New York City

At Christmas break the end of 2013 we decided to go to New York City and Spend our Christmas there. It was cold. It was busy. It was little scary. It was AMAZING. We stayed at a place we found on Air BNB if your going to stay here and wants some space, then use Air BNB. We even had a roof top deck.

roof

On the roof of Marty’s Place.

 

We were located in Hells Kitchen, which was a great base. We could walk to Central Park, Time Square, Hudson River and pretty much anywhere worth going. Night on the roof was spectacular.

Family Selfie in Central Park.

Family Selfie in Central Park.

Nic and the Kids went Skating in Central Park. I was the dedicated photographer for the day. The Park is awesome and Nic and I went running through there most mornings. Its way bigger than we thought.

 

Skating in Central Park.

Skating in Central Park.

There was so much to see and do.

We visited Ground Zero, FAO Schwartz ( Toy Store ), Radio City Music Hall, we took a ride on the Staten Island Ferry, saw the statue of liberty, Time Square and much much more.

Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty

It wasn’t really a snowy Christmas, but it did snow for about 3 seconds so Im calling it a White one. New York Rocks

The lad leads us to LADEE @NASA

James and Abbey have started at their new schools Benjamin Bubb Elementary and Graham Middle School and have made new friends almost instantly. We found out that James’ new Yankee mate has a dad that works for NASA in Mountain View and designed a bunch of stuff for the LADEE mission to the moon. They invited us to the NASA base to join in the fun of real life rocket launch!

We are in the hanger being rockets!

We are in the hanger being rockets!

Inside the Very large decommissioned Airship Hanger at NASA

Inside the Very large decommissioned Airship Hanger at NASA – Mountain View

We were not fully prepared for the scale of what we saw. At least 2000 people and huge inflatable screen to show the countdown and lift off. They even their own Fire trucks down there.

James is hanging out with the NASA Fire truck.

James is hanging out with the NASA Fire truck.

At one point during the evening before the countdown, there were some tense moments. NASA had a window of 4 mins to launch the rocket when the weather orbit and systems all needed to be in alignment in order for the launch to be a success. There was a spill of some chemicals but James came to the rescue, thank goodness.

James is helping save the day!

James is helping save the day!

The rocket did go off without a hitch and it was truly an amazing thing to see!

The big screen getting ready for the lift off at NASA

The big screen getting ready for the lift off at NASA

 

 

LA LA LA…Hollywood and Disneyland

I recently had a conference to attend in LA so we took the opportunity to drive down to LA and visit Hollywood and Disneyland. It wasn’t all smooth sailing. The drive down was great, we stopped at Hearst Castle and did a tour which we recommend, however when we got to the Westin in LA there was a mix up with the rooms and we ended up in someone’s room who you might know. But don’t worry Abbey picked up the phone and sorted it out.

We checked into the wrong room and Barak was in there.

We checked into the wrong room and Barak was in there.

We all had a big day planned the family was off to visit Hollywood and Wax museum, so a big breakfast was in order, it was quite civilized and we met some wonderful new friends.

Abbey wearing a nice hat at breakfast.

Abbey wearing a nice hat at breakfast.

Of course James has a new Talk Show here now  ( I’m sure youve seen it) and its becoming quite polular, called “Jamin’ with James” we were quite surprised that they unveiled a start for him on the Hollywood walk of fame. Too soon?

This is James's new star for his new Talk show. Jamin' with James.

This is James’s new star for his new Talk show. Jamin’ with James.

Its sometimes hard to get a taxi in Hollywood especially since it was raining, so Abbey James and Nic each jumped on a bike and headed back to the hotel, because we were off to Disneyland the next day.

Abbey picked up a passenger.

Abbey picked up a passenger.

We decided to Stay at Disney at the Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel and that was a wonderful choice, we walked out the door in the morning in straight into Disney California Adventure Park. We went on so many Rides and did so many things in one day it was truly AMAZING. Our legs hurt from walking and faces hurt from smiling.

Fake street much nicer that actual Hollywood

Fake street much nicer that actual Hollywood

This was super fun we did it 3 times!

This was super fun we did it 3 times!

 

We went on the Cars ride and it was unanimously the best of the day, but we also did drawing classes with the animators and all manner of super cool stuff. When it came time to leave we were bummed and wanted to stay, so we had breakfast downstairs and even that was fun so the trip ended up on a real high note. If your coming to visit, plan some time to stay here.

There was also a fisherman and I think goofy was there also.

There was also a fisherman and I think goofy was there also. I ate pancakes and bacon.

 

 

 

 

 

Mystery Mountain Madness.

We recently had one of the strangest outings we have had so far. There were Big Foot sightings, big red woods, big mystery and whole lotta fun. We started the day driving up into the Santa Cruz Mountains with absolutely no destination in mind, all of the sudden the GPS turned itself on and led us to THE MYSTERY SPOT!

This is where the GPS led us.

This is where the GPS led us.

It was a pretty amazing spot, and even more amazing that I seemed to have pre-booked tickets for the tour, which was a good job because the wait would have been a mysterious two hours! The mystery spot is in the mountains and is said to have a sort of weird maganetic disturbance causing everything to tilt and lean on crazy angels! The tour is quite fun and you take a bunch of photos.

On The tilt at the mystery spot.

On The tilt at the mystery spot.

Nicole loves everything to be nice and neat and straight, so to say this freaked her out a little bit is an understatement. Our guide was even using a level, which Nic insisted on checking it out, to make sure it wasn’t rigged.

After the fun, we left the Mystery spot and continued futher into the mountains, we heard all sorts of strange noises and soon figured out why.

WOW Big Foot Museum

Big Foot discovery museum

AMAZING http://bigfootdiscoveryproject.com So we all set our cameras to Big Foot mode and took heaps of these completely out of focus shots. I don’t know about you, but I’m sold.

blurry but there he is as plain as usual.

blurry but there he is as plain as usual.

Truth be told there are some amazing trees up there and if your ever in the visit you must go and see the redwoods.

Redwood sign made from real redwoods.

Redwood sign made from real redwoods.

 

 

Awesome family selfie panorama. These trees are massive.

Awesome family selfie panorama. These trees are massive.

It got a bit scary up there at one point, but that wasn’t going to stop us. As matter fact we had a really good go at attracting the Big Foot. Here is some video footage of what I am calling a near sighting. Video camera set to squatch mode and off we went. bigfoot Video footage Santa Cruz Mountains.

 

 

Sharks Win Shootout!

We recently had our 1st Aussie visitors come see us in San Jose. I have to say it was great to hear the accent again! We organized to have a great night out and go and see the San Jose Sharks Ice hockey team take on the Coyotes from Phoenix. Steph, Jo, John and Zoe were tired after a long drive from Monterey but we had the best Burgers in Mountain View at Clarke’s Charcoal Broiler and that perked everyone up.

HP Pavilion Sharks VS Coyotes

HP Pavilion Sharks VS Coyotes

Take note of the Photo-bomber Shark in the background. We salute you good Sir. This makes a special photo even better in my book. We had great seats and music was pumpin’ all night, it was a real song and dance. You can tell by the smiles we all had a great night and its hard to convey that in pictures, so I’m uploading a video montage of Go Pro, iPhone and Nikon J1 footage stitched together to make a truly moving short film of the evening.

see the video click here sharks_win.

 

Golden Gate Giggles.

Well we had a fun day today. But first I have to post this wonderful pic of the squirrel in tree. He is right outside lounge room window. His name is Gary the Squirrel and as you can tell from the image he has quite a grip. Don’t let him steal your nuts, you’ll never get them back!

squirrel

We drove into Golden Gate Park and rode the bikes. Ill tell you what, its pretty hilly. Not Warrandyte hilly, Everest type hilly. Each time we are out we always attempt a wicked group selfie, and today was no exception. This was at the highest point of our trip.

selfie

This Bridge was built in the 1932 and its way bigger than you would expect. Who ever though to paint this thing red was spot on.

red

It was a clear day today which is unusual it can be quite foggy here so we lucked out.

bridge_5

Our plan was to ride over the bridge today but a miss calculation on the topography made that a bridge too far, pardon the totally intended pun. It looks pretty small way over in the background, we were about 1/2 way on our bike ride here, it wasnt long after this we turned around and got in the car to drive over!

kidsmikebridge

We drove over and it was spectacular. We have decided to actually walk it next time so we can stop and take some more photos.

bridge3Looks big in the above photo, there were tour busses and cameras everywhere.

bridge_2

When you are on it, its freaking massive. It was at least 4 lanes going each way. One thing you don’t get from most photos is the Art Deco detail, like in the image Nic caught on the way over. ( Not bad for a chick ).

bridge_1

It was a really fun day, and actually the surf just nearby was pretty huge as well.

Australia Day 2013

On Australia Day 2013 we had our 1st trip as a family to San Francisco! ( someone told us to not call it San Fran ) So like a true Aussie I will be calling it Sanny Franny from now on. We decided to join the  San Francisco Bay Area Aussies, Kiwis and Saffas group for a meet up. We met some really fun Aussies, some OK Kiwis and steered well clear of the Saffas. We Caught the Caltrain from Mountain View.

train

The gathering was at a bar just opposite the stadium ( ATT Park) where the Sanny Franny Giants play baseball. That was pretty sweet, we cant wait to go to a game.

Aussies

It was a great day but we wanted to explore a little, so we went for a walk. We didn’t quite make it to the Golden Gate (this city is quite large it turns out) but we made it to the Bay Bridge which is massive! there was this neat HUGE bow and arrow that the kids were playing on.

bownarrow

After that we found this awesome Rocket Ship Sculpture. I have been told from a reliable source that it was created by an Artist at the Burning man Festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Its huge and its Awesome. When it was created the Artist told everyone to hang about on a Friday evening when it would lift off, and this is what occurred See Here. Then it ended up in SF on the bay. NOW THATS ART.

rocket

Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Today we went to Santa Cruz Boardwalk. It was to help celebrate James Birthday. He is turning 8 Years old! We have been spending a lot of time getting settled going to shops and looking at houses so it was about time we all had some fun!

coster_1

The Spauldings came along too which made it great fun! Some of us coped much better with the coaster than others, as you can see in these pictures. The Screaming sisters were blowing their heads with rude words.

We did loads of other cool things like go on the Dodgem cars and eat Cotton Candy, but the Giant dipper built in 1924, was GREAT!

Nic and Abbey Screaming their heads off.

Nic and Abbey Screaming their heads off.

keeping it cool

Mike and Spaulds riding the dodge em cars.

Mike and Spaulds riding the dodge em cars.

 

 

The Dunkers win the title!

It was the last game James will play with his mates at the Slam Dunkers. One of the most amazing come from behind victories ever seen. The boys six points down came back to win by 3.

James shooting a free throw that went in!

James Mc Shoots the 1st of the comeback goals.

All the boys played fantastically and Dave the coach was over the moon. There was a huge cheer at the end of the game from all of the proud parents.

 

James is hoping he can find a team just as enthusiastic as the Slam dunkers when we move to the USA. Perhaps the LA Lakers?

Kids Going Away Party

OMG, what a hoot. We had 30 kids show up for our going away party at Bounce today. Unfortunately Abbey has just Broken her finger, but still had a great time with the kids.

Abbey still having fun.

They all bounced for about 1 hour jumping into foam pits and playing dodgeball.

Quite a few of the Parents stuck around to have a look and I think that some really wanted to have go ( myself included ). The foam pit seemed to be a favourite and plenty of the kids were doing some neat tricks.

It was also Tessa’s Birthday and we sang a hearty rendition of happy birthday. I think Tessa seemed a little “shocked”

Everyone singing Tessa a happy birthday.

It was quite a hot day a top of 34 degrees. James and the boys bounced until they were completely spent. Perhaps they will all sleep well tonight.

Everyone is quite tired.