Monday, July 30, 2012

Great weekend

The Albin family had a great weekend!  Andy and the kids left for annual horse camp on Friday morning.  And I was hope alone.... it was so nice and quiet.  I rented 3 chic flick movies, read, and just relaxed.  It was great! 

I drove down to horse camp on Saturday afternoon to have dinner and stay over.  It's my once a year tent camping.  It was fun, but I don't love sleeping in a tent, especially when J.T., Andy and I share a queen size air mattress.  Cozy!

The group left for their last ride on Sunday as I was getting ready to leave so I took a photo of all of them....

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

All over Oregon

I haven't written about our trip to Oregon last week for our Ranch Management meeting.  We saw a lot of Oregon, mostly parts that I haven't seen or don't remember seeing.  We lived in Pendleton, Oregon from the time I was 6 months old to about 5 years.    The meeting was actually in Pendleton so that was neat to go back... even though nothing looks familiar at all.

We toured around Pendleton a little bit after the meeting was over and took a few pictures.  Here's one of the famous Pendleton Round-Up grounds. 

Here's the route we traveled.... home to Medford (spent the night there), to stay with our friends in Brothers (and get a ranch tour of their place), to Pendleton via I-84.  We came back a different way.... from Pendleton we headed towards Ukiah (Oregon, not California) through John Day, and back to Brothers.  Then we headed towards Redding, CA, stayed overnight and came back home.  This was about 36 hours in a vehicle over the course of less than a week!  Great trip though!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What to believe?

Don't eat carbs.  Only eat high fiber carbs.  Eat only protein.  Don't drink milk.  Drink only full fat milk.  Eat 1500 calories a day.  Don't count calories.  Calories in=calories out.  Eat anything you want, in moderation.  Don't snack between meals.  Eat 6 mini-meals per day.  Avoid high fructose corn syrup.  Consuming artificial sweeteners helps with weight loss.  Stevia is the only natural artificial sweetener.  Artificial sweeteners increase your appetite.  Eat only low-fat protein sources.  Eat a lot of salmon.  Take a multi-vitamin.  Bread and pasta cause extra fat storage.  Use butter, not margarine.  Eat only good fats (i.e. nuts, avocados).  Don't drink coffee.  Caffeine speeds up your metabolism.  Caffeine makes you hungrier.  Take a cold shower to increase metabolism.  Use fat burner pills.  Fat burners give you jitters.  Eat 3 apples per day.  Apples have too much sugar in them.  Eat a high protein breakfast.  Don't eat until you are hungry.  Eat breakfast first thing in the morning.

Exercise 3-4 times a week.  Only do cardio for calorie burn.  Cardio is a waste of time.  Only do interval training.  Don't exercise because it makes you hungry.  Walking is the best exercise.  Lift weights to build muscle.  Muscle burns more calories.  Stretch before exercising.  Try Bikram yoga.  Aim for 10,000 steps a day.  You really don't need to exercise to lose weight.

Yikes!  I'd love to lose a few pounds.... who wouldn't?  How are supposed to really know what to believe when it comes to weight loss and/or being healthy?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Attn: ranchers

Or anyone else that builds barbed wire fences.  Check out this cool product that our friend Ernest created... Check it out at

Monday, July 9, 2012

Fair time....

is almost here!  Oh boy!  Here's some pictures from last year....

Sunday, July 8, 2012


I went on a walk in a different spot today.  I walked along the bank of the river and this was what I saw.  Pretty nice huh? 

As I walked, I thought of a conversation that I'd had recently with an out of town friend who is having some marriage trouble.  She told me that while she loves her husband, she doesn't think she is "in love" with him.  I told her that I always remember, growing up, that my Dad used to say, love isn't just a feeling.  It's a decision and commitment that you make to your spouse.  (See Dad, I was listening sometimes.)  I hoping my borrowed words of wisdom make a difference....

Friday, July 6, 2012

So Cal trip- part 2

Part two
Friday, 6/29 continued:  We drove to American Girl store at "The Grove" shopping center in Los Angeles.  It was quite an experience, especially for Abigail.  We were there for 2 hours and she loved every minute of it.  We had a picture of Abigail and Hailee doll taken and put on a cover of American Girl magazine. It took her a long time to make her decision, but she bought the new "Mckenna" doll. 

We had lunch at Cheesecake Factory but NO dessert.  Amazing isn't it?? We then drove to San Diego, which should've taken 1.5-2 hours but took 3.5 with traffic. We checked in at TownePlace Suites in Vista, and had awesome 1 bedroom suite with TWO bathrooms.  We had a little pool time, made a quick grocery store run for a few basics, and picked up takeout dinner from Mrs. Taco.  We were all tired!

Saturday, 6/30:  We grabbed breakfast at hotel and drove to Legoland at 10 am when it opened. First went to "Miniland" which had models of (just to name a few) Las Vegas strip, NY Times Square, San Francisco, and our own Fortuna Rodeo arena and Main Street Ferndale (including the church we were married in),

We went on a few rides, looked in Lego store, and then headed back to hotel for some pool time about 2 pm.  We did a little shopping at Carlsbad outlet mall, and had dinner at TGIFridays.

Sunday, 7/1: This was a very relaxing, no rush day. The kids really wanted breakfast at IHOP so we did that, and then made a quick stop at Target for a couple things. Then it was back to hotel for pool time. I went shopping by myself for a couple hours at Carlsbad outlet mall, which was a nice break for me. There was lots of reading and relaxing, and it was nice to have a day with nothing planned.  We drove to the Oceanside harbor for dinner at Joe's Crab Shack, which is one of our favorite restaurants.  The kids had never been so that was fun.

Monday, 7/2:  We headed to Legoland about 11:00 thinking we had avoided the big rush when it opened at 10....not so much. We took a tour of a small scale lego factory, and then went to Legoland Water Park for rest of the day. Weather was sunny but not super warm- maybe 70-75 degrees. It was very relaxing laying on lounge chair reading and people watching.  We went on the lazy river, a big boat ride called Pirates Reef that got us very wet, stopped by the souvenir store on the way out for a Lego set, sweatshirt, t-shirt, and a couple hats.  We had an interesting dinner at a Greek restaurant.  And then we packed up to head home.....

It was a great vacation, but it is very nice to be home!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

So Cal trip- part 1

I kept a little journal while we were gone so it would be easier to remember everything...

Sunday, 6/24: We flew from Arcata to Orange County  We took a taxi to Best Western in Long Beach and J.T. asked if he could sit in the front seat.  We thought he would talk the driver's ear off, but he fell asleep.  We got checked in, and it didn't take us long to realize we weren't in the greatest neighborhood  We found a good place to grab dinner, King Taco, but it felt a little weird seeing a security guard inside a restaurant. We went to very scary liquor store to grab a beer and some snacks.  The cashier was in a glassed-in box with bars. We had to hold the beer bottle up so the cashier could scan the bar code, then put money in a little drawer (where they closed it on our side and opened it on theirs). Yeah, not the greatest neighborhood.

Monday, 6/25:  We had a quick breakfast at the hotel and took a shuttle to the Long Beach cruise terminal. We checked in and boarded Carnival Inspiration about 12:30 pm.  We went to the buffet for lunch and the kids were soooo overwhelmed that they didn't know what to eat. We checked out our rooms, which were side by side ocean view rooms.  At one point, Andy and I were in our room, and the kids were in theirs.  We kept hearing this loud thumping noise.  Come to find out, the kids were jumping on their beds, then jumping off them and doing high-fives in the air.  Yep, so proud.  Um, not!  We had to go to a safety briefing.  We also went to check out the kids' activities at Camp Carnival.  We all went to dinner and it was pretty good.  The highlight was the chocolate melting cake for dessert! Then it was early to bed- we were all tired! 

Tuesday, 6/26:  First thing in the morning, the ship anchored and we took a tender boat to Catalina Island about 9:30.  We walked around the shops and just looked around.  At 11:30, we took a bus tour around the island, which was really neat.  It ended at the casino museum, where we looked around a little. The weather was a nice, sunny day, but only 75 degrees maybe.

We took a tender boat back to ship for lunch about 1:00. I took J.T. to the waterslide on the top deck, while Andy took Abigail back to Catalina because she forgot to buy postcards.  There was a little reading, napping and sunbathing, which made for a nice afternoon.  We took the kids to the buffet for dinner and then to the Camp Carnival rock-n-roll party. Andy and I went to the dining room for "elegant" night and had lobster and prime rib (both were mediocre at best).  For some reason, that night the wait staff service was absolutely awful but the desserts were awesome! I had Grand Marnier souffle and Andy had chocolate melting cake.

Wednesday, 6/27:  The ship docked in Ensenada Mexico, and we had bus tour at 9 am. We went to Riviera Centro Social, Civico y Cultural (Riviera Social, Civic and Cultural Center) and drove through the city of Ensenada.

We had a tour guide that pointed out different things along the way.  At one point, J.T. said "This tour guide talks more than I do!"  We headed towards La Bufadora (the blow hole) and flea market.



I personally was so uncomfortable at flea market because the vendors will do anything to get you to come into their shop.  For lunch, we had the yummiest carne asada and shrimp tacos at little taco stand, and churros to take on the bus.  The bus dropped us off and we walked around the downtown area of Ensenada. Andy and J.T. loved the leather/saddle shops, and Abigail and I loved the silver jewelry. We walked back to cruise ship port, and spent the afternoon at the pool and waterslide. We all went to dinner in the dining room, had a good dinner and more chocolate melting cake (x3) and one of the pieces of tiramisu that I've ever had!

Thursday, 6/28:  This was our day at sea. The weather was overcast and cooler.  We just relaxed, read, sat by the pool, kids sat in the hot tub, and had ice cream cones.  J.T. also made a "Funship Freddie" (like Build-a-Bear). 


J.T. finally got to play ping pong with his new friend Brandon.  We had dinner and the last chance for chocolate melting cake.

Friday, 6/29: The ship arrived back at the Long Beach port about 6 am.  We woke up to dreary day.  We had a quick buffet breakfast, packed everything, got off the boat and into a taxi by 8 am. We were dropped off at Long Beach airport to get our rental car... to be continued...

Our favorite parts of cruise:

JT- Mexico, waterslide, chocolate melting cake

Abigail- Catalina Island, waterslide, chocolate melting cake, multiple soft serve ice cream cones

Sarah- bus "circle island" tours, desserts, early morning quiet walk for coffee

Andy- family time, tours, reading/relaxing