Monday, February 27, 2012

Our Bald Eagle Tour

This past weekend was my birthday, a big one, and I wanted to do something different to celebrate. I had read in the newspaper several weeks ago about the Annual Eagle Tours offered at Millerton Lake in the early spring, and I decided that would be something my whole family could enjoy together. I knew going into it that it could be hit or miss in seeing a Bald Eagle, I'm mean really, who can predict these things? But I wanted to at least try. Let me tell you, I'm so happy we did it. The weather was perfect - sunny, about 52 degrees, and clear. The wind made the ride cold, but we were bundled up and we were even served hot cocoa at the halfway point in our trip.

We all met at the Historic Fresno Country Courthouse at 8am for a brief Power Point presentation on the Bald Eagle. There were about twenty five of us, and after the Power Point we headed to our cars to drive down to the boat ramp to board our vessel for the 3-hour excursion. We were about ten minutes into our trip when we saw two adolescent Bald Eagles perched atop a couple of trees. See it.....? We all had binoculars and got a good look at the regal birds, who seemed to be watching us. We journeyed on to a cove area to have a look at a nest that the rangers have been keeping an eye on. It was huge, built between two trees, and we were told it is about 6 feet wide. As we were gazing at the nest, we heard an excited gasp--There they are! Soaring above us were not one, but two Bald Eagles. We watched them for several minutes until they disappeared. Wow! Awesome - a completely overused word if you ask my opinion - was what it was, and appropriately so. We were filled with awe. To be sharing a moment in time with such an elegant and important bird was incredible. When it was time to ride back to our cars the boat was quite, the guests were satisfied. It was cold riding back into the wind. But it was unforgettable. The best birthday ever! Here's our day in pictures...

Walking down to board our boat.
Everyone under 13 years-old had to wear a life jacket.
Our boat takes off, leaving the historic courthouse behind.

Lots of time to take strike some poses...
Even though it was sunny and calm, the wind made the ride really cold.
Our first eagle sighting! See it on top of the tree? There was a second one too, but you can't see it in this picture. These guys are huge.

It looks like a heart carved into the rocks as we reach our half way point.

In case you were wondering, there is a floating bathroom that we docked to after about an hour and a half on the lake. It was after this break that we were served our hot cocoa. It felt good to drink something hot!
Back to eagle watching....
Here is a Bald Eagle nest. It is built on the horizontal bent branch. We were told it is about 6 feet wide. Our guide told us that he comes here regularly to check for little eagle heads in the nest.
Here are the mature adult Bald Eagles overhead. Beautiful! I wish I had a better picture of them.

It was cold, we were tired, but it was a great day!

Friday, February 24, 2012

DIY Seventeen Magazine March 12 Issue

Look at what we found in the latest issue of Seventeen magazine! DIY ombre shorts made with our Tulip Fabric Spray. Yes, making it yourself is that simple.

The Color Run

A couple of weeks ago I was at my hairdresser's getting my roots done, and she mentioned that she was interested in participating in an upcoming marathon. I shot her a skeptical look. Now this gal is not a runner; however, she is super creative. So when I asked her about it she told me it was The Color Run. I checked it out and immediately understood why she wants to do it. The Color Run is a one of a kind experience that is less about speed and more about enjoying a color crazy day with your friends and family. It doesn't matter how old you are or what shape you are in at this event. It's about having fun - whether you are an athlete or a casual walker. The next one on the west coast will be in San Francisco on July 28.
There are only 2 simple rules: 1. It is mandatory that you wear a white shirt at the starting line, and 2., you must be plastered with color at the finish line. Here's the details.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Free People Gets Tacky

Look what I found whilst cruising the Free People blog:

Yes, that's right, a fabulous and easy Aleene's glue project. For the full instructions, click here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mobile Pop-Ups

A few weeks ago I did a trend report on mobile pop-ups. These pop-ups are boutiques, churches, restaurants, art installations, and even cinemas on wheels. Pop-up food venues, while not a new trend, are changing from what they were just a few years ago.

We've always had a lunch truck stop by our building twice a day for at least two decades. It's part of our culture. Then just last week, Cafe2U, a new mobile coffee business, began stopping by as well. What a perfect concept! Yummy coffee drinks available for purchase in the morning or afternoon at my place of work. I just walk out the door, and there's Bob ready to make me a drink. Here's Chloe and Allee getting their caffeine fix. What's next, a Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream truck in the summer? Maybe.

Here in Fresno we have our own Dusty Buns Bistro truck that cruises around serving gourmet sandwiches and bringing culture to our little city. It was so popular that two things happened: 1), It became a favorite eating destination for many people in the Tower District, and 2), it became controversial when traditional nearby restaurants complained that Dusty Buns was violating current parking rules and taking away customers. But that is another story.....

Is pop-up retail the new way to go? Here's some great reasons pop-ups work:
  • A pop-up can fill an empty retail space left ravaged by the adverse economy.
  • A pop-up is temporary and appeals to the short attention span of the consumer.
  • A mobile pop-up can attract a whole new consumer based on geography. The use of social media like Facebook and Twitter can be used to instantly alert consumers of the pop-ups whereabouts. Brilliant!
  • Because it is temporary, a pop-up creates a sense of uniqueness and urgency that encourages the consumer to impulse buy.
  • Pop-ups are a great way to test the market and to collect feedback before making a substantial commitment to a brick-and-mortar store.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Yummy Studded Shoes

Hip and edgy studded shoes for every kind of girl. Free People

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pillow Talk

Every year I go in search of the perfect Valentine's Day card for my hubby, and if I am inspired and have some extra time I make my own. I like to give really personalized gifts and this pillow project is perfect for that. Seriously, if you can hold a marker you can do this project. Here is where you can find the easy instructions.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Train Trip to Hanford

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip.....

My husband loves ice cream. His birthday is coming up so I had the bright idea of loading up the family and a teenage stowaway and taking the much talked about train trip to Hanford to experience the 'best ice cream in the world' at Superior Dairy. Some of the kids had never been on an Amtrak train so we thought it would be a fun experience. We really did think that. Really...

There was just one little snag in our plans: our train to Hanford was over an hour late. It kind of put a wrench in our day. We had pre-purchased round trip tickets - the plan was to leave Fresno at 11:35 for Hanford, have lunch and some ice cream, and then catch the 2:42pm train back from Hanford to Fresno. Plenty of time (we thought) to walk to Superior Dairy from the depot, eat in a leisurely manner, walk back to the depot and head home. Well, that was how it was supposed to be.....but with the train from Fresno being so late we had to rush through our day in order to be back to our train for a 2:42pm departure.

Here's how the day played out: We arrived in Hanford at 1pm, and started walking toward Superior Dairy. On the way we stopped at Burger King for a bathroom break. We decided it would save time to grab a quick burger there. We then power-walked to Superior Dairy from BK, and got our ice cream. The place was so crowded they didn't think they could serve us in time if we sat down to order ice cream from the menu so we got the world's thickest milkshakes to go, hurried back to the depot with 10-minutes to spare, and ate our shakes with a spoon because they would not go up a straw no matter how long we stood in the sun waiting for the train to arrive. We got back on the train heading north, and enjoyed the ride home, enjoying the remainder of our shakes. We were back in Fresno by 3:30pm.

Here's our day in pictures...............

The 3 boys bought snacks, ate them, and then sat there waiting for the train.
Here they are after only 30 minutes. Have you ever spent time with 3 bored boys in a train station? This is what they looked like after we reined them in.

Fresno, 12:15pm, no train in sight...
And just-like-that our train arrives, we hop on board and off we go! We arrive in Hanford in under 40 minutes.

We got off the train and followed other ice cream seekers toward our destination. Look, I see it.....Superior Dairy. Just a few short blocks from the train station.

After waiting in the busy parlor, we got our shakes and hurried back to the depot with about 10 minutes to spare.

Here we are, eating our milkshakes at the train station so we don't miss our ride back home.
Everyone keeps looking for our train to come....
Safely on board, my husband eats his ice cream.

Even though it didn't quite go as planned, I'm glad we did it. Check that off our local bucket list.
And away we go!


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