Sunday, December 31, 2006

3...2...1...Happy 2007!!

Ok this is really weird, from Australia to Holland across to the UK, down south to Zimbabwe and across the wide oceans and far away, 2006 passed many hours ago, and yet here in California we still have two glorious hours remaining before we usher in 2007. Our prayer for everyone we know and love is that 2007 will be a turning point and that blessings will be your portion throughout the next 364 days! Look out over the next few days for a nice little update on the newest addition to the Jubber Family in Holland...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Tolmay Family Christmas '06

One of the nicest gifts of Christmas that I have received is this post of pictures from the Tolmay family in Adelaide. They say pictures say a thousand words. I didn't need a write up when these photos arrived - just seeing the food, the people, the tree and the gifts tells me that Christmas was special in the Tolmay home this year. Have to comment on Kim's artwork - talent need I say more?

So, here is a challenge - anyone else got some Christmas photos you would like the world to view? If so email me and we will make it happen. Click on "View my complete profile" then under contact click email and send 1 unique Christmas photo with a short discription and I will assemble a post-mix celebrating Christmas 2006.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Very Merry Christmas

Time flies! It feels like just the other day we had Linda and Kristen here from Zims for Christmas but that was a whole entire year ago...

2006 has been an awesome year with many a story to tell. Funny how people are drawn more to stories that sound like something went wrong, rather than the goodness of the experiences that took place. You know what I mean when there has been an accident on the freeway our first reaction is to want to see what happened, our secondary thought is "was anyone hurt..." - some of the stories that were really life events that occurred during this year are worth mentioning in this blog as we close out 2006 in anticipation of a new year dawning.

Looking across the oceans to Zimbabwe, much took place and continues to do so. Is it for the better? Well, hard to say, but truthfully, the answer would have to be a resounding no! Life is hard back there. For those who have no alternative but to face each day with the challenges of basic survival, life continues to be a struggle, even for those with wealth the pressure of sustaining life and its' comforts is ever growing. Of greater concern is the plight of the children who innocently have to plot their future, some not even in their teens having to parent their siblings due to the impact of AIDS/HIV. Grandparents being burdened with the tremendous losses they face of their children and children's children. Instead of the elderly being cared for, which would be considered normal, they now are having to fill the gap created by this crippling fatal sickness. So, looking at those types of statistics I would be more inclined to say things are not as they seem, the situation is bleak, and coupled with a continued crumbling economy, starvation and brain-drain life is not all that right now...

Over in Holland, there are a number of stories to share. The most noted story is more of a miraculous testimony. Dad this time last year to the day was diagnosed with Stage 4 NSCC, which in layman's terms is sure death from cancer, in some cases within weeks, but usually within a few months after chemotherapy. Through each session, test and examination Dad stood on the promises of the Lord that by His stripes we are healed. He continued to improve and astound specialists, doctors, friends and family. To this day, Dad has no cancer present in his body. Is this a coincidence? NO. This is a miracle. Why? Because God can. I wonder why such things happen in life, and without a concrete sure answer can only say from my heart that the Lord always has a plan. Whether it is for a loved one to live, or die, He still has a plan. The most obvious plan is so that man can see the awesome intervention of the Lord and return Glory to God.

For us here in California this has been a year that seemingly passed quickly. We have continued adjusting to the actual changes in the seasons and have loved the way nature transforms. Other States do have more noticeable and visible changes, so everyone says - we don't know any different yet. One factor that takes time getting used to is the adjusting of clocks twice a year, and also the fact in winter it really does get dark faster, and in summer stays light later - those are unique and interesting adjustments. The girls have had a good year in School and College and are working hard on progressing to their next levels in the new year. Life comes at you fast when you see your own kids sprouting up, turning into young adults! The decision to move here was hard, but looking at the future and potential they can achieve has made this worthwhile to say the least.Nancy and I take great comfort in having the fortunate ability to be together 24/7. In retrospect we wouldn't have life any other way unless the Lord has an alternative plan. As far as the shop and business goes we have seen a big transition in industry technology and wrapping our minds around it at the same pace as everyone else has been challenging and a lot of hard work. Daily we thank the Lord for our clients and that He prosper, bless, lead and guide them in all their ways so that we can continue to grow.

Further afield we have the Tolmay Family in Adelaide. For the first time since their arrival down under we have been in consultation about posting a few of their pics on the Jubber Journal and so below this post are some interesting shots of the family. I can assure I have permission to post so viewer discretion is advised - you have been warned! No really, I chat with Karin often, and although they are a huge 18.5hrs ahead of us here in California when we do chat it is as good as being in the same room. The one thing we always come back to is how we miss the family get-togethers and would give anything to have those moments back. I mean every Sunday we would all converge on Mom and Dad on Berwick Drive and have a wonderful Sunday lunch come dinner followed by watchng DALLAS (who could forget that...?) and then one by one we would peel off home. Now, we have family spread all over the globe and cling to precious memories and share them when ever we make contact. The times have indeed changed...all the photos in this paragraph are of Karin, Dave, David jnr, Mandy, Danielle and Kim...

Being Christmas Eve for us here at the back end of the earth, we cheated a little and decided to open gifts tonight rather than wait until the morning. As I stood watching the gifts being handed out by Vicky it amazed me that all of us, no matter how old, still love the joy and excitement and element of surprise in tearing open a gift. The funny thing is even when you know what it is, or have an idea what you think it is, you still eagerly rip that wrapping paper off to reveal your gift. I think it is the child in us that never really lets go of wanting to be spoiled, wanting to experience the joy of receiving a gift. I recall being a kid not being able to sleep the night before anticipating Santa would stop over, deliver my presents (written out on a wish list, remember that...?) eat the cookies I left and drink the milk. Today the same excitement is relived in millions of kids the world over, then I think how fortunate millions are to experience all the trimmings and wonder about those who never will. I am reminded of a story I heard today of a child in Zimbabwe who was fortunate to travel over Christmas and be blessed with the life changing experience of seeing Santa, seeing a beautifully lit Christmas Tree with gifts, eating all the delicacies and treats and tearing open gift after gift being showered with blessings. When asked how her Christmas was going to be back home, she was sad and said "Santa isn't coming to us this year...there is no fuel for him to travel, and he will be harmed here...". Quite a thought in the mind of a child! Sometimes to reflect on abundance and blessing is humbling, and so my wish this Christmas is that those who have, would consider those who do not have, and that there can be an enlarging of our hearts towards such in time to come to make their dreams come true.

A Merry Verry Merry Christmas from the Jubber Family in California!

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Wow, would you believe that an entire month shot by without a post to the blog? So the saying "time flies" whether you are having fun or not bears some truth. This is just a mini post because as we draw to the end of 2006 I will be recapping on the highs and lows of a year that passed at lightening speed.

This year's Thanksgiving we decided to make a family day, by sharing a meal and talking about what we considered issues to be thankful for. I sat upstairs behind my computer for a while, the girls were doing their 'thing' of relaxing, and Nancy spent the morning and the night before preparing a little feast for us.

Traditionally - Turkey is the favored dish, we were different, opting for cornish hens (one each) and a leg of ham which we lazy grilled on the Weber. It is ironic that when your eyes lay hold of the table and the food present, you think and believe that you can get stuck in and finish what ever is laid before you - we proved that theory wrong. Not one of us actually finished the food on our plate - how sad.

The one story that made us really think back on how good the Lord is, how blessed we are to serve Him and enjoy His provision is a story of Nancy's cousins in Zimbabwe. When they were young boys they would have to walk for 10km's to school every morning, which meant waking crazy early. For breakfast Llyod and Charlie would prepare a few handfuls of cold "sadza" (from the night before) which is ground maize from the harvest of their crops, and snack on that as they trekked off to school. Before arriving in class they would have to make sure they looked neat and presentable and so would dust each other off and proceed to class. After a long day at school and activities in the afternoon they would begin the journey home and so the cycle would repeat itself. So, what would there be to be thankful over such a long lost childhood memory?

Years later Nancy and I were able to bring these two lads from the Zimbabwean rural area of Chivhu, accommodate them by us, and give them a job at the printshop. Today both these young men are successful in their own right, Charlie has recently married and has successfully started his own little business of servicing printers and refills, Llyod is the head pressman and in charge of the pressroom at our old shop - now the thought of Thanksgiving starts taking shape...

We were able to just sit back and ponder how good the Lord is. Out of nothing He made something wonderful for these two kids growing up without hope, without a future. We sat and shared how thankful to the Lord we are for His blessings, and ability to turn situations around where everything is seemingly lost and without a future - Charlie and Lloyd are a testimony. It is refreshing to be thankful for moments in life that you know you played a tiny part and were able to see the bigger picture as being the Lord's plan - that to us was Thanksgiving! ...and of course good food, family time, and fond memories spent together...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

What was I thinking...?

Yes that's a real question! Who in their right mind would post the most random topics, thoughts and ideas across the internet under the banner heading "blog"? Umm...I would. You have got to admit this is a pretty unique way of conveying a message, a thought, an idea, something funny and something sad. Of course there are limits and no liberties should be taken when posting information across a platform that sadly is abused for wicked intent and content. I am reminded of a sting operation that was going on in the county just up the road, MSNBC aired the documentary and I was horrified. That makes for interesting reading so check it out when you have a moment.

Anyway, that's going off topic, so lets get focussed on some of the events making news in our family of late. Inflation in Zimbabwe is set to climb Everest and make history as the fastest climbing statistic across the African continent. Check this artical out: "Both Marah Hativagone, the president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) and Callisto Jokonya, the president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) blamed Zimbabwe's runaway inflation, which at 1 023.3 percent is the highest in the world, and a host of other tribulations ranging from critical shortages of foreign currency, intermittent power outages to the high cost of borrowing funds from banks". Let me add this is the official rate of inflation, trust me, on the ground you can easily slap on an additional 500% dependant on what commodity you are seeking to purchase. Is it going to improve? The central bank dropped three zeros from the currency value, and all that did was make the situation not look as bad as it really is, truth is the situation is deteriorating, not improving! I have to hand it to Gideon Gono, this guy rose to fame in Zimbabwe in the banking sector, and was later handed the job of Minister of Finance and after many attempts has admitted failure.

So, a few weekends ago, we woke up to a lovely sunny day, decided on an outing, printed out a mapquest, and headed for the hills. Destination: Lake Cuyamaca. First stop - Julian for apple pie. If there was a famous apple pie it would have originated from a little wood cabin store up in the mountains that makes the most delicous pie. The October fest was going on so the little town of Julian was busy, and we headed out to our destination some 11 miles up the road. Funny story here. Everyone that was there had their picnic baskets and sandwiches and salad kicking back taking it easy. What do the Jubbers do upon arrival? Well we did what we know to do when out in the wild for a picnic - we started a fire, threw coals in the pit and grilled steak, chicked and corn on the cob. Widely known here as a BBQ - the African equal of BRAAI (pronounced BR_EYE). I know beyond a shadow of doubt every person who drove by our spot wished they were siting at our table sinking their teeth into a delicous steak! Zane, Tam & Vicky had the bright idea of hiring a boat and asked me to join them - it was a paddle boat! Everyone else had a motor boat, but noooo...we had to paddle. You suddenly learn real quick how unfit you are when sitting in one spot peddling like there is no tomorrow. Ok - yes it was fun...was it?

October 31st is Halloween. The kids were busy for weeks on end making their costumes for a College party that took place Friday night. Nancy and I watched our house turn upside down with material, hot glue, more material, paint, glitter and more hot glue. I wondered to myself "would I have done this in my younger years...probably", but making an would buy one and be done with it. You know when there is talent when something looks good, so much to the kids dismay I have posted a few pics of them without consent and will reap later on for that I am sure - but the need to share their creativity is overwhelming. You know this is coming - but we have gorgeous kids don't we? Don't you worry, shotgun is polished constantly and ready to be displayed at a moments' notice.

Nancy's sister, Linda when she visited last year brought with her a traditional African outfit made by Chris in Zimbabwe. There was another of these school functions and so Tam decided to go dressed in traditional garb and the moment was captured thanks to digital technology. Note the cool posed Zane.

Ok, this is weird, but have you ever cleaned out your fridge and found stuff in there that either shocked, surprised or scared you? Talk about ideal conditons...we had a red cabbage tucked away in the vegetable cooler, and one morning a few weeks ago Nancy summoned us to the kitchen to view a "surprise" find. This red cabbage decided conditions were perfect and it started growing! I have never seen this happen before, and was pretty amazed.

Some sad news. This week in the Palm Springs area a raging wildfire fire has caused a major disaster in the area. As of this morning, four firefighters are dead, and a fifth is holding onto his life with 90% burns. Authorities suspect this was arson, and a reward is posted for the capture of the perp. If you have driven through the mountains, down into the desert basin you will know that this area of Southern California is majestically beautiful why anyone would stoop to such a level so as to engulf over 40 000 acres, 62 square miles of God's creation is beyond me. The fact that there are firefighters who have lost their lives in their endeavor to protect and serve is heartbreaking.

Many will know my love and passion for Formula One Motor Racing. Since 1992 I have watched nearly every race ever held, from the tragic accident that claimed the life of Ayrton Senna through history being made with seven time world champion Michael Schumacher. I will be paying tribute to the greatest motor racer in our history in a post, but for now, I salute and bid farewell to Schumi as he enters the world of retirement from Formula One Motor racing, having put his helmet on the shelf after the Brazillian Grand Prix last week, that saw Fernando Alonso claim his second world championship.

What was I thinking...? This is a real mixed grill of a post, hope you enjoyed its' content and that you will keep coming back. Famous last words - - - have a good one!

Saturday, September 23, 2006



Right, so I was going to put up a post about life in Zimbabwe prior to our moving to the States. I had no idea it would come close to mission impossible locating my archive of pictures collected over the years and have gone to some length sorting and re-archiving into some kind of order that can be used as a means of sharing bits and pieces of our life. Funny question - why would I want to do that - simple - because I can and want to!

Over the next few weeks I will be going back in time a few years, along with some pictures and edits and posts to give you an idea of what life was and is like in Zimbabwe today. Many people have a misconception that most of Africa is mudhuts and wild animals all over the place. To some degree there is truth in that perception but in most capital cities and major development areas there are highrise buildings and people going about their daily lives just like any other city. The city we lived in is called Bulawayo - or in the local Ndebele language KwaBulawayo which translated is "slaughter ground". Why such a base name for the country's second largest city? Well, history tells us the unforgetable truth of an age old battle between two tribes - the Shona and Matabele. The Ndbebele warriors occupied the souther region of Zimbabwe, and the Shona warriors the northern region. The two never saw eye to eye and were at war with eachother and even to this day tribal differences are noticable and obvious. We won't digress into that at this point in time, because that is a history lesson for another post one day.

There are so many places to start with so I will just go ahead and post in the order that comes easily to memory. One particularly frustrating problem which has never eased since 2000 has been the shortage of fuel - gas! Yes there is a huge shortage of this liquid gold in Zimbabwe. Running a business and trying to source fuel for company vehicles became a nightmare. There would be often times where vehicles would line up for over a mile sometimes for days awaiting fuel delivery from refineries. This was a place where both the ordinary man in the street and top level CEO's would line up together and share the same woes until that liquid gold arrived. Status means nothing when you can't drive a fancy car, and have to leave your prized trophy baking in the hot African sun while waiting for fuel. The typical rush hour in Zimbabwe does not take you more than 15 minutes in any direction out of the city to reach your destination. You can always be on time, never stuck in traffic - imagine that? Fuel did become available on the street being sold at blackmarket pricing far higher than the price at the pump, but out of shear desperation everyone would make a plan to purchase fuel to run their vehicles at all costs.

In 1993 I left Zimbabwe for a short period of time to go work in the UK in order to raise enough capital to buy equipment and start a business. I worked in a meat packing plant in the freezer cold room which I hated with a passion but knew the goal set before me, and so labored daily in freezing temperatures to earn and buy equipment. During my stay in the Uk - Nancy took the bold step of renting an office, she went ahead and painted it, furnished it, and only told me about it upon my return while driving home from the airport! You may be wondering why all the details? Well, this little office would become a national focus point many years later. In Zimbabwe there are two major political parties; zanu-pf (note that this link leads to an article which will explain why the site will not open - Zimbabwe has not paid the Service Provider for internet accessibility and so 99% of sites and web connectivity are down across the nation) which has been in power/dictatorship since 1980 and THE MDC headed by Morgan Tsvangirai(this link opens because MDC had the wisdom to host their site externally!) Well, MDC needed a regional office in our city and the very same office that we started our business in became the regional head quarters for the MDC. During the run up to the parliamentary elections in 2001 street violence between the two parties reached alarming levles, and saw the regional office of the MDC bombed. The same afternoon MDC struck back and bombed zanu pf offices. Our business was located between the two offices and so the chaos on that day and the days preceeding these events were tantamount to being engaged in a civil war - you had to be there to feel the tangeable fear, anger bitterness and hatred between two parties filling the air. There are numerous stories and events that took place during this explosive period which I am not at liberty to expound on.

Onto more tranquil events now, a few weeks prior our departure we decided to drive to one of the world's seven wonders - the mighty Victoria Falls. This was a wonderful vacation spot for us as a family, and many fond memories of the drive, the food, the people and the experience are inscribed in our hearts and minds forever. At night as far as 5 miles away you could hear the mighty Zambezi River racing over the edge of the 420ft drop. From even further you could see the smoke or mist rising from the impact of the waterfall down below. We would find a spot along the 1.7km (just over 1mile) length of the falls to sit, and gaze mesmorized into the torrent of water going over the edge. This is a place where you experience nature in a form that will impact and change your life forever. Often on our drive between the Victoria falls and where we would stay it would be common place to see herds of elephant, buffalo and wildebeest going across to the Zambezi River to drink water. During summer the land is parched and dry and rainfall is scarce so the animals instictively make their way to the waters edge, and disregard human obstructions for the sake of quenching their thirst. The rule is obvious in Zimbabwe - do not exit a vehicle, do not attempt to be tarzan, and never attempt to feed wild animals - some folks have sadly not lived to tell the tale of their crazy bravery.

On our journies across the nation of Zimbabwe in certain areas and at certain times of the year an interesting phenomina would occur. The Mopani Worm starts its life out as a moth, it feeds on the Mopani Tree, then through the amazing process of metamorphosis it becomes this beautiful worm that is on average approximately 3 inches long and perhaps half inch thick. Here is the interesting twist; this beauty is edible and is harvested across the nation in huge volumes for human comsumption. Sounds gross - but, let me tell you when this beauty has been processed and cooked in the real traditional african way it is a delicacy par none. How is it prepared you may ask? Well, if you have time on your hands and venture into the wilds of souther Zimbabwe, you can harvest your own catch, take them home and begin the process yourself. How? Take said Mopani Worm pull of the head at one end, take finger at other end, press said Mopani Worm inside out, rinse, salt and place in hot baking African sun to dry. Be sure to watch over your "curing" process because the birds and others will make every attempt known to man to steal these delicious little protein filled delicacies. The most traditional way of eating the mopani worm would be to cook collared greens, peanut butter, Mopani Worms and ground maize commonly known as SADZA. Did we eat these...? You decide! The picture of the infamous Mopani Worm is actually our youngest Vicky who developed a relationship with our catch, and so these few worms were spared the process of being preapred and eaten.

Do we miss our home? Ummm...yes without doubt. Home is where the heart is, and also home is what you make it. Nancy has a real gift for making things look pretty, and so of the many hobbies and interests we share, the one project that I stepped aside from was anything to do with the house. This was her project and she did a fantastic job! Whenever a contractor showed up asking for the boss, I would point over to Nancy and their jaw would drop...and I would exit leaving them to discuss plans and production - pretty cool combo!! Of course my responsibility would be to make sure I brought home more than the bacon to make all of this possible - and it was tremendous fun! You would have to know us to understand...

There are a number of people that are very near and dear to my heart, and within that number are the people who committed 10 years of their lives to working alongside Nancy and I as team players achieving the common goal of ensuring client satisfaction regardless of how big or small the account. We started the business in 1993 with the two of us, and in 2002 walked away from 26 team players whom over the years we had developed relationship and bonds that to this day stand firm.

As a start to sharing life in Zimbabwe - this ends the first part and I hope that you have enjoyed this and will come back for more when you receive notice that the blog has been updated. Hope you have all had a wonderfu lweekend and ready to head into a new week.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Watch this space...........

I have realized my blog entries have slowed - BUT there is good news for those who check it out often. This weekend I am going to do an entry that is well overdue; our life in Zimbabwe pre-USA. I have rummaged through my personal archives and some fond memory pictures have surfaced and I will be sharing a little with you.

You will receive the usual prompt by email and so I hope you will come on by and see and read what this family was like in another lifetime.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Go Padres!

Having a small shop can definately be a challenge. However, along with challenges come good breaks - and last weekend was such a break! We run Digital equipment through Xerox. Let me start out by saying in this industry and in terms of digital technology in the small shop arena Xerox have come to the table every time with fantastic solutions and great product support. Ok, that is actually for another post in time to come, the focus of this post is the events of last weekend.

We have built a really good relationship with Xerox and as it happens they came by the shop a few weeks ago, and asked if we would like to go along to the ball game - baseball that is! Well, what do we know about baseball? Nothing... Mention cricket and I will tell you that a One day game is packed with action from start to end, a 5 day test series is a political mindset that requires strategy and game plan to win. But baseball...still gotta learn the nature of the game and how it all comes together at the ball park.

Saturday was a really neat day to go to the game because the heatwave had backed off, and the Washington Nationals were in town to take on our home team the San Diego Padres. Saturday was also a special event as San Diego hosted the "best fireworks" city display. So we drove down town which was fun with the traffic and multitude of people. After parking in a lot, we took a vote and decided to grab a bite to eat before the game in the gaslamp quarter. The atmosphere downtown is unique. People fill the walkways, bars and restaurants, and there seems to be a constant air of excitement which makes for a pleasant experience if you love the hustle and bustle of people.

Entering Petco Park was an awesome experience, talk about a brand new stadium built for the perfect baseball game - that has to be Petco Park! The atmosphere was filled with excitement and we had a really great time. Guess which team we support...ahh - Go Padres!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Disneyland 101

So, we have been living in California for a few years, and would you believe Disneyland is just an hour up the road, and we haven't visited yet! This last weekend was a great opportunity because Vicky does babysitting for a couple that really trust and love Vicky to take care of their baby. They had planned a family getaway over the weekend and invited Vicky along with Tammy to stay with them. They had their own room in the Hyatt Hotel - from what the girls say it was an experience to remember! The deal was that the girls would look after the baby Saturday and then have Sunday free. The opportunity arose and we had no option but to take it, and drive up towards Los Angeles early Sunday morning to meet the girls and have a day atDisneyland. I must commend Julian and Zane - they forfeited the World Cup game to drive up and be with the girls and have a day of fun instead.

On arrival, we parked the car and had to catch a mega long train type of bus, seating well in the region of 300 people. It was a short ride but when we arrived I felt for my wallet and that sudden deathly rush of blood gushed through me trying to figure if I left it in the car or had dropped it in transit - a mad rush back to the car park, up the stairs, running down to the car only to discover I had left it in the car - big sigh of relief! This is Disneyland's 50th year celebration and so the entire theme in the park is focussed on the 50 years of Walt Disney and all the achievements. The weather was superb for photography but bad for sunburn - and that is what lead me to the wallet incident because I distracted myself with the ritual of applying sun screen!

The very first character we bumped into was "Cruella De Vil" and suddenly tammy and Vicky became little kids again almost begging for a photo with her - that was a cute moment as these characters of course will oblige for photos and it was a treat to get this shot donewith the girls. You can see tam's expression - she obviously is a fan! Vicky didn't look too sure about the whole photo with Cruella idea. That is meant to be Cruella's smile - would hate to see her unhappy...I must add that the sun was beating down and I kept wondering throughout the day - how on earth are these Disney characters surviving this heat under all those costumes!

As soon as we entered the park, we heard this really fancy band playing Disney theme music, and it was an absolute pleasure to stand there in the shade and listen to them and take in the view of our first visit to the world renowned famous Disneyland. What amazed me was that throughout the day each and every event, theme and show was performed with the most impeccable professionalism and showmanship it made me see the reality of how great the achievement of Walt Disney has succeeded through the years and even with all the changes to modern technology and digitalization of this industry - this is something that will still be around 50 years to come.

People people everywhere...I had thought it wouldn't be busy - was I wrong! It is estimated that an average 200 000 visitors will visit Disneyland on the weekend! Since 1955 over 515 million people have visited the park - now that is some statistics right the math at an average of $50 per person per entry. This shot was taken right after the music band, and it is the main street that runs from the entrance all the way down to the castle - it is lined with old fashioned stores doing trade (buying their goods) from memorabilia to candy and ice-cream. And speaking of ice-cream we had some mega delicious ice cream from this little store, what a treat. Sitting outside and eating ice cream watching all the peopple go by. The sights the sound the music the atmosphere - really a great experience.

This is the guy who started it all way back in 1955, this build stands tall, and I thought it was a nice bit of history to have that included in this post comemorating 50 years of Disneyland. If you look closely to the right you will spot the three ladies in my life ambling off seemingly unaware I was click happy behind them trying to get some decent shots done before the sun angle changed..and of course the day we go to Disneyland turns out to be the hottest day ever! A little way after this statue I had to get this on camera, the biggest horse I have ever seen in my life pulling a carriage. As I got the camera ready this horse stared right at me until I took the picture, almost like it knew it was being put on show. One thing I did notice though, through out our day at the Park, was the cleanliness, really amazing good job they do to make it every bit of the best experience possible.

At the end of Grand Avenue, is the palace, well it is every bit a dream as you can see. The girls demanded a photo right there, and I had to waite for other people standing in the way to get this shot. I never would have imagined that we would see what we had once heard of in Zimbabwe, and to walk through this place was an awesome experience. The variety of people, the sites and sounds, all added to the day of excitement. You know what is really funny that all three girls, every time we saw a character would shreak with excitement and I could see the rushing desire to run up and get a photo, and did I oblige..? Well...not all the time, at the bottom of the post are some pictures of the characters...

Of course Zane and Julian had to be the coolest dudes in the park. Check the shades (sunglasses...!!). Notice Tammy looking super agitated - the result of standing in line for longer than anticipated. Vicky just chilling, at this point we didn't factor in that the ride we were lining up for would be a super 45 minutes away...nice! But let me tell you, talk about breaking sound barriers in screaming...go on a ride with the three ladies and you will soon discover they can yell like three soparanos. The ride was well worth it after standing baking in the sun, we rode the log, and it went slowly through a cave, with soft music, and Disney characters acting out on staged sets, fooled us big time, because at the end of the ride is a climb, and you know after a climb, is always a drop...super drop....the rush of falling headfirst at a rate of speed into a bowl of water at the bottom was exillirating. Needless to say we were all totally drenched and loved the ride, because we needed to cool off. This shot of Nancy and I believe it or not is us totally drenched, thank goodness for the camera case because the camera would definately not have survived the water plunge!

After a few hours of walking around and taking in all the excitement we went into the Indiana Jones ride, let me tell you that was mega fun! Trying to even come close to explaining the thrill of each ride is impossible you actually need to be here to experience it. But I can assure you even grown ups can scream...during our walk down under ground to the ride, we came across something that startled us - amazing what our mind conjurs up when we for that first split second out of the corner of our eye see something. My first thought was...mmm...this unlucky guy never made it out of the ride alive...but then reality kicked in and ofcourse this is Disneyland...this sort of thing doesn't happen...or does it!?!

After the sun set we took time out to sit down, rest our feet, and people watch. You have to admit that is everyone's favorite pst time. Just to sit there and watch people go by, all shapes, sizes, colors, just a real mix of entertainment. At 9pm we gathered around the lake and watch what I have to admit was one of the best shows and imagery I have seen yet. They did all kinds of amazing effects using a water mist spray to project 3D animations followed by a really magic fireworks display choreographed with Disney cartoons and music. talk about perfect timing...they got it right! After the show we headed across the park to do our last ride, which was an indoor rollercoaster, in space. Trust me...if you didn't scream on any other ride this was the screamers delight. The entire ride simulates being in space, with billions of stars all around you, and pitch black darkness - truly incredible effect! You almost feel weightless as you hurtle through "space" even pulling a few 'g' in some turns...This ride topped the whole day of rides, and had it not been for the crazy silly line another ride would have been exactly what the doctor ordered.

We had fun people - real family adventure and fun...if you are ever in this neck of the woods, and you happen across our doorstep, we would love to take you up the road for a day of fun that you will never forget. Below are some random pics I selected to share at this time, if you would like to see more, I will be posting them on another link at a later stage and will let you know.

...don't even ask...that last photo is us going down the wood log shoot into the water drop that drenched us. As you can see Julian is making it a moment to remember, Vicky, Nancy and Tammy are breaking the sound barrier, Zane is Mr. Keeewl...and I am smiling, sitting back and enjoying the ride.