Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Haven't blogged in a while....just haven't found the time nor the energy. But Pam and I just returned from our summer vacation trip (actually our 10 year anniversary trip as well) to Yosemite and San Francisco and what better time to start "re-blogging" I'll start with the Yosemite part and post another for S.F.

Day 1: Our friends Nate and Sam from Portland, OR rented a car and met us at the airport after a very uneventful flight from Atlanta, GA. The car ride from S.F. to Yosemite was spent catching up with them since it had been 4 years since we had seen each other. We got into Yosemite fairly late after stopping a ton on the drive and taking our sweet time. We were staying in "Curry Village" in a tent-cabin (see picture). We checked in, watched the pretty cool video on Bear activity and crashed pretty early.

Food: Lunch at a Mexican restaurant on the road, Dinner was pizza at the Village.

Day 2: We woke up pretty early on Day 2 and planned a major hiking excursion to some Falls with a 2000 feet elevation gain from the valley. The four of us started about 9:45am up the trail to Vernal Falls (see pic 1). The trail to the falls viewpoint is paved all the way and was packed with people so we then took the arduous steps to the top of the falls. The views were awesome and we caught a sweet rainbow (see pic 2) at the base of the falls. This also cleared out a ton of people although there were still a good number. We continued up to the Nevada Falls and the junction with the trail to the top of Half Dome. This is where Nate and Jim courageously chose to continue their hike to the top of Half Dome (see pic 3) because it sounded pretty darn cool. Bear in mind that we had already hiked 4 miles or so pretty much vertical and the hike to Half Dome tacked on an extra 8 miles. Add on the 4 miles back and Nate and Jim are looking at a 16 mile hiking day!! No problem!! The ladies smartly decide to head back and relax. With strained muscles the boys plodded on and made it to the base of the Half Dome ascent only to notice a major storm heading their way. On the back saddle of the rock they spot a large bolt of lightning not too far away in the distance and decide to get back to the safety of the trees. On the 8 miles back Jim manages to tear up his feet hiking in his Chacos and also pull something in his left knee. But we finally made it back to the relieved ladies and some much deserved dinner.

Food: Breakfast buffet in the Village, Lunch is PB & J's and snacks on the trail, Dinner is ....pizza yet again! and some Beers.

Day 3: Everyone is pretty pooped the next day other than Nate who is a machine so we decide to take it easy and drive to most of the sites. We check out Yosemite Falls, the Mariposa Grove of huge friggin Sequoias and finally Glacier Point (see pic) and magnificent views of the valley. We also caught another afternoon storm (apparently common in the valley during the summer!) and took shelter under a gazebo with cliff-side views. We then drove back, had a awesome "splurge-dinner" and hung out a bit and chatted....Nice relaxing day in the park.

Food: Breakfast was bagels, muffins and coffee, of course, Lunch was more PB&Js and snacks on the road, Dinner was fine-dining at the Yosemite Lodge!!

Day 4: We had to pack and head out quickly to S.F. so another 1/2 day of driving. We caught Breakfast at a roadside place called Buck Forest Cafe(?) or something of the nature.

I'll check in with S.F. stuff tomorrow...enjoy the pics!!


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Little Brain that Could

Our daughter Lexie is very intelligent and observant, I'm not saying this is a bragging sort of fashion (although I'm a proud parent!) but in a straightforward kind of manner. At 3.5 yrs old she is in the "Can I ask a Question About Everything" phase. I've never in my lifetime heard so many What, Who, Why, How or Whens than I do in one day around my daughter. It can be cute at times and then disconcerting at others. From her perspective she is just trying to learn as much as she can, which is very cool.....however you have to watch what you talk about around her or risk having to come up with some unique explanations of life.

She has also become the word police...any slip of the tongue - darn, stupid, sucks, etc. gets a response of - "Daddy, that's a bad word". Feeling sheepish you can do nothing at that moment accept to offer an apology.

In one memorable dinner conversation I was talking to Pam about a difficult work situation and Lexie continually piped in - "Who did it Daddy?" "What's a referral?" "What did you say?"

Pam once tried to spell out a word that she didn't want Lexie to catch on to, however the first letter of the word sounded like the word itself and Lexie filled in the rest!......Got to love the brain of a 3-4 yr old!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Pursuit of Life?

Lexie and Jim Pursuing "Life"

Pam and I recent saw the movie - "The Pursuit of Happyness" with Will Smith about the real life Chris Gardner and man does it really put into perspective "having and not having". Makes you think about the times you complain because your cable bill is too high or your internet access is not functioning. Pam and I both gave it a 5-star Brice rating (see recent movies list).

The movie and other events got me thinking about the game of "Life" and here I mean the Milton-Bradley board game. From what I remember the goal was to accumulate wealth, children, assets, etc. He with the most stuff won the game! Kinda weird concept that MB taught us younguns. Isn't life about making the most of every moment? Those times when Lexie and I are playing together or making silly jokes and laughing....that's what I think "Life" is and its a heck of a lot rosier than worrying about how big my paycheck is or why I ever got rid of TiVO. Maybe the little cards in the game should have said - "You just spent a quality day with your kids!" rather than "You won 5000.00 in the lottery!"

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Made in China

Nothing super exciting going on at the Brice household lately, just living life or lifin' it.

Lexie and I were in her room today and I began reading the tags on many of her toys........we both came to the realization that just about the entire contents in her room could be summed up in three words - MADE IN CHINA. In fact I had to search the entire room for a few minutes to find anything not made in China. We bought her dollhouse from a specialty store this Christmas and it was made in Thailand, but otherwise all we could find was a Reed and Barton piggy-bank(Japan), a shell (God) and thankfully one thing actually made in the good ol' USA - a box of Crayola crayons.....I love Crayola!

This got me thinking about our dependence on China, the lack of US industry jobs mainly because we Americans want our stuff cheap and lots of it. I thought if I could trade in half of Lexie's toys for a few quality made more pricey U.S. stuff, she'd be just as happy and so would our society........Sometimes we have to look at ourselves to see the issues behind our country's woes.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Starting Early

Eat Your Heart Out Mimi!!! (Notice the Hat)
Go SOX!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Lifing It

Not much news here...but I came up with a new cool word "Lifing" like right now we are "Lifing it" meaning we are just living life as normal nothing super exciting going on. I'm copyrighting this term so anytime you say you are "lifing" it you must also say you got it from me.......or I'll cry.

Anywho.....just recently watched Blood Diamond.....very good movie, but deep and depressing at points. Acting was superb around although had a hard time with Leo's accent. Check it out if you have not seen it.

Back with more later

PS: Did you see the Clinton-Obama match from Myrtle Beach? I thought you needed pay-per-view for those fist-i-cuffs but we watched for free!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Finally! We got some real snow in Asheville. Got up this morning (5:50am Lexie-time) after last night's storm and measured 3 inches on the back deck. School was called and Pam took the day off so the whole family has a Satur-Thurs-day to hang out. Check out the pics taken this morning.