Monday, November 26, 2007

Weekend trip to Santa Barbara

For my birthday present we decided to take a weekend family trip to Santa Barbara. Jeff had Thursday and Friday off, so it was a long weekend for him. We celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday, and left for our trip early Friday morning. Santa Barbara is about 90 miles away from LA, so it was a pretty short 1.5 hour drive (we were lucky not to encounter any serious traffic both ways.)
We stayed in Motel 6 (not the best motel, but served our needs of sleeping) in Carpinteria, which is about 8 miles east of Santa Barbara. We really enjoyed our scenic drives, as 101 runs right by the ocean. On Friday we checked in to our hotel and went to the zoo. Andre really liked it there, we didn't take too many pictures, as they all turn out about the same no matter which zoo you go to. Later that day we walked up and down the State street in Santa Barbara (they have a bunch of stores along it) and just window shopped and had pizza for dinner.
The next day wedrove about 30 miles northwest to a cute little town called Solvang. It was settled by danish 100 years or so ago. It is very cute, and truly reminds you of little european towns. We spent our day there, visiting numerous gift shops, devouring on danish pastries and food. We also met up with the same couple we had over for Thanksgiving dinner there, as theyalso planned a daytrip to Solvang the same Saturday.
On Sunday we went to one hour of Church, and then spent half a day by the beach in Santa Barbara. We had a nice stroll along the beach, where they had an art fair. We had fish and chips dinner in Stearn Wharf and then headed home in the afternoon.
Anyway, here are some pictures documenting our trip:

At the zoo, Andre really like the macaws
Watching macaws
This picture speaks for itself
One of the street in Solvang
At the Danish bakery, about ready to eat our breakfast. Yum!
Another street

Andre petted almost every single dog walking the streets of Solvang that day. This owner even gave him the leash, I'm not sureI would trust him with it.
Being nice to the doggie

Cute guys

Jeff purchased a hat there, as it was quite hot and he didn't want to get burned. Here Andre is trying to steal it from Jeff. We took a nice break for lunch on the grass and had our leftover turkey and roll sandwiches.

We had our dinner here, they had different kind os sausages with roaster potatoes and sauerkraut and red cabbage. As I don't like sausages, I settled for a very danishcobb salad. :)
Here Sveta and I are eating aebleskivers, the jam-draped, powdered sugar-dusted Danish pancake balls. Yummy
Cool clock tower
At the Stearn Wharf
What a pretty view

Stearns Wharf
Ready to go back home (sigh)

Friday, November 23, 2007


Well, I think our Thanksgiving dinner was a success. We made a 12-pound turkey (yay for leftover turkey-roll sandwiches, I think we have enough for at least a week), corn casserole, Traditional stuffing, mashed potatoes. We did buy the rolls from Costco, I was too lazy to make those. I also made two pies - my favorite banana cream, and pecan pie. Our turkey turned out very good, the meat was practically falling off the bones, everyone liked the stuffing and the rest of the stuff. The pies turned out well too (it was my first time making those.)
We had a couple of friends from Ukraine over - Igor and Sveta - they live in Rancho Cucamonga (close to where we used to live). We had a lot of fun visiting together and we are off for a fun weekend in Santa Barbara and vicinity.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Funny face of amazement

Andre has this new funny face he makes. Usually when something surprises or amazes him. If he plays with the toy (like on the pictures below), and gets it to do something that it rarely does, he makes that face; if he stacks his lego blocks in a high tower, he makes the face. The other day on our way to the park he saw a school bus turning the corner, he held the face for half a minute and followed the bus around. Even the bus driver noticed and stopped to talk to us, she said it was the best reaction to seeing a school bus she had ever seen. I didn't take the best pictures of the face, but you'll get the picture, maybe I'll try capturing a better 'surprise face'.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Pumpkin Carving

I know it was a bit too late for it, as Halloween happened 3 days before we carved our pumpkin, but oh well. It just seemed we were all too tired to do it on a weekday, and I didn't buy the pumpkin until the day before Halloween. We had fun carving it. Jeff cut out the topp and cleaned the inside. Andre wasn't sure about touching the goo inside at first, but then he really got into it. My job was to actually carve out the image. We did it in the morning, but waited until dark to put the candle inside and show it to Andre. He was a little afraid at first and didn't want me to move away or leave him. After being around the jack-o-lantern for a little bit and figuring out that it wasn't scary after all, he really liked it. He kept on climbing up onto our dining room table to sit and look at it.
Notice the skull tattoo on Andre's arm.

End product. Funny that the pictures were taken in the dark, but our camera made it look like it was the early morning, like when we carved it.