Monday, August 30, 2010

nobody says "the rock" like sean connery

our first stop once we hit san fran was the rock: alcatraz. we woke up early to take the public transit- there is NO WAY we were going to find parking for all our vans down at the pier.

thus, violet rode her first train. (get ready to see that bib on her the rest of the trip. this baby loves her slobber.)

i am pretty sure she was the only baby on the entire transit system... i didn't see any kids! i feared the child-haters would be bugged with my little angel if she was fussy- but really, she was fine as long as the trains kept in motion. just when i thought we would make it the whole way without incident, we got stuck in a tunnel for 45 minutes. awesome. moments like this, i have a couple of options: let her wail it out while we all make raspberry noises and funny faces in an effort to calm her down... or... feed her. i figure all those child-haters would rather me discretely breastfeed than hear a baby wailing relentlessly while they are stuck in a tunnel. i truly wish people weren't so weird and uptight about something as natural as breastfeeding (but this is a topic for another day).

since the train we were on was separate from the rest of the group, we feared we wouldn't find them once we finally got out of the tunnel. luckily, our group is pretty easy to spot.

one thing is for sure- we weren't prepared for the cold san francisco had to offer. it was in the upper 50s, folks. that is freezing for july. anyway, we bundled up tight and rode the ferry over to the rock.

i have always wanted to tour a prison. they fascinate me for many reasons- chief among them, i am so intrigued by people who do horrific things. they scare the wits out of me. so, to see a place where the worst of the worst were locked up just gave me the tingles.

i actually loved the whole thing. there were so many cool buildings around- some functional and some not-so-functional anymore...

there was wildlife everywhere and such amazing plant life...

and the audio tour was actually really good. i have always thought audio tours were impersonal and gernerally boring. this tour, however, had the real alcatraz inmates talking about experiences and the the main voice was that of an old guard. those tingles i spoke of earlier just kept coming...

here is cade in one of the cells. i think cade's favorite part of the tour was making everything seem creepier than it actually was. it was wigging me out. this explains why his hood is on and his head is bowed. creepier, right?

the stories were fun to hear and i loved the overall feel of the place. this little island has SO much history. my favorite thing to think about is whether or not these dudes are still alive somewhere:

i saw the mythbusters about these guys and they said it is possible they are still alive. i think they are out there... somewhere... but where!? (TINGLES!)

we love you, alcatraz.

Monday, August 23, 2010

san fran or bust

a few weeks ago, we geared up for the annual vacation with grammy and grandpa. this year, we ventured west to san francisco- all 24 of us caravanning through the ol' west. grammy rented 5 vans for the trip so we split up and set off!

honestly, i was a little nervous about how vi would do on such a long road trip, but in the end i was pleasantly surprised! she managed the whole event quite well. we had to make more frequent stops to feed- but i am sure the caravan didn't mind. i loved all the stops- vi would cuddle up and rub my face while she would eat. what a sweetie.

my only gripe is that the car seats don't let babies recline more. every time vi fell asleep, she would look like this:

the angle made her snore and i just couldn't imagine that sleeping like that would be any sort of comfortable. i ended up rolling little pillows up to prop her poor head and in the end it worked out.
sleeping aside, she sure did love the pit stops where she could stretch her legs!

she loves to stand lately (while supported of course) and thinks that it is sooo fun to be grown up. i just can't believe how red her hair is in this picture!

with all 24 of us, we knew that a full day of driving to san fran would be near unbearable, so we only drove to reno the first day. we wasted no time in taking over the hotel and making ourselves at home.

i bet they weren't sad to see us go- but we would be back on our return journey in about a week.

to add a little spice to the long journey, my sister and i created little packets of games and activities for all of the vans. We each had a van name, a van cheer and a series of games to play during each leg of the ride. for the tin foil pirate challenge, nic and annie clearly won:

my tin foil parrot was really put to shame....

technology is great- but on this trip we learned that it is a real pain when you rely on it too much. each van was equipped with a gps navigation system. whichever van was in the lead would program the trip and the rest of us would just sit back, relax and make tin pirate outfits. well, we were sure excited when we finally saw signs that said that san fran was just 14 miles away! now all we needed was to find the right exit. trusting our gps, we drove on.... and on... and on... until finally san jose was just 14 miles away- and san fran was now like 40 miles away. the gps was taking us on a route that avoided all toll roads and to get to san fran you are going to have to cross a bridge at some point. so we all turned around and headed back to catch a bridge across.
we finally made it and wasted no time, again, in making ourselves right at home in our next hotel. here is cade with his new friend vish, the front desk clerk.

vi loved the luggage cart rides...

so here we were- right near the beach in good old san francisco! (too bad the weather was freezing so the beach looked like an ice box- but we'll get to that later.)

more to come!

Monday, August 16, 2010

the kidd wedding

on a summer day like this:

the kidds were married last month and it was so much fun to celebrate with them. it was a GREAT reception filled with

good friends

(pretend my cool video would upload here)
delectable pastries

and violet... she was everywhere! she loved the dancing so much that she wouldn't even think of going to sleep and missing out on anything. she was passed from person to person all night to be oogled and moogled over- and she ate it all up.

i am so happy for the kidds. they are a great couple and we love them ever-so-much.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

freedom run

with the fourth falling on a sunday, cade was able to have monday off as well. so to further the celebrations, we entered in the freedom run 5k. i hadn't really run much since having vi so it is an understatement to say that i was out of shape- nevertheless, we ran with a group of our close friends and had a great time singing, taking turns with vi and waving the flags. here is a little video cade made about the run... enjoy!

fourth and ten: the celebrations continue

to celebrate the fourth, we always gather at granny's house under her huge weeping willow for some good eats and good times.

she lives just a few houses away from byu stadium so it is always fun to overhear the performances and watch the fireworks. after all the fun at the lake, little vi was pretty much done with the day.

we just think she's the bee's knees.

we also celebrated at mandy's house with fireworks and food again. i love having her so close- it is fun to have all the family around again. she lives so close, in fact, that we decided to ride bikes over to her house this night. we don't have anything for vi to ride in so cade decided he could push her stroller while riding his bike. it was a hillbilly parade as we rode together down the road. people were staring and laughing but it actually worked quite well.

what a great fourth!

Monday, August 9, 2010

spring lake (which i still insist is just a pond)

spring lake is an independence day tradition for the woolf crew. it is always a good time...

the highlights in text:
no mud fights!
violet loved the water- for a reasonable amount of time for a 4 month old
hobbes was as cute as ever
softball across the lake
bike rides around
and good company to top it all off.

the highlights in photos:

this is hobbes saying, "hasta el proximo año, baby"

raising a reader

i truly hope vi grows to love reading as much as her parents do. judging from the picture below, i think she just might have a chance.

utah arts festival

i am still playing catch up... i know this happened a really long time ago- but i need to document things like this for my books. let's be honest, this blog is the closest thing i have to a scrapbook so don't judge.
my sister scored some free tickets to the arts festival this year. i loved every second of it. not only for the fab people watching (which is always a treat) but also for the great shopping. true to form, everything i fell in love with and had to have turned out to be at least a hundred bucks so i didn't end up with much of anything. regardless, the thai food was yummy, the company was perfect and violet was a champ.
really though, there was some great art to check out- and some interesting pieces as well. like this special puppet:
yes, it is a puppet. you pull ropes and it moves around like a giant, stripped down pinocchio. it freaked us all out a little bit. probably because it looks like slim goodbody after he was in a serious fight with a feral cat. if you aren't familiar with slim, may i suggest you google his profile?
the thing i love most about the photo above is that cade took it using a suuuper long shutter speed. thus, you see people blurred throughout the shot as they are coming, going and walking amongst the shops. there is one group of people, however, who have not blurred in the least. you will notice the three shoppers on the right (my mom, my sister and i) are stuck in the shot googling over pricey jewelry, i am sure. this is indicative of how the entire night was spent: cade and brad playing with their cameras while the women drooled on fancy rings, earrings and matching necklaces.

to the arts!

Monday, August 2, 2010

And the Winner Is...

Not us.

As you should know by now - we didn't win.

And what's a man without his man cave? Well, turns out he is still a man. I still have the crawl space, and though I don't have fifteen grand for improvements, I still have D.I., Home Depot, and a whole lot of elbow grease.

Thanks to all who supported us in this campaign with your votes and promotions. Sorry we didn't quite make it.

Maybe next time.