Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Game room poster designs

These are the signs for my game room at VSU, designed by Sarah. They rock. There's also a view in there of what the game room looks like from the doorway. I know -- needs more color, less school hallway look.

Stop looking at the room -- check out those checkboards!


The president of Cal. State Fullerton required all faculty and staff to take three furlough days last week. We took advantage of this unpaid time off to drive up the coast to a little town called Carmel. You might know it as the town of which Clint Eastwood was once the mayor. But that is not what attracted us. No offense, Mr. Eastwood. The Dog Lover's Companion to California seemed to suggest that Carmel was the dog friendliest town in California, and possibly the world. Whereas we usually leave our lovely pooch-a-roos at their favorite boarding place when we vacate, this time we decided to emphasize the "fur" in furloughcation and bring them along.

Based on the recommendation in The Dog Lover's Companion to California, we stayed at the Lamplighter Inn. Specifically, we stayed in the Concourse Suite, which had a fully fenced in backyard just for us.

Our bed and breakfast was just a couple of short downhill blocks from the Carmel City Beach, which allows dogs to run without leashes. They LOVED it! They made lots of dog friends and a few people friends. They tried to adopt a 7 month old yellow lab, but David convinced them two is company and three is a crowd. Apparently there was a big storm recently so there was a lot of seaweed on the beach and big waves. Augie and Izzy were highly interested in the seaweed. Not remotely interested in getting their paws wet. But there were lots of surfers to watch.

We took a day trip up to Monterey to check out the sea lions and got the added bonus of harbor seals! The sea lions are at the end of the Coast Guard's wharf next to San Carlos Beach. There is a fence between the walkway and the jetty where the sea lions bask. But one sea lion was right up next to the fence, like he was the was the bouncer. Augie and Izzy were just inches from an actual sea lion!

We walked along the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail, which is a little bike/walking path behind the touristy shops of Cannery Row. On the recommendation of The Dog Lover's Companion to California we stopped for lunch at the Trailside Cafe, located, perhaps not shockingly, along the bike/walking trail that included "Dogs welcome" on their sign. David had a salad, I had a sandwich, and Augie and Izzy split a hamburger. They were in puppy heaven. The seals were actually in the next town over from Monterey, Pacific Grove, in the little bay next to Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station.

We also made a trip down the Pacific Coast Highway to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Actually, this turned out to be the exact same park David and I camped in for a few days on our 1995 road trip. Augie and Izzy got to pee on giant redwoods! Very exciting. The park had recently been flooded in a big storm, so many of the paths weren't open, but the roads around the picnic areas and the campgrounds were open, so we had a good walk.

David particularly likes the following picture because it highlights not only the hugeness of the redwood, but also the fact that this was primarily a vacation for Augie and Izzy and not so much of a vacation for him.

David did have to do a lot of grading, but he got to do it in a cute little cafe (check out their logo with the sea otter) up the street from our B&B. He also took the brunt of the dogs when they were super pully on leashes. But then again, instead of walking the dogs around their usual haunts he got to walk them along the ocean and around the cutest little town ever. I think between their morning walks with David, their day hikes with both of us, and their evening walks downtown to get dinner (we did take out . . . Izzy is a bit whiny for sit down dining - I highly recommend the New England clam chowder and the prawns at A.W. Shucks and pretty much anything from Little Napoli), I think they probably walked almost ten miles every day. They are tuckered. And David and I are well exercised. I don't think I've walked that much . . . well, possibly ever.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Apple Cake

Rebecca made her awesome apple cake, first for a block party and then again when Mom was cruisin' through. Look at its deliciousness, and envy me. :)

Click below to see the recipe.

(Rebecca) This recipe was given to my mom by a German woman who was in her neighborhood craft group. It's been a fall favorite in our family since then.

1 1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 - 2 cups sugar (depending on the tartness of the apples)
3 eggs
1 t vanilla
3 cups flour
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 t baking soda
3 cups apples (peeled, cored, thickly sliced)
1 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup golden raisin
1/3 cup currants

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Cream oil and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to wet ingredients. Add fruit and nuts and stir to combine. The batter will be very chunky - a wooden spoon will work better than a mixer for this last step. Spoon into the pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool completely and then remove from the pan.

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