About ~MJ~

I love life and try to go through everyday with a positive, upbeat attitude. I enjoy traveling, photography, reading, and research. Life is full of surprises, it's up to us to find them.

Joys in the little things

This has been a great few days in California. And productive…ugh. Talking about work, I know. But it has been good all around. 

Landing Sunday was by far a good choice. Who wants to spend a few hours in a truck after being on a five hour flight? Not me!

While performing the highway study I was sent out to do, the driver pointed out some local tidbits. You know things that don’t show up on tourist sites. Things like: a Tiki- themed drive-in movie. Or animals made from metal scraps. 


Or a gas station from 1915 and the parking lot from Back to the Future where Marty sped off into the past. Pretty cool places if you speak with the locals. 

Perhaps one of my favorite finds was a blast from my past: Jersey’s Mike’s Subs! 

Who would have thought I had to go to the West Coast to get lunch from one of my favorite places to eat on the East Coast? Yes, this picture made my husband jealous. We already planned to go there while visiting next week. But I was able to get a preview!! 

Can’t wait to see what today brings!

California Dreamin’ – Pt 2

Sunday afternoon was spent leisurely walking along the bay. We ventured over to Hyde Street Pier to look at some of the historic ships.

The history of this city is presented every where you look. The buildings, the boats, the trolleys (which I did not get to ride!), the homes…just every where.

The smell of the bay – it’s pretty much the same smell as on the East Coast. No surprise there! Fish, fish, and umm, more fish!

KODAK Digital Still Camera           Ok – so this is a seal..

The houses aren’t cookie cutters in styles or colors, but they all fit perfectly together along the strip.

The youngest teen stopped in his tracks when he saw the first of a few outdoor workout areas. The concept is pretty cool – but to see people working out, some of those positions are not necessarily outdoor worthy views…if you get what I mean…wish I had a brain scrubber right about now…

We made our way over to a marina where we rested on a bench, watching the boats and seals in the water. A feathered friend decided to join us before the boys decided to play in the grass while we waited for our ride…we used Uber the entire time we were in the city and it was WONDERFUL!!

 

Life is good!!  ~MJ

California – What a Trip! – Pt. 1

We spent a week in California. And what a week it was!

We split our trip in half – sort of. Three days along the West Coast and the remainder of the week in the California Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, among the rolling hills.

Angels Camp is a beautiful, small town with much to offer visitors. Nestled among the rolling hills in Calaveras County, this tiny town was made famous from many successful gold mines as well as by Mark Twain’s The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

But I’m getting ahead of myself…and this will *have* to be a multi-poster. I mean, how can I just haze over some of the most amazing sights that were seen by a couple of East-Coasters?

We left from Louisville, KY for Chicago, IL before heading west. This trip was the first time the 14 year old flew – and the first in over 25 years my husband stepped on a plane. The flight to San Francisco was educational as we were handed Coke cans in Chinese…I think…even the waitress wasn’t sure.

We flew over some pretty landscapes – even boring Interstate 80 looked pretty from above.

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Our first stop – Lombardi Street. The world’s crookedest street. I thought this street was a few blocks, but thankfully, the crooked portion was only one block. We took Uber to the top of the block and walked down.

From the top of the block, you can see the houses over looking the bay. The colorful hydrangeas planted along the block add beauty to the street.Since one photo doesn’t do justice to the street, I took a few…one of which captured my son walking down behind me – the kid flew in from Salt Lake City in the wee hours of the morning only to go on a trek of the city shortly after breakfast. Yup – we love him to pieces!

From Lombardi Street, we ventured over to the San Francisco Bay. I love history, and seeing Alcatraz in person was another highlight for me. I saw it safely from the pier instead of traveling and dealing with crowds – I do not do large crowds. *shutters at the thought*

We visited the shops and sights of Fisherman’s Wharf along Pier 39. We watched the infamous Sea Lion’s lay claim to their pack of piers.The Sea Lion’s have a fair amount of piers they have taken as their own, to bask in the sun and lounge on one another.

Coit Tower was fascinating to see after watching a movie where the family met there if they got separated, not to mention a point of interest for visitors in Telegraph Hill. The top of the tower resembles that of a fire hose, though that was not the intention of the architect. Instead, it was a tower built in honor of the lady who left money “for the purpose of adding to the beauty of the city I have always loved” in a bequest upon her death in 1929. The tower offers a 360 degree view of the city. We didn’t make it to the tower, but we were able to see it throughout the day.

Now for the food – who goes to a new city in a never-before-visited state and not eat the food?! 20160605_12150420160605_121508

Blackened cod and fish and chips – served in a metal pail! Ha! I do have to add a little tid-bit about the bathroom – it was an “open concept” type…you walked in to a large area with double sinks in the middle of two sets of stalls. Two on each side. <whispers> they were not marked specifically “men” and “women”. It was a little unsettling until it was realized that people knew which side was which…thank goodness for locals!

 

Study…Buddy??

I have been studying for a mega four-hour long test. I was well equipped with snacks, light saber bubbles, and NERF guns to help relieve stress, anxieties, and the munchies. Thanks to a couple co-workers.

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After a few hours of studying – and I may or may not have pulled out some hair – I casually looked over and there laid the newest member of the family – Bristow. Sound asleep. Figures. I’m stressing and the cat that is to help calm our nerves is sound asleep.

20160528_123154      Some study buddy he turned out to be!

…test has been taken – but I have to wait 90 days for the results! Now THAT is stressful!!