Karen Visits The Yellow Deli...

As we ran out of the house for lunch at The Yellow Deli, I sent a quick email to the friend who introduced us to this unique place telling her we were going to be there.

How surprised we were when she popped by for a hug! It was the last day of her birthday month, so we had the opportunity to serenade her like only Steve and I can. Fun, special moments.

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San Diego for Thai before a Flight...

The boy had an 8 PM flight and found Supannee House of Thai for our dinner spot... exceptional.

It was a weekend of family togetherness. Just what we needed.

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To Cousin Heidi's...

Since mom's niece could not attend the upcoming big family reunion, we stopped for a visit on our way to getting the boy at the airport.

Heidi's husband, Geoff, is a bit like Indiana Jones. In fact, in 1991, he donated his collection of Egyptian funerary objects, mainly from the Late Period and the Ptolemaic Period, such as coffin masks, mummy masks, mummy beads, bronze figurines, and a canopic jar to the San Diego Museum of Man. This sparked public interest in Egypt, and the Museum responded with an exhibition featuring objects from his collection.
This was one of the most interesting places we've seen. It was like being in a museum. Family history and ancient history intertwined- super incredible.

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Today's Smile...

Temecula is known for its hot air balloons and I am known for being easily amused. This photo captures both. Enjoy.

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"The waves of the sea help me get back to me."

Some quotes just sum up how I feel. This one, by Jill Davis, explains our need to go to Oceanside and spend time there. It helps that Brady lives there, too.

Lunch was at a new restaurant where Brady has always wanted to dine- Petite Madeline Bakery & Bistro. This unique place combines a bakery-pastry shop, bistro, and an espresso bar in a casual, inviting setting. We walked 2.5 miles to get here so the food was extra delicious.

We left feeling restored and back to being 'us'. Just what we needed.

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The Yellow Deli...

As we ran errands with mom, we wanted to share our new favorite dining spot The Yellow Deli (thank you David & Karen).

When the hippie movement of the '70s ended, the people who founded this unique place were a few who missed the train and decided to make the best of the “Peace, Love, and Happiness Movement”, starting a new way of life
This place is one of peacefulness, delicious & healthy food and it has a calming vibe that we all thoroughly enjoyed.

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Thrift Store Finds...

My sister-in-law, Ann, has begun a blog about her ability to score deals at Kohl's. While I love her Lady Frugality posts, I prefer shopping at thrift stores, especially ones like Angelview, a nonprofit that serves children and adults with disabilities.

Two of my best finds were a Chico's blouse (nothing under $59 on their website) for $7.99 and Franco Sarto pumps (the Nordstorms price tag, on sole, says originally $89) for $5.99. We have a big family reunion coming up, and I believe I'll be one of the best dressed there for under $20.

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Oceanside for Lunch...

Some of our happiest family memories have involved boats and the sea. What an ideal place for our lunch.

And what's a trip without a little history. This home is one of my favorites. The Graves house is named for Dr. Henry Graves who built it in 1887. It’s one of the oldest houses in Oceanside.
Today, the house commonly known as the Top Gun house, because it appeared in the 1986 blockbuster movie “Top Gun” as the home of Tom Cruise's love interest Charlie (Kelley McGillis). As one of my favorite films of this decade, I love seeing this house.

Oceanside was a lovely respite.

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Father's Day

How fortunate to have, not only an incredible father, but when that man is an amazing grandpa and father-in-law, too... it's the Trifecta of paternal love. And we so have it! (This photo is our three generations in ~1995).

My father used to play
with my brother and me in the yard.
Mother would come out and say,
"You’re tearing up the grass."
"We’re not raising grass," Dad would reply.
"We’re raising boys."
~Harmon Killebrew

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Rubicon Trail Part 2

We began at the Vikingsholm Parking Lot and hiked the one mile path down to Emerald Bay.

We then hiked about two miles of the scenic Rubicon foot trail.
I had not explored this part of the trail and I delighted in what laid ahead.
If you're not a hiker, this photo may not be funny to you. The rock piles, behind the duck, are called cairns... or DUCKS. I am very easily amused.

Some things just make me smile. This rock face creation was one of them. What a surprise find on this surprisingly wonderful trail.

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Van Sickle Bi-State Park Hike...

Steve's goal is to get me to hike Mount Tallac (el. 9,738') so we started out my training here today. This was my first explore of this unique park which was created by the Nevada Division of State Parks and the California Tahoe Conservancy. It is the only bi-state park in our nation with a common entrance and it is located on the historic Van Sickle Crescent V Ranch (1860s).

How cool is it to be in two states at the same time? It's one great aspect of its location. The other is the fact that most of the hotels in the urban casino core are located right by the park, providing the opportunity for people to access Tahoe’s outdoor environment without having to drive from their accommodations -- the adventure begins right outside of the hotel door.
For me, a hike with a waterfall along its path is always rewarding.
Reminders of the Gondola Fire of 2002 are visible from most of the trail.
We began our hike too late in the morning heat so I didn't climb as high as Steve would have liked but the views were exceptional and the other hikers we met were very friendly. Even the mountain bikers were polite as they warned us of their impending arrival. This was a challenge for me and one I will try again, often.

"It's always further than it looks.
It's always taller than it looks.
And it's always harder than it looks."
- The 3 rules of mountaineering

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Valhalla Renaissance Faire... Last Day!

The last day of the Faire seems the most magical. There is an element of whimsy that I love. It helps when you're surrounded by friends.

Unique characters were found everywhere.
I love this photo of the falconer and her bird.
This second weekend is geared more towards adults. A highlight, for me, is the codpiece competition. Note the expression as this piece 'spat'- hysterical.
This was the winning piece. From large acorns...
...even larger trees grow and win the competition.

Rowdy, raucous, and unforgettable. Until next year...HUZZAH!

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Pints for Pines...

What a fun, intimate evening of raising funds for the Sugar Pine Foundation.

Maria Mircheva is the Executive Director of this foundation, whose goal is to restore the natural regeneration of white pines in the Tahoe region and beyond.
These gentlemen are part of the Nevada Division of Forestry Helitack team.
We were with a group of very dedicated people, who were also welcoming.

The gang all left with something, while supporting the Sugar Pine Foundation and having fun, too. 

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Bliss at Bliss...

As I have mentioned before, D.L. Bliss State Park is our most favorite of Tahoe's local beaches. Today, on an 80° Friday, we found our BLISS.

Life at the Lake...
it doesn't get much better than this!

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