Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Spring Break Part II

I hope no one has been holding their breath. I finally have a few minutes to finish up this post about our wonderful spring break trip. I wrote this on the way home but didn't get around to inserting the photos until now.

Looking back, I'm just so glad we were able to make this trip happen. There's nothing like a road trip for great family bonding and there's nothing like exploring new places and re-discovering and sharing beloved places full of memories with those you love.

Tuesday – It rained in the morning so Jared and I got some computer work done while the kids played their new favorite game – Life – from the game closet at Kathryn and MJ's (they're cleaning stuff out so they can move so they gave the game to the kids – they were so excited!).

Then we went to the Cable Car museum in the afternoon, learned all about the San Francisco earthquake and fire in the early 1900's and San Francisco history in general, found a stranded cable car at the top of a hill and the conductor let us sit on it while they fixed it (we didn't get to actually go anywhere on a cable car but we didn't have to wait for hours in line to climb aboard one so it all worked out great), wandered Nob Hill and explored the Fairmont Hotel, one of the few buildings to make it through the earthquake and fire.

view from the old Fairmont Hotel

Yes. Oliver needs a haircut. See Coit Tower behind him?
After good times in SF, we had a great dinner with friends (the Jacobsens) in Palo Alto then went to an amazing post-Easter concert at Memorial Chapel at Stanford – one of my all-time favorite buildings. Charity was performing in the choir for the concert and other than the fact that Oliver really really wanted to talk out loud to me through a lot of the performance and told me he felt like I didn't love him anymore when I very patiently and calmly "shushed" him for the 100th time, we had a lovely evening. I loved hearing some truly glorious music in such a gorgeous building - the mosaics and stained glass in there are amazing.

loved this depiction of little Jesus helping Joseph with carpentry -
the cross foreshadowed

Wednesday – Stanford campus. Had a great time at the Stanford Art Museum - the Cantor Arts Center. We learned all about Rodin and saw his “Gates of Hell” studies and the final bronze product plus we saw everything from Egyptian mummies and really cool modern art. It was my favorite sort of art collection - a few great pieces of art from many different periods in many different mediums. And the kids really got into everything. You'll see in the photos below that Isaac and Eliza were especially getting interactive with the art.

Isaac as Rodin's "Thinker" (see the guy at the top of the Gates of Hell?)

At the museum, we also learned all about Leland and Jane Stanford (Leland started off as a pretty humble grocer during the gold rush, grew his business huge, invested heavily in the transcontinental railroad project, became very rich with that and other investments, became governor of California, and he and Jane were considered the “royalty of California,” living an opulent lifestyle. They tried for a long time to have kids and finally had one son, Leland Junior. Jane was a devoted mother and set aside a lot of her society functions and interests to focus on Leland. Then Leland died of typhoid fever at 15 and his parents were heart broken. In Leland Junior's honor, Jane spearheaded the founding of Standford University).
Here's Leland and Jane Stanford and their long-awaited beloved son Leland Junior

This portrait of Jane Stanford in her later years is a mosaic - pretty impressive
We wandered the campus and enjoyed the architecture, saw the different buildings where students learn about different subjects, enjoyed the mosaics and stained glass windows of Memorial Chapel in the light and had a great picnic by a fountain while watching students zip around on their bikes and talking about what college is and what options the kids might have one day.

Then we went to the Intel museum and learned all about the miracle of computer chips and micro processors (Jared actually understands this stuff and did a great job explaining it to the kids - helps that he used to work for a the company that makes the machines that make computer chips...). We finished the day hanging out with some great friends from Jared's days working at Applied Materials - Phil and Perry and their cute kids.

Thursday – Spent the morning working on the computer and trying to get on top of all the little and big things that happen when your website quite suddenly has over a million hits. Jared had to work with the website host to prevent further crashes and overloads and I dealt with lots of questions and comments that have come in. Exciting stuff! It was raining – good day for the kids to play some more Life and for us to get some necessary stuff done.

Spent the afternoon exploring Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley with it's interesting and diverse culture of hippies, intellectuals, and tasty hole-in-the-wall restaurants (had some great Indian food and some tasty crepes). Wandered around the UC Berkeley campus, talked about the protesters and eclectic buildings there, enjoyed the antropology museum and some great senior thesis art projects on display.

We finished off the day with a great dinner with our favorite stuffed pizza – Zackary's – with Kathryn and MJ and stayed up late chatting with them.
Here are the kids with Aunt Kathryn - didn't get a photo with MJ, darn it!
Their sign says "Hi Will" - Will's on a mission in Peru and these kids miss that cool cousin a lot.

Goodbye to the beautiful Pritchett home where we've spent so many holidays
They sold it and are moving soon. They're ready for their next adventure! 

Friday – I met up with my dear friend from Wellesley, Julie, for lunch at the restaurant she helps her parents run – delicious Vietnamese food. So fun to catch up!

We spent the afternoon at the San Jose Tech Museum – a place we hung out a lot back when we lived here. Learned all about alternative forms of energy, space, went on an earthquake simulator, saw some amazing things computers can do with music and graphics and social circles, learned about genes and color blindness and medical advances – everyone found something to facinate them.

Somehow, I didn't take photos of any stuff from Friday. I guess we were all photoed-out. Oh well.

Then I headed off to do a 2-hour presentation on Mind Organization for Moms at the most perfect house for a Retreat and so enjoyed getting to know some fabulous women there (next post will focus on the Retreat).

Saturday – Jared and the boys went hiking and enjoyed the Palo Alto Junior Museum where I used to always take the kids when they were little and Liza and I spent the day at the Retreat. I thought Liza might be bored but she loved being there and it was fun for her to experience in person all this stuff I'm always working on. It was a WONDERFUL day. I'll do a whole separate post on it with lots of photos.

Sunday – The kids ate themselves silly at the free buffet breakfast at the hotel - they were in heaven with all the abundant options. Then we drove and drove!!! Nevada is big and flat and the bathrooms are few and far between (good thing we've got mostly boys who can make a pit stop just about anywhere) but it's been fun to have the kids help me remember all the great things we've done on this trip and realize what was the most exciting and memorable to them (apparently the breakfast buffet at the hotel ranked way up there...). We had our own little church services in the car and listened to a bunch of Alexander's Amazing Adventures. These are great kids. Road trips have become so very nice - especially when I think of all the times we did this trip with screaming babies and restless toddlers and exploading diapers.... Life is good.


Spring Break said...

Good post with your travelling experiences..It seems you all enjoyed a lot..:)

shawni said...

Looks like such a great trip. So fun to see you in so many of the same places we just went...wish we could have been there togetehr!!


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