Sunday, August 31, 2008

todd family vacation – dillon beach, california

all 19 of us got together last month for the annual todd family vacation. we stayed at a beautiful beach house in northern california and had a great time together. the house was big enough to supply everyone with a bed…well, all the adults that is (you never knew where you might stumble upon a kiddo sleeping…like a port-a-crib in the closet). technically dave and i did get a bed, although it was a double futon aka “the bottom bunk.” i guess it is an upgrade from our family vacations growing up. as the youngest child i usually ended up sleeping on the floor if there weren’t enough beds. we had a great time playing and there was plenty of food, noise [9 grandkids ages 9 mo.-8 years old (three 2 year olds) = 7 rowdy boys and 2 girls], games and beach-time fun! all the fun resulted in lots of pictures, so i have left a ton off the blog (believe it or not). i have made a few collages so it isn't too overwhelming (for me or others).

hanging out at the beach house - reading books, playing games ("fast sundae" was a hit with the kids...although sometimes the competition got a little intense and "ticket to ride" was a hit with the big involved some trash talking), movie morning, wrestling, the ultimate climbing tree in front of the house, smothering brandon, eating, blowing bubbles...

dave’s *constant* companion. it was rare to see him without myles hanging onto him. they were buddies the whole trip.

fun at the beach - the sand was so soft and perfect for hanging out, building sand castles, collecting jelly fish, sea shells and sea weed, reading, beach olympics, frisbee golf, flying kites, a morning jog, digging, putting your head in and exploring...

the walk down to the beach

boogie boarding - thank goodness for wet suits. i still had to muster up my courage to get in the cold water. needless to say we didn’t come home with a tan from our beach vacation.

bonfire and s’mores on the beach

the girls...and we'll get 1 more in october!

grandma, grandpa and all the grandkids

this was one of the best of *many* shots (from many cameras). it's not easy getting all 9 kids to look at the camera...or smile. they sure are cute!

when dave and i got to the airport after the vacation we felt like we had forgotten a kid. after a week straight with lots of kids around it was weird to be just the 2 of us again (although we did enjoy the quiet). can't wait till next year!

san francisco!

dave and i snuck away a day early from dillon beach and headed to san francisco. i love this city and was excited for dave to visit for the first time. the #1 thing dave wanted to see was alcatraz and apparently it was also the #1 thing all tourists in SF wanted to see. we realized this when we went to buy tickets and they were sold out for the next 7 days! yikes! i knew it was popular but i had no idea you had to plan that far in advance (i’m more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants girl). so note to others: purchase your tickets online in advance. we were definitely bummed and i felt awful for dropping the ball. we began to wander around the city and hit up all the major sites:

pier 39

we found a shop on pier 39 to try on fun hats...something we like to do wherever we go

fisherman's wharf

ghirardelli’s square - i loved learning about the process of making one of my favorite things...chocolate!

even though it was chilly we couldn't pass up the chance for some delicious ice cream.

during our walking tour of the city dave had to stop and use the restroom and so i began to talk to a guy working in a tour booth on the street (i have been known to talk to strangers wherever i go). we ended up getting to see alcatraz and scored a great deal. here was how it went: the next morning we listened to a 90 minute time share presentation. they are pretty dang convincing but we held strong…mainly because we would prefer to own an everyday home *before* we purchase a vacation home and all of that takes money...more than we have at the moment. after we listened to the pitch we got our 2 tickets to alcatraz (retail value $52), all day parking (retail value $32) and 2 tickets for a double-decker hop-on hop-off city bus tour (retail value $54). we felt pretty good about paying only $40 for all of it!
so it all worked out!

some of the city sights we saw on our bus tour including coit tower, a street car, the capitol, the trans america building and lombard street. we actually walked many blocks up a *really steep* street to get a closer look at lombard street. my legs were screaming at me and i was thinking about what great legs i would have if did the walk everyday. we got to the top and wished we had driven up so we could drive down the most crooked street in the world. but instead our quads got a workout going down.

we hopped off in china town and went to the oldest chinese bakery in SF. i remember getting some really good pork buns from a chinese bakery on my mission and so we bought some for lunch. either this bakery wasn't as good or my memory of the buns on my mission was a bit skewed because they were not that good. luckily they were only 90 cents each.

my china man...too cute

we were so excited for alcatraz and it did not disappoint us. it is such a facinating place. definitely worth 90 minutes at the time share for the tickets.

we had to hit up in 'n out before we left. soooo good (it definitely made up for the pork bun)

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

rocky mountain high

on saturday morning we woke up much earlier than we normally do (we don’t have kids which means we usually get to sleep in) and headed out to chatfield state park for the rocky mountain hot air balloon festival. i heard about it 2 years ago and have wanted to go ever since. in order to save the entrance fee to chatfield we parked just outside of the main entrance (along with hundreds of other people) and enjoyed the beautiful morning. i will admit that i don’t know much about hot air balloons, but i expected them to all go up high in the sky at the same time. that didn’t quite happen. instead some would go up high and others would hover lower and then they would switch. i kept expecting them to all go up together, but then the energizer bunny balloon appeared and that seemed to be the show finale. all in all, not quite what i expected but still pretty cool and the morning was beautiful so i can’t complain. i don’t know if we will make it an annual family event, but it was worth it once. i do want to go on a hot air balloon ride now though.

saturday night fun

one of my tragic flaws is that i try to cram too much stuff into a limited amount of time. saturday night was one of those instances. about a month ago i got tickets from work to a suite at the rockies game. then just last week we got invited to a party at our friends’ house that started at the same time as the rockies game. dilemma right? rather than just choose one, i decided that we would go to the party for about an hour and then head to the rockies game late. this drives dave crazy! he doesn’t understand why i can’t just choose one. but i like to do it all. lucky for me he is a good sport. so after a fun chip ‘n dip party and a chance to see lots of friends we headed to the rockies game. they came alive in the 7th inning and beat the cincinnati reds 11-10.

on the way home we saw some proof of the upcoming DNC and a great fireworks. dave and i are kicking ourselves for not renting out our apartment during the DNC. it would have been some easy money and we live within walking distance of the light rail and only a short ride downtown. oh well, a good idea a little too late.

an addition to the side of a building by the pepsi center

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

back to blogging

i feel really behind in my blogging. i know it really isn’t much of a concern for anyone else, but i want to make sure i am keeping a record of all that is going on (since i am going to print out this blog and it will replace scrapbooking…at least for the time being). i still have never posted pictures from the todd family reunion in california and all the little kiddos are too cute to miss the opportunity to show them off. dave and i have been married for a year now (whoa) and that gives me the perfect excuse to blog about how great he is and how wonderful being married it (not that i need an excuse). plus i just got home from a 10 day work trip to alaska (definitely too long to be away) and it was gorgeous. i am sure the above list has piqued the curiosity of many (probably not though). stayed tuned!

one year down, an eternity to go

august 4th was our first anniversary and i can't believe it...quite the milestone! the year has gone so fast and being married has been more fun i could imagine! since our actual anniversary fell on a monday, we celebrated the whole weekend before. on friday i came home and told dave to pack a bag because we were going to stay some place for the weekend. we went downtown and stayed in a funky, contemporary hotel called the curtis (thanks to a great deal the travel agent at work got for me). each floor of the hotel had a really fun pop-culture theme and was decorated appropriately. some of the floor themes were "one hit wonder," "sci-fi," "tv mania," "chick flick," and the "dance floor." plus when the elevator stopped at each floor a voice that goes with the theme announced the floor (ie elvis, austen powers etc). i wanted to see each floor and hear the elevator greeting and dave was a good sport and stopped on each one with me (all 13 floors...yes, he was a very good sport).
we stayed on the "big hair" floor

this was the alarm clock in our room. it even had an iPod jack in it

we had a great time celebrating. we went and had mongolian bbq and walked around downtown. we slept in and ate breakfast at a great diner and then went and saw the matinee of "the dark knight." on monday, our actual anniversary, when i got home from work dave surprised me with dinner and flowers and left me a little treat on my plate

the little treat on my plate was "breaking dawn" and i was so excited!! after dinner he hid it for the rest of the week and gave it to me when i was leaving for my big trip. he knows me well and knew that if he left it with me i would read it before i ever left on my trip (and i would ignore him in the meantime). by the way, i *loved* the book! it was perfect and when i was finished i was actually sad, not because i didn't like the ending but because i was sad i had finished and it was over. i guess i just have to wait until november for the movie.

on tuesday i sent dave on a scavenger hunt celebrating some of our "firsts" since it was our *first* anniversary. i sent him to where we first saw each other, where he first asked me out, where he first gave me flowers, where we first kissed, where he first said he loved me, where we first got engaged...anyway, you get the idea. he ended up at home (our first place together) and i had his favorite ice cream waiting for him and we watched a movie. in hindsight i realize it was pretty anti-climatic to have him end up at home. oh well, next time will be better.

as a missionary many years ago i began to understand the value of having a companion…someone you worked with, sacrificed with, laughed with, cried with, relied on, trusted in and were unified with a common goal. i must say that over the past year i have come to understand and appreciate the value of companionship even more. i couldn’t have asked for a better *eternal* companion than dave. he is my best friend and has made me happier than i could have hoped for. he is thoughtful, unselfish, loving, supportive and man can he make me laugh. it makes me excited for all that is to come! love you D! here’s to eternity!