Our Gang

Our Gang
Jason, Deacon, Kennedy, & Me ~ March 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hoover Dam Day

After wrapping up Southern California (aka: SoCal around here) we headed back towards Las Vegas where my sister lives.  My mom wanted to see the Hoover Dam while she was here so we saved some time to head in that direction.  Let me tell you, I know more about the Hoover Dam than I EVER cared to know.  It is an engineer's dream field trip, but mine, not so much.  My sister said we would stay "about an hour" & that turned into 5 with no sunscreen, no water, & no snacks.  We made the most of our time there & the crazies did good, but personally, I think it looks better from the arial view pictures because up close all you really see is bunches of concrete.  The visitor center was informative & nice & the crazies had fun "making" electricity with the displays & exploring the kid-friendly parts of the museum.  I was VERY impressed at how this structure was built & have NO idea how the men accomplished what they did without all of the equipment & tools available today.  Seriously, they completed their work 26 months ahead of schedule which is way more than most contractors can say about roadwork projects even in this day & age. So, doing what they did is remarkable & accomplishing the goals outlined was impressive, but that is one place that I have no desire to visit again, unless for a die-hard engineer.

Part of the structure

And more... I'm sure if I were an engineer I'd be better at this

The water that leads to Lake Mead, the largest man-made lake in the U.S.

K & her Meme

 The new Memorial Walk that goes over the Hoover Dam

I had no idea it sat within 2 states -- Arizona & Nevada -- there are the two structures on either side of the dam

 Group Shot

 We took a dam tour, or went as far as we could with kids under 8 y.o.

Meme & the crazies toured the Visitor Center

D was spinning to make electricity

K was twisting to keep the power on

The crazies explored this model town for about 15 minutes -- they loved seeing all of the things that the electricity did

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Santa Monica Pier

Right outside of Beverly Hills sits Santa Monica.  It is right on the Pacific Ocean & has a fun pier to explore. The pier has an amusement park, fishing, surfing, & lots of places to eat.  It is also where the famous Route 66 ends so I had to make a stop since we drove most of it on our way to CA during our move.  We took the crazies to the Santa Monica pier after our Hollywood tour & let them break loose on the sand & in the arcade!  We ended up going back the next morning to play more & just see the scenes during the daytime. 

Santa Monica Pier at night

The crazies playing in the arcade on the pier

Riding dirty

Had to get my shot with the sign

 We found some talking & cuddly parrots

 That would be Malibu in the distance & the Pacific right behind us

K found a steel drum player & enjoyed dancing to his songs -- he LOVED it!

D found the police & rescue team at the end of the pier -- he LOVED it!

Group shot on the pier

 They are a CRAZY bunch!

Santa Monica by day

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Beverly Hills -- That's Where I Wanna Be

Another leg of our Southern California trip with Mom was to Beverly Hills & Hollywood.  I've never had a desire to see the homes of the stars or try to track them down, but my mom & sister really, really are starstruck & wanted to see the Walk of Stars as well as where they lived.  Hollywood was interesting -- it was surreal to think that I was walking in the same places that stars have been.  The stars line about 15 city blocks -- but fun fact, you have to buy your own star & they start at $25,000!  Who knew?  And the premiere of BRAVE was happening the same day so it was awesome to see the red carpet set-up as well as all of the work that goes into that kind of production.  Then, as we were walking, my sister was approached about taking a private tour through the city to see the Homes of the Stars & she totally went for it.  We hoped into the limo & had a blast.  It was a good move because we were navigated well & everyone could see everything & the crazies all took their naps spread out in the limo during our 3 hour tour.  However, I was not prepared to be among all of that wealth.  Beverly Hills is a private city where people are on wait lists to buy homes to move into this community.  I could not believe the money thrown into such a place.  Words don't describe the houses, the cars, the fashion, or the ways that the rich & famous live -- you have to go there yourself to see it.  There were expensive cars all over Rodeo just like you see minivans in the suburbs.  It was crazy.  We had fun looking at it all & taking it all in, and we saw no stars, but it was a day well-traveled!

Me with Marilyn Monroe's star

One of the many handprint/footprint squares in front of the theatre

The Hollywood sign -- it takes a horse ride to get right to the sign!

Us heading to the limo

Gate to the Ozborne's home -- looks familiar if you watched their show

The old Anniston/Pitt estate

The gate & fence to the Cruise/Holmes Estate -- we saw lots of gates

Dr. Phil's House

Julia Robert's House

Sylvester Stallone's House

House from Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Jennifer Lopez's Home

Michael Jackson's gate -- this looked familiar from his death footage

Playboy Mansion -- looks familiar from Girls Next Door

Apparently the fastest car in the world, owned by Bijan

Where Marilyn Monroe & JFK were rumored to meet, 10-A of the Beverly Hills Hotel

Beverly Hills -- that's where I wanna be!

Had to

The red carpet set-up for the BRAVE premiere

Me & my crazies in a park in Bel Air