Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cafe Rio

The best fast food establishment in the world has finally opened up a store on the East coast and it's right in my parents' backyard in Olney, Maryland. Cafe Rio is well known throughout the Utah Valley but they never ventured far from there until now. Tiffany and I made a detour coming back from my parents' house and relished in some good food that we hadn't eaten in four years. Our kids even said it was the best food they've ever eaten!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

F1 Grand Prix of Canada

My father, brothers, and I went on an awesome road trip up to Montreal, Canada to see the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Canada. I went with my father to one other Formula 1 race in Indianapolis back in 2006 and loved it. My dad got the idea to invite all his boys this time... no women aloud! Our youngest brother, Shawn, even flew out from Utah for the occasion.

We started out by leaving Thursday night and driving 10 hours through the night to get to Montreal by 10am Friday for the first practice session at the racetrack. My driving stint was through Northern New York past Lake Champlain and into Canada. The mountains and lakes of Northern New York were a beautiful surprise to me.

None of us had experience visiting the french parts of Canada so it was really surprising to see just how french everything truly was. I was expecting the public signage to be in both English and French, but that wasn't the case at all. It was ALL French. It both looked and felt like little Europe which was pretty cool. Fortunately, almost all the natives speak English well, so communicating wasn't too difficult.

Having said that, we hardly spent anytime sightseeing. Almost all of our time was spent at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve racetrack. The racetrack is built on a narrow man-made island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River and was built up with the excavated dirt from the underground Montreal subway system.

Friday and Saturday were perfect days with bright sunshine and cool weather. We wandered around the track as much as we could and watched the cars practice and set qualifying laps. Unfortunately, the weather turned during the race and we got rained on for hours on end. The race started eventually and they completed a few dozen laps but the rain started coming down even harder and they had to stop the race to possibly be restarted later. Meanwhile, we were standing in the rain getting drenched and cold. The rain kept coming down for a couple hours and we decided that we'd had enough and left to track to start the drive home. Turns out, not too long after we left the rained cleared and they actually restarted the race. So we got to listen to the conclusion of the race on the ride home and watched it on Tivo later. Unfortunately we missed a fantastic race where Jenson Button went from dead last at one point to taking the lead on the final lap of the race.

Even with the rain ruining our last day, we had a awesome trip. My brothers and dad all love the technical marvel that these race cars are but it was even more fun spending time together again. And no rain can spoil that.

The video clip below is a little bit of what it was like to be race side with these cars zooming by. One of the most amazing and surprising things about these cars is the sound they make. No handheld camera or even TV production camera can capture and convey the body shaking low frequencies and ear shattering high pitch whines these cars put off. As fast as these cars are at accelerating from a dead stop, they are even faster coming to a stop. Watching them go from 180mph down to 30mph in about a second is crazy to watch. If you've read this far you deserve a medal.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Logan Baseball

Logan opted for baseball this year instead of soccer. I had forgotten how much more of a commitment baseball is. He had two games a week with a practice thrown in as well, and the season seemed to go on forever. Like most boys his age, he had a hard time paying attention while in the field. Several balls rolled by him while he was spinning his arms around like a helicopter. Despite that, he was pretty good at bat. He was the most consistent hitter through the season, getting on base almost every game. His coach even invited him to the league All Star game (which we couldn't make it to unfortunately.) In his league they used a machine to pitch the ball and the players all rotated positions each inning. Early on Logan asked the coach if he could be a catcher which he really enjoyed the first couple of games. He soon became weary of that stressful position but his team needed him so he stuck it out and played catcher for at least one inning each game for the rest of the season.

Samara Soccer

We've been excited for Samara to finally start playing soccer after seeing her kick the ball around with her older brother. She showed a lot of enthusiasm and athleticism while playing in the backyard, but she got a little shy on the actual soccer field. Nevertheless, she still had a lot of fun and really enjoyed playing with all her teammates.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fishing

I have been lamenting not going fishing regularly since we moved to Virginia, which was 4 years ago. I decided to get back into it so I bought some new gear and checked out Google Maps to find some local ponds. I found one a half mile from our house, nestled nicely in the middle of a housing development. I've heard that sometimes the little ponds where you'd least expect big fish are exactly where the big fish are. That is certainly true for this pond. Logan and I have both caught some really nice bass there and we've seen some gigantic carp swimming on the surface (I swear I saw one that was 4 foot long.) Logan is itching to catch one of these carps but I don't think my fishing gear can handle such a large fish!