Sunday, February 4, 2018

Latham Life

 My girls
 My boys
 Our furry boys
 Duke hugging his boy
 Duke is unsure of creek crossings, he's sure he doesn't like them, though.

 Super green ferns
 Super pretty sunset on the mountain
 Super proud of this boy
 Super fruity counter top. The eaten one was one Duke grabbed off the counter.
 Super pillow making glittery walls
 Handsome Sam
 Silly Duke
 When you wait 6 years to trim back your Mulberry Tree and it takes 4 weekends in a row.
 Super us
 Super long Duke and Sophie
 Homemade bread
 Emma and mama, braids for days
 Seriously, 4 weekends. 5 truck loads to the dump.
 Duke is growing in to one handsome dog. He's 8 months old.
Emma had to give us an assist from the roof for a branch. She couldn't figure out how to get down, so she pencil dived into a bush. It has a permanent hole through the middle now.

Big news this month - Sophie got into the same high school as Emma. We are super excited about that. Emma's been backing out of the driveway and driving around the block. I'm super excited for her to be driving, her papa...not so much.  Brian and Sophie are planning a New York trip.  They plan on visiting Patterson and Wallkill, as well as famous Hamilton sites from history, Monticello, and seeing a Broadway show. Possibly Hamilton. Probably Hamilton. On Broadway. We are still truck shopping for Emma. She has a school trip down to Anaheim over Spring Break and we hope to find something while she's away and have it here when she gets back.

That's about it!!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo

 Brian and I were able to get away for a quick trip to a place I've wanted to stay at for a long time! One of those places I wanted to stay at, but never thought I would get to. Above is the view of it from the highway. It's a sprawling property, it stretches from left to right, including all the buildings and property in this pic, even way off to the right.
 When we first arrived, we had lunch in the cafe, which was super neat. Everything on the property is super neat with many personal touches. The wall above that booth had a lot of info about the Madonna Family, including an article about Mr Madonna being cattleman of the year way back when.
 The Madonna Inn is known for its flamboyant decor, which this cow well represented.
 This was an entry to the cafe, gift shops, restaurant, bar, and ball room.
 And this...was our room!! There are just over 100 rooms, spread out in different buildings on the property.  Each room is themed and decorated completely different.  We had the Yahoo room.  Back in the day, when Mr. Madonna would stay on property, this was his personal room. It was decorated with many pictures of his family, and of course all things ranch-ish. That bed was amazing!! The lights even lit up!

 The property is completely open to guests to roam around. There are lots of little nooks and crannies to explore, or sit and relax.  This waterfall was by the pool.

 The pool is amazing. You just walk right in and it gradually gets deeper, like a lake or ocean. There are no steps. There's also a pool side bar, and spa.
 This is all Madonna family property.  At the far end is their home, as well as stables, and an exhibition center.  They do trail rides from the stables out into the hills.
 We walked through the garden, which was full of butterflies.
 I found out if you sit in the horse buggy bed seat and aim your head just right, you have horns.
 This statue and memorial for Mr. Madonna was really nice.
 Our room was in this building, on the bottom floor, on the far left. It's built into the hill, and our only neighbors were above us.  There are 3 other buildings like this one that have rooms, but they are spread out from each other.
 We had a special dinner in the Steak House one night.  It was fabulous and such a fun place. There's a ball room on the far side and a band was playing music, and some very "mature" couples were dancing. It was the sweetest thing to watch.
 Below, just another cozy spot to sit and enjoy the surroundings.
A very famous part of this Inn in the mens bathroom in the main lobby.  It's been featured on TV and many magazines, including Forbes.  Basically, there's a rock wall that has a waterfall flowing over it...and that's the urinal.  So we had permission for me to go in and see it, and it was pretty cool!

So this place isn't for everyone, but I found it to be the perfect mix of homey, comfy, and nice, elegant, cozy, fancy. The decor is totally over the top, and I loved it. We had the perfect room for who we are, it felt like home....but I'm sure to someone else it might not feel that way. For that person I would say you have 100 other choices in rooms, from ones made completely of rock, to jungle themed, to sailing themed....whatever you are into they have it. The room was super clean, like super. Even the window sills had no dust. The amenities are great - lotions, soaps, shampoos, robes,- everything was super nice. We had a rock shower with a waterfall in it! These rooms are not cheap, but are worth every penny! The property was amazing to wander around.  They offer trail rides, and have lots of nice, pink bikes to rent for use along the bike path that runs right from the hotel into downtown San Luis Obispo.

This is absolutely our new go to escape for a short weekend! And the location is great for getting to Pismo beach, Morrow Bay, and of course San Luis Obispo (which we loved!) More on those later.

Friday, December 22, 2017


 Another catchy blog post title, I know. 
So I'm not even going to tell you how we are so busy time flies's a given at this point.
Here's some of the highlights -

First, this is my current situation as I'm writing this. I wish y'all could smell that Vanilla Bean and Bourbon candle!

 Above and below - Myles and Sam watching the Survivor finale, and Myles bringing home some excellent school work!
 Mama got bangs! It's been many years since I had bangs, but I wanted to change up the hair and I'm not ready to go shorter, so bangs was a compromise.
 Duke crashes hard. We've decided his back feet look a lot like his mama's size 11's.
 I've been sick for a while, and this was as dressed as I was going to get to drop the kids off at school.
 Bananagrams with these two. Emma and Sophie are sick too, thus Emma's cranky face, and Sophie is laying on the sofa behind Emma.
 Things to notice here...hutch is now in this room (we tried desperately to get it into Sophie's room but it wouldn't fit through her door), ottomans are covered in fur throws (I'll get back to this in a minute), and the green and white chair is covered in blankets (the dogs have taken to chewing holes in it).
 No explanation needed....
  Sam, the white dog, eats anything.  Razors are his favorite thing lately.  He went through a soda can phase, too. I have no idea how is mouth survives everything he chews up. I hand sewed new covers for our 2 ottomans.  This isn't leather, but a nice, thick, fabric that looks like leather and was on sale for a whopping $21 per yard. (super expensive for me).

So, when, after 2 days, I came home to find this.....I was livid. I mean, why? What made them decide to chew this?? I know it's Sam, and he's a shelter dog. He has really bad anxiety when we all leave the house at once....but why did this look like something to chew to him?
 So I was able to fix it, only to have it get rechewed and reopened.  So now, back to that earlier picture, they are both just covered with fake fur throws from Ross.
 Everybody looking good on assembly day.
 Sick sisters sleeping in Sophie's room, with Sam.
 My sweet baby Kona trying to get some dinner.
 My mountain has been cold, but beautiful as always.

 Bobcat left of the bush.

 Sometimes I get so much love it's hard to breath.
 Hanging out with Super Myles.
 We eat here multiple times a week. It's almost embarrassing, but also nice to have a close to home, cheap place, where it's starting to be a second family.
 Grandpa gets a lot of love, too.
 Brian and I hit up a new spot in Walnut Creek, Bourbon Highway, for fried pickles and ribs.

 This kiddo registered for high school and applied for the digital arts academy.  It's a new academy focused on graphic design,  animation, and game design.  You pick your focus, or can do a combined focus. Sounds like a fun way to get through 4 years.
And that's it, you are caught up.  Myles winter break started today, the girls go today and then Sophie and Myles have 2 weeks off, while Emma has over 3 weeks off....which man has she earned!! High School finals are a whole different thing from when I was in high school. She's pulled a few all nighters working on projects...which they assign the week of. So you get it Monday and it's due Friday, but has multiple components, like a 2 hour test, then an essay, and then an artistic representation of the novel they've read....or a 30 plus page body systems encyclopedia...major big projects, all assigned and due the same 1 week.
Brian and I have a fun, short, get away next month.  The last time we went away just us was for his cousins wedding a few years back down in Malibu.  This time its a quick Fri - Sunday down in San Luis Obispo at the Madonna Inn!! I've wanted to stay there for years. We are in the Yahoo Room....our bed is a horse buggy!! I'm so excited!!