Saturday, January 26, 2008

San Francisco- Day 1

Here are my feet, on the streets of San Francisco!

After we landed, on time, we headed to our hotel, and grabbed a bite to eat at Maxwells, a cute little restaurant down the road from our hotel. Then it was off to Alcatraz for our nighttime tour! Here is a shot of Alcatraz as we were heading towards it on the boat. The boat ride over was great! We got to see the sun starting to set with the Golden Gate Bridge in the Background.
This is a neat shot of an old building on Alcatraz, and a unique tree next to it. The sun was going down pretty quickly, so I was lucky to capture this shot! we walked up the same roads the inmates would have walked up as we approached the prison. It was a creepy feeling.

Here is a fun picture of myself, Jenny and Nicole in one of the jail cells. The cells were no larger than my bathroom, and very depressing. I cannot imagine spending 10, 15, + years of my life locked up in one of those cells.

After the Alcatraz tour, we were running late meeting some of our co-workers for dinner. We tried to find a cab, but there were none to be found. On the sidewalks there were a bunch of these "bike cabs" lined up. They could only hold 3 people on the seat, but one guy insisted he could take 4. So we hopped on! What a ride! He definately got a workout hauling us. He was hillarious, singing and making animal sounds the whole ride. That is him in the green shirt in the photo.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel to get a good night sleep before the conference started on Saturday morning. We were going to grab a cab, but again did not see any. So we thought we would start walking and grab one when we saw one. Well, that turned into a 2+ mile walk, all uphill (and we are talking steep San. Fran. hills!) back to the hotel. Some of us loved it, others were not so happy that they had power walkers speed walking and running up the hills ahead of them. It felt so good to be outside, walking and in the fresh air! My legs hurt the next morning, but it was worth it!

So, that ends day one of our trip. More to come on days 2-4.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I Am Going Here

In 3 days I will be here.
Yes, San Francisco. A place where I can walk outside and not have my nose hairs freeze within 3 seconds.
Considering the windchills here in MN are supposed to be -30 to -40 this weekend, 50-60 degrees will feel quite tropical!
A group of six of us from school are going to S.F. to attend the Brain Expo conference over the weekend. I am excited to go and learn new ideas from some well known people in the education field, and also see some sights.
On Friday we are going to see Alcatraz, and I also hope to ride on a cable car and see some other fun things like Chinatown, the Fishermans Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Ryan tells me he is going to drive my new car when I am gone. I told him I am going to buy "The Club" to immobilize my car so he cannot use it. Pretty funny huh? When is the last time you saw someone using "The Club"? Or even heard anyone talk about it for that matter.
His response was "well, I am going to put a box cutter in your carry on then."
Not quite as funny as my idea.
Hopefully I will see some cool things and get some good pictures.

Book Club

Today a group of teachers I work with at school started a book club/study group focusing on Lucy Calkins book The Art of Teaching Reading. I have been in kind of a rut with my reading class, and have been trying to do some new things to keep the kids (and myself) energized about reading. We will be meeting once a month for the rest of the school year. It is so nice to have the chance to get together with other teachers and work together to get something done and make positive changes. I love reading and hope to instill the love of books and reading adventures into the lives of my students as well.

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Car

I got a new car! I have had a total of five cars (including this one) since I got my license at age 16, and this is my first "new" one. The others were all new to me, but still used cars. I am a loyal Toyota owner (my past two cars have both been Toyota Camry's) so it only made sense to stick with what works! My new car is a 2008 Toyota Camry. It is black, with grey leather interior. It has lots of fun gadgets like heated seats, sunroof, back up camera, navigation system and an ipod hookup built in. It is so much fun to drive it. I must admit I was very sad to leave my old Camry at the dealership. It looked so sad sitting there. It was a good car to me for over 5 years, hopefully now someone else can enjoy it.


Ryan and I went to the WILD hockey game on January 3rd! We won the tickets from a silent auction at the Wags to Whiskers benefit we went to for the Home For Life Sanctuary. The game was really fun, and to top it off the WILD won! It was the first WILD game either of us have been to, and we hope to go again soon. Go WILD!