These photos aren't especially good quality because we were not really working with willing participants. I guess standing inside this sculpture isn't really much fun for little girls! And, of course, there was always the challenge of trying to get both of them to look at the camera at the same time. Not surprisingly, we tried several other times over the years and ended up deleting all of the photos so we're feeling lucky that we got these three (so far!).
I think we had better luck with photo quality with the following pics. The first three were taken inside the Cantor Arts Center on the Stanford campus. There's a large collection of Rodin sculptures including the famous "Gates Of Hell" and "The Thinker". The girls enjoy looking at art and on this day Gwen WAS the art.
The fourth photo (below) is a close up of a portion of the Gates of Hell. It's a creepy huge thing but really fascinating to look at. The detail is spectacular.
The last photo is Maddy riding her bike on the campus. I think the girls rode about 5 miles this day! I added a little bit of the original color to the center arch of that photo. We took about 50 more photos but these were my favorites of the day. You can see our whole set on flickr <here>.
For more Black & White Wednesday fun, check out The Long Road to China.
To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. ~Clara Ortega
Those photos are of me and my brother, David. He's a year and 9 months older than I am and we've always been very close. Even when we were teenagers and arch enemies, we were unarguably attached at the hip. He tortured me but he was fiercely protective and wouldn't let anyone else do it.
David and his much loved wife of 21 years, Barbara, came to visit last Thursday. I wish Idaho wasn't so far away because these visits are spaced out much too far (the last time we saw each other in person, it was 2006). But the girls are going to be six this summer and traveling with them is much easier and I'm sure we'll never have so many years pass between visits again.
Saturday, we went to Stanford University and walked around some of the 8000+ acre grounds (it's the 2nd largest university in the world!) . That place is unbelievably beautiful and, as always, we got some fantastic photos. I'm putting together a really nice post about that on Wednesday so check back in a few days.
Sunday, we all went to San Francisco and walked from the old Army commissary (grocery store) to Fort Point (the fortress that is just under the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge). The commissary was turned into a sporting goods store called Sport's Basement after the base closed and you can still see the large signs marking the produce and deli and bakery, etc, inside the new store. Fun that they kept that just for old time sake and quite nostalgic for me since I was stationed on the Presidio of San Francisco back in the early 80's and I shopped regularly at that store. I was even in an old Folger's Coffee commercial that was filmed right outside the store when I was 20 years old. Today I returned with my own 21 year old son and it really gave me tingles to walk through those doors again.
We let the girls ride their bikes most of the way to Fort Point and then we locked up the bikes and went the final 1/2 mile on foot. We told Maddy that she and Gwen would ride their bikes until the bike path ends and then we'd lock them up and go the rest of the way without them. She was confused and thought we were going to lock her and her sister up and continue without them! You should have seen her face! If it wasn't so sad, it would have been hysterically funny! We quickly reexplained what we meant and all was well. The old fortress at Fort Point is really amazing and the views of the Golden Gate Bridge are the best you can get!
On the way back, we saw some interesting stacked rocks. It seems people are always doing this and we saw some gravity defying balancing acts when we were here ten years ago on our honeymoon. Gwen really wanted to run over and knock these down! By the way, that's Alcatraz in the background.
Click any of the smaller thumbnail photos below to see more from today's trip.
She doesn't like dolls or makeup or jewelry. Instead, she loves firetrucks and swords and toy guns (she calls them "shooters"). I'm always finding sticks and twigs and smooth round rocks in her pockets or under her pillow. She's a mud magnet and can't resist stepping in puddles. She loves climbing trees and giant rocks and playing "Army" with the little boys at the park. She's mastered her bike, ice skates like a Hockey star and today she got her first skateboard.
Sometimes I feel like she's more of a son than a daughter. But then I look at her and I marvel at how beautiful she is. How soft and gentle and incredibly sweet. I love her perfect little mouth and her bright eyes and all that gorgeous hair. I could stare at her forever.
There was a brief break in the rainy miserable weather (and my stomach flu) so off to the park we went.
What do you do when you have ice cream cones but no ice cream? Here's Maddy getting ready to gobble down a yummy ice cream cloud! Afterward, she showed us her unicorn impression. We asked her what she would call a unicorn without a horn and we were kinda hoping for horse but she surprised us with "reindeer" (?).