Club Jen True or False

Last weekend marked another meeting of Club Jen.

Club Jen is also known as girl's night out- here's the twist, -with my best-est girl friend, Jen.
Hence, the cool club name. She's lots of fun, loves to shop and has great taste. So, for me, it's like a fun vacation. It's the only time I ever step foot into a coach store. Cultural literacy is important, people!!

Club Jen took place mostly in Canada.

*I've never been to Canada before. True or false?

*Being world travelers, we instantly knew what the blinking green and yellow signal lights at some intersections meant. True or false?

*Vancouver is more like Orange County than like New York. True or false?

*It rained most of the time, and I forgot my raincoat. True or false?

*not to worry, though- Club Jen is all about shopping! I bought a raspberry colored rain-coat at an expensive store I cannot pronounce. In Canada. True or false?

*Shopping really was not the main event of the trip, we went to pick up our kids at the fun circus Summer camp Meg and 2 of Jen's kids were at. We arrived the last day to see their final act. True or false?

*In Vancouver, I had the best fries I've ever had. We had dinner at an oyster bar and people- watched. True or false?

*My friend Jen lives in Washington State. I visited Pike's Place, a favorite place of mine when I was young and living in Seattle. True or false?

* Jen's oldest dd, who is 16-drove us around in her band-new car. True or False?

*Her girls took us for crepes, we had #16- Crepe Aux Fraises Chocolate- which had chocolate Nutella in it. Up to this moment, I had successfully avoided Nutella. I knew it would be my kryptonite. True or False?

*Sky's crepes are awesome, but I have to admit that these were a tad bit better. True or False?

*Meg saw many musicians out busking. She wished that she had brought her violin, so she could clean up. True or false?

* I never fly without motion-sickness patches. I forgot them this trip, and remembered as I sat down in my seat on the plane. I warned my seat-mate, who was grateful for the warning.
True or False?

Family camp

So, the Home crew went vacationing in Solvang, Ca..and then camping. Here are some of the fun things we found to do...

We visited a miniature horse farm. Meg insists on this visit when we are in the Santa Barbara area. QuickSilver Miniature Horse Ranch is a sweet visit, and in/near Solvang.
This is the "awwe!" moment, aren't they sweet?

We hiked to a small waterfall, and spied this mama deer and baby.

Here's the Home crew on the hiking trail.

We visited an ostrich farm. It made me real nostalgic, seeing the ostriches roaming free on the ranch acreage, made me think back to what it must have been like in the wild west, when the land was untamed, and ostriches were free to roam, with no fences to impede their journeys.

oh, yeah, wrong continent.

How many ostriches can you spy in this photo?
(I see 3... click on the photo to see it enlarged...)

Family vacation-opting for close to home

Solvang, Ca was our destination choice for our summer family vacation. It's less than a 4 hour drive from Orange County.

A close-to-home vacation spot has several advantages for the large family

  • less expensive. -no plane tickets, car rentals or hotel stays for the trips in and out of destination.
  • a quick trip home. I love to travel, but I am also a homebody. Sky is the same, as are several of our kids...after a few days of excitement, we are ready to go home. Now. Right now.
  • less time away means saving on pet sitting, if you need that sort of thing.
  • if things are not going well, you can pack up and head on home.

Solvang, Ca-it's a cute little dutch town. Lots of shops, lots of snacks. :)

We arrived on a Monday, a bonus as a homeschool family-the place was empty.

My first order of business was getting some aebleskivers. This restaurant even has a walk up order window. I know exactly where it is. Exactly where. They serve diet coke here,
could it get any better? I think not!

the educational shot- here is what an aebleskiver looks like. Kind of a donut/pancake ball with raspberry syrup and powdered sugar. Why yes, I'll have two...or three...

The Williams-Sonoma catalog has a special pan, mix, recipes and even a video on making them. I don't have one yet, but it is on my
**list of way awesome things I wish to aquire...
Williams-Sonoma aebleskiver pancake pan & video here*

We hung out at the bookstore, of course. Solvang has two. This one has a used bookshop and museum on the second floor. Fun & educational! Garfield does count, right?
more to come about the ostriches, emus and minature horses- oh my!


We really enjoy visiting Cambridge, and of course touring the campus of Harvard. This is the foyer of the Freshman dining hall. You have to be a freshman to eat here. We couldn't even go inside...tho, our last visit here, I got a really good peek inside when the doors were opened for a few seconds. On one side of the foyer was the dining hall, the other side has a theater. The stained glass windows are breath-taking. And, secular. No bible stories here.

The littles paused long enough to look angelic. Don't let them fool you. Don't. let. them.

Amie in front of the statue of the 3 lies. It's a fun story. This is the founder of Harvard, or not...hence the reason they call it the statue of the 3 lies... See the shiny foot? It's tradition that if you touch the foot, that either you or your kids will get into Harvard. So, we saw lots of tourists/visitors holding the foot and taking photos. Our student guides begged us not to touch it, and it wasn't the idea of germs that prompted this warning....we heard tales later of drunken students in the middle of the night, and I'm sure your imagination can supply the rest, think of why the bronze might be shiny, beside people constantly touching it... ewww!!

We loved Harvard, weird statue story and all. It's a beautiful campus. George Washington slept there, really! Lots and lots of history, my favorite subject!

this is homeschool field-tripping at it's best!

Green Acres

Our trip to Boston included a stay at a farm. This small farm belongs to the parents of Jenna, who was a Bible College Student out where we are. She plays the violin, has a degree in music and trains & owns horses. Meg wants to be Jenna when she grows up!
This is the view from the house, they had several barns and several pastures. It was so green!
We loved it, loved the view, loved the green, loved all the land, loved all the trees.
Then we found a Barnes & Nobles 10 minutes away, and it was settled...we COULD live there!

Then I froze my putootees off at night in the very old, quaint farmhouse, and realized...we COULDNOT live there, it gets below 70 degrees!
Meg got to go down every morning and evening and help with the horses.
I think it's a riot that my daughter mucks stalls for fun.
The kids would have enjoyed the trip even if we had not gone to see any historical sites, they loved being on the farm. I wish we had land like this here, sigh. Not to be.

Here's the end of my to the hand, hee-hee...!

I break for cannoli

At the north end of Old Boston, we stopped at the holocaust memorial.

It was very hard to try to explain to Demi and Amie, they have no historical reference for it yet...and how do you explain such evil, how do you make the huge number of people murdered-real to a young mind? How do you display such ugly but real evil to your innocent children?

I couldn't. I outlined the barest facts.

and cried a bit.

Mike's Pastries in the Italian section. The chocolate chip cannoli came very, very, highly recommended.

Now, I'm not a cannoli girl in any way...but I had one

and Philip was right, they are to die for.

We sat in the park around the corner with the Paul Revere statue, and ate our desserts.
I had a diet coke with mine, perfecto!

I loved the Italian North-End!

We stopped for pizza, too.

But of course!!