Wednesday, September 28, 2011

San Francisco and beyond.

Back in June, Daddy received a Low Fare notice from Travelocity to numerous cities around the country. San Francisco jumped out at us because it's a fun town and a halfway close to Yosemite Nat'l Park. What better than a trip out West before heading to Florida?! It seemed like a perfect idea until two weeks ago when we realized we were leaving for California in one week, the week before the movers were scheduled to be at our house to pack us up for Florida. WHAT WERE WE THINKING?!?!?!?

Once we grasped the idea that we could run away from all the craziness associated with finishing a PhD and moving, we were excited. We packed up last minute and hopped on the plan to San Francisco!
After two airplane rides and a full day of flying, we headed for downtown San Francisco. The 3 hour time change made our day extra long. We hit Lombard Street (Crookedest Street in the World?)...

Lombard Street

Often billed as the "crookedest street," San Francisco's Lombard Street is, in fact, neither the crookedest nor the steepest street in the city, let alone the world. Oddly, that fact doesn't deter the hordes of tourists who come every year to see this famous street, built with eight switchbacks on a 40-degree slope.

The main attraction of Lombard Street is watching people drive down the crooked, one-block section, or driving down it yourself. On a busy day, a seemingly-endless stream of automobiles and scooters buzz down, their passengers squealing in mock fear at every turn. If you're on foot, you can walk down (or up) the sidewalks and watch the show.

We were super excited!
The boys...they just thought we were weird.
The trolleys made Axel's day.
This was a view I have a vivid childhood memory of. I remember these hills and thinking I was going straight in the water. Axel was not impressed when I asked if Daddy should take us swimming in the car. I have to be careful with my sarcasm these days, poor Axel takes me very seriously.
Fisherman's Wharf! Oh the crab...the fresh crab and fish and bread!
This is my boy, eating a hotdog of all things right there at the Crab Station. I know this makes Grandpa J's heart hurt. Sorry Dad! We tried to get him to try crab and he wanted nothing of it. On the flip side, hotdogs are cheap compared to the delicious, freshly caught crab.
Here is a wonderful example of what my life is like every time I try to get one of the "perfectly cute brothers" photo! I usually take a bunch to get one halfway decent one. This time, I decided to keep them all to show you what I go through and of course, to remember these little things about our life with small boys. :)
I think Lucas is trying to be the Emperor character from Star Wars.

I was just about to give up...
Then, they surprised me with this shot. I'll take it! :)
The pigeons were huge highlight for some reason. Daddy & Mommy thought they were annoying buy the boys LOVED THEM.
Alcatraz was also a big hit.Here's Lucas' best Bad Guy face!
A big cruise ship with a seagull in the view.
Yummy bakery, check out this loaf of bread.
Boudin Bakery has the most delicious sour dough bread ever.
After the big city, we headed to Yosemite National Park but those photos will have to wait! We are moving TOMORROW to Florida!!! Yahooo!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Everywhere we go people comment on Axel's athleticism. He can throw a ball better than the rest of us, catch a Frisbee using this alligator technique, climb in our gym to the top and his balance is very impressive. So, I tend to agree with peoples observations. Athletic activities come very easy for him and we thought gymnastics would be perfect. He goes to Twigs Kids, once a week with Daddy, for 30 minutes and HE.LOVES.IT! They start out with a few minutes of stretching and examples of fun things to do and then they are off to choose for themselves.

Twigs Kids, also offers swimming lessons which Lucas has been taking the past few months. They have a great viewing room of the pool and the gymnastics room. For weeks, Axel spied the foam blocks through the window of the waiting room and every time asked when he could jump in. His wish finally came true. He was ready! See that dark blue mat in the back of the photo?!This became Axel's launch pad!
Mr. No Fear jumps like a rock star with no hesitation and asks to do it over, and over, and over again! He's in love for sure.After each session, everyone gets stamps.
Way to go AXEL!!!
It's an action pack 30 minutes and I would highly recommend Twigs Kids to anyone living in the Dayton area!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Tour de Donut

This past weekend, Daddy rode in his first official bike race:
The Tour de Donut in Arcanum, OH

It's a 30 mile race with two donut stops. Every donut you eat, you subtract 5 minutes off your finish time.

So, it's a tricky balance...
Do you go slow and eat as many donuts as you can?
Go moderate and eat moderately?
Go all out eating no donuts?
Any other combination that people try????
Note: the fastest rider is not the winner...the most donuts eaten (25) is not the winner. Somewhere in between is the sweet donut spot.

Daddy's plan: Ride as fast as possible to first stop and eat a few donuts. Ride as fast as possible to the next stop and eat a ton of donuts. Race to the finish line.

Due to a dead battery in our car, Daddy's cheering crew was a little late and missed the start and the first donut stop. We did however track him down in the middle of the ride. He was moving fast!!! Here's the lead group aka The Serious Guys.
We raced down the road to stop and cheer. Daddy is in the yellow jersey.
Even time to wave! GO DADDY!!
We raced to the last donut stop with some time to spare. The donuts were HUGE, DENSE and DELICIOUS! I ate about 2/3rds and my belly was already full.
The boys had no problem putting them down.
We waited for Daddy and were surprised he didn't stop at the last donut stop. Hmmm...his plan was not panning out as planned. Maybe he ate a bunch at the first stop? Two other riders of the 6 Serious Guys did not stop either...the race was on!
We took a few minutes to watch the other riders suffer. Check out these donuts and that guys face in the red jersey!
With only a half of minute to spare, we barely caught Daddy finishing. He finished 3rd overall but beat the other guys because out of the top three, he was the only one to stop and grab 2 donuts to-go!
Way to go Daddy! After talking to him about the race, he decided that he would rather be the fast guy than the sick donut eating guy! Great job Daddy!
While waiting for the other riders to finish, we went and explored the farm located at the end of the race. As you can tell, fall is almost here and the pumpkins are beginning to emerge. The boys were super excited about them.
This apple tree was loaded.
Happy boy!

Story book forest.
Zip-line which was perfectly tailored to smaller kids. You can see the big one in the back which was a huge hit too.
Cracked corn "sand box" house.
Hamster wheel.
Awards ceremony...champagne and all.
My little monsters! Getting them to do this at the same time was impossible of course. :)
What a day!!!

Here's what Daddy had to say about the race:

I finished with the fasted time, but technically in 3rd place (there was no measurable time gap IMO). I finished with the lead group, which was 3 of us. They had a kooky timing system that required us to walk our bikes over the finish line, and the finishing chute was pretty dangerous, so we all agreed not to sprint into the finish.

I only ate two donuts which is a medium-length story: My original plan was just to eat a few donuts at the first stop, then a lot at the last stop which is only 3 miles from the finish, so that if I were wrecked by the donuts, it wouldn’t effect my overall time too much. In addition to that, they had award categories for fastest finishing time and for fastest aggregate time (which includes the donut-eating bonuses). At the first donut stop I was able to stop and grab two donuts and still catch up to the lead group (the rest of which did not stop for donuts). This required me to eat the donuts while I rode (some of the other riders thought this might be a foul…they thought you had to finish all your donuts before getting back on the bike…it turns out that it was not a foul). When we reached the second and last donut stop there were only 5 of us left in the lead group, and three of them were stopping for donuts, so I realized that I had a good shot at the title of “fastest finishing time” if I skipped the donuts and kept riding. When I did that, a third guy decided to keep riding as well. So the three of us finished together. It turns out I beat those two guys because I had eaten two donuts and they hadn’t eaten any, but my time was aggregate time didn’t hold up to the people finishing much later that ate almost 20 donuts.

The donuts were pretty ridiculous, by the way. They look like pretty standard glazed donuts, but I think they have yeast in them which makes them really dense, and a ridiculous amount of frosting. It was very difficult to eat a donut while riding at about 26 mph and trying to breath. Controlling the bike with frosting on my fingers was another issue. The racing itself was really fun. I was in a pack of really fast riders…one guy had recently won the Indiana state track championships for his age group, and another guy was 59 years old, and a former national time trial champion. Earlier in the summer he had missed the world record in his age group by 5 seconds (I don’t remember the distance). The race was not a “closed course”, so we had to stop at stop signs, and there were a lot. Even with that, we still finished with an average speed of 23.4 mph over 31 miles. My max speed was 32 mph on a flat road! I think that was recorded while I was drafting behind a guy on a Cervelo time trial bike. I would say that the first half of the race we were sustaining 25-26 mph when we were moving, at that was with about 8-10 riders working together in a pace line. The last half we only had 5 of us and a slight headwind, and we were doing about 24 mph. That’s by far the fastest I’ve ever ridden, but it was nerve-wracking being in the “peloton”. You couldn’t day-dream for a second or you would get dropped, or crash.

Above Photo: Downtown Portland Oregon Bike Ride

The Danger Zone needed a little update to include not only LUCAS DANGER, but also his little brother...AXEL ADVENTURE!

Welcome to our family blog now known as:

DANGER and ADVENTURE Around Every Corner!!