Monday, December 31, 2012

Celebrating the New Year in Curacao

When we go on relaxing vacations, we try to do a day of exploring and adventure followed by a day of doing nothing.  Today, Dec 31st, happened to be a day of doing nothing.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Curaçao in the Caribbean

Since we're already on the east coast, instead of heading home we decided to head to somewhere warmer.  Theresa got the idea in her head to go someplace tropical in early December and three weeks later we were headed down to Curaçao.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bowling in Delaware

I think it's required that every Air Force base have a bowling alley.  We all headed there the day after Christmas and bowled a few games.  Thanks Dad for taking a few photos.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day in Delaware

Welcome to Christmas!  It will be glorious!

Visiting Delaware for Christmas

It's Christmastime and we're leaving Los Angeles to head to Delaware to visit my brother's family and my parents.  Just a short 5 hour 45 minute flight straight to Baltimore.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Candlelight with John Stamos

Today is the very last day of the Candlelight Processional at the Disneyland Resort for 2012.  After normally only having it one weekend of the year for 2 nights, this year they upped the ante and had 20 straight nights of Candlelight with 2 performances each night.  There were a total of 8 different narrators during those 20 nights including Dennis Haysbert, Kurt Russell, Edward James Olmos, Lou Diamond Phillips, Dick Van Dyke, Patricia Heaton, Molly Ringwald, and John Stamos.  
Theresa and I were able to attend Candlelight 4 times this year and hear Kurt Russell, Edward James Olmos, Dick Van Dyke, and tonight, John Stamos.  This is actually our second time seeing John Stamos perform Candlelight.  The first was our first time ever seeing Candlelight way back in 2008.

Just a few pictures of Candlelight with John Stamos

Mostly photos right now.  I'll come back later and add more text.  Here's my favorite photos from the Dec 20th, 2012 Candlelight Processional with John Stamos.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Company D and The Hobbit

It's holiday time at the Disney resort, and at their outlet store their employees get extra discounts.  Ruston invited us to join him on Sunday to take advantage of all the deals.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday Organ Spectacular at the Walt Disney Concert Hall

Geminid Meteor Shower 2012

It's finally here!  We've been waiting for this particular meteor shower since August 2011.  Back then, we went to see the Perseid Meteor shower in Palm Springs and while it was cool, we were a little disappointed with how bright the sky was because of the moon.  
So after a little research, Theresa found that the December 2012 Geminid Meteor shower would have lots of meteor per hour, multi-colored meteors, plus there would be no moon!

A month ahead of time, Theresa checked out the darkness map of Southern California and found that Barstow (about a 2.5 hour drive) got pretty dark, we could get a decent hotel, and with just a 30 minute drive we could be outside the city in one of the darkest parts of the state.  Here's a light map.  The black areas are the spots with no light pollution. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Candlelight with Dick Van Dyke

Yes it's the middle of the week and Theresa and I have work, but Dick Van Dyke will be at Candlelight tonight and we've got to go see him!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Disneyland with the Bakers and Candlelight with Edward James Olmos

It's Friday and Lacey happens to be finished with her massive review at work.  Since we're all off work today, we figured why not go to Disneyland!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Disneyland Candlelight Processional 2012

This is an old picture I took of Candlelight back in 2009, but in some ways, this is where this tale begins.
 Back in 2009, Theresa, Jacob and I were at Disneyland to watch Candlelight.  We watched the first show and had to clear out of the area we were standing.  For the second show, we were really far in the back center but right up against the ropes.  With 5 minutes to go before showtime a cast member came up to us and asked us if we'd like to sit in the seats they had for people who purchased dining packages.  Apparently there were some no-shows and Disney didn't want seats to go empty.  

Jacob, Theresa and I were grinning from ear to ear.  It was an awesome Christmas present from Disney to us.  This was the only chance we've ever had to sit in the very center of Candlelight and we knew it was special.  

Once they sat us down I knew what kind of picture I really wanted to get from this perspective.  Getting the shot was not so simple though.  During the show, the lights are all over the place.  Sometimes the center tree is lit up, sometimes choir, plus the lights change from purple to blue to orange.  And then the trumpeters are only standing and lit up for a small portion of each show.  I had my camera ready, my settings dialed in, and I was waiting for the perfect time for it all come together at once.  

In the end, I was able to come away with this shot.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Candlelight 2012

I have many more photos, videos and stories to come, but I wanted to go ahead and post something.
We had an amazing time tonight at the Candlelight Processional at Disneyland.  Hard to believe it's our 5th year attending.
Kurt Russell did a fantastic job with the narration.  I'll have more to share later, but I wanted to go ahead and post a few of my favorite photos so far.

Many more to come.  I just need to get some sleep now!

Christmas Lights at the Flowers' house

It's Christmas-time and one of my favorite things to do around the house is put up Christmas lights!  Theresa let me buy a few more lights to add to what I already had from last year.  I spent a few hours each day after we got back from Michigan putting them up.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas in Michigan - 11/24/12

Since we're all going to be apart for Christmas, on Saturday we all had an early Christmas celebration.

The Henry Ford Museum in Michigan - 11/21/12

We had a free day before Thanksgiving and Donald was off work.  He asked if we'd like to go to the Henry Ford Museum and we jumped at the chance!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rise of the Guardians

It's the middle of the week and what better way to get over hump day than to head to dinner and a movie after work.
After I finished work, Theresa swung by to pick me up and we had dinner at our of our favorite Greek places, Daphnes.  Surprisingly on a Wednesday night at 6pm, we were the only people there.  
Sadly they don't have their rotisserie chicken anymore, but I tried they gyros and they were tasty.  Theresa enjoys their grilled shrimp and chicken skewers.  Not only that, but their pita is very tasty!

As for the movie, I didn't have very high hopes going into it.  We got to the theater 20 minutes early and were the only one in the theater until the previews started rolling.  
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the movie!  It was funny, had a great story, great voice acting and it looked beautiful.  I give it an 8!  Plus it was an enjoyable night out with Theresa!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving in Michigan - 11/22/12

We're up in Michigan for Thanksgiving this year.  With Chi, Rita, Amy and Donald cooking, we've got lots of yummy food!

Jacob's Birthday Celebration - 11/17/2012

Way back in October, we asked Jacob what he wanted to do for his birthday.  We decided a trip to San Diego to the zoo would be fun.  As the day got closer though, the weather wasn't cooperating so we changed it to the California Science Center at USC.  
What's so special about the California Science Center?  It's got the Space Shuttle Endeavour!  From left to right, it's Jim, Ryan, Jacob, T and myself.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Relaxing day in Gatlinburg 10/25/2012

After going on hikes the first couple days, we figured we'd enjoy a nice relaxing day at the cabin.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Dream Suite Reunion 9/22/12

It's been a few months since we all got to visit the Dream Suite, so we figured we should meet up with everyone again to stay in touch.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Our last day with Mike, Lindsey and crew

Theresa and I had to work on Monday morning, but we got off early to meet up with everyone at the parks.  The night before, I found all my Christmas hats and set them out for people to grab.  It was a pleasant surprise to see everyone wearing one.

Disneyland Day 2

It's Sunday and we're headed back to Disneyland!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A very eventful day, especially for Brandon and Rebecca

The day started at the LA landmark, Randy's Donuts.  The whole crew drove up there while Macy slept and I held down the fort.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mike, Lindsey and crew visiting - Disneyland Day 1 part 2

One of the things we were most excited to watch is the World of Color!

Mike, Lindsey and crew visiting - Disneyland Day 1 part 1

Mike, Lindsey, Brandon, Rebecca, Chelsey, and Kaleb all came out to visit.  Not just that, but they brought Macy!  Everyone arrived late on Thursday night.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sky Zone Sports - JB's Birthday

To celebrate Jonathan's birthday, Lacey organized a surprise party at Sky Zone Sports.  She didn't tell him anything about it.  She blindfolded him and drove him to our house, then kept him blindfolded as we drove to the Sky Zone.
I think the last time I was on a trampoline was 2-3 years ago at Donald's house.  All these trampolines together in one place was awesome!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gatlinburg - Roaring Fork Trail Part 2

After our picnic lunch, we drove to the Trillium Gap Trail that would take us to Grotto Falls.

Gatlinburg - Roaring Fork Trail Part 1

The next day in Gatlinburg, we explored the Roaring Fork trail.  It's right outside the city of Gatlinburg compared to the Cade's Cove trail the day before that is 20 miles outside the city.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Exploring Cade's Cove - Gatlinburg Tennessee

On our first day of exploring Gatlinburg, we drove 24 miles to Cade's Cove.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Driving to Gatlinburg

The second part of our visit to Michigan was to pick up Rich and Chi and grab my parents from the airport and all head down to Gatlinburg Tennessee and see the leaves changing colors.  
We all piled into Donald's raised Ford Excursion and headed out.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Erie Apple Orchard

Another tradition in Michigan is visiting the Erie Apple Orchard.
Normally we head back to the U-Pick apples and walk up and down the rows sampling different varieties. Unfortunately Michigan had a really warm March which caused the trees to bud, then a few weeks of below freezing temperatures.  Erie Orchards was one of the only places left that still had U-Pick apples because of how close they are to Lake Erie. 
Finding apples on the trees this year was difficult.  One of our group likened it to an Easter Egg hunt.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pumpkin Carving in Michigan

It's tradition to carve pumpkins while we're up in Michigan.  The turnout was a little lighter this year.  Rita's running the Detroit Marathon the next day so her and Tyler are skipping it.  Rich and Chi also decided not to do one.  The good part of carving this year was that the kids can carve almost entirely on their own.

Aubrey's Basketball game

On Saturday, we all headed to the community center to watch Aubrey lead her team to victory in two basketball games.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Flowers & Bees Honey!

Earlier this year, my Dad started getting into bee keeping.  Summer is just about over and it's time to harvest the honey!  Not long after collecting it, Theresa and I got a fantastic package in the mail.  Mmm.

You can read more about setting up the hive and getting the bees on my Dad's site here.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Day 2 afternoon

After an amazing morning seeing all the balloons lift off, we headed back to the hotel for a quick nap.

We met up just after noon and I guess that Schlotzsky's balloon marketing really worked on me, because I chose it for lunch.

Theresa's Balloon photos

And when Theresa takes photos, that means I get to be in some of the pictures!

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Day 2

Another bright and early start to get over to the balloon fiesta.  It's colder than yesterday (45F), but the skies are much clearer.  Yesterday the park and ride was pretty empty, but today we got the 2nd to last spot in the whole lot.  Lucky us!
Another bus ride to the balloon field.  After seeing all the cars backed up trying to park at the field itself, we're glad we took the bus since they were allowed to take a back route and drive right up.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta - More photos to come

At the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta with Jonathan and Lacey!  Here's some of my favorite photos!

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Day 1

Theresa and I have wanted to go to a hot air balloon festival for a while, but the one we were thinking of going to in Colorado Springs is always over Labor Day.  We're always running the Disneyland Half Marathon at that time.

Theresa saw that one of the biggest hot air balloon festivals in the world happens in Albuquerque in early October.  We're always ready to travel and it's always fun to travel with friends, so we invited the Bakers to join us.
We all got off work at noon and headed to the airport.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pumpkin Carving at the Flowers' house

Even though it's a few weeks until Halloween we decided we had to get some pumpkins carved early.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Painting Day at the Flowers' House

Time for another painting day!  These are getting pretty popular.
We stocked up on lots of different colors for people to use for backgrounds.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Disneyland After Dark

 Time for the 2nd half of our Disneyland visit!

Pumpkins at Disneyland

One of our favorite parts of Halloweentime at Disneyland are the pumpkins and pumpkin carvers back at the Big Thunder Ranch.  Theresa and I got off work a little early and drove out to Disneyland to see them.