Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tahoe For The 3rd Time

In July of 1986 Hubby and I left the kids and went to Lake Tahoe with his brother, his wife, sister and her boyfriend. By taking me to Las Vegas, and forcing me to leave the kids, he had created a monster. I had no problem leaving them for a week. Ok, so that part isn't completely true. I'm sure I missed them terribly. In fact, I clearly remember leaving them a little wrapped present to open each morning. I also remember that we called them every single day!

We stayed at the same adorable, little, rustic cabin that we had spent our honeymoon in. This time it was warm and the weather was perfect and I instantly fell in love with Tahoe in the summer.

We had a lot of fun. We went on a cruise that left from Tahoe City and cruised along the north shore. We were able to see many of the beautiful lake front properties. We went horseback riding at Squaw Valley. While you can't see the lake from the valley at Squaw, the valley itself is beautiful. Olympic Village is right there. You can see the old skating rink from the Olympics. If you close your eyes and think about it, you can almost imagine what it must have been like to have all of the athletes from all around the world hanging out in the Village.

Here's a picture of some of us horseback riding at Squaw.

You can barely see me in the front, and that's Hubby in the back.

One night, Hubby and I, drove down to Sparks, Nevada for the evening. My newly-married cousin and her husband lived there. She and I are 19 months apart. When we were kids and young teenagers we were close. We didn't see each other often, but when we did, we got along great. We hadn't seen each other in several years. I had married young and she had moved to Tahoe and then went to college in Nevada. They invited us down one night for a bar-b-que. We reconnected that night and a wonderful friendship was rekindled. We see them every chance we get, especially when we are at the Lake. They come to our neck of the woods often and we email and text all of the time. We are going on a cruise together this fall. I'm so glad that she invited us down on that trip. My favorite cousin and Lake Tahoe.....it doesn't get much better than that.

One of our favorite things to do at Tahoe was to eat at a restaurant in the Boat Works Mall called Hacienda Del Lago. It changed names a few years ago and we haven't tried it since. I think we're afraid that it just won't be the same. All of us went to dinner there one night. We had dinner on the patio, where the view is just gorgeous. We always order Margaritas and stuff ourselves silly with tortilla chips and salsa, to the point of not even needing to eat the dinner when it arrives. I'm sure this trip was no different. See, EVERY vacation we take involves eating too much on at least one occasion.

The Truckee River mouth starts right at Tahoe City where the dam is. A favorite thing to do for many is to go river rafting. Today, you hardly ever see anyone in anything but a commercial raft, but in 1986 many people took there own rafts and inner tubes. The river is pretty lazy. There are generally just a few spots where there are tiny rapids. I had never done anything like this before. I'm not a strong swimmer and even though Hubby kept telling me that this was the laziest river in the world.....well his track record for being honest about "easy" situations didn't make him very credible. The water was fairly high in the river that year, making the river a little more than lazy in some spots. We set off with 4 people in a two-man raft, with one person floating in an inner tube tied to the raft. The sixth person was simply floating down the river with a mask and fins. The water is really cold. We had to keep switching the person in the inner tube because, after a short time in the cold water, that person no longer had any feeling in their rear end. The section of river that you raft on is about 3 miles long. You get out of the raft at The Riverwalk restaurant. The section of river right before the restaurant has the most rapids. We kept getting stuck on rocks and turning ourselves backwards. We were having a great time until we hit a spot where we had too many people in the raft. We were bouncing off of rocks and getting just beat to death. Somehow we ended up with so many holes in the boat that it looked like a flat piece of yellow rubber. My brother-in-law and I were standing in the middle of the river trying not to lose our footing and trying to decide which shore to walk or swim to. The current was moving pretty fast. I remember holding on to his arm and telling him that great bodily harm would come to him if he even thought about letting go of me. The other two people were still on the flat raft trying to ride it to the end. The poor person in the inner tube had long since bailed and was standing on shore laughing hysterically. My other brother-in-law who was just floating continued to just float- fat, dumb and happy. When we regrouped I remember being pretty mad at my Hubby because even though it's beyond funny now, I was scared. The water was only waist deep, but it's hard to keep your footing on slimy river rocks when the current is moving and especially when other rafts are slamming in to you. People had no control of anything and we were pretty much road hazards. When we got back to the cabin, the guys assessed the damage to the raft. 28 patches later the raft was miraculously holding water again. We waited a day or so and went back for more. This trip was uneventful and to this day I love rafting on the Truckee. Some years there isn't very much water and you have to carry your raft over certain spots and other years there is too much water, causing you to have to lay down when you go under a bridge. You never know what each year will bring, but it's always fun. The last time we were at the cabin was in 2004. The boat with the 28 patches was still there!

The week went way too fast, as any week at the Lake does, but I know we were anxious to get home to our babies. We were also anxious to bring them to the Lake so that they could fall in love with it too.

One week at the Lake....gas, food, meals out.....$325.00. Next vacation, January 1987, Brianhead skiing.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Brianhead Ski Vacation

This post finds us in January of 1986. We took a ski vacation to Brianhead, Utah for 5 nights with Hubby's family. There were 8 adults and 2 kids in a 2 bedroom condo with a loft. Hubby's parents had a bedroom, his brother and sister-in-law had a bedroom and his sister, her boyfriend, hubby, me and the kidlets shared the loft.

We always had a great time on all of these trips. We drove as far as Las Vegas the first day and stayed in a hotel there. We went to Circus Circus for a buffet dinner and to let the kids play some of the games in the fun zone. My son was just 2 and decided that he had a deep fear of balloons popping. There is a game there where you shoot water out of a gun, into a clowns mouth. This makes a balloon blow up and eventually pop. The first one to pop, wins. Well, my son was so terrified by the popping noise that he would cry hysterically. My daughter, who was 4 wanted to play the game, or at least torture her brother by playing the game. There was more than one of these games in different spots. We would have to take turns with one of us helping our daughter play the game and the other walking our son around praying that he wouldn't hear a balloon pop. We were marginally successful. We left the fun zone with several prize winning stuffed animals in tow.

That year, our daughter learned how to ski. She went to ski school and went on the bunny slopes. Our son wasn't quite ready for ski lessons, but we put him on skis and pushed him on the lower slopes near our condo. Our Condo was called Giant Steps. Any mother will appreciate my pain when I tell you that there was no elevator in this condo. Our condo was on the 3rd floor. That meant that, anytime we went anywhere, I was either carrying a child or two sets of skis, or both. I remember one day struggling to get both of the kids into all of their snow clothes. Gloves, hat, bibs, boots etc. When we got down to the bottom of the stairs I smelled something. Yep, you guessed it. Back up the stairs I went with one adorable little toddler, who was as that point, officially for sale. We finally made it out for the day and a good time was had by everyone.

My adorable little cherubs ready to go out to play.

All bundled up playing in the snow.

My son's first real attempt at skiing.

Ski Bunny.

This was the trip where my husband and his brother took my sister-in-law and I on a run that we thought was too hard. Ummm...where have we heard this story before? My husband coaxed me down the slope by having me make huge turns and go all the way across the run. My sister-in-law got so frustrated with my brother-in-law that she just sat down and refused to go anywhere. Of course, she quickly figured out that that meant she was never getting off of the mountain. In frustration, she took off her skis and sent them down the hill ahead of her and told her husband to catch them. We all wondered what she was going to do next since she was still at the top of the hill. She simply layed down on her back and slid straight down the hill at rapid speed. It was probably one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life. Her logic was that if she started out on the ground then she couldn't fall. I doubt that she will ever live that one down.

This may also be the trip where my hubby and both of my brothers-in-law would get out of the spa and run into the snow where they would proceed to make snow angels. It was freezing and they were nuts!

5 days skiing, condo, hotel in Vegas, food and gas.......$520.00. As you can see, it has started to get more expensive to ski with each trip we take and with our children starting to ski too.

Next trip.....Lake Tahoe.....Summer of 1986.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Las Vegas Update

I've had a couple of people inquire how on earth this weekend could have only cost $80.00. I admit, I thought it was a typo too, but my Hubby doesn't do typos. Not when it comes to his neurotic record keeping. Then I kept thinking about it and, even in 1985, this just seemed impossible, so I asked him for clarification. I don't know if I knew this, or if I forgot. I am old you know, but Hubby explained that we had been given some tremendous deal. Seems he had a good friend who's uncle ran the hotel (which neither of us can remember the name of.) I do remember that it was nice and centrally located on the Strip. Anyway, we were given a deep discount, a free night and a free show. Hubby thinks we probably only paid about $25.00 for the package. That would explain it. Cuz, I wouldn't want anyone to think that we were like sitting up at night and killing bed bugs or anything. Hope this makes all of us feel better......lol.

To my friend at Happily Ever After.....I actually went back to see if I had written "Brain" head. I was going to edit it and tell you that you're nuts....cuz I'm mean like that.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Las Vegas Getaway

One July, my husband told me that we were going to go to Sea World the next day. We had never taken our son before, so I was very excited to see how he liked it. He was 18 months old. The next morning, around 6:00 am, hubby woke me up and told me to get up because it was time to go. What? Go to Sea World at 6:00 am? Are you nuts? Something along those lines was said anyway. Then he told me that he hadn't told me the truth. We weren't going to Sea World, we were, in fact, leaving the children with his parents and going to Las Vegas for a long weekend. I was horrified! I had never left my son before. Mom's of preemies tend to get very possessive of their little ones and I was no different. Hubby knew that if I was given too much time to think it through that I wouldn't go. He's probably right....lol.

We packed ourselves and the kids and took them to grandma's. Luckily, we hadn't told them that we were going to Sea World. That would have been mean. We dropped them off and drove to Vegas.

I don't remember the name of the hotel we stayed at, but it was on the Strip. I don't remember the name of show we saw, but we did see one. I had never been to Las Vegas before and I can remember how beautiful the Strip looked at night. I can also remember that even clear back then, you could see some really "different" people on the Strip. I remember being handed a pornographic leaflet and being appalled. I can remember seeing some pretty inappropriate clothing and wondering if the women wearing them owned mirrors. I can also remember eating at a buffet and stuffing myself silly. Truth be told, I can remember stuffing myself silly somewhere on EVERY vacation.....lol.

We took one afternoon and drove over to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. We layed by the pool and walked up and down the Strip until our feet were ready to fall off. We had a wonderful time and somehow it always amazes me that Hubby had the smarts to know that if he had told me in advance it wouldn't have happened. As it was, I remember missing the kids a lot, but I also knew they were just fine at Grandmas.

Las Vegas- 2 nights in a hotel, gas, meals and a show.......$80.00. Even I had to do a double-take at that one. But, it's correct. Next vacation....Brianhead, Utah in Jan. 1986.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I've Been Tagged

My daughter tagged me and I'm supposed to update someone I haven't seen in 15 years and tell them what's been going on in my life. I only get to tell you 10 things. Hmmmmm....... 15 years ago I was 35, my children were 11 and 9 and I had been married for 15 years. A LOT has happened since then....

- Both of my children graduated from high school and went on to college. My daughter graduated in 2003 from Point Loma Nazarene University and my son graduated in 2006 from the University of California San Diego. My son is due to finish a dual Masters program in Counseling Psychology and Religious Studies this December.

- I am still married to my best friend and soul mate. We will celebrate our 30th anniversary in November. My daughter was engaged to the wrong guy, woke up and got rid of him, fell in love with the right guy and married him in 2003. My son is dating a beautiful girl who we all know is "the one."

- My daughter had an adorable baby boy in 2006, which makes me a Grandma! He is more fun than I could have ever imagined. I want more!!!!

- For our 25th wedding anniversary we went to Oahu and Kauai for 11 days. We had so much fun that we took my son and his girlfriend to Maui for his college graduation in 2006 and my daughter and her family to Kauai in 2007.

- We consider Lake Tahoe our Heaven on Earth. In the last 15 years we have been there 7 times and are going back again next month. Everyone gets to go. I can't wait.

- Between August 2002 and February 2003, I lost 29 pounds. I'm happy to say that I've kept it off.

- We are officially Empty-Nester's and we love it! Of course, if one of our children needed to come home we would welcome them with open arms, but there is something to be said for having the house all to ourselves.

- About 15 years ago we changed churches and it was the best thing that ever happened to our family. My children were involved in AWANA. They were part of a fantastic youth program and we have made some amazing friends through our small groups. (Including the friend who, when she did this, had to list 11 things...cuz, well she's just like that.) Our whole family has grown in leaps and bounds spiritually since we started worshipping at this church.

- I still love mushroom pizza, chocolate-mint or coffee ice cream and. if I'm going to eat fast food, In & Out or McDonald's still tops my list. (I worked at McDonald's during high school and Mac sauce is addicting.)

- I'm not working right now. Last September, I left the job I had had since 1991. I have no plans to work in the near future. Since my daughter moved to "that other state", last November, I like being free to visit or to enjoy her visits. Huge thanks to my hubby for seeing it the same way! I love you!

Wow! When I read over this list and realize how much has happened in 15 years, I am humbled to see just how blessed I've been. Would someone please tag me again in 15 years?

I tag:


If you don't blog....use your MySpace.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mammoth - January 1985

Our last vacation was in March 1983. Except for a beach camping trip, we took 1984 off. We had our son in December of 1983. He was born premature and we spent 1984 getting him home, healthy and enjoying our new little family.

January 1985 finds us back at Mammoth with all of hubby's family for 5 days of skiing. There was an incredible amount of snow this year. There was snow piled up alongside the road in Mammoth that was 15 feet high.

Our daughter was 3 and she started to learn how to ski. We had cute little straps that attached to the front of both of her skis that were supposed to help her "make a pie." For a little girl, she did very well. She enjoyed playing in the snow more than skiing though.

My daughter is going to kill me for telling this story, but I'm going to tell it anyway. (Keep in mind that she is just 3 years old.) My husband's brother and wife were newlyweds on this trip. One evening, they said that they were going to go and take a bath :o). We thought our daughter was playing up in the loft. Pretty soon, my brother and sister-in-law come back from taking their bath and inform us that our daughter had joined them in the bathroom, where she proceeded to read a book to them. We all still chuckle over that. In fact, I think my sister-in-law may have suggested that she should go on my daughter's honeymoon with her....lol.

Our son, was just a year old on this trip. He started to cough and cough and cough. My brother-in-law, who was a paramedic, listened to his lungs and suggested that we take him to the doctor in Mammoth. We did and he was diagnosed with pneumonia. This would be the first of many, many vacations where our son took us on a tour of the local medical facilities. He didn't feel very good on the way home and cried for much of the trip. Poor little guy.

Before he got sick, he enjoyed being out in the snow and he looked so cute in his little snow suit.

Aside from having a sick baby, a good time was had by all. Cost of the trip for condo, gas, food, and 5 days skiing...$$390.00.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

11 days of fun and Mammoth 1983

I just spent the last 11 days enjoying my daughter, son-in-law and grandson. We were on vacation in our own city. We built sandcastles at the beach, walked on Lily Pads at the Wild Animal Park, saw a brand new baby dolphin at Sea World, and spent two days at Disneyland. We visited Grandpa at work, because no visit is complete without sitting in a helicopter, we went swimming in the pool where my grandson survived his first bee sting, went in the backyard spa and celebrated a second birthday. We picked plums off of the tree and ate them in the backyard. We were busy, busy, busy, but never too busy for toddler kisses in the morning and toddler hugs before bed. Our grandson learned how to say Grandma and Grandpa (both of us are Raw-raw)and plum (bum) and shampoo.....lol. I took them to the airport last night and I miss them already. There was no little voice waking me up this morning and no sloppy kisses or bear hugs, but I get to see them again in 20 days because we are all going on vacation together. I think I can last that long.

Hanging out at the beach.

Enjoying the Happiest Place on Earth.

Before my vacation I promised (or threatened) to continue my series on past vacations. I'm up to March of 1983 when we went skiing in Mammoth. My daughter was 18 months old. We went with all of hubby's family and stayed in a condo.

We drove our Datsun Pickup (I think that Datsun became Toyota) and put all three of us in the front (only) seat. Since it was a manual transmission, the car seat was positioned closer to my side so that hubby could shift easier. I remember that it wasn't very comfortable. My daughter would play with a toy and then, when she was done, she would throw it at me. It was about a 7 hour drive and I was ready to get out of the truck by the time we got there.

We took turns skiing and watching our daughter.

We even put her on little tiny skis. We didn't take her up any of the lifts, but we pushed her around on small little inclines near our condo.

She loved the snow and especially the icicles. She would look out the window and point, then say "sicle" over and over again. Usually her grandpa would go outside and break one off for her to eat.

I don't remember much else about that trip. I know that we had a great time and that my daughter loved it.

Total cost for condo, food, gas and 5 days skiing.....$250.00.

Next up....January 1985 and another ski trip to Mammoth.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Catalina Island Getaway

After skiing Tahoe in January 1980, we didn't take another vacation until July of 1982. Hubby spent the rest of 1980 going through the Academy. We bought our first home that year too. Then, in September of 1981, our daughter was born. She was 10 months old in July of 1982. We decided to treat ourselves to our first weekend away. We made it a long weekend and spent 3 nights on Catalina Island.

I can't seem to find a single picture of that weekend. Which is odd, because all of my pictures are in albums and I know we had to have taken a camera with us. I did find this picture of my daughter sitting in the suitcase, clearly wanting to join us.

We drove from San Diego to New Port Beach to catch the boat that takes you to the Island. Once we arrived at Catalina, it was a short walk to our hotel. I don't remember much about the hotel, especially with no pictures to jump-start my memory. I do remember that it didn't have a traditional hotel type door. It had a sliding glass door. That and the only window was a tiny little one in the bathroom making it hard to get any air into the room at night. We weren't about to sleep with a open sliding glass door. There wasn't an air conditioner, so I remember it being a little warm at night.

Part of our package included tours of the Opera House and the Wrigley mansion. Also a glass bottom boat trip and a trip to the interior of the Island. I remember seeing a lot of Garabaldi fish on the boat tour. That is the State Fish and they are a very pretty bright orange. I remember the trip to the interior of the Island being very warm, dirty and dusty. They have wild bison or buffalo or whatever. Some kind of a rather ugly, dirty animal.

We spent a lot of time relaxing on the beach. Most likely reintroducing ourselves to each other after 10 months of our lives being run by a pint-size cruise director. We ate way too much and I'm sure the weekend was over before we knew it. I also know, in my mother's heart, that we couldn't wait to get back home to our sweet little girl.

Total for the entire trip: $385.00

Coming up: March 1983, Mammoth Ski Vacation


I'm going to be taking time off from introducing you to all of our travels. Tomorrow morning my daughter and grandson arrive for 11 days. My son-in-law gets here next Monday. We are going to be busy going to the beach, Disneyland, Sea World, The Wild Animal Park, the pool and celebrating a 2nd birthday. I'll try to post if I have time, but I'm going to be busy getting my family fix. Keep safe and I'll see you soon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lake Tahoe #2

The second time we went to Lake Tahoe was in January 1980. We had been married a little over a year. A lot had happened in that year. Hubby had broken his leg on the job and had missed several weeks of work. He had so much swelling and bruising that they decided not to cast the leg. In light of that, he had to be extra careful that he didn't do anything to damage it. We lived in a second floor apartment. Needless, to say, he was pretty much house-bound for several weeks.

After recovering from that, he had begun the process of trying to get hired by a local Law Enforcement Agency. He tested with several agencies and was hired by his first choice. He was due to start the academy in February 1980. We decided to splurge and take a ski vacation to Lake Tahoe in January. We booked one of those package deals that include your lodging, lift tickets and some meals.

This was during the time when something was going on with our gas supply. I can't remember exactly what, but there were shortages. It was common to wait in line for a couple of hours to fill up your tank. I think you could only buy gas on certain days. It might have been based on your license plate numbers, kind of an even and odd day type of thing. I remember that we were worried about driving to Lake Tahoe, for fear there would be stretches of road where no gas was available. In lieu of that, we traveled with two 10 gallon gas cans in our truck...just in case.

I don't remember the name of the hotel where we stayed, but it was in South Lake Tahoe. The cabin that we stay in is just outside of Tahoe City in North Tahoe. South Tahoe is where all the casinos are and it is more heavily populated. I can remember arriving on a Sunday, checking into our hotel and watching the Super Bowl. It was the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the then LA Rams.

We skied at 4 different resorts while we were there, Squaw Valley, Heavenly Valley, Alpine Meadows and Kirkwood. I remember that the weather was picture perfect the entire time. I know that there were things that I liked about each resort. Once you rode up in the Gondola, Squaw Valley was like skiing in a wide open valley with no trees. On a bright sunny day, it was almost hot. Kirkwood was a much smaller, family-friendly resort. The runs were probably more suited to my level of skiing, but it was a longer drive. I don't remember much about Alpine Meadows that is noteworthy. Heavenly Valley was a huge waste of money. Not because it wasn't a good place to ski, but because we only made one run and then were done for the day.

It was our last day of skiing. We had saved the closest resort for last. Like the last post in Big Bear, Hubby had persuaded me to try a run that I wasn't ready for. I kept falling. Getting up and falling again. On one of the falls I ripped my ski bibs. They ripped on a seam. Not a big deal. Easily fixable. The only problem was that they ripped from the waistband in the front all the way to the waistband in the back. There was no way that I was going to keep skiing like that! There was no way for me to fix them and I wasn't about to leave to go and buy another pair at resort prices. I encouraged Hubby to stay and ski, telling him I would wait in the lodge, in my jeans, with a good book. He didn't want to do that, so that is our experience with Heavenly Valley.

Here is a picture of Hubby sporting 1980's style sideburns and a pre-cop haircut.

The Gondola to Squaw Valley.

View of the Lake from the top of Heavenly Valley.

Even though the Heavenly Valley day was cut short, the vacation was still a lot of fun. At today's prices, this trip would cost around $1800.00 to $2000.00 for lodging, lift tickets, food and gas. Back in 1980 it was a very expensive trip for us at a whopping $520.00.

I remember that my second trip to Lake Tahoe just made me fall more and more in love with the area. It was probably on that trip that Hubby and I started talking about the possibility of someday owning our own mountain cabin. Maybe not at Lake Tahoe, but somewhere where the blue jays wake you in the morning and the smell of pine is in the air. Someplace where the sky is blue and the air is clean. I'm sure we talked about someday having children and introducing the Lake to them. I doubt that we could have known how much a part of our lives and memories that Lake Tahoe would actually become.

Next up: Catalina Island

Monday, July 7, 2008

Big Bear Skiing

The second vacation we took as a married couple was a quick ski trip to Big Bear. I don't even know that you would consider it a vacation in the true sense of the word. Hubby's grandparents lived in San Bernadino CA which is right at the base of the mountain where the ski resort is located. In the interest of money, we opted to stay with them and drive up to the resort each day.

We skied for 5 days. I remember that for Southern California the snow was extremely good that week. There was actually a little powder instead of the usual ice-skating rink type snow/ice we typically have the pleasure of skiing on. We skied some days at Snow Valley and others at Snow Summit. Today, even the name has changed. Snow Summit is no more. Now it is Bear Mountain.

30 year old very grainy picture of Hubby getting ready to ski.

I don't remember much else about the actual skiing, but I can pretty much guarantee you that something like this happened (I know this because it ALWAYS happened....lol):

Hubby: (Whose skiing abilities far surpassed mine and whose daredevilness put me to shame) "Let's try this run."

Me: "What level is it?"

Hubby: "Medium. You'll be fine."

Me: "Are you sure?"

Hubby: "Positive."

Not wanting to disappoint, I would agree to try the run.

While on the chair lift and looking down at the run, the conversation would continue.

Me: "Ummmm, this looks pretty steep."

Hubby: "Oh, good grief. It's not like it's a black diamond or anything."

And there you would have it. ONLY black diamond runs were hard in his mind.

After getting off the chair lift, and starting to ski down, the conversation would continue like this:

Me: "Why do I listen to you? You do this to me all the time."

Hubby: "I really didn't think it would be this hard. You can do it. Just make big turns back and forth across the mountain."

Me: "I hate you."

Of course, not every run was like this. It would be unfair to depict him to be that big of an idiot and to make myself out to be totally stupid. There were a lot of runs that challenged me beyond my comfort zone and then there were many that I had no problem with. In retrospect, I suppose his pushing actually caused me to become better. I just HATED it when it was happening.

Picture of me no doubt praising God that I got down the run in one piece. (This picture was taken back when I would still allow pictures taken from behind.)

Hubby's grandparents were very gracious hosts. When we would return from skiing, his grandma would have a delicious dinner all prepared. She made the very best roast beef and gravy that I have ever tasted. I remember having that whenever we would visit, so I can safely assume that she prepared it on this trip too. One night we told them that we would like to take them out to dinner when we got back. His grandma (trying to be sweet) suggested that we order pizza. They were in their 80's and I doubt they ever ordered pizza. We agreed and when we got back she had already ordered for delivery. I clearly remember that at the time I hated veggie pizza. The bell pepper and onion grossed me out. Of course, that is what she ordered. There is nothing worse than trying to subtly pick off pieces of things you dislike. Funny how, almost 30 years later, that dinner still stands out in my mind.

Before I started to write this post I went on line to see how much lift tickets were now. For the 2007/2008 season an adult full-day lift ticket was $51.00. For us to ski 5 days would now cost us $510.00. That plus gas and lunches at the resort, we would be looking at a trip costing somewhere around $700, if not more. Back in 1979 we spent $110.00. And that is not a typo.

Next up: 1980 and a real ski vacation to Lake Tahoe.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

And The List Goes On

For those of you who know my hubby this won't surprise you. He is a record keeper. He keeps records of EVERYTHING! Most of the time they are just dumb things that no one would ever care about. Including him. He has a list of how many days he has taken in sick leave since he got hired in 1980. Who cares? I only need my two hands to keep track of how many times he has called in sick. He keeps lists of all the work that has ever been done on one of our cars. Ok, I get that. But, why do you have records about cars you don't even own anymore? He has a book of monthly expenditures dating back to Jan 1998. That's just the book I can find, there are probably more. He has a list of all of the major purchases we have made, ie. furniture and appliances, dating back to when we were first married. I could actually tell you how much we paid for our first couch or how much we spent on electricity in March of 1998.

That brings me to the point of this blog. He has a list of every vacation we have ever taken. Every single backpacking trip he has taken with our son. Every weekend getaway we have taken as a couple. This list tells you where we've been, how long we stayed, and how much we spent. While I will it admit that I'm not exactly sure why he makes, or keeps, these lists, looking at the vacation list is a nostalgic walk down memory lane. It got me to thinking that I might do a blog series on some of our vacations.....starting with our honeymoon in November 1978. If there are any memories that stand out in particular, I'll share them with you.

We were married in November 1978. The first night of our honeymoon was spent at the Sheraton Harbor Island Hotel in the honeymoon suite. I'll spare you too many details about that night :o) I do remember Hubby went back to the car to get something and while he was gone I "prepared" for his return. When there was a knock on the door, I went to answer it wearing my honeymoon lingerie. Obviously, I thought it was him. Imagine my surprise when it was room service delivering our champagne and who knows what else from hotel management? Embarrassed? I'll say.

The next day we started our drive toward Lake Tahoe. We stopped and stayed in a cute little hotel in Mammoth. I don't remember anything eventful happening there. As funny as this might seem, I do remember eating pancakes in a little restaurant across from the hotel.

Our next stop was Lake Tahoe where we stayed in a cabin owned by a friend of Hubby's parents. Rustic isn't even the right word to describe this little place. This would be our first trip to Tahoe as a couple. This summer we will be taking our 16th trip. We've stayed in the cabin 15 times.

The cabin is actually a little converted garage. One bathroom, a kitchen, living room and upstairs loft. I can't even begin to tell you how many memories our family has created in this little cabin. The generosity of this family is immeasurable, as they refuse to charge us to stay. Over the years we have done work on the property or purchased something that the cabin might need, but that has been it. Because of the opportunities they have given us to vacation there year after year, Lake Tahoe has become our 'heaven on earth.'

I remember seeing Lake Tahoe for the first time on our Honeymoon. I had never been there before, and I'm not sure what I expected. I remember driving around the lake and seeing glimpses of blue off in the distance, between the trees. At the point when we popped out of the trees and I had my first unobstructed view, I was amazed at the size, the color and the sheer beauty. November was crisp, clear and sunny. I was instantly in love with Lake Tahoe.

The cabin is not designed for winter use. Normally they close it for the winter right after Labor Day and open it back up around Memorial Day. As a favor to Hubby they kept if open that year. It has no insulation and, let's just suffice it to say, it's a good thing we were on our honeymoon. We slept as close together as possible, right by the fire. We spent our days hiking and exploring and enjoying each other's company.

The last weekend of our honeymoon we spent in San Fransisco. We stayed right at Fisherman's Wharf.

I remember walking up and down Pier 39 and watching all the street vendors and performers. The act that stands out in my mind was people diving from way up high into a not so big pool. I thought they were really stupid. Funny how you remember things like that. I also remember having a great seafood dinner the last night before we had to drive back home to reality.

Knowing me, the drive home was spent planning our next vacation. I tend to do that. I need something to look forward to and almost always have a 'plan' I'm trying to sell to hubby.

So, there you have a recap and a few pictures of our first vacation as a married couple. 3 nights worth of hotels, a rustic cabin, gas and food. The trip cost us a grand total of $320.00. Wow! I'm sure that 30 years ago that was a good chunk of change for 2 twenty year olds, but I don't think it would go very far today.

Next up....a short get away skiing in Big Bear.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

To Be 14 Again

There are a few of you who will laugh royally when you read this post. Not because you find it funny, but because you can't even imagine that I would waste my time like this.

Last night my sister and I took my niece to the American Idol Concert. We went last year and found the show to be very entertaining. What's not to like about 10 people who genuinely want to perform and are enjoying themselves immensely? This year, we assumed would be no different. We got there early. Really early. This was by design. We knew that they would be charging an arm and a leg for parking, so we got there before they were manning the gates and we drove right in. Did the same thing last year too. Good thing. Parking was $20 this year. Something doesn't seem quite right about that. Do you realize that's $100 for every 5 cars? For the privelege of parking on flat asphalt? Sounds like corporate greed to me.....but, that's a post for another day.

Feeling very smug and a little like we had just pulled off some huge scam, we killed some time by walking through Target. Then it was off to an awesome dinner at Black Angus. Where, by the way, my niece ate an entire of piece of Mud Pie by herself! My sister and I shared one and then teasingly picked up our forks to start in on hers. She instinctively wrapped her arm around hers in a protective mode. Hmmm.....we must teach that girl how to share.....lol.

When we got back to the Sports Arena the lines were long. The doors weren't open yet and people were standing in line. This is when we realized that this year's concert was going to be different.

Let me rewind a little here. Like all the way back to 1972 and I'm 14 years old. Same Sports Arena. Different concert. The Osmond Brothers. Yep, now you know......I was in love with Donny Osmond. While I intellectually knew that I was never going to meet him, my heart thought I was going to marry him. He was 4 days older than me. That just had to count for something. His pictures were plastered all over my walls. I read Tiger Beat and every other teeny-booper magazine. I saved my allowance for months to pay for half of my ticket. My friends Patty and Georgia and I went to the concert. While we didn't faint or throw any undergarments at the stage, I can guarantee you that when Donny sang 'Puppy Love,' each of us was sure he was singing to just us. I still look back at that night as one of the best concerts I ever went to, as it serves me with such fond memories.

Fast forward to last night. There were teeny-boopers EVERYWHERE! Most of them with way too high of heels, way too much make-up and smiles on their faces that would make any orthodontist proud. They were wearing T-shirts with HIM plastered all over them and a lot of them were carrying 'I Love You' posters that they had no doubt spent hours working on. When asked why she wasn't dressed like this or carrying a sign around, my niece replied that she thought it was silly because "you're never going to actually meet him." She is way too practical and grown up for her own good.

The concert finally starts and the top 10 performed in 10 - 1 order. They each sang 3 or 4 songs and it gave you a chance to see what going to one of their concerts would be like. Some of them were better than others, but all entertained. Carly Smithson, our local girl was welcomed in a big San Diego way. Then it was finally time. HE was finally going to sing. The arena went crazy and out of the floor rose a piano and David Archuletta was sitting behind it. The girls were insane! It brought a smile to my face to think that 36 years later they were acting the same way I was when it was Donny Osmond. They screamed and they yelled and they waved their signs. It's good to know that some things never change.

The concert wasn't over though. After all, the American Idol had yet to perform. When David Cook performed he was amazing and soooooooo cute! He is entertaining and humble. When he flashes that little grin of his (come on, you all know what I'm talking about) the inner-14 year old in me considered for a moment of screaming "I Love You David." Of course, the grown-up, refined and sophisticated (hold your laughter) 50 year old did no such thing. My sister and I were in total agreement that if he ever comes to San Diego again, we might just have to make an evening of it. Should I start working on a T-shirt or a sign?


American Idol Ticket $86.00
Parking (Doesn't matter that we skipped this) 20.00
1/3 of Dinner (I promise we paid this) 20.00
Entertainment factor and trip down memory lane: Priceless