Monday, December 8, 2008

QUICK TRIP TO NC


I arrived late last night in North Carolina. WOW it is cold. Highs are in the 40's and the lows are in the 20's. While getting ready to fly from Charlotte to Greensboro I caught a glimpse of an awesome sight. Low and behold, the airport had Jeff Gordon's #24 DuPont, Pepsi Chevrolet car! Awesome. After paying homage to my hero in NASCAR, off to the plane I went.
Tomorrow will be meetings and meetings and then back on the plane I go. See you late tomorrow.
Tell mom hi and give Jordan a hug. I will keep an eye out for a snow globe.
God Bless,
Ottster

Friday, November 28, 2008

FAMILY VACATION '08 - LAST NIGHT

Last night in OR. Tomorrow, we leave for Fresno! Today, we crossed the state line into Washington State to see Mt. St. Helans. After stopping at every gas station on the way up the 47 mile journey, we finally arrived at the volcano. Unlike Mt. Hood, we found this mountain dodging the clouds and playing peek-a-boo with the family. The power of the 1980 eruption was awesome! Trees still lay on their side pointing the direction of the blast.

A quick stop at the top of the viewing area and a couple of snow balls (thrown at dad), we went back down the hill and stopped at the Mt. St. Helens Gift Shop and wouldn't you know it...they had souvenirs filled with ash. Regan, of course had to get her fifth snow globe of the trip coupled with Jordan getting a compass so he could continue to tell us where all the gas stations and bathrooms were on the way back to the hotel.

After dinner, we began to unwind. Tomorrow, we get to sleep in, pack, and then off to the airport. Next stop...home!

Until next trip,

God Bless,

Ottster

Thursday, November 27, 2008

FAMILY '08 VACATION - HAPPY T-DAY


Happy Turkey Day! We left the coast and were off to see Multnohma Falls. This is the second largest year-round water fall in the U.S. You will have to look up number one! The hike to the top of the falls was one mile...yes we did it! Both kids made it to the top.

After the two mile round trip hike, we left to find Mt. Hood and I mean find Mt. Hood. Clearly, the powers that be moved this giant mountain because after two hours treking up and down the highway the clouds covered this big hill or it simply vanished. I believe it was moved.

After making our way to Portland and enjoyed a all you can eat Thanksgiving feast at our hotel, the kids decided to go outside and swim in the 36 degree weather. The good news, they got to swim in a heated spa...the bad news, the Mrs. and I got to sit, not move and watch the HEATED spa.

Tomorrow, it is suppose to be sunny...which I am still waiting for, and take a trip across the boarder to see another mountain/volcano that could also be invisible...Mt St. Helens.

Until tomorrow...God Bless,

Ottster

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

OTT FAMILY '08 VACATION - SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

Wednesday, Day 2 in OR. Started the day with a trip to the state capitol building. After visiting the Senate and House state chambers, we traveled to the downtown carousel for a couple of pony rides. The carousel was build in 1991 but it took over 80,000 man hours to hand carve the horses used for the ride.

From the carousel and a quick recess at the park, we drove to the coast. The drive was incredible with moss covered trees and a landscape covered with resources waiting to assist the next generation of home owners. Once we arrived in Tillamook we went to the beach where a dazzling sunset and a lesson in nature (aka a lucky seagull snacking on the local crab) finished off a packed day.

On the way home, we stopped off at a local cheese factory where hundreds of pounds of cheese were being packed. Once we downed our creamery ice cream, we went back to the hotel room where the kids finished the evening with a quick indoor swim (only 47 degrees outside).

Until tomorrow,

God Bless,

Ottster

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

FAMILY '08 VACATION

On Saturday night, we arrived in left to San Diego to kick off our annual November family Vacation. Sunday kick-off the event with a visit to Legoland. WOW! The kids enjoyed looking at everything made by legos...not to mention the roller coasters.

After the Legoland adventure, we dropped the kids off at their cousins and went to the Sunday Night Football game between the Colts and Chargers. What a game, Manning pulled it out with a fourth and a chain link pass to get the first down and then a 51-yard game winning field goal with two seconds left in the game.

Monday morning, we boarded the plane to fly back to Fresno, grab a new set of suitcases and then off to the Amtrack train station. We boarded Amtrack in Fresno and arrived in Salem, OR Tuesday afternoon. In a 48 hours, we visited AZ, NV, CA and OR. Tomorrow, we will be visiting the OR capital and then will drive to the OR coast.

Until tomorrow...

God Bless,

Ottster

Friday, August 22, 2008

Chicago August 22, 2008 - Day 4


What would Chicago be like if you did not have your deep dish pizza and make a quick walk past the cars! Wow, they had some nice ones!

Beginning at 8:00 we had a meeting reviewing all of the U.S. apple crop. This was followed by a lunch, a walk and a return to the hotel for more meetings.

Soon I will be going out to dinner and then tomorrow morning a board meeting and then a taxi to the airport and a flight home. I will see you tomorrow night!

Hope you had a good day, continue to help mom! Also, don't forget to show Jordan the cars! Which one is your favorite?

God Bless,

Ottster

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chicago August 21, 2008 - Day 3

Meetings, meetings and more meetings! The first meeting kicked off at 7:30 am. We should finish by lat evening. In the meantime, we walk to the hotel which is across the street. The first picture is a picture of a dressed up pelican. Throughout the "Mile", there are several dressed-up figures of people and animals with several different cloths. Some are really funny like this pelican.

The second picture is the lobby of the hotel where the meetings are taking place. This picture is a giant fountain with two cranes on top. It is a very large fountain and makes for a very nice relaxing place in between meetings.

Until next time,

God Bless,

Ottster!

Chicago August 20, 2008 - Day 1&2


Back in Chicago! Last night I arrived, had dinner and off to the Chicago Cubs game. Cubs beat the Reds 5-0. It was a great game and sold out. All the talk is that it will be Cubs vs. Angels! After the game, we got back to the hotel. Today has been a light day, and we will have dinner with several of the member of the U.S. Apple Export Council.

Tomorrow will be a day full of meetings beginning at 7:00 am. We will be finished by late in the evening. By Friday, the conference will give us the total numbers of apples produced in the U.S. for this year.


Miss you guys, and don't forget to write!

God Bless,

Ottster

Thursday, June 12, 2008

BOSTON - DAY 3



Busy day but fun day! Finished our meetings by lunch time. After the meeting, we split into a couple of groups. My group caught the "T" (known as the subway) to the Samuel Adams Brewery. It was great! They showed us how they make their several beers and then we had to taste their product.

After the the tour, we ate lunch and then traveled to Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox play the Orioles. It was a beating with the Bo Sox winning 9 - 2. I even witnessed a Grand Slam over the Green Monster! WOW...first time I ever saw a Grand Slam at an actual ball park!

I will be having breakfast with Jeremy tomorrow morning and then I will be traveling to the airport to fly back to L.A. After a night in L.A. I will see you in Mexico.

Hope all is well and you are having fun!

God Bless,

Ottster

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

BOSTON - DAY 2

Another hot day in Boston! All day we were in meetings. So, we were able to get some relief from the heat wave going on in the Northeast.

Tomorrow, the group will finish its meetings and then finish with a dinner and a game at Fenway Park (where the Red Sox play baseball). Getting late back here, so I will talk to you tomorrow.

Have a safe trip to Mexico!

God Bless,

Ottster

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

BOSTON - DAY 1

Not to much to report here. When I arrived, I have been sick. I got to stay in my room and do e-mails and phone calls today. Tomorrow, our Board meetings kick off, so I will have more to report tomorrow.

I hope you had a very good dance event! Give mom and Jordan a big hug and I will write tomorrow.

God Bless,

Ottster

P.S. Send pictures of your outfit!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bangkok, Thailand



What a sharp difference between Bangkok and Laos. Laos is a small country with only 6 million people in the total country. Bangkok has 15 million. It is very similar to Shanghai but without the major skyscrapers. However, to get Internet is challenging. Also, I have no cell coverage in Thailand. The culture is very different as well.

Once our group arrived, we had dinner and crashed back at the hotel. Yesterday, we toured the Emerald Buddha, the Palace and took river boats while we explored the city. I'll just let the pics speak for themselves. This is a difficult city to describe. I am still trying to soak it all in.

Love you!

Ottster

Laos


Laos is a beautiful country. We began the tour in the Capitol City where we met with the U.S. Ambassador. After an afternoon in Laos, we went North where we toured some villages and rode down the MeKong River. During the river ride, we went to the cave of the Buddhas. It is a cave in the side of the mountain next to the River. The next morning, we witnessed the Monks travel down the street for alms. Food is given to the Monks (this is how they survive) every morning. After the morning, we climbed the mountain with the Temple overseeing the entire city. At the top, I saw the largest Moth ever! We then toured a local market and watched the elephants go down the center of town.

After three days is
Laos, we were treated to dinner at a local restaurant where a 9 year old girl danced traditional Laos dances. The next morning we boarded the plan and flew to Bangkok, Thailand.
Ottster



Monday, March 3, 2008

Finally the Last of San Diego

Well Here are a final few pictures from San Diego. The kids had a blast, as you can see they were worn out. They slept with their new whales the two nights they had them at the hotel. Regan loved the Meerkat below that we saw at the zoo, at one point it rolled over like it wanted it's tummy scratched, too cute! The rest of the pics are self-explanatory. Sorry that they are messed up Alex, I don't have time to format them! the miss you!



Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pics from Lijiang, China

For those of you who follow Alex's trip, he asked me to post these pictures as he is not able to upload them from Lijiang, China. According to him, this is one of the most beautiful terrains he has seen. As you can tell from the pictures, the Himalayas are all they see in this town 10,000 feet in elevation.
Enjoy, Lisa for Alex

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lijiang China

I was a beautiful day. After a quick breakfast we got on the bus and began a tour of a village further up in the mountains. The village is at an elevation of 10,000 feet (higher than Shaver or Tahoe). In fact, the mountain range that we are currently in is the eastern portion of the Himalayans. This is the Mountain range that has Mt. Everest (the tallest mountain on the planet.

Before going 3,500 feet higher, we dropped a group of four off where they hiked the 3,500 steep incline. I decided to take the winding dirt road to the village by bus.

Once getting to the village, we met several of the locals and had lunch. Following the tour, we joined up with the fearsome foursome and traveled back down the mountain where we met up with a traditional and famous medical doctor…Dr. Ho. After a brief visit, we continued on to Dragon Lagoon where we crossed several bridges and hiked by the river that goes through the town of Linjiang.


Tonight, after dinner, we are traveling to the town square where we will watch the local dancing and singing. Tomorrow, we leave by plane back to Kunming where we will join up from the other members of our class that toured Dali. After one night in Kunming, China we will leave and head south to Laos. Hopefully, I will be able to blog you one more time before Laos. If not, next stop…Laos.

I loved the trip log about San Diego. It looks like you and Jordan had lots of fun. Tell everyone hi and keep writing.

Love you and God Bless,

Ottster

(I am having big problems loading pics...the internet in the square is very slow)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Kunming & Lijiang China

We have made the halfway point! Yesterday, our class flew into Kunming where we started off looking at a nursery. From there we toured the stone forest. Words can not describe the beauty of this place. It is incredible.

After a two hour bus ride back to Kunming, we ate dinner and then watched a performance about the minorities within the area. Unbelievable! They performed the drums, dances and singing.

After some quick sleep, we were on another plane to Lijiang. Mom would like this area, because the women rule the society! Women are in charge of the work, finances, society in general. And the different minorities have different versions. Tonight, we will go to dinner and watch the local area perform their nightly "parties" that includes dancing and singing.

Love the blog from San Diego...can't wait to hear more about your fun trip.

Love you and God Bless,

Ottster


Pictures - First Daddy at the airport getting ready to board, second right little boy in Lijiang, last picture the stone forest.

Monday, February 25, 2008

San Diego Day 2



Well today was beautiful and typical San Diego weather. Not hot and very comfortable. Today was a Sea World day and considering I am doing my blog at 6:40pm the kids had fun as they are already asleep. Today boiled down to 3 things: Macaroni Pinguins (Munchkin will tell you the name story and it has nothing to do with pasta), Killer Whales and dolphin. Both kids had their cameras and used up all the pictures. A couple of them are attached. We were able to go behind the scenes with the penguins and actually go into their 24 degree enclosure and pet the infamous "King Tut" a 27 year old penguin. Alex, 24 degrees is not that cold, you are a whimp in China! The kid's favorite today was definately seeing the Killer whales behind the glass (the whale got close enough so the kids could kiss it through the glass), petting the penguins and of course the dolphin show. The kids already want to come back to play with this dolphin which is ok once Moose turns 6. That means another trip to San Diego, oh how terrible :)



San Diego Day One

WET WET and a LOUD LION

Hello from San Diego! Yesterday was a fun yet drenching day. Upon landing in San Diego we were wet, wet and wet. Hoping to wait out the rain a little we had breakfast and drove around a bit. Finally with a little proding from having grandparents in town, the kids warmed up to the idea of going to the Wild Animal Park in the rain. As you can see with the first two pictures, the kids had their parkas on (the best $5 spent and planning ahead I ever have done)!
We didn't think the animals would be really active but the workers said it is quite the opposite. The animals love the rain and ten to be more active during this time. We were not disappointed, the only animals who didn't do anything were the gorillas, the rhinos, monkeys, and lions were all really active. Here is Jordan standing next to a life size gorilla, he looks like a baby size!
You can see the picture of the male lion and there are two videos that you can see to really see how fun they were. There were 8 baby lions born in November and they were all playing. The dad was really active (See Videos and Pictures).



video video

The Final picture is of a bunch of birds eating nectar. There were about 6 birds landing on the kids and drinking the nectar from a cup in the kids hands. Moose dropped his when the birds started landing on him and just watched the rest of the time. Munchkin loved it! So long for now!