Friday, November 24, 2006

I can't help myself

Ok folks... I apologize for the plush toilet rolls (what the????), but if you need to procrastinate in a fit of silly giggles, please please please go here: and specifially read the "rules of cuteness" link listed on the left. Paying special attention to a) suction cups on hands and beadiest of eyes, b) cuteness "trifecta", and c) "eye capsules". KM, there's otters on there too!!!

Las Vegas Wedding

Following the coastal and desert adventures, I had one day of "work" (for which BEG was my guest lecturer) - that also ended at 10pm. During that night class the Fly Fisherman zipped out to take BEG to the bus station and after that class Duncan and I began the trek to Vegas.

The Fly Fisherman (TFF) thankfully did most of the driving, I was just physically capable anymore! We arrived at Bally's in Vegas around 3am, checked in, and found our room. TFF wanted to look around a bit, never having been to Vegas before. So... while I photographed the $4.50 bottle of water in our bathroom, he IRONED HIS JEANS for us to go out.

We found ourselves at one of the bars in Ceasar's Palace around 3:30am and settled down for a deliciously minty Mojito. Eventually making it to bed at 5:30am, just as BEG would have been checking in for her flight in LA.

People Mover

The Wedding

There the happy couple are, in their horrifically pink and flowery chapel in the Bellagio. The guy performing the marriage, Phil, was disappointingly NOT Elvis, but I satisfied myself by saying that Phil could've been an Elvis back in his younger days.

Only in Vegas...

Anyway, suffering from an immense amount of sleep, and still having the dinner/reception to go, TFF and I went in search of a pick-me-up that would take less time than a nap (which we didn't have time for). We found Dean, a super-fantastic bartender, and he served us up this:

Espresso Martini
1 1/4 oz espresso
1 1/4 oz stoli vanil
1 1/4 oz kahlua
1/4 oz frangelico
shaken... almost violently...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Trilobite Hunting

With my second visitor, the Fly Fisherman (TFF), in tow we set out on a desert adventure lead by Rock Buddy and Pringles to dig for trilobites near Cadiz/Chambless on old rte. 66. This of course meant that I had to stop at some of the fantastic desert sites along the way. These included Bagdad Cafe (in Newberry Springs) site of the movie "Bagdad Cafe" (from which the TV series "Bagdad Cafe" spawned), and located nowhere near the ghost depot (not even qualifying as ghost town status) of Bagdad.
For BEG's perspective of the trip check it out here.

I'm not sure if the motel is still in operation, but this is a beautiful scene of a strange duo that crossed our paths. They appeared to be travelling together, albeit slowly, and we won't even hazard a guess as to their destination...

Post Bagdad Cafe visiting, I insisted on a stop at the Shoe Tree near Amboy. Yes, shoes do grow on trees! If only I had known that earlier. I'm not overly thrilled about this particular selection, so I'm hoping to find a Fendi Shoe Tree or something.

Anyway, we eventually made it to Cadiz/Chambless, parked, ate some picnic lunch, and started the scramble up to the Langtham Shale in which there are trilobites. This is a panorama (taken by TFF) of the view from where we were.

Return of the Sand Dunes

After the rte. 66 stops and the trilobite hunting, TFF, BEG, Bird Nerd and I piled back in Old Faithful (my car) to "go for gold" and "summit" the highest of the Kelso Dunes. Oh, and also make them make sounds. And record the sounds. And take more jumping photos.

The summit is off to the left
And doesn't appear to be getting any closer

Sometimes looking like we were walking into infinity

A little rest at the top

Great air! (Flying frog pose?)

BEG's nighttime jumping photo looks a little bizarre with invisible knees and a golden sunset

A short clip of the dune making some sound with Duncan jumping on it (it was night... no picture in either video)

A longer clip of the dune making noises as we all jumped our way down it - partially obscured by my wheezing (had a stupid cold this whole time I had visitors), partially obscured by me and TFF giggling, and a few other comments on the way down...

Hearst Castle Scenes

Hearst Castle is the only estate built from the ground up by media mogul W.R. Hearst. There's a lot to see there and below is just a teaser. The estate consists of gardens, wild open, the remains of the zoo he had (see zebras below), an indoor pool and an outdoor pool, 3 guest "houses" and a main "house". I use the term "house" loosely as that is what he used, but they are clearly guest mansions and a main castle...

The Neptune Pool (outdoor) - check out that view!!! I would love to swim in that pool. 3 feet deep at the shallow end, 7.5 feet deep at the deep end.

Yeah... who knew they made ball caps now. The front read "King of Kings, Sweet Saviour". I couldn't photograph that because it would've been obvious.

W.R. Hearst collect antiquities from estate sales after the war to construct his place around. He had floors, ceilings, windows, window frames, church pews, doors, door frames, fire places, statues, etc. from all over the world and his genius architect, Julia Morgan (1st female architect), had to continually change contruction plans to accomodate these items. Here is a Roman floor mosaic.

This is the indoor pool, the Roman Pool, it is mosaic tiled floor to ceiling with Italian glass tiles. The gold ones are actual gold leaf inside the glass tiles. This pool is 10 feet deep everywhere except the "nook" in the center of the photograph (behind the diving platform) which is 4 feet deep.

Pomegranate trees at the front walk (heading up to the entrance).

Hearst Castle

When Brown Eyed Girl (BEG) came to visit the first order of operation was to head out to the coast. I planned us a tour of Hearst Castle, where there are rumoured to be zebras.

En route we stopped at Lost Hills for BEG to be surrounded by the full force of donkey pumpjacks, and she took a little 360 video to remember it by (above).

Anyway, we were nearly there when I was explaining the zebra rumour, and literrally half a second later I screached to a halt, distributing heart attacks all around, because... yeah... they're not a rumour. In this picture you can see us, the zebras, and up on the hilltop - Hearst Castle.

On the way back from the castle we saw the zebras again, they had migrated somewhat and were now comically placed grazing with some cows. I thought it was incredibly cute!

After some lunch we headed back to the smog and drove by an awesome view of the coastal fog filling in a valley. It seemed as good a spot as any for some jumping photos - we think this series is particularly cute (had some difficulty with timing!).

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Weekend in San Diego

T is for Tequila - or something...

Already gotten used to "warm", don't know what to do when "cool" happens.

The sign at our patio. I enjoyed it very much.

For T's birthday we trekked down to San Diego for a relaxing hang around a beach house.

Anyone notice a decor theme?

I just liked this place... it seemed to have character? (It didn't seem to actually have ice cream)

Freaks and Geeks

The bulk of our beach house weekend was spent wrapped in blankets on the deck observing the characters parading by us on the "boardwalk" (not a boardwalk, no boards - a "promenade" then...).

Unfortunately I was TERRIBLE about having my camera on hand when someone of interest wandered by. I did, however, have it with me when people who were "normal" came by, and just wasn't fun. The only character I was able to capture, and badly at that, was "old-fashioned-bike-guy". Here he is:
  • Otherwise we also saw "snake-man", who rode a beach cruiser casually by with a python draped over his shoulders.
  • We saw "pumpkin-head", who wore an actual pumpkin on his head all day Friday, walking back and forth. It was the same guy. Later some of the girls noted him "sharing" the pumpkin head with someone uncertainly, and only for a second, as he virtually ripped it off the other guy's head to put it back on his own. It must've smelled... NASTY... in there. EWWW!
  • We saw "slo-mo" - this older guy who skated by with long, unfathomably slow strides. What was really pathetic is that as slow as he moved, it was still faster than it took me to run and get my camera.
  • We saw "flag-guy" - this older guy with horribly long wavey hair wearing an animal print thong and a camouflage bandana and camouflage paint strategically placed on his body so as NOT to hide anything one might actually want it to hide. He was roller blading by, quickly, doing pirhouettes and showing off. Oh, I'm sorry, I missed something there: ...and showing off... THE US FLAG STICKING OUT OF HIS ASS


What made the beach house the most worthwhile was the ocean-side sunset.
Well, also the freaks that we watched going by on the boardwalk...