Wednesday 19 October 2022

The Graham Family in California.

The Graham family in Saratoga, California. It has been difficult getting everybody together at the same time. Fraser and Leslie working, the kids at school and at the weekend Soccer and Baseball keep the kids on the go all the time. We had a 30 minute window in the evening between Fraser and Leslie getting back from work and Eleanor getting back from a school Soccer match. By 6.00pm it’s dark and the opportunity is lost.

Sunday 16 October 2022

The Sporting Graham's

Its been a busy Sunday. Started with Tommy and his Baseball game. He won and he scored a Home Run.
In the afternoon Elliot played his first match with a new team and lost 5 goals to 4. He thoroughly enjoyed the game and looks forward to the next one. The opposition had a brilliant player who scored all 5 goals for them.

 And finally Eleanor who played a match in the morning at her home pitch and then Fraser had to take her 
almost to near San Francisco Airport where she was guesting for another team. They won the Home game and lost the Away game. I only watched Elliots game but Fraser has seen 3 Soccer matches today at 3 different locations.

Saturday 15 October 2022

Our Mountain Log Cabin Stay

This is the Log Cabin we stayed in for 2 nights near Arnold in The Stanislaus National Forest. It sits at 5,500ft and while we were there average daytime temperature was about 75F and in the evening it dropped to about 60F. The temperatures will drop soon and by November they will have snow and then from Christmas it will have huge amounts of Snow. We left on Thursday lunchtime and returned on Saturday lunchtime. A short visit but a most enjoyable one in excellent company.
This is Fraser's best friends Aurelien and Emma Hubert and their two daughters. They own the Log Cabin and give Fraser and family regular use of it and often both families stay together there. Aurelien works at Apple and leads a team in connection with the Apple Cameras.
The three Grahams. Unfortunately Leslie and the kids couldn't make it as Leslie was working and the kids were still at school. We couldn't go at the weekend as there was too many Soccer commitments.
The balcony was an excellent place to sit and watch the many Squirrels that frequent the forest.
The lounge area.
On Friday evening after dinner we had a game of cards called Golf. It was great fun and i am pleased to report the Graham family came in the top 3 places.
Gaye at The Big Trees Visitor Centre on Friday morning
Photo taken at 5.50pm on Thursday evening showing the temperature at 70F
Gaye in the Visitor Centre and not bothered about the Bear about to pounce
Dinner on Friday evening and magnificent Spare Ribs cooked by Fraser followed by an excellent Single Malt Whisky.
The view from the Balcony
On our way home but Fraser always stops at this Apple Farm for loads of Apples and the best Apple Pie.
A wonderful 2 days in the mountains in smashing company.


Friday 14 October 2022

Big Trees State Park

This is called The Big Stump. The tree was discovered in 1852 and it took a team of
5 men 22 days to fell it but it did not fall for several days. John Muir was so angered 
by the men that felled the tree so he called them Vandals who then dance upon the stump.
The Squirrel is called a Douglas Squirrel and there are loads of them about.

The diameter was over 25ft and it was 280ft tall.

The stump was used as a dance floor for many years.

This is a section of the tree after it was felled.

This tree is known as Empire State and is probably the largest giant Sequoia in the area.
It’s base diameter is over 30ft and at 48ft above ground the the tree is still 20ft in diameter.

The trail to these trees is suitable for wheel chair users.

It makes me feel very small.

And Gaye even smaller.

Another section of the tree felled in 1852.

Tuesday 11 October 2022

A Day in Carmel by the Sea

I love to visit the Pacific Ocean and have a paddle. As per usual it was cooler on the coast as the fog comes in every morning at this time of the year. It usually burns off by late morning but not today. The temperature was about 60F whilst inland it was up to the 80s back in Saratoga. Eleanor loves to paddle with me. 
Tommy built a Spiders web and then got caught in it.
These beautiful flowers were growing outside a shop on Main Street. No idea what they are called but maybe Mike Tinker will know.
Sammy had a ball on the beach. Carmel is one of the few beaches allowing dogs to run freely thanks to the late Doris Day who lived here. It is a very doggy loving town and when we were on the main Street and the rest were in shops I stayed outside with Sammy. If I had a $1for everybody who stopped and asked if they could pat him I would have made a lot of money. he was very well behaved and happy to be patted by loads of people especially some very attractive women.
Gaye well wrapped up, but it was not cold.
We stopped on our way to Carmel at a place called Ross Landing which is popular with Sailors and Kayakers. Fraser and the family have kayaked here several times. 
Carmel beach.
Tommy just loves his food, but as he is playing Soccer so many times in a week he needs the energy.
Sammy ready to chase a ball
Some of the many boats at Ross Landing
A party of Kayakers

The most handsome Dog in Carmel by the Sea
And his best friend the most attractive lady.
Time for a Coffee and a snack on Main Street

Monday 10 October 2022

A Pool Party and a Bearded Dragon

This is Maxine our hosts daughter and her Bearded Dragon Lizard

Fraser enjoying the pool.

Lizzie the Bearded Dragon

Fraser and his friend Mike who works with Tim Cook at Apple

Tommy had a great afternoon after playing a Soccer match in the morning

Elliot diving in.

Eleanor missed most of the fun as she was playing Soccer and arrived late.

A lovely meal with all the guests providing parts of it.

The Guests after dinner with Mike missing as he went to see an Elton John Concert in San Jose

Sunday 9 October 2022

Shopping, Walking, and Oktoberfest.

As per usual Saturday is a busy day and the Graham Girls set off just before 10.00am for a trip to The Mall and some Shopping therapy. 

The Graham Boys headed off to Vasona Lake Country Park for a walk with Sammy and then doughnuts on the way home. 

There is an old Jet aircraft in the park and Elliot and Tommy enjoyed climbing on it.

They were good company and had a great time.

This was the first running water I had seen since arrived over 2 weeks ago but the lake is very low and the river feeding it is controlled from a reservoir further upstream so the flow is low at the moment, but at least there is a flow. 

You can see how low the river is as it enters Lake Vasona here.

In the evening we headed to Brookside Swimming and Tennis Club for an Oktoberfest German evening with Sausages and German Beer. I'm afraid I found the Beer a bit too strong so stuck to Lemon flavoured water. It was worth getting some glad rags on and Leslie and Fraser are looking very smart at their front door.

We also smartened up a bit, but we were the oldest by about 20 years at the party and felt a bit out of place, but were made very welcome. Most of the guests worked in Silicon valley in IT and Fraser and Leslie enjoyed a conversation with a guy who worked for Google and his wife used to work for Disney as did Fraser over 10 years ago.

The complex is a Members club and has a limit of 250 families. This is the pool and there are 9 Tennis Courts plus a small function room. 

Some of the Tennis Courts

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