Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Great Stay-cation of '10

We hit our five year anniversary in April, but celebrated a few weeks ago. We dropped the kids off with Grandma and headed out to...Santa Barbara. After researching our options of vacation destinations we realized that our budget was magically transformed from meager to ample by eliminating the cost of nightly hotels. And since people travel from all around the world to come to Santa Barbara, we thought we'd just stay and really get to know our town. I know travel itinerary's can be boring, but in case you're interested:
  • Dinner at Cheesecake Factory...mmmm
  • Watched Despicable Me, loved the minions, quoted the movie the rest of the weekend.
  • Took some papparazzi photos of my "baby bump" at the mall.
  • Took a hike to "inspiration point" (hey it was our anniversary, what did you expect?)
  • Ate lunch on the pier
  • Visited the SB courthouse, saw the view from the tower (finally!)
  • Relaxed on the beach
  • Picnicked and rocked out at an outdoor concert featuring Captain Cardiac and the Coroners. They were Oldies, but goodies!
  • Took a boat out to Santa Cruz Island, spotted dolphins, kayaked off the coast, and hiked.
  • Dinner at Zenyai Thai -- we both LOOOOOVED our food.
  • Spent all of Saturday on our bikes: we rode downtown, hit the French Festival, Museum of Art, Bird Sanctuary, Cabrillo beach, and the Palace for dinner. All in all we biked 17 miles! (We also missed our bus home and had to call a friend at 9:30pm to pick us and our bikes up. Million thanks Jeff!!)
  • Enjoyed three hours of church with no kids. Amazing!
  • Picked up our girls and loved them all the more for having some time off.

We had a blast. Now maybe our friends will really believe us when we say they should come visit us sometime in Santa Barbara!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Secret Indulgence

So, I'm kinda embarrassed by this, being a guy AND a chemical engineer, but I stalk celebrity marriages. I followed every detail of Brangelina and Tom & Katie. I know most celebrity relationships are spur of the moment, whirlwind fantasies destined for divorce court, or at least break up alley, but I really thought Sandra Bullock, America's sweetheart, would defy the odds. I was so sad to hear about her divorce.

On a nerd note, I also heard around the water cooler at work about an equation to predict celebrity faithfulness.

I never did test the number's on Sandra, I simply had faith she would pull through. To counter the depression I know this will cause all my fellow While You Were Sleeping fans, I hope you noticed not all the cover articles in this week's People are downers. In fact, one of them is positively true. Go back and re-look at the cover in case you missed it. This is more than a bump, watch out world, January 21, 2011 the Mullens are having a baby.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

First Camping Trip

We went on our first family camping trip this weekend. We thought we'd start out small with a campsite only 35 minutes from our house and only for one night. Cachuma Lake is beautiful, and for those not native to Santa Barbara, is our domestic water supply, which means we can't swim in it. And although it's weird camping next to a giant body of water you can't get in, Marielle can happily throw rocks in a lake for a really long time.

MK and I are not native granola, so this weekend's trip was full of learnings. Here's a few:
  • If you pick your campsite off a map, you might have gangstas on one side and mariachis on the other. Also, that unimposing map square that represents the parking lot will be a lot closer and a lot uglier in person than on paper. A quick drive through camp will probably be worth your time.
  • Blow torches (thank you, mariachis!) are more effective than matches at starting a campfire.
  • Don't pack according to the weather at your home. Since it was overcast and chilly at our apartment, and the lake is 700 ft. higher in elevation, we packed jeans and sweaters. It was 85 degrees when we arrived.
  • It's best for all involved, if Mom takes the girls to the park while Dad (slowly) sets up the tent.
  • Camping is about snacking and getting dirty. Don't be surprised when you eat everything you brought, though your wife might have thought those granola bars and fruit snacks would last you weeks.
  • When you tell your wife she can't bring an air mattress, be prepared to eat crow when all your neighbors have them.
  • Even though you go to the park and play pretend and eat dinner with all the same people you see at your house, there's something magical about doing it outside around a campfire.
  • Don't stay up too late chatting around the campfire. Pre-dawn bathroom calls out the tent and down a chilly hill can really wake a kid up. In fact, such a kid might not go back to sleep at all. Three hours is a really long time to stall getting up.
  • And of course, these girls are too cute, even covered in dirt:

Finally, we saw this live. How cool is that!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Love of a Father

I think this pictures says it all.