Thursday, 13 April 2017

A Visit to Stanford University

Leslie took us to Stanford University in Palo Alto this morning as it is one of the finest universities in the world. It is such an impressive campus with most of the students using bicycles to get around. This is the Hoover Tower dedicated in 1941 (when the university was 50 years old) by Herbert Hoover the 31st President of the United States.
The view from the top of the tower is impressive and gives you an idea how large the campus is. The following photos show the extensive campus on every side.


In the distance is the southern bridge over San Francisco Bay
Two old fogies sitting by the fountain 


This is Cantor Arts Centre. 
Elliot enjoying lunch in the cafeteria

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Another Sunday another Vineyard

We started with a visit to Campbell farmers Market to buy food for a picnic and then headed to Chantelle Vineyard in the mountains near Saratoga. It was opened in the early 1900s by a French family.
Unlike 2 weeks ago we were not allowed to walk between the vines 
The girls enjoying the sunshine 
There is a nice trail through the forest and Tommy just loves this. He is dwarfed by these trees.
A stream to cross is no problem for Tommy

Thursday, 6 April 2017

A Family Visit to Yosemite National Park

We arrived in Yosemite National Park on Monday afternoon after a 4 hour drive from San Jose almost within 5 minutes of Fraser's in-laws Carlo & Sidne arriving from Mendon in Utah but their journey had taken 2 full days. We drove into the park from our Lodge on Tuesday morning and as soon as you exit from the long tunnel this is what greets you. The spectacular Bridesveil Waterfall. The light was not good for this photo as this side of the valley was in deep shade.
Fraser and Leslie had planned this trip and it was excellent in every way especially the weather which was warm and sunny. 
Underneath Bridesveil Waterfall and we were soon very wet. 

This is the largest block of granite in the world called El Capitan and the sheer scale of it is magnificent 
Eleanor enjoys a scramble on a granite rock.
El Capitan from a different angle. 
On Wednesday morning we planned a 3 mile walk to Mirror Lake and we heard this family in front of us talking and discovered they were from Edinburgh and lived just a street away from our friend Sandria. 
One of the many fast flowing rivers in the park
Gaye and Eleanor enjoying each others company 
Despite the fact we were at 5000ft for most of the time it was quite warm and yet in places there was still snow on the ground so a short sleeved shirt was the order of the day.
This is Upper Yosemite Falls 
Elliot with his Grandma Lemon and his Mum
Eleanor & Tommy with Granddad. Tommy is under the hat with the P on it. Part of Mirror Lake was in deep shadow so the photo is a bit dark
Two Grannies and a Granpa with Elliot. he walked the 3 miles to and from the lake and only had to be carried at the difficult parts of the walk. 
Eleanor & Tommy having fun on the walk.
Gaye did so well despite the fact she is not a keen walker but she did need help at the odd place especially where fallen trees were blocking the trail.
An imp of mischief 
Elliot needed a wee carry on the second walk of the day. The older kids walked 7 miles and Elliot must have done about 4 miles.
My favourite mountain in the park is Half Dome and it just so spectacular that the photo can never do it justice. 
Our holiday lodge in West Yosemite just outside the National Park

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Out and About in San Jose

Saturday started early with Tommy at Baseball and he has improved such a lot since last year.
On Friday evening Fraser and I had to mark the lines on the Soccer pitches that would be used by Eleanor's teams on Saturday morning but we could not do both Soccer and Baseball so the duties were split. Tommy won his Baseball but Eleanor lost her Soccer match
He certainly looks the part.
This was followed by a long walk and some Geocaching. I was completing my Umbrella Walk as I missed it back in Langholm and we managed to walk the required distance and get 3 Geocaches
These Californian Poppies are everywhere. 
Celebrating a Geocache find. 
For this Geocache Tommy had to crawl under some bushes and we could not have reached it without him
In the evening we went to Kelly & Brads for a BBQ. Good food and loads of kids having fun.
Gaye with our host Brad
Emily and Elliot

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Sunday Lunchtime at Wrights Station Winery

It was suggested by Fraser's neighbour Kelly that we should attend this Winery near Los Gatos on Sunday morning so a very pleasant short drive into the mountains took us to Wrights Station Winery. It was a lovely morning although the sun was not shining.  
We had 7 wines to taste so the time passed very quickly and each one seemed to taste better than the last. Leslie with her neighbours Kelly and Brad and daughter Emily 
Gaye with her first and last wine. 
Elliot enjoying his picnic 
The Graham and Lear family enjoying their wine tasting
The area in between the vines is very wet and in places extremely muddy. The winter in California has been very wet and the road to this winery has been closed several times due to landslips caused by flooding. It is hoped that there will be no more flooding but the snow melt will cause problems as the reservoirs are full and there is record snow levels in the mountains so more flooding might happen. 

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