29 September 2009

Back in Oregon

After a two-day sprint up the West Coast, we have arrived back in the Portland area. The kids were super rock-stars and managed two full-days in the car with a minimum of complaints. Driving up California's Central Valley is an experience all should entertain!

We had been thinking that we'd be in Portland until Nikki's graduation next August, and were hoping to get a place in South East, but were told a few days ago that Nikki's Nov-Dec. rotation has been switched from PDX to upstate WA, so it looks like we're gypsy-lifeing it for a couple of more months.

We're staying in Hillsboro at the apartment of one of Nikki's classmate's who is gone for this rotation. It's not where we want to be, but it's only temporary.

19 September 2009

How to live in San Diego; i.e. it's all about surfing

surfer girl
Originally uploaded by Ben McLeod
Today we went surfing with Paul and Keri.

It was so freaking awesome. I can totally see why a person would chase waves for most of their life. Riding a wave is unlike anything else I've ever done; skiing, teleing, snowboarding, road riding, mountain biking - all that shizzle.

It is, shall I say.... orgasmic.

San Diego bugs the shit out of me, but I could learn to like it if I got a surfboard and lived on the beach.

16 September 2009

first stitches

Liam got his first stitches yesterday.


Nikki was at work and the boys and I were out exploring. We had already hit up two playgrounds, and were on our way to a third. We stopped at the top of Mount Soledad to check out the memorial. By this time, Camper was asleep, so Liam and I checked out the area around the car.

Liam went ahead of me to scale the brick steps to the top of the memorial. I turned to look into the car when I heard a scream. I looked in the direction of the scream and saw a guy standing about five feet from Liam with a horrified look on his face. Liam was face-first on the bricks, screaming.

I ran up and scooped him up, as the guy stood there staring (he was saying something like, "he went straight onto his face..."). Blood was pouring down Liam's face. His eyes were covered.

I ran to the car, where we had some towels. I pushed one onto Liam's forehead and then put him in his seat. I told him that he had to hold the towel on his cut, "and push as hard as you can!" By this time he had stopped crying and was, I think, in shock. He told me that he's try, but wasn't sure he'd be able to. I explained that I need to drive, so he HAD to do it. He was fine with that.

I hopped in the drivers seat and called Nikki in a panic. She didn't answer, so I left a message; "I'm on my way!"

On the way, I gave Liam my iced coffee to push against the wound. It wasn't bleeding as much anymore, but it hurt. He was incredibly calm.

Nikki called me back when I was about a minute out from her office, which happens to be above an urgent care clinic. We arrived and rushed Liam in, but were told that we'd need authorization from our insurance company first. The woman at the registration desk said she'd call our insurance company but wanted to know "what timezone is Oregon in?" I stared at her for a moment and nearly yelled, it's the next fucking state up, you fucking dipshit!" Luckily, my wife's cooler head prevailed and she simply said, "Pacific."

Before she called, the registration lady said it may take a while to get authorization, and we may be better off going to the ER a mile away.

Before she could finish her sentence, we were in the car and headed for the ER.

We were in and out of the ER in under 45 minutes. The staff was amazing and put Liam at complete ease. When the time for the stitches came, he was a rock star!

It was a scary experience, but it all worked out OK, and now Liam has evidence of his toughness!

15 September 2009

San Diego. Where cars rule, and you suck if you want to do something stupid, like walk, or ride a bike...

San Diego is nice if you like the beach, like cars and like driving in circles looking for parking.

It sucks if you like riding your bike, drinking decent beer and friendly neighbors.

I tried going for a ride the other day. It scared the shit out of me. Even the "smallest" roads are two lanes of madness.

I'm trying to not get too bummed out about San Diego, but so far I'm not very impressed.

The taco shops are excellent...

11 September 2009

come back, Icarus, come back!

The boys and I picked Nikki up from work the other day and went exploring in the La Jolla area. Our first stop was the the cliffs above Torrey Pines State Park where we watched some guys floating around on paragliders.

It was so amazing. I want to try! I want to try!


It looks like you're swinging on a swing without a swingset. So amazing.

09 September 2009

on the west coast again

surfer kid
Originally uploaded by Ben McLeod
We've landed back on the West Coast - in San Diego. And most awesomest: we're back with Mommy!! Six weeks without mommy was hard to handle.

We've been taking maximum advantage of living at the beach. Liam jumped right into boogie boarding, and Camper loves crawling though the sand - he's not so sure about the water yet...

Me? I'm not such a big beach person, but I'm SOOPER DOOPER EXCITED to be with Nikki again. I missed her. Missed her. MISSED HER!!

Our internet connection at the apartment is pretty spotty, so I'll try to post pictures and stories when I can.

04 September 2009

First MTB ride in 2 years

Yesterday I went on my first mountain bike ride in two years. I rode with my friends Dan and Ryan at Bear Brook State Park. I was riding on Dan's 29-inch Gary Fisher.

It reminded me how much I love mountain biking. Road biking is great and all, but nothing beats tearing down a singletrack. I had a shit eating grin on my face the whole time (especially on the last downhill when Dan let me use his brand new Trek with 6-inches of travel in the front and back! It was pretty dark at that point, which was probably good, as I simply bombed the downhill hooting the entire time!)

My lungs and legs are probably in the best shape they've ever been in, but my skills were a bit rusty. Still, I managed to keep up (or they waited up... whatever). Give me a few more MTB outings and I'll be race-ready!

A few weeks back, I entered a contest to receive a Specialized Stumpjumper (in exchange for blogging about my adventures. Hello? Here's my blog. I am soooo ready!!) and now, more than ever, I am really REALLY hoping I get one. I can't wait to get back out on the trails!