Monday, August 24, 2009

Peter's First Day as a Freshman

Peter started high school today at Jefferson Academy. It's hard to believe that he's in the 9th grade now! We still remember the days of dropping him off to day care at Pago Bay and then moving on to Price Elementary school then came San Vicente.

Four more years and he'll be graduating, where has time gone? My advice to all you parents: Don't wait too to spend time with your children because time goes by quickly...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Gene's National Position at the FPD just got upgraded

Well, sort of...

Gene has been visiting other Federal Defender Offices doing I.T. assessments and making sure they are doing their jobs according to the 'book'. It's been a great honor to be regarded so highly by the Administrative Office's Defender Services Division and given the opportunity.

Today, he was selected as a mentor for the Microsoft Server Migration project. He will be getting MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) training and then assisting other Federal Defender offices. This is a three year project that will require some traveling to training centers and other offices.

His job title is still says, Computer Systems Administrator for Colorado and Wyoming, but now he wears two additional hats that is at the national level.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Let's Go Home!

It's been a week and half of on the road driving, sleeping, eating and just being out of our element. We now head back home on a ten hour trek from Wichita, KS to Thornton, CO. This road trip is coming to an end and it has been a great adventure.

Gene catches a flight out to L.A. for work on Monday and will be there for a week. His traveling adventure isn't over just yet...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

That's It

Today was the big day and we started it with breakfast at McDonald's again. The game started at 11am at the same place. We had a great start and it was close at the half, then we fell apart. In the end we lost by a good margin and we were done. The boys were disappointed but it was a great learning experience and they saw what the competition is outside of Colorado. Maybe next year we will do better.

Some of the other families were going to leave, but our hotel room was paid for until Sunday so we decided to stay. We headed back to the hotel and then to a nearby mall to walk around and watch the new G.I. Joe movie.

We head back to Colorado tomorrow, another long drive but at least we're heading home.

Lose One, Win One

Woke up and grabbed breakfast at McDonald's. The first game was at 10am at a court 45 minutes away, so we had to get going. During the entire game they gave Peter only 15 minutes of play. There were times where he went in for a minute and they took him out again. We saw no reason for him to be sitting out so much even after we drove 26 hours to get here! After that game we left with the intention of packing our bags and just going home. But, Peter wanted to play and didn't want to ditch his teammates, so we headed back.

When we arrived at the court before the second game the coach pulled us to the corner. He realized that we were upset and he explained that there was no reason for our son to sit out so much. He continued by saying that it was a coaching error of not keeping tab of who was subbing in and out. We accepted his apology and Peter did play more during the second game sinking eight baskets for the team.

We lost one of those games so we still have a chance. The games tomorrow are single elimination, so if we lose, we're done.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Back On the Road

We picked up Peter from camp on Wednesday (8/5) afternoon and began our long drive to Wichita. We drove through Los Angeles traffic and made our way to Interstate 40. It was around 7:30pm so we stopped for dinner and fuel just outside of Barstow at a Love's travel center. The plan was to not make any long stops and just keep on moving. The drive took us through Flagstaff, Arizona just a few miles from the Grand Canyon and then through Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was early morning and we were in Amarillo, Texas and starving. We needed a break and stopped for breakfast at a nearby IHOP.

J took the wheel as Gene slept for the remainder of the drive. Our original plan was to go through Oklahoma City, but there was too much highway construction and we opted for an alternate route. Well, we finally arrived at our hotel in Wichita at 5:35 PM Central Time...26 hours later. Peter's game started at 7pm and we were tired, but still made our way there.

At the end of the day we were absolutely exhausted. We lost the first game, but there are more to come, time to get some rest.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ventura, CA (Day 2 & 3)

For the past two days we've been doing nothing but 'chillaxing'. Yup, that's probably a word you haven't heard in a long time, huh? It's nice to wake up to the sound of seagulls and waves crashing on the shore. The sound of the Amtrak train and 50-degree mornings were not so pleasant, though.

One night we saw a lot of lights off in a distance so we decided to walk there. As we got closer it looked like a carnival or fair of some type. We walked on the sidewalk that lined the beach and saw some very interesting people...and 'loving couples'. As we got closer to the fair it was apparent that they weren't open yet. Oh well, it was a nice stroll on the beach!

The next day was warmer and the sun is out so we headed to the pool. Three hours later we called it quits and Gene and J were severely sunburned....OUCH.

We finished both days by visiting Peter at camp and got to see Michael Jordan. It was very cool to see him. Peter received camper of the day and gave MJ a big high-five.

Tomorrow we make the long 26+ hour drive from Santa Barbara to Wichita.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ventura, CA (Day 1)

While Peter was at camp, the remaining Jone family members stayed at a beach side hotel in Ventura. Tayler still had his waterproof (yes, waterproof) cast on but it isn't beach proof because of sand and salt water critters. It was a cold day so no pool either. So we started the day off with breakfast sandwiches and coffee at Starbucks. Next, we drove to the nearby outlet mall and did some shopping. Wait, a lot of shopping. Then it was back to the hotel to rest a bit.

We got hungry and began our search for a fun place to eat dinner. After an hour of hunting, we settled on a little sushi place a few blocks away. J had her oysters and she said it was the best she ever had in her whole entire life. Gene and Tay chowed down on some sushi...a lot of sushi. Tay loved it so much that he just shoved whole pieces in his little mouth. At the end of the meal we were so full that we just ended up going back to the hotel to hibernate as food coma settled in.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Off to Michael Jordan Camp

We got up this morning and headed out to grab breakfast at a nearby buffet restaurant. Last night we realized that Peter needed more stuff for camp so after the morning grub, it was off to WalMart. Blankets, pillows, alarm clock, sheets, towels and other little items were found and paid for. Now, off we go to Santa Barbara!

It was around noon when we arrived at the camp location (University of Santa Barbara). Everything was familiar, like a blast from the past because we took Bo here in 2004. Now, our oldest is partaking in this awesome adventure. We waited in line to check Peter in and get his room key. To our surprise, Nia Long (Big Momma's House, Are We There Yet?) was standing in line with her son. That was sooooo cool.

After an hour or so, we got Peter checked in, his room all set up and provided him some funds for snacks and other incidentals. As parents it was difficult for us to leave him there, for Tay he knew he'd be without a brother and best friend for a few days. It was a sad moment, but we were all happy to see Peter grow up to be such a responsible young man.

Arrived at the Hyatt

We finally arrived at the Hyatt hotel in Thousand Oaks, CA at 11:00pm. The drive from Vegas took a little longer than expected and we're EXHAUSTED.

At the hotel we're sorting out Peter's stuff for camp and getting him ready. Our bodies are running on fumes now but it has to get done.

On a lighter note, the hotel was FANTABOLOUS! Very elegant and customer service was phenomenal. We got the room for fifty bucks using's bid feature. It's a four-star hotel and its cheaper than any rinky-dink motel around. Ya gotta love the power of the internet sometimes.