Thursday, August 25, 2011

Golden Gate Bridge walk

San Francisco has only one drawback, "Tis hard to leave"
Rudyard Kipling
Today we set off on a trek across one of the world's greatest tourist attractions.
And even though I've grown up only 45 minutes away, I had never done this before.
In fact, I was VERY apprehensive about escorting a half dozen families somewhere I had never been. 
And I had been dreaming about freaking out about heights for the past 3 nights.
 But it all worked out FINE.

We met on the Marin side to give us a 'goal' to walk toward.
The fog was thick as we set out.......even though it was 12:30pm.
But such is life in the city.
Our hope was that it would burn off by the time we made our way BACK across the bridge.  
That way we could enjoy the views.
It worked for a little bit.
Either way, we were on a mission.
....we had 27 kids to keep track of.
...and this was no ordinary hike.

We would be sharing the road with bicyclists, tourists and of course MANY vehicles.
Well, not all of THAT was on the sidewalk.  
But it sure was busy!
Merrick stuck by my side like glue.
He was a little concerned about the 3 mile round trip.
I couldn't blame him! After a 2 mile uphill trek on Monday we were all a bit sore from not having hiked all summer.  But the only real complaint I had about this walk was the concrete.
Man that stuff will wear out your legs like nothing else. 
Talk about unforgiving!
Of course anything done in good company can be easier.
And even the littlest ones in our group handled the trek with gusto!
Thank God for adventurous friends!
And we had a lot of them with us!
Even one of the daddies joined our crew.
It's definitely a trip we'll have to take again with Jarrod.
I'm just glad to know I could do it again without complaint :)
It's not something my mom EVER would have tried when I was a kid.
(especially the day after an earthquake!)
But what can I say? These kids have very DIFFERENT mommas:
In a great way of course!
Not that we stuck close to all of our kids ALL of the time.
I barely saw my oldest as he ran ahead with the older kids and another momma.
Man, when did 9 years old get so independent??
So after a windy walk we made it to the other side.  And apparently ALL the fog is San Francisco was still lingering around the bridge.
You'd think all this wind would've blown it away!
On the other side we finished our lunch and checked out the sites.
There were fun things to see like this cross section of the huge swinging cables on this bridge.
Our friends were also full of snippets. For instance did you know that they expected atleast 35 people to die during the construction of this beauty?  But only 11 lives were actually lost!
Whew.....thank goodness for safety nets!
We saw the infamous painting crew that never stops painting.
And Merrick and I wondered HOW many cars actually cross that bridge for $6 a pop.
Though I love that our trek was free, I'd have paid that to see this up close.
It really is beautiful.
Photobombers included: 
So the day was full of great friends....
And fantastic views.
....and did I mention the friends? 
We're so blessed to walk this homeschool journey with such fantastic people.

Check off our first field trip of the year.
Memories made, history visited, and shin splints are aching.
Good times!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer's End water play

We've been back in school now for 3 weeks, but before it all ended we had our share of fun in the sun!
And I'm not talking water balloons and swimming pools here! 
Check it out!
Our friend's live on an island with a dock in their backyard.  Yet, aside from the diving board and water slide into the Delta there was a homemade, giant water slide... 
I'd give it a steep factor of 8!
They loved it!  
 And then the girls got creative....
 They had the grand idea to drag this tube up and down the hill to save their bums from the bumps:
I'd NEVER try it, because in the end they'd skid across the grass....but it 
DID look like a blast =)
A week or so later we ended up in the middle of Gold country.
I actually can't remember the name of the town right now.  
But it's adorable and quaint. 
....and a great place for a group of kids. 
The community park is beautiful.
It actually has a creek running through it. 
So we loaded up some inner tubes and packed our lunch. 
The water moved gently around the park and was shallow enough to keep all the kids safe. 
Although Natalia wasn't quite brave enough to hop on a tube.
She played the part well.
This picture was taken moments before she fell off and was 'stranded' on the water fall
 screaming her head off.   
Oh, the drama!   
We so have to go back again.
As soon as I can remember the name of the town ;)
And lastly we ended up at my aunt's annual horseshoe tournament.
That's where the kids played on this bad boy: 

Ah, memories with their cousins....priceless! 
And that's how our 'official' summer ended on a big WET note.