Thanksgiving 2009 – Part 1

For Thanksgiving this year I took the entire week off work. I’ve been at PETCO long enough that I have quite a bit of time off saved up which is great.
On Saturday morning Dayla and I took the train up to visit my folks in Whittier. Dayla LOVES being at Grandma’s house, playing with all the different toys, watching new cartoons, and just generally having fun. I like eating out practically every meal.
I usually get recruited to do some sort of computer work while I’m up there but I really don’t mind. I think the ample dining out on my parent’s dime more than makes up for it. This time I helped my Dad build a blog for his real estate business. The website isn’t ready yet but here are a few pictures I took for it. If you’re looking for real estate in the Whittier area, Steve Sundin is the man to call. Those wrinkles equal experience!

I wanted to get a shot of Whittier from the foothills for my Dad’s blog. It didn’t turn out exactly like I wanted so this won’t be on his website but I figured I could post it here.

On Tuesday morning we headed up the coast. Along the way we stumbled across this awesome park right by the beach in Santa Barbara. It was a challenge dragging Dayla away.

We stayed at a killer hotel in Monterey Tuesday night called Hotel Pacific. I’m always a little nervous booking a place on the Internet sight unseen so getting this place was a relief. There was a Farmer’s Market right outside our door and we gorged on just picked strawberries and raspberries.
Our room was massive and Dayla had a rocking time running in circles, jumping on the bed, hiding under tables, and just being a kid. “Funny faces” is one of her new favorite games as you can see in the picture below.

Wednesday morning we played in a park right on the Monterey peninsula. It was windy and cold but breathtakingly beautiful. The funny face fascination continues.

See the bird? Dayla does.

We pretended we were on a Dora the Explorer adventure and we had to climb “tall mountain” for our next task. Dayla ate it up.

It broke Dayla’s heart when we told her that wasn’t a real boy.

More to come as we continue with our Thanksgiving vacation. Hope yours is going great.

Hume Lake Vacation

We had another great trip up in Hume Lake this year with the Sundins, Cavers, Colliers, and Woodwards. Biking, Canoeing, Settlers Playing, Disc Golf, and lots of food were all on the agenda.
The most eventful part of the trip was when Dayla figured out she could hoist herself out of her crib, open the door of our room, and walk down the hall to find us in the game room. It was surprising to say the least. Thankfully she didn’t wander out into the woods.
James and Simon in the Lake

Wanna cracker?

Papa in a canoe

Dayla wasn’t sure what to think of the canoe but she was a trooper

4th of July parade of Hume locals

The littlest parade entrant

There were many more people in the parade than actually watching it so we got lots of candy thrown at us. We let Dayla collect as much as she wanted then quietly disposed of it when she wasn’t paying attention.

Violet the cowboy

Hold hands when crossing the street

My favorite picture from the whole trip. James love his cousin Dayla and especially likes riding in the bike trailer so he can put his arm around her.

Notice the matching dresses made by Grandma

James and Papa

During meal times, Violet had a special spot in the middle of the table

I made this picture extra big so you could see Ginette at the bottom of this giant Sequoia.

San Diego Fair

Dayla and I hit the San Diego Fair this morning along with our friends Jeff and Tabitha. The dads did pretty good considering we had no feminine support. We checked out the livestock, the photography exhibit, cruised by the rides, and had a couple orders of Australian battered potatoes (with nacho cheese). Dayla spent most of the time just staring agape at all the people, colors, and noise. Here are a few pictures from our brief adventure.
This is Rock-It the Robot. He’s like a 9-foot tall theme park character. He saw me taking his picture and posed.

A clown band

Fair food. The Zuccini Weeni and Deep Fried Frog Legs were new this year

I want to get the same haircut as this Alpaca

There was an impromptu Michael Jackson memorial in the music pavilion. Jeff is a big MJ fan and left this note.

We wandered out of the photo exhibit into the seats used for horse racing. There was no one around so Dayla and Tabby got to run around for a while.

I admit I asked Dayla to hug Tabby. I was surprised she actually did it.

The seats weren’t clean. I’m sure Dayla gave Tabby a dirty back in that hug.

This guy was actually working on the ride while people were on it and it WAS IN MOTION. Jeff and I were flabbergasted.

Fair lemonade isn’t that great but the heat outside made it delicious.

There was a band playing so Dayla and Tabby had to get their groove on.

Thanksgiving Trip – Part 4

After visiting Carmel we swung back to Whittier for a few days to relax with my family again and hang out with Keith. We didn’t do much but it was really nice to just relax and not have an agenda. Since this is the last time the whole family will be together my Mom made sure we got the family Christmas card picture.

Dayla and Papa. Dayla is secretly hoping she never has that many wrinkles.

James admires his uncle Keith

The Sundin (and Caver) family. Click the picture to see a larger version.

Thanksgiving Trip – Part 3

The third leg of our trip was the main reason for the vacation. Ginette is the youngest of 7 and the only time they all get together is for Thansgiving at the La Playa Hotel in Carmel. This year there were 23 of us when you include Ginette’s parents, the spouses, and all the grandkids. No one is allowed to have any more kids since the room we have Thanksgiving dinner in has a maximum capacity of 23.

The hotel courtyard. This was a great spot for Dayla to run around and explore.

A close up of one of the flowers. It rained Wednesday night but was nice and clear on Thanksgiving day.

Dayla on the beach with cousin Gianna in the background, jealous of her snack.

The beach is always very popular with families and dogs on Thanksgiving day. Dayla was going nuts see so many dogs running past.

4 of the grandkids with Aunt Nicole.

The whole Senasac clan. Click on the picture to see it larger.

Thanksgiving Trip – Part 2

For the second leg of our journey we had lunch with my brother in San Luis Obispo and then stayed with my my aunt Amy in Paso Robles. She is always such a gracious host and serves us elaborate meals and wine more expensive than we would normally buy (no 2 buck chuck). Her property is a mecca for kids and she has tons of running around space and things to play on/with. Thankfully we arrived on Monday afternoon a few hours before the rain came.

This was taken at a rest stop outside of Santa Barbara. Dayla had to get out and stretch her legs.

This is my uncle? Really? It’s been so long I don’t remember.

Faster! Faster!

My hiding spot is perfect. No one knows where I am.

Here I am!

Thanksgiving Trip – Part 1

I’m taking the week off of work to see my family in Whittier and meet up with Ginette’s family in Carmel. Along the way we are going to catch up with my brother at Cal Poly San Luis and my aunt in Paso Robles.
For the first leg of the trip Dayla has had a rockin’ time playing with her cousin James. We suspect that she likes all the new toys more though.

Dayla thinks Grandpa is taking this game of Upwords too seriously

You push me in the cart, I push you

Look at me walking down the stairs all by myself

This baby roller coaster is fun fun fun.

Petting Zoo

The weekend before last we went to the Monetbello Barnyard Zoo with Kristy, Simon, and James. The “zoo” was underwhelming but the kids certainly enjoyed seeing the animals. Dayla got extra excited when she saw a group of ducks. We need to a make a trip back to the San Diego Zoo now that she actually cares.

Yay! I’m at the petting zoo!

So this is a horse eh? It’s a lot bigger and smellier than in my picture books.

That thing is scary. James, you poke it and see what it does.

Uncle Simon, watch out for that tongue.

POPSICLE! Why have I never had this before?

CLICK HERE to see the rest of the Petting Zoo pictures

Hume Lake

We just got back from a trip up to Hume Lake. I (Daniel) went to camp there back in high school. We now go as a family trip with my parents and other family friends and stay in the lodge. It’s nice to get away from computers and cell phones for a while and spend time outdoors. It is especially nice since Hume Lake has tons of amenities. On this trip I played a half-dozen games of disc golf, swam and kayaked in the lake, did a couple shuttle-run bike rides, shot some hoops, and ate way too much junk food (thanks Mom).
Dayla was entertained by all the other kids and loved sharing the bike trailer with her cousin James. Despite our best efforts with tons of sunscreen Dayla managed to get even tanner.
Here are a few pictures from the trip.

Dayla the Cowgirl

My Girls

All the staff participated in a relay race where they had to grab a vegetable with their teeth out of a bucket of water.

The Family

A dam picture

The extended group of family, friends, and friends of friends we hung out with during the week

Ginette ready to go on her first real bike ride in 2 years. She had to use Simon’s (too large) bike. She did great.

Me dominating King’s Canyon

Cousins by the lake. We triend to pose them on the adirondack chair you see in the background but they wouldn’t have it. Strapping them in to their strollers was the only option.

More Pictures Here

Northern California Trip

I realize that I did not follow through with my promise of posting one post a day till the end of June. My apologies. My excuse is that we went on a road trip to Northern California to have quality family time. The trip was a blast, filled with lots of loved ones, memories and adventures. And we got to put our “new” 2001 Toyota Camry to the test! I hope this GIANT post will make it up to you. (A BIG thanks to all who made our awesome trip possible by hosting us along the way!)

Our New Family Car (don’t worry orange Volvo fans; it replaced my two door Acura Integra “Mr. Green”. Sad face.) that took us on the road trip!

First stop, Aunt Amy and Uncle Al

The most awesome highchair ever.

The view from their home in San Miguel

Next stop Aunt Debi and Uncle Stu

Then we spent some time with my sister Suzanne and her awesome husband and family. Look at my sis rockin’ the two baby thing like a pro!

This is the super cute (cousin) Gianna. This is my favorite pic of the whole trip!

At first Gianna wasn’t sure about Dayla but it didn’t take too long for her to fall for Dayla’s winning smile. They we so cute, following each other everywhere.

This is Gianna’s new baby brother Dominic. He’s 3 months old.

With Gianna’s help Dayla realized for the first time that the baby in the mirror was HER! And we got it on film. It was an awesome moment of crazy excitement.

We got to see even more cousins! Madeleine was so cute; she was SO excited to “feed the baby”.

…and Matthew wanted to play with “the baby from the computer”. Apparently Dayla’s blog has made her famous in some circles!

Last stop was my parents. I totally neglected to get a picture of them, but I will share a few others of my favorites with you. This is a pic of the beautiful house that I was blessed to grow up in. I am at a point now in my life, with a new family and thinking of houses for “one day”, that I feel I can really appreciate it. It really was an amazing house!

This hill is right behind my house. Although I have NO intention of leaving the perfect setting of San Diego, I sure do miss the golden hills and oak trees of Northern California.

and for those of you who can’t get enough pics you can find more pictures of our awesome road trip here: