California Vacation ~ Part 1

Posted on October 17th, 2010 by Jean

Our family reunion/vacation has come and gone. It really flew by, as I knew it would. Our first day consisted of driving to Vegas, hopping on a plane, landing in Sacramento, renting a car, and checking into our hotel. At 4pm, we gathered at my brother’s house for my sister’s surprise birthday party hosted by our nine year old nephew. He had the dining room decked out in a Spider Man theme, and had personally made spidey cupcakes to compliment the bakery cake my Mom brought. High on a sugar rush, the kids played Wii games while we adults talked, laughed, and absorbed the warmth of family.
 

 
After the sun set, our rumbling stomachs insisted we toss down a sacrifice, so we gobbled burgers, nuggets and fries to appease them. We slept well in our new surroundings, but I dreamt of cutting open my pillow and removing half of the stuffing. I wasn’t meant to sleep with my chin resting on my chest, eyes staring at toes.
 
At 5am, we woke and began to kill time before contacting family. We drank coffee and fed the kids ramen noodles. The girls bathed, using the cinnamon-scented soaps and lotions. Tom retrieved plates of complimentary bacon and english muffins. Finally the hour was respectable enough to make a phone call, and we were soon in my parents’ kitchen. The girls wasted no time drawing pictures to adorn Grandma & Papa’s fridge.
 

 
At 11am, we caravanned to the Texas Roadhouse for lunch. I hadn’t heard of this fine establishment, but we were encouraged to throw peanut shells on the ground while the staff burst into spontaneous dancing. Birthday celebrants, such as my sister, are forced to sit on a saddle while patrons yell, “Yee Haw!” Don’t believe me? Watch the short video.
 

 
After a delicious lunch, we ventured over to the Jelly Belly Factory for a tour. The best part? Samples were handed out along the way. We tasted honey and plum beans and juicy pear centers.Family at Jelly Belly The pace was brisk, and we soon popped out at the Gift Shop. I couldn’t resist buying souvenir socks, water bottles, sour worms, and super fruit beans for the girls. Of course, I grabbed a bag of chocolate malt balls for myself. I love chocolate!
 
Still full from lunch and jelly bean snacks, we walked to a local pond, admiring the ducks & geese, and tossing them bread.
 
Returning to my brother’s, the kids entertained themselves with Wii until Uncle Jim performed an impromptu magic act. Tom got in at the end, and it was dueling card tricks to the astonishment of us all. Note to self: Learn a card trick!
 
We called it an early night because the next day we were heading to Six Flags.
 
To be continued.
 
• When was your last family reunion?
• Have you been embarrassed in a restaurant on your birthday?
• Know any card tricks?

Ghost Stories

Posted on September 10th, 2010 by Jean

After tucking the children into bed at night, I sneak to my room and watch an hour of Celebrity Ghost Stories, Ghost Hunters International, or Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal.
 
If you get a chance to hear celebrity Sammy Hagar‘s tales, tune in. He’s so mellow as his stories unfold. Or listen to Ghost Hunter Barry Fitzgerald‘s thick Irish accent as he respectfully requests the presence of ghosts. Tis lovely. Paranormal kids are in good hands with no-nonsense psychic, Chip Coffey.
 

 
I wish shows like these had been around when I was younger! Growing up, I experienced so much paranormal activity I thought I was haunted.
 
Here is my homage to Celebrity Ghost Stories. I call it Blogger Ghost Stories.
 

 
• Do you watch televised ghost shows?
• Do you have a haunting to share?
• Would you ever investigate a haunted domicile?
• Have you ever looked in a mirror and seen something unexpected?

Reagan Christmas Trees

Posted on December 9th, 2009 by Jean

I’ve just returned from a visit with my sister. One of the highlights of the trip was touring the Reagan Library in southern California. From Nov. 18th to Jan. 10th the Library displays 26 Christmas trees representing the countries President Reagan visited while in office.

My sis was right. I have forgotten which trees are from which countries, but one thing is for certain. They are all gorgeous! I hope you enjoy this tremendous photo blog.


Coffee beans on the Columbian tree.


Snake on Indonesian tree.


My favorite tree.

• What tops your tree?
• Do you have any unusual ornaments?


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