San Diego

I drove down to San Diego over the extended weekend which was really fun.  Went out to dinner at a place called Islands which we don’t have here in the Bay Area on Saturday night.  Played some poker with M&M’s, peanuts, and raisins for a while and went to my hotel which ended up being overbooked so they gave my room away.  They put me at a nice place across town free of charge which ended up working out but I paid for it with lack of sleep as I didn’t get into my room until 1am.  On Sunday I went to a church that has to have one of the best views possible because it is up on a hill and all of the windows overlook the ocean.  I liked the pastor a lot and got quite a few things out of the sermon.  Sunday afternoon I drove around and saw a lot of beaches, a lot of ocean, a lot of towns I don’t remember the names of, Seaworld (the outside of it) and seals.  Legoland isn’t too too far from Seaworld and it looks like Tyler would love going there when he gets older.  Sunday night I ate downtown and got some ice cream (can’t go wrong with that).  Laura, they had the USS Midway docked downtown and I think you can take tours on it which made me think of you and Skyler.  By the time I got downtown it was dark so the pictures I took won’t do it justice.  On Monday I-5 closed through the grapevine so I had to take 101-N the entire way home which turned a 7 hour drive into an all day and night event.  Made it home safe this morning and had a great time.

Preikestolen – The “Rock Pulpit”

My friend Lee sent me another good item.  It was a PowerPoint show but since some people don’t have PowerPoint, here it is in PDF format.  Isn’t that one rock stuck between two mountains what the “Where the Hell is Matt” guy danced on in one of the scenes of his video?

Near Stavanger in Norway there is a mysterious rock that rises 600 meters above the fjord Lysefjorden and to get there is not a climber’s dream!  The Preikestolen (literally “Rock Pulpit” is perhaps the most famous attraction in Stravanger. Once you’ve arrived at the parking lot at an elevation of about 270 meters, you’re at the beginning of the trail that leads to the summit of the rock terrace from which in a little less than two hours and another 600 meters you will get to the peak of the fjord.  To say that you’ll enjoy a breath taking view is a no brainer!  However be sure you are properly equipped to go on even though the trail is well tracked, good trekking shoes are strongly advised.  You have to be in good physical condition!

I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas


If I haven’t said it a million times before, I love California.  I was talking to my mom yesterday who said it was snowing like crazy in Portland and that my flight later in the day may not make it.  I was surprised to hear things were so cold up north because my neighbor across the street was washing his truck in a short sleeve shirt. My flight was scheduled to leave Oakland at 4:40pm but at around 1pm I learned via text message that the flight was canceled.  I tried to call Horizon Airlines after getting the text message to get another flight but upon calling they basically said “hey it is snowing like craheazy in the Pacific Northwest and we are slammed with calls so we can’t take any more so call back later…bye”.  After 20 minutes of trying to talk with someone they finally let people sit on the phone lines and my wait time was 19 minutes.  I got another flight which was scheduled to leave at 7pm so I took the dogs to the kennel, finished packing some last minute things, and headed to the airport.

If you haven’t traveled with a toddler by yourself yet let me just say you haven’t lived.  I lugged two huge suitcases, a backpack, and Tyler but don’t worry everyone I am power lifter so it was nothing for such a brute of a man like me.  I got all checked in and after going through security I have decided the terrorists have won.  Seriously, I had to take my laptop and video camera out of my backpack, take my shoes and Tyler’s shoes off, my belt off, and then when I got through they had to test the milk I brought for Tyler while I was getting us dressed again.

So after getting through  security I decided I deserved a Starbucks and let me tell you the coffee never tasted so good.  Since I got to the airport early I went to the other end of the terminal which was completely vacant so Tyler could run all over the place without bothering anyone.  You would have thought Tyler was Forrest Gump Jr. the way he was running around the airport.  About an hour into Tyler running around at the end of the terminal I got text messaged by Alaska Airlines that the flight was delayed another hour.  We went over to the gate to hang out which lasted about 5 minutes or less of sitting.  He played peekaboo with the woman behind us for a few minutes before deciding he wanted to run around again.  I talked him into going to Starbucks yet again and got another coffee.  When you are entertaining a toddler in an airport a guy needs his coffee and there really wasn’t more I could do to keep myself entertained.  After I got my second coffee (life is good) I showed him the horizontal escalators that connect the two terminals.  Since it was about 9pm at that point nobody was riding the escalators so I took him on it which he loved.  I swear we took those escalators 5 times each way before we needed to get back over to the gate.

The escalators were great entertainment and even I was having fun drinking coffee and chilling on the escalator watching the planes.  About the time we got back over to the gate we were told the plane we were waiting for just left Portland so we were going to be delayed another hour and twenty minutes.  That meant more walking around the airport with Tyler so by the time the plane came in and they called for families traveling with young children I marched right to the front of the line let me tell you.  I talked with a couple with a young daughter from Portland until we were ready to board the plane.  How great would it be to be able to go to the front of every line any time you had your young child with you?  Seriously when you are traveling with kids it is like parting the Red Sea of people.  Let me tell you it is like you are traveling with a rock star getting into aclub ahead of everyone else.

We boarded the plane and the flight attendant was nice enough to move the person next to us so Tyler could have a seat to himself.  I luckily had half a bottle of milk left for him so as we were taking off I gave him a bottle to help his ears and before we hit 30,000 feet he was asleep and stayed asleep the entire way.  Horizon Airlines is great because they give out Jones Soda, Northwest microbrews and wine, and unlike every other airline out there they don’t charge you a dime for it.  So anyone that knows me knows that I chose the microbrew which was Snow Cap ale from Pyramid Brewing that I loved.  In fact every time the flight attendants came down the aisle they would fill your glass so not eating that night I was loving life after walking behind a toddler in an airport for 4 hours.

My dad had to chain up his truck to pick me up but we made it into my parent’s house at 1am and Tyler was such a trooper.   Between Tyler and Alaska/Horizon Airlines, I can’t thank everyone enough for making the trip up to Portland as painless as possible considering the weather conditions.  We laid Tyler down in a crib at 1:30am and he literally just passed out as soon as we put him in.  It is snowing like crazy still here today so more videos and posts to come.  :)

Bob’s Red Mill

My mom, dad, nephew Evan, and I went to Bob’s Red Mill for breakfast this morning.  If you are ever in the Portland, OR area you should definitely visit and get some breakfast.  They opened a huge visitor’s center across the street from their mill which sells products they produce as well as serve breakfast and lunch.