Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sunset Dinner Cruise

July 15th, 2003

"Ok, so we never actually toured Carson City. We got there, went to a Ross (where I got some shirts), a bible book store, and an ice cream parlour. We were too tired to look at everything, so we went back to the cabin and took a nap before we headed out to Tahoe City to catch a Sunset Dinner Cruise. The cruise ship was called 'Tahoe Gal' and was scheduled to sail 2.5 hours. They served drinks on the top deck (or wherever the person who ordered had gone to). Then we had a choice of eating an appetizer up top or down below. We chose to have our steamed clams and Pepsi refills up on the top deck. I didn't really like the clams, but (Sir) did and that way there was more for him!! :) The dip was good though, so I dunked bread in it. We went out to the front of the boat which was really neat because of the wind and the fact the water was so clear we could see rocks and sand on the bottom of the lake. We ordered our food out there and they came and found us later to tell us that there was a table set up for us on the lower deck. The meal was absolutely delicious. I had Beef Prime Rib and (Sir) had Salmon. Both meals were served with rice pilaf and asparagus (again both were great) and proceeded by an awesome Caesar salad. It was one of the best meals we've ever gone out for!"

You might have noticed the date on the entry above. I wrote it on our Honeymoon in California. I don't remember if the cruise ship of the entry above was a paddle wheeler or not since we took very few pictures while on our honeymoon and none of them were of that Sunset Dinner Cruise.

One day short of being exactly four years later, Sir and I went on another Sunset Dinner Cruise. This time it was a 3 hour jot up and back down the Fraser River. Our anniversary this year was on a Thursday, so we decided to save our anniversary dinner for the weekend and went on the Saturday Riverboat Cruise later in the week. I did forgot our camera, but we picked up a disposable excuse of one at a convenience store on our way to the dock.
There's nothing like being handicapped by a non-digital photography device when you're used to its superior. And aside from carefully choosing what shots deem worthy of taking up non-erasable space, it's bitterly disappointing to find that 7 pictures you were looking forward to the most happened to not be included on the developed film. (I think 'infuriating' was a more accurate term in my case.) At least a few of the pictures turned out to be worth using.

I'm not sure how much of the journal entry above was written from behind rose-tinted glasses or if our tastes and expectations have increased, but our last dinner cruise pales slightly in comparison to the record of the first. We were assigned a table on the top deck, right beside an open window. This was especially nice for Sir since he loves to have fresh air wafting about. Since the meals weren't going to be served for an hour or so, we made our way out to the front and side of the boat away from most of the crowd. The temperature couldn't have been more perfect and there was a delightful breeze to enjoy.

We saw a sturgeon leap out of the river, and once we actually got on our way we saw quite a few other things including a rotating railway bridge, some very interesting birds that were too far away to get a picture of without a camera zoom, some kind of old barge with huge abandoned engines on it, and a lot of beautiful scenery.

Our waiter came and found us when our Caesar salads were ready. It didn't take us long to eat them, and once we were finished we got up and wandered around the boat taking pictures. Most of which turned out too dark, or blurry, but Sir did get a good picture of the paddles. There was a upper deck bar (or whatever fancy name they called it) and as passengers ordered their drinks and took them outside where they could visit, the deck got pretty crowded and noisy. Of course when you're 7+ months pregnant places do tend to get crowded rather quickly.

Gradually group by group disappeared as they were summoned to their supper and the entire boat was almost silent (except for the music that was played throughout the whole cruise) as the meals were consumed. This time I had a steak dinner with a baked potato and Sir had Salmon again. We each had a side of garlic shrimp with our meals and overall, supper was pretty good.

While everyone was eating, the DJ guy announced over the speakers the list of people celebrating their birthday or an anniversary. He didn't know about us, but we didn't mind especially since there were some couples there celebrating 16, 30 and 48 years of marriage. Compared to that four doesn't seem very impressive, but it does mean there's lots to look forward to!

After supper, while some people danced (it wasn't what I thought dancing was, but they seemed to be having fun I guess), Sir and I went back to the front of the boat where we watched the scenery float by. I got a good picture of the sunset reflecting on the water that I really like.

Not long before we docked, we saw a mother duck with her ducklings swimming ahead of us close to the shore. Just as we caught up to them, the mother duck panicked, and flew across our path about 30 feet ahead of the boat. Her three mid-sized ducklings were too small to fly in pursuit of their mother and instead, started swimming frantically toward her. From the looks of it, those little ducklings weren't going to make it before we came up on them, but thankfully the captain saw them too, and slowed down giving the ducklings just enough room to make it safely to their mother. It was almost as interesting to hear and see the other passenger's reactions to the duckling drama as it was to watch the adventure unfold.I took a picture of the ducklings, but it was one of the pictures that didn't even show up on the film.

Once we docked, I took a bunch of pictures of the paddle wheeler all lit up with lights that should have turned out pretty neat, but they didn't show up on the film either much to my disappointment. Oh well, maybe I learned my lesson about forgetting the camera. Overall, it was a very enjoyable evening, and it wasn't until just a few days ago, that I discovered that the two cruises were just a day different after four years.

Monday, July 30, 2007

95 Posts Later...

My blog celebrates it's first birthday!

Ok, I know that's not terribly impressive, but I managed to actually make it through my first year of blogging without giving up. Maybe by next year I'll have made it to 200 posts.

And it's lunch time... er, past lunch time which would explain the noise coming from the living room. I shall close and rescue my apparently 'starving' children.

Friday, July 27, 2007

One Year Portrait

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6

As you can see, I finally got PC's professional 1yr. pictures back yesterday. Of course the picture you settle on to get the package price, is never as good as the shots they take afterward, but at least I have a picture card that allows me to chose one sheet of pictures for free from the additional shots. Because I knew that, I put up with all the extra posing so if there was a better picture than the package picture, I could at least get an 8x10.

The package picture isn't bad, but is just doesn't have PC written all over it. Instead, it looks a lot more like my brother than my son! Oh well, that's what I'll be handing out to all the relatives because that's the shot we have a few dozen copies of. At least everyone can see the extra shot here since I'm keeping that one for PC's baby book. I've included the package picture below too, so you can see them both actually.

I'm considering changing PC's blog nickname. We never call him that at home anymore... in fact I don't even think of him as 'Prince Charming' when I see 'PC'. Dolly and I call him 'Ham-bone' (it's very fitting when he decides to be goofy) or 'Little Man' most of the time, but those aren't as flattering titles to be referred to as, so I might leave 'PC' alone for the time being after all.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Summer Splash!

This past Saturday, Sir and I took our little people to "see the whales". At least that's what we had told Dolly we would do when the buttons in The Jar ran out. A few weeks ago we purchased some tickets to the Vancouver Aquarium with some air miles and invited Sir's parent's to accompany us. We settled on a date and then watched our heat wave come and go- chased away by a week of drizzles and downpours. Saturday was actually supposed to be pretty wet (and for the most part it was), but we decided to take our chances, packed some towels and extra umbrellas and went anyway.

We had hoped to meet Sir's parents bright and early, but we didn't get to the aquarium until 10am- half an hour later than planned. Dolly was ecstatic. Before we even got out of the van she was calling out the window, "We're waiting for you whales! Just a minute, we'll be right there!. She could hardly contain herself as Sir and I unpacked the double stroller and loaded it up. The first thing we saw as we approached the entrance was a giant fountain (that I forgot to get a picture of). We let Dolly out of the stroller and helped her up onto the ledge that surrounded the fountain so she could play in the water a bit. Needless to say, she loved it.

Once we got inside the main entrance, we scanned the "events board" to see what was going to happen next. The otter feeding was supposed to have started just two minutes before, but by the time we got there, the crowd around the otter tank was so dense, that it was useless to even try to get a view at all... not to mention a good one. I was a bit disappointed, because I thought the kids would really enjoy seeing the otters get their breakfast, but there were supposed to be other feedings throughout the day and there was a chance we'd catch one of those.

We had half an hour before the Beluga Show would start so we started weaving our way in their direction. The Belugas, were what Dolly and PC were looking forward to the most. Ever since they got a cardboard book and music CD about a baby Beluga when PC was about a week old, they've been in love with Belugas. Finally they were going to see a real one, and they couldn't wait. The Belugas were a bit saggier than I had imagined a real one to be, but they looked enough like the cardboard book pictures that the kids couldn't have been happier. Uncle A. got to be the Beluga Show volunteer and although there was a rather steady drizzle coming down... he got a little wetter than everyone else!

When the Beluga Show was over, we headed straight for the dolphin tank. There was a pretty big crowd, but the tank was big too, so we managed to find a good spot to watch from. I think the Dolphin Show was PC's favorite part of the day. He got to sit on my stomach with his legs dangling over the edge of the tank (I was holding on to him of course!) and in spite of the hood on his jacket, he could see enough to want to join the active dolphins as they splashed about. I didn't enjoy the show nearly as much because my very active Pregnancy Imagination was in top speed and I was terrifying myself with "what if's" should my one year old actually get away from me and drop 20 feet to the water below. Sir laughed at my paranoia later when I was brave enough to tell him how I managed to make it through the show, but he also reassured me that the trainers on the platform were probably trained to catch diving one-year-olds as well, should they attempt to swim with the dolphins.

After the Dolphin Show, we wandered back to the underwater viewing area to see the Belugas, stopping to see the seals and sea lions on the way. The camera batteries had died and I hadn't replaced them yet, so I didn't get any good pictures of the sea lion posing (he spent most of his time swimming about furiously, but at one point he paused long enough for pictures and I missed the opportunity). We didn't spend very long viewing the Belugas under water because it was getting fairly close to lunchtime. So, we headed out of the Aquarium to grab our packed picnic lunch that Grandma C. had prepared. We walked toward a covered picnic area only to find that there were two big groups already there that had actually paid to reserve the area. They were very nice though, and allowed us to eat our lunch at their tables. I got a picture of a waterfall on the way to the picnic area and after lunch we snatched a few shots of the kids playing in the sand at the playground. PC thought it was very tasty and tried giving some to Sir, but I didn't get any pictures of him trying to 'share' his sand.

Back at the Aquarium, we decided to check out the exhibits inside. Most of them were pretty difficult to get pictures from due to the dark atmosphere, but we got some good shots when we went through the "Amazon Exhibit". They had some huge fish that had nostrils so they could stick their noses out of the water to actually breathe air. The fish were very slow moving and our kids were enraptured by them (probably because they could focus and actually watch them). I still can't decide which I like better, the picture of both kids staring in wonder the giant 'air breathing' fish or the one of PC and his reflection in the tank.

Once past the Amazon exhibit, we paused at a small open tank of sea snails. We let PC out of the stroller to check them out and he had a blast. Dolly had gotten to pet the sea anemones after lunch on our way to the exhibits inside, so it was only fair that PC was allowed to get his hands wet at some point as well. The Jelly Fish tanks were lit from behind, so those pictures turned out better than I thought they would. Sadly, most of the pictures I took of the jelly fish were a little blurry, but I still love the bright colors.

Finally, exhausted we staggered out of the Aquarium. It was 3:30, PC had completely missed his morning nap, but had fallen asleep in the stroller for about an hour sometime after lunch. Dolly was winding down, and desperately needed to get some rest. I think all three of us slept a good part of the hour+ drive home. Sir's parents were already at our house when we got home (we had invited them for a barbecue) and I was stressing out because dinner was going to be late. Dinner was late, but it turned out very well. In spite of the rain, Sir barbecued some delicious salmon steaks and Seafood skewers while I came up with some steamed rice and corn on the cob to accompany the macaroni salad Dolly had helped me make the night before.

As soon as the kids had finished their ice cream, Grandma C. got them ready for bed while I tidied up the kitchen a bit. After they said goodnight, we put our exhausted little people to bed and they never made a sound. So, over tea and ice cream, we played a game of Racko before calling it a day.

Sometimes I wonder how much of the Aquarium Dolly will remember if she remembers it at all, but getting to watch my kids enjoy the day was worth tons to me and we even have a few pictures to remind us of a fun summer day!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Is a Shower Really Worth....

...a Toilet-Papered House?

This is what happens when I try to take a shower while my kids entertain themselves. Sometimes they find something else to do... like empty the pantry or wash the outside of the fishtank (and anything else nearby) with the water from inside the fishtank.

Anyway, today I thought it might be worth taking a few pictures before getting around to cleaning it all up.

When you're CAUGHT IN THE ACT...
There's a few things you can do:




Thursday, July 12, 2007

July 12th....

Today marks the fourth year that I've been married to the most wonderful man in the world! And each day has been better than the day before. There are some blessings that just can't be measured, and spending your life with person that God specifically chose for you is one of them.

These are some of the roses Sir has given me over the past week. You see, last Thursday Sir came home with a single rose and a pair of chocolates. I was surprised and delighted. When he gave me a kiss and said "Happy Anniversary week" the first thought that popped through my head was, "Our anniversary is next week." but I wasn't about to say anything. If he wanted to spoil me for seven days starting the week before I wouldn't complain. And so, each day he brought me another rose and more chocolate.

Finally by Sunday night I realized that I should have been taking pictures of my roses since they were so pretty and flowers always make great blogging pictures. I'm glad I took the pictures that evening too, because Monday through Wednesday we were hit with a stifling heat wave that my poor roses just couldn't withstand. The last few roses still look ok, but they're not picture worthy anymore. Sniff. I did want to take a picture of my whole bouquet, but at least I did get around to taking some pictures of my beautiful flowers.

Anyway, I thought that since it was my anniversary I should put up some pictures of our wedding. So, here they are!

Bride and Groom

Our Wedding Party ~ ~ ~ Us with our Parents

Cutting the Cake


And Running Away Together!

If you ask anyone who was there that day, they'll tell you it was over 100 degrees that summer morning and the numbers keep going up (I think the last I heard was a 'sweltering 110'). I don't remember it being that hot out, but that's probably what it felt like to everyone all dressed up so nice. I couldn't find anything that topped 92 that day in terms of historical archives.

It's hard to believe that four years have gone by since I married my knight. But somehow the time has run it's course and each morning I'm greeted with two -soon to be three- little faces that never fail to remind me of my best friend. Speaking of those little people.... we're going to have to go get them from Grandpa and Grandma's house pretty soon. Our evening alone is fast running to a close, but a barbecue steak dinner in peace and quiet was definitely a worthy way to spend one's anniversary!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


See the little box with the hole in it? That's the power supply intake for Sir's laptop.

Sir's laptop is a nice thing to have in this household. It makes it so he can do his home-business work outside where it's cooler (and often quieter), it allows me to play computer games that my computer cannot support the graphics for, and it gives us an extra computer that we can just take with us... like on trips or getaways or wherever there might not be computer/internet access so we can check e-mail or look up locations and directions whenever necessary.

Anyway, in the past few months, the power cord for the laptop has had increasing difficulty staying in place. And more recently, when it was in place, the connection to the computer was so faulty that even if you held it perfectly still while it was connected to the laptop, it would fail to charge the computer. It turned out that the power cord wasn't the problem after all. We tried a different cord that was compatible, and there still was little or no power connection.

So, one evening last week, Sir and I spent a good while going through the files to find the receipt for the laptop. We wanted to figure out if the warranty was still any good. It expired in early April this year. That left us with two options: 1. take the computer to a computer repair shop and pay lots to have it fixed or 2. take the chance of taking the computer apart ourselves and either fixing or replacing the power supply intake. We chose option 2. Although Sir had taken computers apart before, he'd never ventured onto 'laptop ground' and wasn't too confidant in his abilities. I, on the other hand, had never taken a computer apart in my life... and the closest I'd come to one was in college when one of my instructors brought an old motherboard to class one time. So Sir started taking his laptop apart and I kept a safe distance so I couldn't be part of why the computer might never work again. I did provide tools and took pictures of the process though, so Sir didn't spend the three hours alone.

These are the 'taking computer apart' pictures. You can click on any of them to get a closer look.

Once the computer was finally apart in dozens of pieces, Sir re-soldered the power supply intake connection points on the motherboard. Then having no way to test his work until the computer was re-assembled, we started the 'put computer back together' process. I have no idea how Sir kept all the miniature screws straight. There were little ones for some things, and tiny ones for other things and just lots and lots and lots of them in general. I didn't take very many good pictures of the re-assembly process, but you can see the monitor getting re-attached and a close up of it getting re-wired to the computer below.

When the laptop finally looked like it used to, we pulled out the power cord and plugged it in. To our delight, the power light came on (indicating that the battery was finally being charged) and for the first time in quite a while, the power light stayed on! The next step was to turn the computer on and hope that we didn't cross any wires and fry it while we were 'fixing' it. So, we turned the computer on and....


Nothing happened. The screen didn't even come up with some dos error message... or a way to alternately boot the computer. Nothing. DEAD. Dead. dead. All that work for nothing. It was 1am and we had a fixed power cord connection for a dead computer. So, we went to bed after consoling ourselves with how expensive a new laptop would be and how much we couldn't afford one for a while.

But that isn't the end of the story. During the night, Sir sub-consciously went over the computer repair project while he slept. By the time he got to work the next morning he had a good idea why the computer was so dead. But he had to wait all day before he could come home and check it out. In the reassemble process, had had forgotten to lock the CPU into the motherboard. There was one little screw that had to be turned to a certain point thereby locking the CPU in and actually giving the computer a brain. After taking apart what had to be taken apart to get to the CPU, Sir found that sure enough the little screw wasn't in the 'locked' position. He locked the CPU, put the computer back together again and tried again to turn it on.

And this time... it WORKED!

So, the laptop lived happily ever after with a fixed power supply inlet! Yay!