Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bay Area Valentine's Adventure

Have you wondered why we chose to spend Valentine's Day 2009 in the Bay Area? Several weeks ago we purchased tickets to go to Houston for the wedding, 2 days later Southwest Airlines has an awesome 3-day sale and we could of saved 50% if we had not booked them early. We worked with SWA (they have some of the best costomer service in the airline industry in our thoughts) and were able to get the cheaper rate, however they could not reimburse our money, but we did have an airline credit.

Prior to C2 & Heather's wedding date being set Bill had received information from one of the makers of the planes he uses that they would be having a show in Oakland the 13th of February. We had considered going down for the show (and we love the Bay Area). When we found out the date had been set for the wedding we knew that we couldn't go to the show, which was no a big deal afterall wedding trumps tool show anyday. But once we had obtained the SWA credit we decided to go ahead and go down for the show.

Not knowing if Bill might be working by the time the show rolled around we booked the last flight of the evening, 9:15 pm; well that ws the scheduled departure time.... actual departure was 11:15 pm arriving into Oakland at 12:45am! Oh wait, it does get better... Our car rental counter closes at 10:00, so we end up renting a more expensive car (so much for the savings on the flight), and get to our hotel at 2:00am and totally exhausted but thanking God that we have a room as we climb into bed. Instead of spending the night in the airport again.

After we got up and dressed on Saturday we headed downstairs to partake of the typical hotel Continental breakfast fare and we headed out to find our way to the Lie-Nielsen plane show. The show was very, very small. In fact after an hour, we were done. Hmmm, planned on spending most of the day there as we do with the woodworking shows at home. It was interesting, just not much there.

However, the venue for the show was called the Crucible, it was most interesting. They offer all types of classes there from jewelry making, wood working, metal work etc... Something else to go on our “would like to do” list.

Bill had been surfing the web before we our trip to see what other points of interests there might be and found and area that appeal to us and found this area called Preservation Park ( was a really cool place, all refurbished Victorian era housing. It was well worthwhile.

By the time we finished our tour of the park our typical hotel Continental breakfast fare was wearing thin fast when we passed a burger joint that Don had turned us onto when we were in San Fran last October. In-N-Out Burger, good artery hardening fast food cheese burger and fries at a decent price. In-N-Out Burger seems to be yet another good fast food restaurant that we don’t have in Washington. Mmmm don’t it look good? (It was.....)

For our special Valentine’s dinner we had made reservations last month for a restaurant located in the Berkeley Marina. Wonderful views of the Golden Gate and Bay bridges. It was a bit too damp and windy to really enjoy a walk, but our dinner was so good.


  • A Prius is really not a bad little car, and even more impressive once you figure out how to start it (yes we have always been dye in the wool American Made)

  • The Govenator of California REALLY needs to do something about the shape of their roads and highways.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

We Child-Proofed Our House But They Still Get In

It seems like we just start getting used to the “empty nest” when WHAM! one of our kids reappear, boomerang.

Wikipedia defines the “Boomerang Generation” as one of several terms that are applied to the current generation of young adults for the frequency with which they choose to cohabitate with their parents after a brief period of living alone-thus boomeranging back to their place of origin. Whit being our most recent boomerang child (others have included Chris & Billy). While we enjoy being empty nesters we more enjoy being the parents that our children can come to when they need our help.

We admire Whitney, she found herself in some financial trouble and came to us asking for help. This is a hard thing for anyone to do, but she did it. She took a deep breath called and told us she needed to come out talk to us. We went thru her finances, prepared a spreadsheet and after all the calculations were complete it was apparent, she needed our help and we wanted to help her, solution; she should move back home.

Our daughter is planning to move to Utah the end of the summer to go to college, so we had planned on her moving in when the lease on her apartment was up in June anyway. She’s just moving back in a little sooner than originally planned.

Did we mention how much we admire her? Not only did this young lady come to us to ask for help she has managed the entire move by herself. She talked to her apartment manager and worked out a plan for early termination of her lease, she found a moving company that would move her boxes and furniture into a storage building, she found a storage facility and she had everything packed and ready to go…. She did all of this on her own… can her daddy and WOSM say PROUD? Here?

Of course there always bumps in the road which she found out when the movers were supposed to show up on Friday afternoon, again something else she handled on her own. Whitney took Thursday & Friday as vacation days (she was in a use them or lose them situation anyway)so she could finalize packing on Thursday and Friday the movers would arrive a little after noon. Friday came and now word from the moving company, she finally called them only to find out that, ooops their truck broke down and wouldn’t be able to come until Saturday morning (yes, good customer service would have been for them to call her). She wasn’t pleased but agreed with their 7:00 am Saturday arrival.

She spent the night with us on Friday, get’s up at 5:30 on Saturday morning (yes, there are many things wrong with getting up at that time on a Saturday morning) and heads over to meet the movers at 7:00, or so she thought. 8:00 and still no movers, so she calls them again, the man on the phone (same dude she talked to the night before that told her 7am) told her he was sorry, he knew he told her 7:00 but they accidently put her down for Saturday afternoon, then had “balls” to ask her if that was okay ….. needless to say after Whitney had a little chat with them (#$@%#) they arrived in less than an hour. Not only did they arrive in a hurry she encouraged them to cut their rate since they had kept her waiting an extra day to which they agreed. She’s a smart girl. And we are glad she’s ours! LESSON’S LEARNED:

While we enjoy our empty nest times, we enjoy more being the parents that kids can come to when help is needed