Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Golfland Milpitas

On our way home from the corn maze, we saw Golfland off the freeway in Milpitas and decided to play two rounds. This is one of the largest mini-gold places that we've been to- they have three different 18 hole courses. We played Course 1 which was all decked out in Halloween decorations with giant spiders in the bushes and ghosts on the towers (unfortunately you can't see it very well below)

I kept it neck and neck with William on the first few holes but then I fell apart and he won by a huge margin.

But, I redeemed myself in round two. We were neck and neck the whole game and William only won by 2. Course 3 had some very interesting holes

But our favorite was the mini-Disneyland-esque castle

The things we did not like about the course was that there were a lot of raised metal around the holes so our shots would ricochet off and there were too many raised volcano-ish holes that were tough to get just the right of momentum to make the shot.

Monday, October 19, 2009

G&M Farm Corn Maze

On Saturday, William and I went to a corn maze at the G&M Farm in Livermore about 45 minutes away. It has awhile since either of us had been to a corn maze and so I thought that it would be a fun activity. The maze covers 6 miles and it was shaped in like a memorial of a local Livermore farmer who passed away last year. While we were not able to see what it looked like (even the raised wooden platform was not high enough to provide an overhead view), we were able to tell when we were in numbers and letters. The ground in the maze had a weird texture- it was not muddy but kind of spongy with a consistency like play dough. The maze was divided into two parts- we decided to use the map for the first side which we flew through and then went on our own instincts, primarily following the left hand rule. But, it was pretty hard to get lost since they had these signs distributed throughout the maze where you could text if you were lost. Ah the age of technology. And fortunately we were not "cornvicted", although security asked us not to stop on the overlook bridge (isn't that what the purpose of the bridge is for ???)

The corn was very tall- even over 6'3 William (I love his look of pondering our next move in the maze)

We started the maze at the perfect time- it was daylight when we began and it turned into a stunning sunset with vivid pinks, purples

then to deeper pinks

to black

We had thought that it would be fun to complete the maze in the dark and it was ok, but our favorite part was definitely wandering through the maze during the sunset.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lemos Pumpkin Farm

For Mothers Group, we went to the Lemos Pumpkin Farm near Half Moon Bay a few weeks ago.

This is one of the most adorable farms due to all of the decorations, rides, and animals. The decor is beyond adorable with bright colors, scarecrows, and signs.

I so loved the pumpkins- they had the most unique colors and designs. Ones with stripes, speckles

and then the traditional orange ones.

I almost bought several but decided against it because we don't really have anyplace to put them inside our little apartments and I didn't want any critters coming to our place to eat them outside.

They had animals- chickens, goats, and pony rides. Tyler liked the chickens

and Cameron loved getting face to face with the goats.

And the kids liked watching the pony rides (only Miles was adventurous enough to ride one)

and a train ride that took us back into a decorated scene of haunted ghost town

But what could be cuter than two adorable kids with pumpkins (and ones that look like acorns)

2009 Sandcastle Classic

We went to the Sandcastle Classic that was out at Ocean Beach near the Cliff House. This was the main draw that brought us up to the city. This is an annual event to help raise money for charity and volunteers spend about 4 hours making these creations. Here is an overhead

and side view showing the vast number of sand castles.

Unfortunately, what the photos do not show is the castles- and the spectators- being sand blasted. It was horrible. We found sand everywhere when we got home. It was literally pelting our faces- we only did one quick run thorough of all the castles. I didn't take very many photos of the castles because I didn't want sand to get into our camera. Most of the castles were based on fairy tales, cartoons, or books. Like the hungry catepillar

where the wild things are (you sadly can't really tell that its the monster)

and supposedly this was Sponge Bob's under the sea castle, but we've never seen the show so we weren't sure.

We had such admiration for the people who battled the wind to create these castles. It was incredible to me that the castles were still standing despite the wind since our footprints would disappear right after we made them.

William was so great and didn't complain at all- he really is the best husband since sometimes our adventures don't always turn out quite as idyllic as I wanted.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sutro Baths and Coastline

My husband William is such a TROOPER- he really is the best. He never complains when I drag him about on random adventures- even when those adventures have less than ideal conditions. Two Saturdays ago was one of those situations. The weather had said that it would be about 60 degrees but they failed to mention that the wind would be OUT OF CONTROL. Just look at William- he was really leaning into the wind and it was supporting him (or blowing him backwards).

We walked down near the Sutro Baths, near the Cliff House and we were shocked that anyone would want to bathe here with just how cold and windy it was. That's probably why the baths aren't there any more.

The beach area was quite spectacular with the waves crashing against the rugged rocks.

There was the cave off to the side of the baths that was neat- although it was even worse since it was like a wind tunnel

with a great view from the other side.

It was a great unexpected find- minus the gusting winds.


No, its not our nephew. Its actually WILLIAM. Let me explain- we have this cute little 3 year old, Kevin, who lives next door. Kevin likes to come over and play at our apartment- he usually tries to daily. He loves to play with used AA batteries, the plastic hose of our old vacuum, the big box from our new vacuum, and our flashlight. It is amazing that the books and other real toys that we have do not capture his attention. Anyways, Kevin knows that my name is Cheryl. However, despite his mom and my efforts to convince him that William's name is "William," he calls him "Charlie" since it is close to a male version of "Cheryl." :-) Every day he asks "Where's Charlie?" and he even says "There's Charlie" in the photos of William around our house. I think that it is cute that William now has this unique nickname :-)

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Great Glass Pumpkin Patch

Two Saturdays ago, we stopped by the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch in Palo Alto where there were 8,000 pumpkins for sale. I had been to the glass pumpkin sale that happens annually at MIT back in Boston and I had thought it was just limited to that. But, to my great surprise, glass pumpkins have an even larger presence. There were two glass pumpkin sales on the same day- the one in Palo Alto and another in Los Gatos. We chose the Palo Alto one since it was closer.

There were so many beautiful pumpkins. I love the blue one in the front.

They had several different displays for the pumpkins beyond just lying on the grass

This was our personal favorite- but of course it was the most expensive at about $700. Needless to say that we didn't buy it.

We were surprised by the popularity of these pumpkins- the purchase line was HUGE, even extending beyond the switch backs they had put up and people had their baskets full of them. It was fun for us just to browse :-)

Felt Puppets

My research assistant job hasn't started yet so I've been filling my time doing fun things- like making these felt puppets.
I wish that I could say that I came up with these creative animals myself, but I did not. I went the easier way by buying this kit from Michael's- it came with all of the pieces pre cut, embroidery floss, googely eyes, and even plastic needles. I just needed to buy some fabric glue (just Elmer's all purpose craft glue). It only took me a few hours to assemble the puppets which means that it was a successful project with no major disasters :-)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Honeydew Melon Sorbet

Our sweet next door neighbors gave us another food item- this time a honeydew melon. I don't know how I would eat a whole thing myself (William doesn't like it) so I searched around on the trusty internet and found an Emeril recipe and BAM decided to try it. I also found another good review about it from another blogger and so that was enough for me to try it.

It is so simple but SO good. I was afraid that I needed to strain the melon (I tasted the puree and it was very grainy) but David Leibowitz recommended that he didn't strain on his blood orange sorbet so I decided to trust the man who wrote The Perfect Scoop. And he was right! You couldn't even tell it was grainy. And this Emeril recipe is very forgiving- I only put in 2 tbsp of lemon juice (all that I had) and I had more honeydew melon puree (a little under 5 cups) and it still tasted AMAZING. I'm definitely going to be making more sorbets as they are so easy and a great way to use up lots of fruits.

Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Park

Dyan and I attended the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Park yesterday since it is so close to her new apartment in Richmond. The park is a conglomeration of monuments, buildings, and even a ship.

This is the actual Rosie the Riveter Memorial- it was constructed to look like the frame of a ship that they would have been working on.

They not only had quotes and facts on the panels but also along the sidewalk. One of the quotes at the memorial indicated how one woman felt the enormous responsibility of her job was that she had to do her best work on the ship so that it would hold up and bring back the crew members.

Women and blacks comprised 25% of the workforce in Richmond. In the space of a few short years during the war, the population of Richmond skyrocketed from about 25,000 to over 100,000. Henry Kaiser designed the Hoover Dam and established a big shipbuilding enterprise in Richmond. He was able to mass produce the ship building process so that eventually one ship would leave the port each day. Kaiser shipbuilding teamed up with the Permanente Steel company and the group provided health care for their workers. Thus, Kaiser Permanente health care was formed- and I am glad because we appreciate the great care we receive from them.

We toured the ship SS Red Oak Victory that was originally assembled in Richmond ship yards.

Whirly cranes like this helped to build the ships

We were able to walk around the ship, which was interesting since they had workers repairing parts of the ship both inside and out.

We were surprised at how nice and spacious some of the cabins were, but we also found some more of the bare bones bunks that we had been expecting.

The wheelhouse with the speed controls and the actual captains wheel

They had a radio inside of the chartroom- I like the headphones (though they would be uncomfortable in how there is no padding on them).

This is a wall hanging of all of these different kinds of knots- I had no idea that there were so many! I only learned a couple in Girl Scouts.