Friday, July 31, 2009

Fresh Flowers


The last bouquet I bought Kat.  Reason being, the ornamental sticks started to grow.  First roots, than leaves.  Eventually we got a tree.  Which we have now planted in a very large pot.  In cheap topsoil.  Kat wanted the nice stuff, but I said what's the difference.  The difference is the cheap stuff is full of annoying, annoying bugs.  Ugh.

Enjoy, jon

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Back to Milwaukee


Well, back in Milwaukee for a little while.  Don't worry, Great Smoky National Park pictures aren't to far in the future.

Enjoy,  jon

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Trip to a Winter Wonderland


After San Fran I headed to Winter Park to have an awesome trip with my dad visiting my brother and nieces.  Skiing with my niece Brooke was about as much fun as you could ever have. 


It really brought me back to when I was teaching kids her age.  On this very same run!  How awesome is that.


Matt and Brooke.


The next day we got to go sledding.  Super fun!


Brooke trailing Ashley.


I think this is just before Brooke got tired, and pretty much stopped listening.


Matt was going for stern.  An easy look for him.


Snow, slides, sledding! Whoa!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009



We created the most complicated end of our trip we could.  You see, we got our rental car from the Oakland Airport.  We were flying out  of San Francisco airport.  Since the flight was early in the morning, our hotel was also at San Francisco Airport.  See the conundrum?



We checked into the SFO hotel, dropped off all of our luggage and drove to the Oakland airport.  Once we dropped off the car we had to figure out how to get to the BART.  That meant riding a (not free {assholes}) bus from the airport to the BART station.   Unfortunately, the BART didn't have a single train that went from Oakland Airport to SFO, instead we had to transfer trains.  Not normally a pain in the ass, but considering how late it was, my ass hurt.



Once we made it to the airport we both put our clueless hats on.  And really couldn't figure out how to use the airport train.  Thus, we quickly got lost.


At best it was creepy.  At worse it was obnoxious.  Lost in an airport when no one was around.  Woo! Sounds like fun.


Somehow the parking lot was on our tour.  Ok, it wasn't that terrible.  We managed to find our way back.  Rental car, bus, train, train, train, hotel shuttle, and bed.  That's it.  The end of a trip we took seven months ago!

Enjoy, jon

Monday, July 27, 2009



On a sweet insider local tip we were sent to Pogonip park.  She had the biggest twinkle in her eye at the very mention of the park.  One would figure she lost her virginity there or something.


Turns out it wasn't really that cool.  We could see the ocean from the top of the hill, but it wasn't anything I would call spectacular.  If I had to compare it to anything, I'd go with Kettle Moraine here in Wisco.


Kat, however, was as pretty as ever.  Made the whole trip worthwhile.


We could over look Monterey Bay, which was cool.  But, the flora was less than awesome.  That girl totally suckered us. 


We were searching for a ranger station and from far away we could see a building up on a hill.  I found a set of keys on the trail, and figured it was the nice thing to do, turn them in.   Instead of finding a ranger station we found the crumbling remnants of the club house for the golf course the park once was.  Apparently a movie was shot there a couple of years ago.  Not anything I'd ever heard of, but cool none the less. Oh, and I found the lady who lost here keys.

Enjoy, jon

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Day in Santa Cruz.


Though as warm there in January as it is in Wisconsin today, the amusement park on the beach was absolutely empty.  We barely found a place to have lunch. _1047844

Carousels, merry go rounds, arcades, cotton candy, and more! All closed. Dead.  I think there was a guy sort of wandering half lost on a golf cart.  Probably making sure we weren't up to no good._1047850

Again, closed.


Santa Cruz had some beautiful houses.  Not gaudy or ostentatious, nor small or derelict, just beautiful.


Dream Inn from the mini bay in the bay.  Also the practice zone before surfers go for it in the big time.


Kat couldn't have been happier in Santa Cruz.  The appropriate size tourist town.



Cliffs = dangerous.  Really?  That needs a sign?  Really?


Victory!!  Or, he's shouting at someone who was in the way of his ride.


The beach, the mountains, Northern California is something else.



A spot for quiet contemplation.


A few interesting cliff carvings.



Once upon a time this were called bridge rock by the locals.  I wonder if they call it collapsed bridge rock now?


Dream house much?  Big balconies, white picket fence, ocean views.  Sweet.

Enjoy, jon

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dream Inn


Another hotel, almost our last actually.  The Dream Inn was owned by the same guy who owned the hotel Kabuki.  He definitely has an eye for eclectic style.  The room always kept an eye on 70's chic'.  The molded plastic chair was a clear winner in my book.  Despite being woefully uncomfortable.


Arriving in the dead of night, the daybreak view was a grand surprise.


We didn't see any Baywatch activity. . . . this time :)


Damn seagulls. 


It was tough to leave our little balcony over the bay.  I wouldn't have minded chillin' the whole day.


Dream on!

Enjoy, jon

The Golden Gate


At sunset no less.  The timing was accidental, the view was fantastic.   Everyone had a camera.  Everyone, it was great.


San Fran in the background. 


Those big ships haul something fierce.  The need for such height on the bridge is a necessity.


Hooray for Kat!  She looks 90% happy here.  I may have surprised her a little with this one.


The sun slides away.  Night falls, time to head home.  Well, not home, to our next hotel.  But you get my point.


Under the bridge and on the road.  Rental cars are great.

Enjoy, jon

Friday, July 24, 2009

Point Reyes Lighthouse


Normally a quick drive up a hill, turned out we came right at whale watching season.  I felt outgunned with my little 150mm telephoto around full frame 500mm fanatics. 


It was quite a hike.  Down 308 stairs and several ramps.  Those National Park bastards counted ramps equivalent to 10 stairs as only one several times.


Grass and moss seem to be able to grow anywhere.  I wish I wrote this blog earlier so I could remember what the Park lady told me about the special mosses that grow here.  The rock faces around the stairs were fantastic.


There it is.  Number 308.  Trust me, that's a hella lotta stairs.


Looking out over the sea.  Maybe we'll sail across it someday?


Its a slow ride back up. 


Yeah trees! 

Enjoy, jon