cahn: (Default)
We went to Yosemite to hang out with K/B/D in what I am kinda hoping becomes an annual thing (this is the second year we've done this), because it is awesome. The two kids were both sort of wild with happiness to play together, which is, at least on our end, extremely weird and totally awesome (E usually regards other children her own age with some suspicion and/or extreme introvertedness). For the second time we did not do Pothole Dome together, this time because of the weather. This just means we will have to go back! We did, however, find out that E thought that "Yosemite" meant "Pothole Dome," when she kept asking us when we were going to Yosemite and we kept telling her we were already there, and we both were confused.

Other things we learned from last time and/or this time: )
cahn: (Default)
So we went to Yosemite, and met up with K/B/D, and it was really fun! We did learn a lot of lessons for future reference.

When there is a multi-hour ice storm... )
cahn: (pothole)
This year was my second (dad's) family reunion, which we've been having every 1.5 years (so as to alternate summer and winter).

1. As D pointed out, his family reunions have almost ten times the people and less than one-tenth the drama. To be perfectly fair, all the drama was pretty much confined to the first generation (dad and siblings) with some first-second generation drama, and as far as I know no second-generation drama at all. My cousins are great!

2. In what turns out to be related news, the older/female part of the first generation has some problems with emotional manipulation. (The younger part of the first generation tends to just suck it up or avoid conflict.) I caved in (which I certainly have a problem with) to mom on Friday, to my great regret, but perhaps it was just as well, as my regret over this led directly to my preventing a cave-in by my dad to his sister on Saturday.

3. I always forget how much I adore Yosemite, particularly Tuolumne. ADORE.

4. In related news, I really need to get a new camera with better manual controls. In particular, I need to get a Canon G15 :) My Panasonic LX-3 is a great camera that takes great pictures, but doing any kind of manual control is like pulling teeth, and it turns out this makes me not want to use it at all, whereas back when I had a G7 I was always taking it out. Using an iPhone camera is a nonstarter for much the same reasons. That being said, it's certainly true that when hiking with a bunch of kids and/or a lot of non-photo-driven adults there's not really that much time for messing around with manual control... (Also, the G15 has a fast, fast f/1.8 lens. Be still my heart!) I've also been following the 4/3 interchangeable-lens non-SLR cameras with interest -- if you'd asked me five years ago I would totally have thought it would have been my next camera -- but I've decided that I am exponentially more likely to take a camera places if it easily fits in large pockets/small bags.

5. Lessons learned include a) Saddlebag Lake and the lakes to the northwest are awesome; the lakes to the northeast, not so much, so don't do the loop hike, and b) the mosquitoes in July are horrible. Interestingly, it was only the environs of Saddlebag Lake that had terrible mosquitoes; our Yosemite and June Lake hikes were mostly devoid of them. I am gratified to learn that my two favorite places (though I can think of more impressive ones) in all of Yosemite, Tenaya Lake and Cathedral Lake, were also the favorites of my relatives.

6. E hiked up her first "mountain" (Pothole Dome, which is only 200 ft, but it's bare shiny granite and certainly looked like a mountain to E). D and I were both totally expecting that she would only make it halfway up, but she plugged away (and then fell asleep within minutes of getting back in the car). This is the same kid who complains about almost any kind of physical anything we've ever had her do (she still complains bitterly, for instance, if we make her ride her tricycle, whereas all the other kids we know looooove tricycles). Pothole Dome has an awesome view-to-effort ratio, and I'm amazed we never did it before.
cahn: (Default)
(Oops, meant to post this before the previous post. Oh well.)

Did Thanksgiving with my four cousins (all sisters) and aunt/uncle for, let's see, this may be the eighth year in a row. My cousins are way cooler and nicer and friendlier than I am, but easily bribed to let us hang out with them by baked goods provided by D. My cousins' kids (there are six (!) now) have graduated from the ugly newborn and annoying savage uncivilized early-toddler stage and are now in the totally-cute only-slightly-uncivilized (well, relatively) late toddler stage (it helps that as far as I can tell my cousins are awesome parents), and are really fun to play with. A Wii was the centerpiece of this Thanksgiving's entertainment, prompting the oldest kid (who is 5 1/2) to start what looks to be a long campaign to get a Wii of her own, while all the parents, as well as D and I, vowed never to own a Wii for fear that we would stay glued to the screen for weeks on end. It's one of those things that once you're out of sight of the Wii, you're like, "wait, why did I just spend two hours on that?" On the other hand, it is also a great party game for twelve mildly-dorky adults.

Also, speaking of addictions, I may have hooked one of my cousins' husbands on Nethack, which makes me very happy. I know perfectly well why I spend hours on Nethack :)

We then went to see Dave's sister, who is in Sacramento, who is expecting and who totally shows to me but not, apparently, to D; she is about twice as productive as I am, as far as I can tell, even weighed down by a proto-little one. And then we had a quickie trip to Yosemite where we had time to do half the hike up Yosemite falls. And then we drove for a long time, and then we slept for a long time, and then I played with shiny wire for a long time. A great vacation!

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