Saturday, June 30, 2012

Family Portrait

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Friday, June 29, 2012

New Recruit

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Mommy's Summer Surf Camp has a new recruit. Gio!

Of course, I'm paying him to surf instead of the other way around.

"I'll give you $5 if you surf for one hour," I bribe.  "I'll stay with you the entire time, I promise."

"Deal," says Gio.

Gio climbs on the surfboard and I begin pushing him over the breaking waves.

"Keep your mouth closed," I say, as the waves spray him in the face.

"Ahhhhhhhh!" screams Gio.

After a few minutes of foamy face washes, we make it outside. 

"Here comes a wave, get ready," I say.

I push the board in front of the white water. Suddenly, we are rocketing towards the beach together on the surfboard.

"Yeah" shouts Gio, at the end of the ride. "I rode a wave!"

Unfortunately, we had to go through the breaking waves, again, to catch the next ride.

"Take me to shore!" says Gio.

Instead of taking him to the beach, I power Gio and the surfboard through a few more waves. Before he can complain, we catch another white water wave. After his second ride I drop him off on the beach.

Gio lasted less than 10 minutes in the surf.  But considering his mantra is, "I'm never going to surf," he gets an A+ from Mommy's Summer Surf Camp. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012


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My Mom gave the boys handsome summer haircuts. My Mom is the best Nana!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mommy's Summer Surf Camp

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Our summer surf camp is going swell.  Vinny actually paddled all the way out to line up yesterday.  I wasn't too surprised because he had already done that the last time we surfed.

"Here comes a wave!" I say. "Start paddling!"

He begins paddling and before I know he's caught the wave, and standing up riding it.  And he's even riding a short board, a 5"10'.


After he finishes his wave, I pump my fists in the air to acknowledge his awesome ride.

His next wave wasn't so successful though. He paddled for a wave and got launched over the falls by the pitching lip of the wave.

But he didn't seem to mind exclaiming, "Surfing is so fun!"

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Canon Ball!

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Alarm Clock

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For the past seven days, Nadia Dog has woken me up at 5:11 a.m.

"Scratch, scratch," paws Nadia Dog on my side of the bed.

Upon hearing this sound I bolt out of bed because Nadia Dog is old and her bladder is even older.

Unfortunately, I follow Hubby's advice of, "You may as well just feed her before you let her out."

And what he means by "feed her first," is train her to wake up at 5:11 daily.  Of course, if I feed the dog, then I have to feed the cats.  I may as well make coffee too. 

By the time I feed and potty everyone it's 5:30 a.m. and they're all back in bed, fast asleep, and I'm wide awake.


Getting up at 5:11 a.m. would be fine if I went to bed at 8 o'clock instead of midnight, or one or 2 a.m.

Anyways, Hubby pulled out the dog crate, and Nadia Dog is sleeping in it as I write. . Maybe she'll even sleep in til   
7 a.m. tomorrow.  Who knows?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Surf Buddy

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Petrified Forest Calistoga

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The main thing to do in the Napa Valley is visit wineries, drink wine, and go out to eat. So for a family of four the Petrified Forest seemed like a good choice. And by seemed, I mean Hubby really wanted to go there.

Unfortunately, I wouldn't recommend this place. First of all, it's a poor value. Adult tickets are $10 each and kids are $5. That's $30 for a family of four for a tour that lasts a whole 30 minutes. But that was fine, because the trail is scorching hot mid-day

Many of the petrified trees are behind chain link fences and various other barricades making the short loop visually unpleasant. The trail seemed even shorter due to this rattlesnake warning sign, which terrified Gio and made him walk faster than I've ever seen.

Adding to Gio's snake phobia was Vinny's commentary, "Oh is that a rattlesnake?" every 3 seconds.

The best thing about the Petrified Forest is the gift shop, which is worth a visit. I rather would have spent the $30 here, than on the trail. The store has a nice selection of gemstones, shark teeth, arrowheads, petite stone jewelry boxes, and pretty handmade earrings.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Surfing Family

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Vinny and I went surfing together today. There's something magical about sharing surfing with my son. It must have something to do with the fact that we love each other and we love surfing.

I was pushing Vinny into waves, when I had an urge to paddle out to the line up and catch a wave myself.

"Come out here," I say, thinking he wouldn't be able to swim all the way out to the lineup on his own.

I. Was. Wrong.

Unfortunately, right when he he made it past the white water, a close out set wave loomed in front of him.

Da da da!

"Swim under the wave!" I say, taking note of the look of terror on his face.

"SWIM UNDER THE WAVE," I repeat-yell for emphasis.

As the wave rolled over him, he successfully swam under the breaker like a fish with gills.

Phew! If he hadn't made it under the wave, it would have been a monumental parental fail.

"That wave would have sank the Titanic!" screams Vinny coming up for air. "I am so gonna get you for this!"

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Trancas Crossing Park

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During on our stay in Napa we visited Trancas Crossing Park several times. It's lovely!

All we had to do was hop on our bikes and ride down the Napa River Trail, which was adjacent to our cottage, to get to Trancas Crossing Park.

We biked there several times. The boys played in the river and attempted to fish there, without success.

We should have launched our kayaks at Trancas Crossing.  Zillions of trees line the Napa River's banks in this area, making for a scenic paddle.  This area is sheltered from the wind, therefore, making it an EASY paddle, the most important aspect of kayaking.

There's also the chance of spotting a river otter or two along this stretch of the Napa River.

The Napa River is a tidal fluctuating river due to it's connection to The San Pablo Bay which connects to San Francisco Bay.  Therefore, any attempts at kayaking along the Napa River, are best on an incoming tide.

When we went kayaking we launched from the boat ramp at Kennedy Park. 

We saw plenty of birds including, a Great Blue Heron, a Great Egret, an Osprey, a Cormorant, a Black Neck Stilt, a Least Tern,  and more.  But we had to paddle hard against the wind for the first hour of our two-hour tour.

And by hard paddle I mean Hubby had to paddle his kayak, while towing the double kayak Vinny and I shared. 

Poor Huz.

Gio did zero paddling, slept through most of the kayaking trip, and was somehow exhausted from the watery adventure..........

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Night Surfing

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Surfing at night without headlamps, headlights or a lighting crew is like surfing blind. 

As visibility diminishes, I begin surfing by feel alone. With each take off I sightlessly hope for the best. 

Eventually, I realize the impossibility of the situation and paddle for the beach. Or if I'm lucky I catch a wave and go in while I can still see the sand.

Either way the lecture I get from Hubby is unavoidable, "It's 10 o'clock how could you have you been surfing?!"

"It's not 10 o'clock," I say high on waves. "It's only 9:45."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fresh From The Garden

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My Peeps

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They're noisy, but I love them!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mud Baths

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"Look you can pay $100 for a mud bath," Hubby says. "Do you want to do take a mud bath?"

"Who would pay $100 to get messy?" wonders Gio. "I can totally do that for free!"

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pioneer Park, Calistoga

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Pioneer Park nestled in downtown Calistoga is a great place for families. There are plenty of trees, playground equipment and best of all access to the Napa River.

"Hey, there are some stairs leading down to the river," says Hubby. "Let's go down there."

"Ok, but everyone needs to roll up their pants if we're going in the river," says Gio.

"We're all wearing shorts, Gio, so we don't need to roll up our pants," points out Vinny. "Shorts basically are rolled up pants."

Thanks for the analysis, Spock.

But Vinny's logic didn't keep Gio from hiking up his shorts in a Speedo inspired kind of way.

The boys enjoying the Napa River.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

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Dear Hubby,

Wow! Fifteen years ago today, we got married. Can you believe it?

It seems like just yesterday we were on our honeymoon on Kauai. I'm sure you remember waiting on the beach for me to come in from surfing, while fending off 1000's of gigantic attacking crabs. Talk about foreshadowing.

And, also, sorry about that. Though you pay me back with every startling adrenaline inducing scream sneeze.

I forgive you and, also, Goddess bless you. Infinity.

While I mainly fail in my domestic duties, because I'm constantly running off to the beach to surf, I do my best. And by my best, I mean, I suck! ;)

Thank goodness for your diminished eyesight. Which explains why you can never find your glasses. Yes, I hide your spectacles. The less you can see the better for me.

Then there has been my extreme lifetime commitment to telling my truth. Fortunately, listening to me is much easier thanks to your hearing deficiency. Though your life would be easier if you would just listen to me

Thanks to our shared hobby, we now have two kids. We both know exactly how challenging that has been. :0 What the beep were we thinking?

May we huddle together as we trainwreck towards the teenage years of parenting. Good luck. And remember our secret meeting spot in Mexico, if things really go to crap. They'll never find us there.

We still like and love each other, I hope. We have our disagreements. But laughter gets us through the difficult times. And when laughing fails, all I can say is thank goodness for surfing, books, movies, and beer and tequila.

Aye aye aye aye Love You!



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Happy Birthday Vinny!

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My sweet baby is eleven today. How in the ocean did that happen so fast?

I'm sure he was born yesterday, or just a few years ago.

Happy Birthday Vinny! I love you!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gott's Roadside

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Taking pics.

We're having a little pre-birthday celebration at Gott's Roadside in Napa for Vinny.

"Oh my gosh!" says Vinny. "These cheeseburgers are amazingly good."

The milkshakes are divine. I snuck a few sips of Vinny's mint chip shake.

I went for a house chicken salad that was dairy, gluten and soy free. It was excellent, and most important the salad did not upset my tummy.

Locals' night is every Tuesday, where cheseburgers and vegan burgers are half priced and fries are only two bucks. For a burger joint, it's on the pricey side, but the food is delicious.

The only thing Gott's Roadside is missing are Margaritas. Sigh.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Nap Time

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Gio is napping in the car after a delicious Mexican food dinner.  It's 7:30. Every parent knows 7:30 is bedtime. But every kid on Earth seems to think 7:30 is nap time. 

Napping in the evening can only mean one thing. Hubby and I will be sleeping in shifts.

Then again, maybe there is hope. Gio stayed asleep during the transition from the car to bed. Plus, he must be exhausted from 3 hours of swimming.


8:50 p.m.

"Can we go for a bike ride?" asks Gio, ready to take on the night, fueled by less than two hours of sleep.

"Go look outside, it's dark," says Hubby between snores. "We aren't going anywhere."


"Mommy I'm hungry," whines Gio, forgetting he already ate dinner.

I guess Mommy is taking the first shift, taking place in the kitchen.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunshine Freestyle Surfabout 2012

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The 32nd Sunshine Freestyle Surfabout was the best yet.

The waves were shredable, and the weather, especially today, was scorching hot.

Check out all the pics on Sunshine Freestyle's Facebook page.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sunshine Freestyle Surfabout 32 Sunday Schedule

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Sunday Surfabout Schedule

The 32nd Annual Sunshine Freestyle Surfabout was going off today on so many levels. Whether it was the surf, the weather, the company or the crowd, it was all epicly awesome!

Tomorrow promises to be another great day. Come down to Carmel Beach tomorrow and check out all the action!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sunshine Freestyle Surfabout Schedule

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Surfers and surf fans here's the schedule for the 32nd Annual Sunshine Freestyle Surfabout for Saturday only. I will post Sunday's schedule as soon as I get it. The event takes place June 9 and 10 on Carmel Beach at 11th Street.

The weather and waves look very promising for the 2012 Sunshine Freestyle Surfabout. See you there!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Straw Bale Garden

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Internet, meet Hubby's straw bale garden. It is straw not hay. I repeat it is straw not hay.

Apparently, that is important.

He's growing strawberries, lettuce, snap peas, tomatoes, and eggplant.

Grow baby grow!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cuddle Babies

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Rob Lowe Surfs???

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Being a surf snob, I have a pet peeve, hollywood types posing with surfboards and/or otherwise flailing in the ocean while simultaneously claiming it. Sorry, Internet, surf snobbery is my one millionth character flaw.

Anyways, maybe Rob Lowe really can do more than look good next to a surfboard. And if he can I'd like some proof in the form of video or a photo of Rob ripping.

Please, send in any evidence of Rob Ripping, here, as soon as possible. Thank you!

Monday, June 4, 2012


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Photo by the fabulous B.Jasmine

The house is a mess. Mount Washmore looms higher as I add piles of laundry to it daily. This can only mean one thing. I'm having fun!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sugarland In Your Hands Review

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My favorite Sugarland album, probably because it's the least country so far:


Digital Download

Sugarland's current tour, In Your Hands, is their best yet. I should know, this was my fourth Sugarland concert, and the third in less than a year.

In Your Hands litterally puts power in the fans' hands, allowing them to pick songs for the duo to play at each concert via text, online, and social media voting.

During the concert, fans also brought creative homemade signs up to the stage inscribed with their musical requests. Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush picked songs from various signs and played them.

Amazingly, fans were invited on stage to perform and dance with Sugarland multiple times throughout the concert.

Honestly, the people they brought on stage were so inspiring and cute I asked Hubby, "Did they hold auditions or what?"

This baby girl, Lindsey Tipton, actually performed Sugarland's song, "Baby Girl," onstage with the dynamic duo.

"Doesn't she have nice legs?" Jennifer Nettles.

If one word could describe the current Sugarland concert experience, it would be INTERACTIVE. Whoever thought of allowing fan participation during a concert is a genius. Perhaps, Sugarland is taking the lead from the World Wide Web?

Especially social media networks such as facebook and twitter, where rock stars and starlets broadcast the daily details of their lives to fans giving them a strong sense of connection like never before.

But Sugarland took it a step further by actually allowing fans to broadcast as well. Kudos!

Besides, the song requests and fan performances, Jennifer Nettles, who has moves like Jagger, generously gave out high fives and autographs from the stage. While Kristian Bush frequently threw guitar picks into the audience.

My second favorite Sugarland album:

The three other Sugarland concerts I've been to were awesome! But the previous shows were more staged and professional. The current tour feels spontaneous, heartfelt, homey and downright fun. I felt like I was in a small club rather than a large amphitheater with thousands of people.

I'm sure being in the fourth row helped. A lot. Also, the format allows plenty of commentary from Nettles which is hilarious and highly entertaining.

The big screen intensifies Nettles' emotionally dramatic performance of "Stay."

This fan's hair matches his outfit! Yippeee!

Opening act Canaan Smith croons to his fans, most likely teenage girls and twenty-somethings.

Opening act 17-Year-Old Alaina Lauren was soulful and fun!

It wouldn't be a Sugarland concert without a cover song. Sugarland covers George Michael's "Faith," starting at 1:55 in the video below.

Sugarland bids their audience a sweet and touching goodnight.

As the audience began filing out of the amphitheater, a concert usher turns to me and gives me the thumbs up.

"Wow, that was amazing," says the Usher. "You can tell they really care about their fans. They played a long time too. There aren't very many acts that do that these days."

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Cat Plays In Sink

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Athena Mew Kitty keeps herself busy! Unfortunately, I was also busy cleaning up her watery mess.

Sugarland at Shoreline June 1

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"Sugarland is going to play at Shoreline on June 1st," I say.

"Uh huh," says Hubby not really listening otherwise he would have said, "Oh no! Not again"

"Honey, can we please go see them?" I beg.

"Do we have to?" asks Hubby. "We just saw them two hours ago."

We saw Sugarland last August. That was ten months ago, which is definitely a lot longer than two hours ago. So his answer is obviously yes.
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