Tuesday, June 30, 2009

what's cookin?

Maggie made the biscuits for dinner completely on her own.

our own letterbox!

our letterbox is hidden inside an old reel box
Today's weather was a bit overcast so we decided today would be a great day to create our very own letterbox! We call it Maggie's Box. We placed it in mom and Howard's backyard which backs up to Hwy. 431 on Mt. Rose. It will be fun for them to sit on their balcony and watch for people looking for our letterbox! I wonder who will be the first to find it...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sand Harbor Beach

Maggie and I spent a fabulous day together at Sand Harbor Beach about 10 minutes away from mom and Howard's house. The weather was hot so the frigid cold water felt great! Of all the beaches we visit, this one is a favorite. I've promised Maggie we will return for one last time this week before we go back home to Houston.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

pickle time

It seems like making pickles in Tahoe has become a summer tradition. The problem for me is...I cannot take any home because of the airline rules and I don't want to risk checking them fearing there might be a break! I plan on making my own batch when we get back into town...using my own home grown cucumbers has yet to be determined!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Whole Foods

Maggie wants to know why our Whole Foods Market near our house isn't as elephant-friendly as the one in Reno! Maybe she should write a letter...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Reno rodeo

Maggie went to the Reno rodeo with Grandpa Howard while I had a relaxing day at the spa and from what I hear...had a fabulous time! I heard stories about all the events and all the junk she ate...with caramel apples and funnel cakes being her favorite. Someone had a tummy ache that night!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Love Thursday

This was the tree we stood under for the Reno rodeo parade.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Incline Beach

After a lot cool and windy days, we finally made it to the beach. We spent a few hours there and despite being very careful I ended up with a bit of a sunburn when I swam laps for half an hour...I forgot to spray my back! Oops.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

letterboxing # 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Since we didn't make it to the beach after the yacht cruise...we had time for more letterboxing! It was quite a prolific day... we found 4 letterboxes AND our first hitchhiker! For those of you unfamiliar with letterboxing, a hitchhiker is a letterbox without a permanent hidden home. It is hidden with another letterbox and the person that finds it is expected to take it to another letterbox location. How lucky for us! We decided to keep it with us for a few weeks and bring it back to Texas. So far this hitchhiker has been to Washington, Illinois, California. Montana and Nevada. Cool.

Tahoe Star

Today we rode the yacht cruiser, Tahoe Star across Lake Tahoe to Emerald Bay and back to South Shore. The weather was beautiful but ended up getting a bit windy. Maggie was disappointed because our plan was to stay on the beach for a few hours after the cruise but it was just too windy. On the cruise we saw Vikingsholm Castle and Fannette Island... which have a really neat history. Ian and I have hiked down to see them but have not with Maggie. It is a REALLY steep hike and I don't think she is ready for it. Maybe next year.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day!

letterbox # 4

Mom and Howard are away for the weekend and Maggie and I are having a great time doing nothing! Well, almost nothing. We did watch 2 movies from my childhood...Return from Witch Mountain and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and found another letterbox right down the street at Preston Field!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

wild horses

Not a great shot...this was taken through the windshield. When we are on the Comstock Highway on the way to Virginia City Maggie and I are always hopeful to catch a glimpse of the wild horses...but have yet to see any! :-(

letterboxing # 3

We actually visited this scenic overlook last year on the way to Virginia City but didn't know there was a letterbox there! We had to go a bit off the trail but still had fun finding our treasure. This letterbox was hidden between 2 boulders in a hidden crevice and had a lot of fun looking!

Letterboxing # 2

We are on a roll now...and found another letterbox after the rodeo parade! This one was found across the street from the rodeo carnival in some juniper bushes under a tree.

Reno Rodeo Carnival

We just happened upon the rodeo carnival while we were looking for another letterbox so we decided to take a break from our search and ride some rides.
We decided to leave when the sky threatened to drench us. The rain never came but look at this awsome picture across the street!

Letterboxing #1

We started letterboxing again! We even found one right where we were for the rodeo parade. the funny thing about this one was that it was a magnetic box stuck right inside the newspaper machine!

Reno rodeo parade

The rodeo is in Reno this week...totally cannot be compared to our own Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, but fun nonetheless. We woke up early to catch the parade and was shocked that it took an hour and a half!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Circus Circus

After picking Maggie up from her last day of art camp, we decided to have some fun in Reno and dropped by Circus Circus. We saw some amazing circus acts as well as win a few prizes. According to Maggie, one could never have too many elephants!

art class

Since the weather wasn't quite beach weather yet...Maggie spent some time each day this week at art camp!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Love, Thursday

2 clouds we saw this week!


For those of you that remember Maggie as a toddler...she had wild crazy hair! We recreated the look with the foam pink curlers I remember using when I was a kid!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

too late!

It's embarrassing to admit...but my dream car is a junker...late 70's/early 80's Jeep Wagoneer! Every year when we go to Lake Tahoe I see them EVERYWHERE!! Anyway, this one was for sale and Ian said I could have it to drive around in the summers up here...but someone else beat me to it! Ahhh...the one that got away.

Monday, June 15, 2009

funny story

Funny story. We ate at a really nice steakhouse...great filet mignon and lobster duo...and you will never guess what they had on the dessert menu. Cotton candy!!! Of course, Maggie had to have it. People were literally laughing when they saw that big ball of pink puff heading towards our table. Maggie was thrilled.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Burnt Cedar Beach

Although it was too cold and windy to get in the water, Maggie wanted to try her hand at catching crayfish in the rocks. We were later told that it was a bit too early to catch anything. Maybe in a couple of weeks when it is warmer...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bodie State Historic Park

On our way home we stopped at the Bodie State Historic Park right at the Nevada/California border. It is the largest and best preserved ghost town found in the United States. It was well worth the stop as all of us enjoyed it immensely. It dates back to the first big gold rush and hard to imagine it being abandoned after seeing how vibrant and thriving it once stood.
I I especially enjoyed seeing the old Bodie schoolhouse.
We spent a good amount of time poking around the Bodie cemetery. It was sad to see the tales unravel as we found evidence of disease, infant death and shortened lives. Many of the gravestones were non-existent but some were still standing to tell it's story. We even found the last living Bodie resident's grave...he died in 2003.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Love Thursday

Yosemite National Park

the end...

We had a wonderfully memorable trip to Yosemite National Park. Thank you Grandma Sam and Grandpa Howard for taking us!

Mariposa Grove

We learned that Sequoias reach full height in its first 800 years, but continues to expand as long as it lives, adding bulk rather than height. The oldest are believed to be almost 3,000 years old! Grandma Sam wasn't up for the uphill 5 mile hike to the museum and grove so we opted to take a tram tour instead. We enjoyed the history and lore of the Sequoias and are glad we took the time to drive there!


Even thought they were not at their height of bloom, we still were able to see all kinds of wildflowers throughout the park!

swearing in

Maggie ended up completing 10 activities, filling her litter bag more than really needed, attended a ranger talk about wasps/bees and telling the ranger on duty that now that she is more informed about wasps and bees she is less afraid of them! The ranger on duty at the Yosemite Museum went above and beyond swearing her in and helping her to repeat the Junior Ranger Oath and promise. She signed the giant official register which had signatures dating back to 1903! He got everyone's attention and announced the newest Junior Ranger at the park. Maggie was a bit embarrassed but I know she will remember the moment forever!


The first marmot I spotted almost gave me a stroke. I had no idea how BIG they were! They seem like a cross between a beaver and a groundhog. We saw quite a bunch of them in the Tuolumne Meadow area.

Yosemite Falls

A highlight of our trip was hiking up to see Yosemite Falls. Grandma Sam stayed behind and took another watercolor class painting the same falls. Maggie enjoyed climbing the rocks and getting REALLY close to the spray!

Happy Isle Nature Center

We took a small hike to the Happy Isle Nature Center. We actually learned more than we ever needed to learn about bears, mountain lions and scat of all creatures found in Yosemite! The displays explaining wildfires, lightening strikes and controlled burns was actually very interesting. We saw more waterfalls, poked around the fen (marshy wetland) and had a quick picnic before heading to our next adventure.

Le Conte Memorial

This was a cute little museum quietly tucked away within Yosemite Village. The museum was housed in a small lodge that was over 100 years old! It was absolutley beautiful!

Swaying Bridge Island

As promised, we finally made it back to the island off the Swaying Bridge! To Maggie's delight she was able to wade over to the island. Let me tell you...the water was so cold my legs and feet were painfully numb halfway there!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

bear sightings update

We've had 4 bear sightings in all! We saw a HUGE bear from the safety of our hybrid bus shuttle but I didn't get any good pictures. We hear tales from those that are camping that bears have been seen around camp. There are bear boxes for food storage everywhere and you are not allowed to have any food left in your car at any time.

mule deer

Mule deer are everywhere around here! Apparently, the ones around the village in Yosemite Valley are not too concerned with humans. We saw them many times daily...

Junior Ranger

I bought Maggie a Junior Ranger activity book. We'll see if she actually wants to finish it or not. She has to complete at least 5 activities, go to a Ranger-led program, fill an entire bag with litter and be able to tell something learned about the park. Stay tuned...

how old is it?

We found a cross-section of an amazing tree outside the Yosemite Museum. Just to let you know how old it really is...here are a few dates to ponder:
  • A.D. 923
  • 1066 Battle of Hastings
  • 1215 Magna Charta
  • 1492 Landing of Columbus
  • 1620 Landing of Pilgrims
  • 1776 Declaration of Independence
  • 1860 Civil War
  • 1864 Lincoln signed Yosemite Grant
  • 1890 Yosemite national Park

Indian Village

We took a quick little self-guided tour through the Indian Village of the Ahwahnee. It was quite interesting and enjoyed by all. We especially enjoyed getting a close look at the different kinds of structures found within their village.

watercolor class

Maggie and I took a watercolor class with mom today. Janice Powell Shedd was the featured artist of the week and introduced a few watercolor techniques to us newbies! After all was said and done, we each created our own rendition of our view of Half Dome.