I bought a really cool jigsaw puzzle when we went to Disneyland and it was so much fun to put together, it put the whole family, or at least Sandy and I into a puzzle building frenzy, completing 3 thousand piece ones in just 9 days. I like puzzles with pictures on them that I can take the picture on the box and try to put individual pieces where I think they belong and join them together as I find more pieces. Sandy is better at looking at the shape of the pieces and putting them together using colors more than the actual picture. It makes for a good teamwork and worked fine until we got to the third puzzle. It is from Ravensburger and called:
WASGIJ? A jigsaw from another perspective! High Tide. No. 19 083
The trouble is that while the box has a very detailed picture that would make a great puzzle that especially suits my style of puzzling, that picture is not the puzzle. The puzzle is what everyone on the picture on the box is looking at. So there is no guide to where to put the pieces. We can only work on shape and color and sometimes the picture if we can tell what it might be. Very frustrating. So much so that I went online to cheat and find a picture of the completed puzzle. But there weren’t any. Anywhere. But we finished and when we did, I decided I wanted to put the picture online to help others that may need it if they are looking. (That’s why I put the whole name and model number)
San Fran puzzle
WASGIJ? A jigsaw from another perspective! High Tide. No. 19 083 The Box. I know that not knowing what the puzzle will look like is supposed to be part of the challenge but it was very frustrating for me.
WASGIJ? A jigsaw from another perspective! High Tide. No. 19 083 The answer. We finished it, actually Sandy did almost all of it. But now if someone else google the puzzle at least there will be an “answer key.”
We went to see How to Train Your Dragon live at the Shark Tank (aka HP Pavillion) in San Jose today. We started out with lunch and one of my favorite restaurants, The Fish Market, then we surprised the kids by taking them to the show. It was the same technology as Walking with Dinosaurs but with some added flying and more drama. I wanted the story to be original, but they just acted out the plot of the movie. We may have sat too high because the dragons were not as impressive as the Walking dinos. Still it’s amazing what they can do. After we got home we watched the movie, and to be honest, I liked the movie better. But it was a fun time out, and we all seemed to enjoy it.
The whole neighborhood got together tonight for National Night Out. A city sponsored event promoting crime prevention and safety. All the kids on our block came out for ice cream and a chance to talk to firefighters and police personnel and to check out their vehicles.
Its now a tradition ten years plus for us, even longer for our neighbors. To celebrate Independence Day we got together with the people on our block, drank, ate and set off hours worth of fireworks. It started out a little different this year. Mark and Yvonne, who live across the street from us, invited us to drinks at their brand new tiki bar beside their back yard pool. Awesome decor with lots of bamboo and palm fronds. They needed more talking flowers and parrots though. While we were lighting our safe-and-sane fireworks, some people down the street were launching some really massive, loud, awesome and probably very dangerous fireworks. No houses caught fire, but not for lack of trying.
Beau dressed in his patriotic best.
Dan, Liz and some friends from the neighborhood watching fireworks from the curb.
Given the option to have a party, Elizabeth chose to go the Monterey Aquarium instead. The only couple of days available where both I and the kids had off was during Christmas break, so last Thursday we packed up the car and headed south. First we stopped in Santa Cruz and were surprised to find a really fun indoor mini golf course at the Boardwalk. It was pirate themed and the decor came close to the standard of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. We all agreed that it was the best miniature golf course we’d been to. Dan and I rode the Giant Dipper and then after a merry-go-round ride and lunch, we continued down the coast to Monterey. We renewed our membership then spent the afternoon and evening watching sea life. A pizza and cake party in the room followed. The next day we did more aquariuming before heading back home.
Yesterday on her actual birthday, Elizabeth wanted ice cream instead of more cake, so after school we all had some and she got a couple more presents. She now has new Crocs and a pink Razor scooter to replace the one she grew out of. She’s been riding the scooter every chance she gets.
We finally got to the beach yesterday after wanting to go since we got here but being too busy doing other stuff. First we went to WalMart to get some kick boards and slippers, then we spent a lot of the day at Ala Moana Beach Park, which is wave free and kid friendly (although you can still see waves breaking and surfers beyond the reef). For lunch we went to Grace’s Inn which is my favorite plate lunch place and had gigantic portions of chicken, beef, rice and macaroni salad. Dan had a hot dog, and Liz had some fried saimin.
The next day we and Grandma went to Ala Moana center and we were amazed how every time we go there it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. We got lunch from Shirokiya, the Japanese department store, and took it home to eat.
After that we headed up to the North Shore to try to see sea turtles that supposedly regularly sun themselves on the beach. But when we got there, there were 30 people all standing in the water and on the sand around a turtle that looked like he might have come ashore if wasn’t so crowded. But we got to see him swimming and got some pictures. Then we celebrated with some shave ice on the way home.
So we finally got a PS3, a purchase prompted by mainly the release of Star Wars on Blu-ray, and it has been hogging up lots of my time. The PS3 Formula One 2011 racing game is fantastic, at least for me, and even is more awesome to watch than the real life races, AND I get to drive. We indavertenly missed the Raiders beating up on the Chargers Thursday because we spent the whole day watching the Lord of the Rings on Blu-ray. Chores, web-surfing, tv-watching, and interacting with my family have all taken a back seat for a while.
Since we didn’t plan on doing any serious walking today, I decided to get up early and go exercise. The stationary bike at the Hyatt fitness center was broke, and rather than do one of the treadmills, I decided to run in the real world and see the sites instead. I followed a trail that took me up a cliff by the water that had great ocean views when I ran by this giant imposing gated driveway. The path went past the driveway and around the property. A little further along, there was this guy with like 17 cameras hanging off of him, snapping telephoto pictures over the back wall. It was comical because he had a two-step stool hanging off his backpack. When he saw me though, he quickly turned around and started taking pictures of the beach. I was so curious that on my way back I took some pictures over the wall with my iPhone. It was an impressive house which Zillow.com said was a 20,000 square foot single family residence with nine bedrooms worth 22 million dollars. Lots of internet speculation on who lives there but no one seems to know for sure.
Once I got back to the hotel, we hopped into the car and went to the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum. They were having a butterfly exhibit that even I enjoyed despite my intense dislike of insects. Also there were lots of dioramas of native animals and a section on the Chumash indian tribes that lived in the area and on the Channel Islands. After the museum we headed to Solvang where we had a Nordic lunch, shopped, and picked up some yummy Danish pastries. On the way back to the hotel we stopped at an awesome wooden-fort syle playground which Daniel and Elizabeth seemed to really have fun at.
For dinner we went to the Palace Cafe which had excellent Cajun faire and a great quirky atmosphere. I had crawfish stuffed filet mignon and Sandy had blackened redfish. We decided to share the two, and it was pretty awesome. The people who work there are amazingly friendly, and they even had the everyone in the restaurant singing “It’s a Wonderful World” together.
We went back to the room for the kids to wind down and Sandy and I to have drinks on our balcony when she noticed dolphins swimming just a few hundred feet from the shore. I tried to take pictures of them but they broke the surface so seldom, it was impossible to snap a picture before they were back under. We walked across the street to see if we could see them closer but they were hiding or gone by the time we got there, so instead we watched a sea lion and some pelicans, played in the surf and sand a little, and watched the sunset.
Today we went to the Maker Faire in San Mateo. If you don’t know, it’s a exhibition put on by the people who make Make magazine. There are lots of geeky and artsy stuff. Some of it was kind of loud and there was a lot of walking, so Elizabeth got tired quickly. We didn’t stay long but got to see almost everything. There were working R2D2’s, artsy cars, robotic dragons, crazy mettally things, and lots of crafts. There was even a Lego exhibit that Dan liked a lot. After we left we went for lunch at the Fish Market.
Today was Boy’s Day. I got two Lego gifts for Boy’s Day. One is a Lego Minifigure Ultimate Sticker Collection book from Mom and Dad, and the other is a Lego Typhoon Turbo Sub from Elizabeth. It took me about an hour to build. It includes a mini diver and a shark man. I also got to pick out where we ate, Sweet Tomatoes or what I call the “push your tray place.” I liked the food and got ice cream at the end. Here are some pictures.
Jeanine just hooked me on Words with Friends on my I phone. It’s a very addicting scrabble-like game with no time limits. If anyone wants to play my screen name is JDVough. If you need to download the app, here it is: