Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kj's Baseball Collection: Orange Giants

The souvenir baseball selection at the Giants was not bad, but it is getting discouraging that yet again I could not find one recognizing the stadium. I ended up choosing the orange one because it says San Francisco Giants Major League Baseball Since 1958. It does have kind of an flowery pattern that is not my style, but it being orange makes up for that undesirable part.

Mik's Mini Bat Collection: Orange Giants

The Giants had a pretty good selection of mini bat colors and I think also two different logo designs to choose from. Mik went with the orange colored bat since he does not have one of that color in his collection at all. The logo part says Giants and also has the SF logo on it.

Mik's Food Scrapbook: AT&T Park

After having the garlic fries at Oakland and not liking them, Mik decided not to try them at San Francisco where they are labeled the ballpark's trademark food. Instead he just had a hot dog, which he thought was better than the supposed best ones in the majors (Oakland's), but I still think he rates the Padres ones the best.

Only other food he had at the game was a pretzel he shared with me. Now the pretzel itself was pretty good taste wise, however, it was disappointing size wise. They call it a jumbo pretzel and when we sent Dad to get one for us to share we certainly expected something bigger and ended up with a small one barely bigger than the measly ones that come in the freezer section at the grocery store. At least it was hot, though, as it was one of the colder games so far.

Game 6: Mik Rolling Over Barry Bonds

Now that I finally got all the photos from going to the Giants game uploaded, I can finally share the funny story of Mik rolling over Barry Bonds. Outside AT&T Park, where the San Francisco Giants play, there are some plaques in the ground along the side that is on the water. The plaques represent major achievements by the Giants such as hosting the All Star game, and mostly different home run number achievements accomplished by Barry Bonds. Mik dislikes Barry Bonds and to show his distaste he decided to roll over Barry Bonds plaques as a sign of disrespect, I guess. The first one he rolled over was the one commemorating Barry Bonds breaking the single season home run record. The other one Mik rolled over was the one commemorating Barry Bonds breaking the all time home run record.

Accessibility Review: Jelly Belly Factory

The Jelly Belly Factory is pretty much entirely accessible, but the tour experience is not the most ideal for someone in a wheelchair. Sure they have an elevator up and down from the level the tour is on and the whole tour path is accessible, but the viewing of the actually factory is not that great. Along the route most of the viewing of the factory is through windows looking down onto the factory and the windows do not start until almost above Mik's head. They do have some windows down low probably meant for the kids on the tours. This works to some extent, but actually they are kind of low for someone in a wheelchair and they were hard to get close to with everyone else crowding around for a look and almost always being right in front of the low windows including kids that legitimately needed to look through those spots to enjoy the tour. The other problem was the video monitors along the tour were mounted up high and the way the windows worked often made it hard to put Mik in a spot he could see them. It seemed way less than ideal in my opinion, but of course Mik did not really even notice because he was mostly just playing his PSP until it came time to get the free sample bag at the end and browse the Jelly Belly shop to stock up on candy.

Smashed Pennies: Jelly Belly Factory

The Jelly Belly Factory had two smashed penny machines and Mik and I each got one penny. Mik chose the one with a Jelly Belly guy riding a skateboard. I chose the one with a Jelly Belly guy carrying an American Flag. Both pennies say Fairfield, CA, where the Jelly Belly Factory is located.

Accessibility Review: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Parking at Oakland was easy with the handicap parking spots right in front of one of the entrances to the park. The entrance kind of was on the total opposite side of the bleacher sections we sat in, but at least the section was on the level you enter the park and we did not have to do any elevator riding to get to the section.

The bleacher section has plenty of handicap seating mostly with metal platforms, however, there is only about four companion seats. All the seats in the bleachers are on a first come first choice basis. We were there early and there also ended up being no other people in wheelchairs, so we got a perfect spot with a companion seat on each side of Mik. The view was pretty good with only a little bit of right field out of view. We could at least easily see one of the scoreboards, which is not normal for bleacher sections, but it works at this stadium due to it being set up for football with two scoreboards.

The cup holder situation was frustrating to Mik just like at the Dodgers. We did not expect cup holders since it was the bleacher section, but we arrived to find the bleacher section had regular ballpark seats and not bleacher benches and all the rows had cup holders except the handicap row. Mik finds this a form of discrimination against those in wheelchairs and would have been fine with it if the rest of the bleacher section was without cup holders, but that was not the case.

Day 12: Shopping

After Dad got back from church we headed to the Junction area of West
Seattle. First stop there was the Farmer's Market where we got some
breadsticks to go with dinner and I tried some strawberry lavender
lemonade. We then went to two used book stores and got 9 mystery books.

After the bookstores we went to Husky's Deli and had ice cream. Will
post more on that in a Mik's Food Scrapbook post eventually. We then
browsed a used record/CD/DVD store, but did not find anything we wanted.

On the way back to the campground we stopped at Target. We got a
small basketball and a little nerf style football for playing catch. I
bought four seasons of Reba for myself since they were on sale in two
packs for $14.99 each. I let Mik get Speed Racer for the trip and we
got a new copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azaban since our
copy was not working when Mik tried to watch it the other day.

Now we are back at camp and Mik is playing MLB the Show on his PSP,
which he got at Target with his money. I am going to get on the
Internet and try to work on some posts while Dad is getting his
Internet fix as well.

Mik's Food Scrapbook: Jelly Belly Cafe

The other day when we went to the Jelly Belly Factory we had lunch at the Jelly Belly Cafe. Mik enjoyed the Fish & Chips, a meal he has loved since he went to London a few years ago. The fish was good and he ate it all. The fries were also good, but he was full by the time he got to them and Dad and I ate them.

I had the Jelly Belly Pizza, which is just regular pizza shaped like a jelly bean. The pizza had nice thick soft crust and was very cheesy. I enjoyed it and Mik liked the bite of it I let him have.

Kj's Baseball Collection: Major League Baseballs

Mik got an official Major League Baseball used in batting practice at both the Oakland As and San Francisco Giants games. The balls are basically the same, but the one from the Giants has the word Practice stamped on it. Mik already said I could have the one from the As game for my collection, but I think he will keep the Giants one. We used the As one to play catch yesterday since it is not a ball expected for the collection and it is not quite as special as the one that has the practice stamp on it. Dad wrote on both with Sharpie the date of the game, the teams in the game, and the ballpark name.

Kj's Baseball Collection: Black As

At the Oakland As the souvenir baseball selection was not much better than one choice for mini bat. I ended up getting a black ball with silver writing that includes the As logo and the word Oakland on it several times.

All the Ballparks T-Shirts

Per Mom's request I am posting the photos of the front and the back of our t-shirts and explaining them. The front of the shirt has the logo I designed for the trip, which is also on the right hand side of the blog. The logo has 30 circles, which represent the colors of the teams in order of the ballparks we are visiting. The order starts with the red and black circle (Dbacks) on the left in the middle (~9 o'clock if it was a clock) and continues clockwise to end right below the red and black one with the teal one that represents the Marlins colors.

The back of the shirt lists the games we are going to in order with the date and the names of the teams playing in the game.

Car Stickers Update: San Franciso Giants

Here is the updated version of the National League side of the car with the Giants sticker on it. It is almost has the whole Western Division, but it will not have the division complete until we see the Rockies in a few weeks.

Car Stickers Update: Oakland Athletics

I am trying to catch up on some of the posts this morning while Dad is at church, but we will soon be heading to Seattle to go to a farmer's market, used book shopping, try an ice cream place, and find a Target for Mik to get new headphones and a ball to play catch with because the baseball (one of the MLB ones he was given) is a little too small for him to catch (we played catch for about an half hour together last night at camp). Anyways, thought it most important to get the car sticker updates up before it changes. Now the American League side has the Oakland Athletics sticker on it and tomorrow we will be getting a Mariners sticker to add to it, but the National League side is still winning with four stickers with the photo of the Giants sticker and the National League side coming in the next post.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day 10: Video of the Stove

Mom just e-mailed me asking me how the propane stove was working out for us, since it is a new one we bought right before the trip. Well, the best way to answer is to show it in action in the video I took of it last night. It does work out great, but it is a little dangerous when it first starts up. Dad actually caught the table on fire when we used it yesterday morning for tea, but that did not happen when I videoed it last night.

Mik’s Food Scrapbook: Camp Dinner

I pretty much wrote all about having a campfire and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over it last night, but I just had to post about it again because I got some great photos of it last night and mostly of Mik eating.

First one is of Mik being helpful and crumpling newspaper and throwing it into the fire pit. He did two and then said he was done helping and went back to watching NCIS on his iPod.

Next one is of Mik eating the veggie dog.

Below is of Mik eating a roasted marshmallow as a snack while I make pasta for dinner. The pasta was supposed to be a side with the hot dogs, but I forgot to get it going on the propane stove until Mik finished the less than satisfactory tasting veggie dog and reminded me. This is the marshmallow he roasted himself. I tried to take a photo of him roasting it, but he would not let me and then it was soon in his mouth.

Next one is of him eating the pasta. He loves his big orange camping spoon Mom helped pick out before the trip.

Last three are of Mik and Dad eating S’Mores. The first one Mik is eating with milk chocolate and one marshmallow. He made me roast the marshmallow for him as payment for him posing for the photos of him eating S’Mores. The second one Mik is eating is one with two marshmallows roasted by Dad and dark chocolate (I think I have converted him to the dark side!). This one was an oozy mess, but he loved it.

The other photo is of Dad eating a S’More because when Mik got mad at me for photographing him eating pasta and said no more photos of him eating Dad was like well you never take photos of me eating, so now there is a photo of Dad eating. There will be more of Mik despite what he said last night, as I think his main problem was I had to use flash last night and he does not like that, but he is the one who started the whole taking photos of him eating stuff.

Day 11: Finally Out of California/Oregon State Line

After nine days in California we have finally left that state. We packed up the tent and finished packing up the car and hit the road around 9am this morning. About an hour into the drive we reached the Oregon border on US Highway 199. They had a pull out so we stopped and took photos with the Welcome to Oregon sign. That is something nice about the US Highways versus the Interstates.

Also, nice about the past few days was driving on the US Highway 101 and all the little towns you actually drive through and not speed past like on the Interstate. Now, however, we are on Interstate 5 and speeding along. That is good for a lot of the trip since we do kind of have to get places at certain times, but the drives on the lesser highways are more interesting. At least the scenery is still nice.

Mik’s Mini Bat Collection: Oakland Athletics

We were early enough to the As game that we went to the team shop before the game, but they did not have any mini bats in there and we only got our sticker from the car in that shop. The guy told us, though, that the program guy in the park had mini bats. Mik did not have a selection to choose from, which is kind of odd since usually there is at least a few colors to choose from and sometimes even different logo designs to choose from. The bat he ended up with is black or dark green (Dad thinks it is black, I think it is dark green) on the top part and natural wood on the bottom part. The logo is a nice Oakland Athletics circle logo with the A in the middle. It might have been the only choice, but it is at least a good looking bat.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Day 10: Mik watching NCIS in the Tent

Afternoon and evening has been spent relaxing at the KOA. Internet access turned out to be intermittent and we eventually gave up. Dad built a fire and we roasted veggie dogs for dinner. Mik rates them almost as bad as a Dodger dog because they were the tofu pups brand, which were on sale. Should have just paid the $1 extra and stuck with the tried and true Yves ones.

S'mores were a hit, though. The IKEA brand chocolate turned out tasty. Mik even tried the dark chocolate and discovered he likes it. Mik mostly just watched his iPod while dad and I roasted, but he did roast one marshmallow himself. He would not let me take a picture. I did get one of him eating the s'mores, though, and will upload tomorrow, as I am hoping for good AT&T Internet at least when we get on the I5 to Seattle.

After Dad washed the dishes we went up to the Rec Hall, so Mik could charge and watch more NCIS on his iPod. While he did that Dad and I played some ping pong for about an hour. Dad beat me every time, but I got close once losing 19-21. Maybe, there will be one at the next KOA and I can beat him then. At least I know I will challenge him again when we are at Grandpa Kjos'.

Now Mik and I are in the tent. He us watching NCIS in his iPod as seen in the photo in this post. Dad is packing up the car, so that it is just the tent stuff we have to pack up in the morning. We are going to try to hit the road by 8am tomorrow, as we do not want to get into Seattle too late and also want to stop at the Visitor Center in Oregon to take photos since Mik and I have never been to Oregon. Have not been to Washington state ever, either, but we know we will get plenty of photos in Seattle of us.

Mik's Food Scrapbook: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum or more commonly just called the Coliseum is where we saw the Oakland Athletics game a few days ago on May 26, 2009. The only thing Mik tried at the Oakland game was the hot dog and the fries. Supposedly the Oakland hot dog is the best in the majors, but the guidebook is five years old and we have found that so many of the vendors do not even exist anymore. Plus, the worst dog is supposedly at the Padres and that is not the case anymore since it is not even the same brand anymore. Actually, so far I think Mik's favorite is the Padres hot dog, since they also had good buns. He did not think the Oakland one was bad, but it was not amazing either. He did not enjoy the fries at all, though, because they were garlic. I thought the fries were okay, but they were kind of soggy and overloaded with garlic.

At the game I got a baked potato with cheese and brocolli as well as a veggie dog. The baked potato was really good, but the veggie dog was not that great because the bun was crap, which seems to be the case almost everywhere except the Padres. Most annoying is the bun was even crappier (i.e. not the same) as the one the regular hot dogs were on.