably the last 5 years (or so) has been to "scan old photos". I finally got around to doing a few of them! The quality is not great, but here are a few anyway!

Letter to Santa 1982
My Two Moms 1988

Girls Soccer 1993

How I Feel About My Brother 1984

Rock and Roll

I have so much to say that I don’t even know where to start. It’s been two weeks since my last confession.

In case you don’t know, it is not always easy for me to get on the internet. You take for granted your smart phones and your high speed internet. I do as well, at times. However, now, today, I do not. I am staying with my parents for the holidays. They do not have cell service. They do not have broadband. They have a land line, which works most of the time (more about that later) and they have….bum, bun, buhhhh…..dial-up. Yep. Dial-up. You thought that most people in the world had high speed internet? Well, you are wrong.

When I am not at my parents, I am usually traveling. While most places do have faster internet than my parents (imagine that. Africa – Medium Speed. California – Internet like a turtle) it is not always easy to find a computer, or one that has the internet. Needless to say, I am not one of those bloggers who blog every day. Some people I follow even blog multiple times per day! How do they do it!? I don’t know.

Here in California, in the mountains, in the “civilized” world, we can’t look at photos; we can’t check our Google reader; we can’t do much. So we just don’t do anything which includes the internet. It is too frustrating to try to get online. So we try to find other things to do instead. You would be amazed at what is exciting in these parts.

First off: Rocks.

My parents live on a very windy road. In case you don’t know it, it is in the Mountains near Sacramento. Think of Lake Tahoe. If you have been there, you know it is beautiful. There are endless spans of green pine, cedar and fir trees. There are peaked snowy mountains. There are windy mountain roads along gushing rivers. There are tiny mountain towns. People ski and snowmobile for fun. They sometimes have to do this to get to their houses because the roads are not plowed. It is the boonies. I love it. I think it is beautiful.

However, with beauty (and boonies!) comes danger. Snow creates accidents. Windy mountain roads are slippery. Mountains are full of…you guessed it. Rocks. Now you know where I am going with this story. Last Friday a rock came down on the highway and a lady ran into it and died. Yes, I said A ROCK. One rock! Here is a photo from the local newspaper.

On Tuesday my parents went “to town” (yup, we say that. We live that far out of “town”) to run errands. About 30 minutes after they left (and in the middle of a batch of cookies! Luckily the stove is gas!) the power went out. With it went the phones. This is the phone I was talking about before: the one and only phone, the land line. So I sat in the dark with no phone and no TV, trying to read my book with the light of two candles.

Yesterday (today is Thursday the 16th, who knows when this will actually be posted) there was another rock slide. This actually closed the highway. The big rock in the photo above was huge, but “luckily” only covered half of the highway. Mind you, there is not really a way around. If this highway is closed, you are SOL. Unless you have a 4WD vehicle, know your way around the mountains and are prepared to drive in snow, you have to wait. They said the road would be closed for about 3 hours. It was still closed today, 24 hours later.

So, we are on a roll. In the week I’ve been home we’ve had two rock slides, one causing a death, the other closing the one-and-only highway for at least 24 hours. We’ve had a power outage; we’ve lost our phones; we’ve had an unusual amount of rain. We’ve tried to trap a skunk (as of yet unsuccessful) and we’ve almost run over dozens of deer (without any luck).

Who says life is not exciting in the boonies without internet!?


On Procrastinating

I just wanted to say really quickly that if you haven't made your Christmas cards yet, you are in luck.

Kim at What am I Going To be When I Grow Up tipped me off on a great deal. Shutterfly is giving away 50 free holiday cards to bloggers! I already made my cards unfortunately, but maybe I will get started with next years' cards! Wink, Wink!

Anyway, even though I am probably not taking advantage of this great deal, I though you may want to! Good luck, Happy Blogging and Happy Holidays!

By the way, if you are a friend or family that normally receives a card from me and you haven't gotten it yet, please email me! They should have been there by now!

Road Trip: Day Five (aka Last Day)

Oh the last day of a road trip! You just want to get to your destination, so you don't stop to take photos or go to the Wizard of Oz museum because it is 30 miles off the highway and you don't want to spend another half an hour on the road.

Today's trip: Salina, KS to Des Moines, IA

Have you ever taken a road trip? We used to take them as kids. My dad had a 1970s era motorhome that was orange and white. I remember going to the Grand Canyon. I remember asking him, "how much gas mileage does this thing get?" (I think the answer was about 8 mpg.) I think asked him, "and how much does gas cost?" Then I would figure out how many miles we had to go and how much the entire trip would cost us. That was fun for me.

We would also play the license plate game, which is where you try to find as many different states' license plates as you can. My brother and I had a contest to see who could get the most. I honestly can't tell you who won those games. However, I still play that game, even when I am by myself. I found so many different plates on this drive!

The License Plate Game:
Farthest away plates: Alaska, Maine, Florida
Most common plate (other than states I was in): Minnesota

On this trip, I went through a total of 7 states. California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Iowa. 
Here are some of the stats:
Flattest state: Colorado (I did not go through the Rockies in CO)
Snowiest state: California
Coldest state: Nevada
Warmest state: Kansas

I have to say, call me biased, that the most beautiful state of all the states that I went through was, you guessed it, California. I like trees, preferably green ones that smell like pine. And mountains. If you can have both, that is even better. Although all the other states were beautiful in their own way, I still love California the best!

So, I guess what I am trying to say is that no matter how far you roam, "There's no place like home!"

Which state do think is the most beautiful? and why? 

Highway 70, California


Santas Little Blog Helpers

I follow a lot of blogs. There are several reasons for this. I can relate to a lot of the things that other people say, whether it is a problem, an opinion or a joy. I find lists that I didn't know I needed to make yet. I learn how to take better photos.

And taking better photos is what Katrina Kennedy does. I have been following her blog for a while and she has given me so many good tips! She is teaching an online class this month to help other people learn how to make the most of their holiday photos. If you are interested, you can find her info HERE. 

She is also doing a giveaway for a free class, which I believe ends this Friday, so put your name in the hat now! You can find that HERE

She also does a photowalk most months. She is from Sacramento and I'm sure would love your company. Or, if not, you can find her list online and do your own at home (that is what I will do, since I am in Iowa this weekend!) It is a good way to keep your photographic eye sharp!

Road Trip: Day Four

Country music is funny. Today on the radio, since I could not get any other stations, I listened to these songs:

1. All I Want for Christmas is a Real Good Tan
2. Pretty Good at Drinking Beer

After that I turned it off. I don't mind country, if there is nothing else, and I will definitely pick it over Christian rock, but how silly can you get? Speaking of driving through Kansas, I have found out a few things about Kansans:

1. They LOVE Jesus
2. They HATE abortion (there are tons of signs on the side of the road to prove both of these)
3. They make their bales in rolls. I like the rolls better than the cubes. (see photo at bottom)
4. Their BBQ is okay, but not "the best BBQ in the country". Sorry, Kansas. Actually Iowa so far has been the best I have eaten.

Today's journey: Denver, CO to Salina, KS.

Agate, CO

Agate, CO

Genoa, CO

near Grinnell, KS
Tomorrow is the last day. I will travel from here to Des Moines, which is about 350 more miles. There I will get to see my HS best friend and some old work buddies (in case you didn't know, I worked in Iowa for about 7 months and I learned a lot about corn while I was there).


Road Trip: Day Three

I have flown through Denver dozens of times and once had to spend the night due to a flight delay. However, I have never really BEEN to Denver (or Colorado in general!) So finally I made it. For real. I had a meal downtown and walked around the 16th street mall. So, now what do I have to say about Colorado?

1. They are worse drivers than CA, NV, UT or WY (but better than LA or FL!).
2. It is warmer here than in all the other states I have been through (the record was NV at -1 degree; it is in the 30s in CO)
3. There are a lot of bums downtown.
4. The mountains are BEAUTIFUL!!! but Denver is not as close to them as I thought it was.
5. There are a ton of towns with the name "springs" in the name. 

Also, let's not forget Wyoming. I thought it was flat; it is not. There are mountains and rolling hills both! It is beautiful. I only just skimmed the bottom edge of it, but I can't wait to come back when it is warmer and I have more time and go hiking, see Yellowstone, climb the Tetons and explore!

Today's stats:
Favorite license plate so far: Wyoming
Highest point: 8,640 feet
Number of pumps of chocolate in my Venti mocha this morning: 3
License plate from farthest away state: Alaska! My first one ever! (does anyone else play this game?) 2nd place: Florida (that guy must be freezing up here!)
Cost of parking for two hours in downtown Denver: $2.00
Miles remaining: 700

A couple of questions for you, readers: Have you ever taken a road trip? If so, where? What is your favorite place? And where's the coldest place you have ever been? The highest?

Today's trip: Rock Springs, WY to Denver, CO (a little bit of a detour to Denver, but I heard it was worth it)

Here are today's pictures. I noticed I have a lot of "road" shots, but hey, it IS a "road trip"!!! These were all taken in Wyoming. There is no snow in Colorado so I wasn't as photo crazy. 


Road Trip: Day Two

I woke up, walked outside, and my nostrils froze together. Once I checked the weather, I realized it was because it was below zero outside. Luckily it was not snowing anymore, but the roads were a little icy at the beginning. I went from Elko, NV to Rock Springs, WY today.

A few stats:
Number of White Pickup Trucks spotted: 456 (thats just an estimate)
Cost of full breakfast, including large coffee (at crappy casino cafe): $6.00
Number of times it snowed: 3
Average duration of snowstorm: 1 minute
Top Speed Limit: 75 mph
Number of states crossed: 3

Here are a few photos from today! I love the way everything looks covered with snow. It is white + another color. California was "black"; Nevada is yellow, Utah is red. I mostly drove through Wyoming in the dark, so I will have to think about that more tomorrow.

Elko, NV

near Wendover, Utah

near Skull Valley, UT

near Skull Valley, UT

near Skull Valley, UT

Salt Lake Marina, UT
I am having a great time listening to bad 80s music, singing at the top of my lungs and contemplating life as I stare at the back of the big rig in front of me. Tomorrow I will head towards Denver after exploring what Wyoming has to offer (it is surprisingly NOT flat, like I pictured!)

On Facebooking

okSo I am going to TRY to become a separate entity on Facebook. If you don't use Reader, this may a good way for YOU to keep up with my blog!

Here is a widget that links to it so you can see if you like it:

Travel Spot

Promote Your Page Too


B is For Borrowing

Sara did my job for me and put up a bunch of photos from Thanksgiving. There is even one of me making stuffing (or dressing, if you will) and Dad apparently showing me where the turkey's neck or other hole is. Also on her site is Mom massaging a turkey and a bunch of shots of various items of food going into people's mouths. Anyway, instead of me uploading a bunch more photos.....please go to her site to see our family photos! (in the photo above, thats Sara on the bottom, second from the right, in case you didn't know). Thanks Sara!!

Road Trip: Day One

Today I traveled from Quincy, CA to Elko, NV. The beginning was a little rough, as it had snowed all day yesterday and then got down to about 27 degrees last night, so the road was a layer of ice. For those of you in flat places with straight roads, consider yourself lucky. The first two hours was an icy, windy, uphill, downhill, slippery road. Once I got to Reno, I stayed on Highway 80 the entire way, so it was mostly clear except for a little snow around Emigrant Gap (about 6000 ft).

Day 1
Some stats for today:
Cups of coffee: 5
Number of times I stopped for gas: 1
Number of times I stopped to pee: 6
Number of danishes I ate, thanks to the Blairsden Bakery: 2
Miles driven: 371

Here are some photos. By the way, none of them are black and white, but I love how the snow and dark trees make them LOOK like they are! 

Near Graeagle, CA

Graeagle, CA

That ICY curve before Williams Loop.

Graeagle, CA

Bathroom stop, somewhere in CA

Bathroom stop near Winnamucca, NV


F is For Family and Other Random Thoughts

Well I have a lot to say, but unfortunately have not had the time nor the internet to post it! So, for now, I will give you random blurbs.

-When I first got here, I spent some time with K's family, both new and old. It was great to see her and A, to meet the new baby and to see my other set of parents. We ended our visit meeting my Mom and Dad at Brocks in Yuba City, where we gorged ourselves on banana splits.

"grandpa" Dad

- Dad put me to work sheetrocking the garage. He always manages to put together a "To Do" list for me when I am home. Actually, it is nice to be home long enough to actually be able to help him with it! Usually its just a weekend here or there and we barely have time to see each other, never mind accomplish any tasks.
After sheet rocking the ceiling

 - I met N's new baby. He's very quiet, just what I like in a baby. We had a great dinner with them, got to see another one of my sets of "parents" and to meet the new fiancee!
C and N
- I went to NYC and MA. There were a few fall colors holding on and they were really cool to see, especially in Central Park. I ate a lot of pig at the annual pig roast and had a great time hanging with Mr Lovely's family, as well as my own, who I met up with for breakfast at Cape Cod.
Goats at the farm
Brooklyn Bridge, NY
Mystic, CT

 - Then I came home for Turkey Day!! We had a great time with the whole family, mostly on my Dad's side. We played many games; I beat the boys at cribbage; I had wonderful chats with my aunts, uncles and grandma who I don't get to see very often. It was great. Here is a photo of the family doing what my Dad makes us do (as always!), which was to "act silly". I think Uncle J (middle top) is the winner in the silliness category, with Aunt D (wine glass in hand) as a close second. What do you think?
Acting Silly!
So, sorry I bored you by putting EVERYTHING on the same post, but I am not sure when the next internet opportunities will be, so I am covering my bases! I do have so many ideas about what to write, all the time, but after a few minutes, hours or days of not putting it down on paper, I forget. Once I am at the computer, I forget. Hopefully I will remember some more and I will be near the computer and I will be able to get them written down.

Next up -- I am driving from Quincy, CA to Des Moines, IA to see my best HS buddy, Red! My journey starts tomorrow! I am very excited to be alone in the car with my loud music and to see my friend, who I have not seen in a LONG time (since last Christmas I think).
Here's to a month full of great friends and family and Fun! For pictures, see my flickr site.