It’s official. I’ve decided to start blogging again. Not really for anyone else (though you may be interested in what we’re doing) but just for me. I’ve found that writing a blog post every now and then makes creating my yearly photobooks ten thousand times easier! You completely forget what you were doing or why a year or *ahem* four later when you finally get around to creating your photobook. And what better time to start then now?

The latest and greatest for the Jones family:

Baby #2 — Lucy Magdalene Jones!

She is a real cutie. We are so happy to have her in our family. Speaking of our family, here is a picture of all of us! I think it might be the only one we have so far….
Me and my two girls! I love having two little girls. 

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We finally found a free afternoon to spend exploring San Francisco. After driving around and around and around…. and around, we finally found a parking spot within walking distance of the Cable Car Museum! Cable cars are an icon of San Francisco. We vaguely understood how the San Francisco cable car system worked, but it was really interesting to see how it worked. The museum is where all three cables are powered. The cables move at a constant speed and the cable cars have a lever that grabs the cable to make the car start moving.

The cables run along these wheels. You can see each cable line labeled.

This was a fun way to spend an afternoon, and the best part was the museum is free!

The U.S.S. Hornet
Going to visit an aircraft carrier by myself or even with Chris is pretty boring and makes for a short tour. If the explanation isn’t in the short information film or posted on a sign, I have no idea what I’m looking at. But if you take my dad and brother with you — it is a whole different experience. It’s like having your own personal interactive audio tour. For example:  Me: “So… what’s this?” Dad: “That? Oh that’s a TBM-3E Avenger, a WWII torpedo bomber used until about the mid-fifties…” 
We were able to take one of the tours offered throughout the day, and I thought it was fascinating to learn about the typhoon that the carrier had been through. It was crazy to think this huge ship was turned on its side during the storm and the control tower nearly filled with water. 
Golden Gate Bridge
Its always a gamble when taking visitors to San Francisco to see the Golden Gate bridge; will you be able to see the bridge or not? It can be a bright sunny day in San Jose, the whole way to San Francisco, and even sunny in San Francisco, but the bridge will be covered in fog. This makes it impossible to see the bridge until you are on it. This was one of those days. Once we were on the bridge you could see about 100 yards ahead, but impossible to see the whole bridge. 

Though you can’t see the entire bridge, it’s still fun to drive and walk across the bridge. You don’t realize how big those cables are until you are right next to it. It makes it that much more impressive.

Winchester Mystery House

I agree, the listed ticket price for tours is outrageous. I still think its a fun tourist destination and nearly the only one located in the city of San Jose — just find a coupon before you go 🙂 I would love to be able to wander around the house on my own and go exploring.

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

Our original plans for the day had been to drive down to Santa Cruz and enjoy the beach and boardwalk, but on our way there, we’d made it only about 5 minutes away from our apartment when we hit heavy traffic going toward Santa Cruz. We forgot that since it was Memorial Day everyone was headed to the beach. We decided it was not worth a two hour drive and slogging through traffic to get to a super crowded beach, so we stayed around San Jose. They have a pretty cool Egyptian museum in San Jose, and we spent the afternoon exploring the museum.

Outside they have this game set up so you can learn and play a real ancient Egyptian game.



17-Mile Drive
It seemed like a perfect day for 17-mile drive, but when we finally arrived and got out of the car – whew! We nearly got blown away. It was a pretty windy, chilly day and we stayed as bundled up as we could while we enjoyed the stops along the drive.

Carmel-by-the-Sea

At the end of the 17-mile drive is Carmel-by-the-Sea, a cute little coastal town with lots of fun shops and a beautiful beach. We got there right in time to watch the sunset.


I’m so glad my family could come and visit! I loved showing them around and spending time with them. Come back soon!

I’m a little behind in the blog posting…. but that’s ok! So way back in April 🙂 we went to Yosemite National Park with Mom & Dad Jones and the Pratt family. Chris and I left late, a little too late, to drive to Yosemite. We drove on the foggy, windy road in the dark into the wee hours of the morning. We thankfully arrived safe and sound. We had an unheated tent cabin, and while it was sunny and warm in San Jose, we discovered quickly that it was a lot colder there. We had good sleeping bags, extra blankets, etc. so we didn’t freeze, but we were a little shocked at how cold it got at night.
First group hike! We had a fun time hiking together. Aren’t my nieces so cute?

My nephew is cute too 🙂


The best part about visiting Yosemite in the spring is the waterfalls. At this time of year they had lots of flowing water.




Half dome! I think it would be fun to hike half dome someday. You have to have a pass to hike to the top now, but it looks like you would have a beautiful view.



Walking toward the visitor center we saw a group of deer just hanging out, looking for food. They didn’t mind all the attention they were getting.



On the second day, the four of us went on a quick early morning hike and got to see more pretty waterfalls and gorgeous views.



Hard to capture in a picture, but the rising sun was lighting up the waterfall way in the distance. Very picturesque. We wanted to hike closer to the waterfall, but the trail was closed.


Chris found a big rock to climb. He loves big rocks.


After our early morning hike with mom & dad Jones, we met up with the Pratt’s for our big hike of the day. We packed up lunches and headed off. It was not an easy hike, but all the kids did really well. They are all good hikers.


It took a couple hours to make it to our destination – the bottom of the upper falls. We stopped and took pictures, played in some lingering snow near the trail, and ate lunch. As we were eating lunch it started to rain. It rained just a little at first, but then it started coming down harder. We quickly packed up and put on our jackets and started down the trail. We were trying to hike as quick as we could because the rain was coming down harder and harder and we weren’t prepared for rain. We ended up breaking into small groups of 2-3 and hiking as fast as we could down the trail. I was paired up with Claire, and that girl can hike! I was supposed to be helping her hike down in the rain, but she was practically pulling me along as we both hurried down the trail. The trail was wet and slippery, but no major accidents as we hurried down. Though we were all soaked through and cold once we got to the bottom, we were all able to laugh about it — though dry clothes and lots of hot chocolate sounded great!





It all started with a slickdeal…



Chris’ birthday was in the not to distant future when up popped a slickdeal (on slickdeals.net) for discounted Weber grills. The deal was for last year’s model available at participating Ace Hardware stores. I was not so easily convinced that we truly needed a Weber grill, but Chris very kindly reminded me of what I had said several months prior… “If we get an apartment with a patio/porch with room for a grill, then we can get one.” Chris had been wanting a grill, but at that time we didn’t have a place to put it. I tried to, but couldn’t deny that we now had a back patio… perfect for a grill.

We called every single Ace Hardware in the bay area — none of them had last year’s model. We gave up on the grill idea for awhile, but we saw a craiglist ad for a really cheap grill that was still in the box — it was gone by the time we emailed them. Now that we’d been looking at grills and dreaming of all the delicious food we’d be able to eat we couldn’t give up so easily. We checked craigslist daily and tried to figure out how to get a cheap grill. We finally found one online that was a pretty good deal.

Of course, Chris also needed all the accompanying accessories: Weber Grill Recipe Book, meat thermometer, grill spray, marinades, rubs, meat tenderizer, grilling tools, etc.



The grill arrived on his birthday, and Chris put the grill together that very night.



His birthday was on a Friday, so we were ready to grill on Saturday!



We really love our apartment which overlooks a small creek. It is nice to be able to grill and eat out on our patio and enjoy the beautiful weather in San Jose.



Best. Steak. Ever!


For the last three weeks Chris has been commuting down to LA on an audit rotation for Ernst & Young. We haven’t had much time together and not nearly enough time to just enjoy life. He flew home from his final week in LA on Friday, and the next day we took a day trip to Santa Cruz to have some fun together!

Since its still “winter” the boardwalk at Santa Cruz was pretty quiet. The rides were all closed and no vendors outside, but there were a lot of people in the arcade and the miniature golf building.



We had stopped by the dollar store on our way down and got a few supplies for building….. a sand castle!! We carefully picked our plot of sand not too close to the water, but close enough to get the wet sand you need for castles.


I think we were a little bit ambitious as to how much time we would have to build our castle and how big we could build it.


After laying our corners we soon realized we would need a moat. We got it started just in time. The water soon started getting closer to our castle. We stood and watched as the first wave came in…


We felt like we had things under control. Chris kept building the walls while I worked on widening the moat.



We soon had to start working faster and faster to try to keep up with the tide. Finally… the big wave came.


It washed away nearly all of our castle. There was no recovering from that one.


So, we turned to baseball- er… blue-plastic-bat ball. It was fabulous to get outside, enjoy the sun, and have some fun together.



Its harder than it looks to throw the ball accurately with your left hand and try to take a picture at the same time…

For Valentine’s day, Chris got me these beautiful flowers. They lasted a really long time and every day that I saw those flowers sitting on our table it brightened my day. I decided to take a few pictures of the flowers so that I could enjoy them even after they were gone.