Saturday, October 13, 2012

mercer boating

During our visit to Utah, we were able to spend one Saturday boating and wakeboarding, which is an activity that is integral to Lonnie's family.  The Mercers are pretty serious about their boating/wakeboarding/waterskiing, and Lonnie was raised going out to the lake a lot during the summers.  As soon as summer came around when Lonnie and I were dating, we went out to the lake, and I learned to wakeboard.

Going wakeboarding with his family is probably one of the things that Lonnie misses the most while living away.  Plus, our kids had never been out boating with the Mercers, so this boating trip was almost like a time for Maya, Max, and Trent to become real Mercers (or maybe that comes when they learn to waterski or wakeboard...).

We went out to the lake with Lonnie's brother Darin and his family as well as Lucky (Lonnie's youngest brother).  The weather was perfect...sunny, warm, and calm.  Despite it being about 5 years since my last wakeboarding run, I was able to get up after a few attempts.  The kids had so much fun with their cousins, and Max had to try and see every little corner of the boat.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

san pedro

I lived in San Pedro, CA from when I was five years old until I went away to school in Utah at 18.  It is  the closet thing that I have to a hometown.   Thankfully my brother and sister still live there which has given us reason to return.

We loved having time to spend with Uncle Fuzzy (Thank you for letting us stay at your house.), Auntie Aimee (Thank you for being our taxi and letting us use your car.), Cousin Paige and Cousin Kelly.

We met up at the park with one of my very favorite high school friends Alison.  It was so nice that our kids got along well.  Max and Maya are still talking about their American friends Gwen and Kennedy.  We may be dancing to the Wiggles now, but we will always go dancing, Ali!
I couldn't tear myself away from talking long enough to get the camera.  Thankfully Alison had her camera phone and took some cute photos that I took from facebook.
We also went to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.  I loved going here when I was young.  I even volunteered here and gave tours as a teena.  Not much had changed in the original part of the museum but it had grown even bigger.  It was still amazing and the kids loved it.

The kids were able to hatch their own grunion fish, by shaking them in a baby food jar with sea water, just like I used to do.   
Trent dressed as a garibaldi.  

The kids were worn out and ready for a nap before we were able to see the touch tank so we had to go back later.  Max and Trent were excited about being able to see the animals, Maya was much more hesitant. 

We also went to the Marine Mammal Rescue Center, a sort of hospital for injured, ill or orphaned marine mammals, where we saw two cute harbor seals.  We also saw a sign about a blind seal named  Big Guy who had lived at the center for two years but was recently moved to the Hogel Zoo in Salt Lake City....more on him later.  

 It was great to spend time in San Pedro!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

coming to america

We just got back from spending almost a month in the US.  It was our first trip home since moving to New Zealand almost three years ago.  While nothing compares to the amazing scenery of New Zealand we were able to see something even more beautiful, family.

The main motivation for the trip was my grandmother, Norma Height Allred's 90th birthday.  Here are some photos from the party.  I am lucky to have such a happy, smart, friendly, beautiful, loving and story telling grandmother.
Some of the best things about my grandma, Norma Hight Allred....
She makes friends everywhere she goes.   I went to the same high school where she had worked 20 year before, and people still remembered her.  
She is smart and she knows it.  She has always known she was smart and she has always been proud of  it.  I love that she is a strong smart and confident woman who isn't afraid of sharing her point of view.
She can tell a story and go off on twenty-plus side notes and still somehow get back to her main story, even hours later.  It really is amazing if you can hold out long enough to hear the end of the original story.  I have sat in a room with her telling a story to more than 15 people and she kept talking while all of them eventually feel asleep before she got the the end of her story and she just kept on talking.
She always has a smile on her face.  She alway makes me feel loved.
Patty Kersee, Carolyn Guzman, Norma Allred, Leslie Gale and John Allred
Awkward Family Photo shot of all of my Allred cousins (and siblings) standing in age order- Aimee, Dennis Kersee, me, Gina Gardner, Andrew, Heidi Thompson, Loretta Monareng, Laura, Mike, Chris Calzada, Mary Young, Jordan Guzman, Leah Guzman
We even managed to get a family photo after Trent was nearly dragged to his death my Maya excitedly running away with a ballon tied to her brother's wist.
Trent fell in love with his Auntie Aimee....and her iphone.
My cousin Suzie even came.  Maya was trilled to see her other ginger cousin.

Happy Birthday Grandma!