Seven Magic Mountains: Land Art

Lynn and I took a short trip to Las Vegas, Nevada for our 15th Wedding Anniversary.  We are not gamblers, but there are many different things to do and see in the area. We may do a few posts on the area, and things we did.

While driving from Las Vegas to Primm, Nevada to go to outlet malls, we saw some brightly colored things in the distance.  They are easily seen from at least 2 miles away as you crest over a hill on the Interstate 15 South.  To me they looked like they giant blow up dancers that car dealerships sometimes use.  Lynn did a quick search on her phone to see what they are and found out that they are land art and made of giant stones.

I am always intrigued by odd things while on road trips, so on the way back to Las Vegas, I made sure to stop and see this exhibit.  There are two exits from the Interstate, both of which have road signs.  Both exits are a couple of miles from the actual exhibit, but it is an easy drive.  There is also parking on the road side, and trails to the rocks.  It is a short walk, so just about anyone can do it.

Seven Magic Mountains is a large-scale site-specific public art installation created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. The “mountains” are large local limestone boulders stacked on top of each other.  They are either 3 or 6 boulders high, and are painted with day glow paints.  They color of the paint is amazingly bright against the drab brown of the deserts.


This is short time exhibit.  It opened on May 11th, 2016 and will only be in place for 2 years.  If you happen to be in the area, this is a fun thing to check out.




Packards Coffee Shop and Dudley’s Famous Bakery

I am putting these two businesses together in a post because I didn’t take enough pictures at either place! I will be sure to take more pictures when we go back, since I think both of these places will be a regular stop for us when we are in the area.

Packards Coffee Shop is a small coffee shop in Ramona, CA. The main reason we wanted to stop there? The big blue box in the front!

Josh took this picture during a job in the area
We were just passing through, so I wasn’t able to try their crepes. I think the next time we are there, I will definitely have to order some! You can take a look at their menu on their Facebook page.

Josh and I picked up some iced Vietnamese coffee, said hi to the 11th Doctor, and took a few pics of the kids with the Tardis out front. The coffee was refreshing as an iced drink and very strong! Just the way we like it.

The folks in the shop were really nice! I’d definitely stop in there again. Packards is located at 680 Main Street, Ramona, CA 92065.


Another stop we made was Dudley’s Famous Bakery in Santa Ysabel. It is in the same marketplace as Julian Pie Company off of Highway 78.

Usually, we stop at the Julian Pie Company to get some apple pie and a dozen cider donuts to take home. This time, we stopped in at Dudley’s to eat lunch. When you walk in, there is a little gift shop to the right (my kids were immediately drawn to the rocks). The deli and shop area were straight ahead, with restaurant booths along the wall. We ordered our sandwiches at a small counter and then sat down to wait for our order. Our family of 7 took up two booths! While we were waiting for the food, I couldn’t help noticing the multiple racks of bread set up nearby, or the stacks of boxed apple pies on the table right by us! The sandwiches were really yummy, but it was the bread selection to take home that floored me. There were so many different kinds! I wish I had taken a picture of all of them in their neat rows. There were also sweets like three different kinds of streusel and cinnamon pull-apart bread. We ended up taking home this…


Really good pie by the way, but I missed the cinnamon ice cream.

We took home these too. There was a promotion to buy 4 loaves get 1 free. I’m kind of a bread fanatic so I couldn’t resist.


Dudley’s bread is sold in a lot of the grocery stores in our area, but I don’t think all the kinds we saw are available at every grocery store.  The rosemary and olive oil bread disappeared quickly as did the Hawaiian sweet bread. The bread in the bottom right corner is Pecan Maple and that was really, really good as a french toast! I froze the Russian Pumpernickel, which reminds me… I should probably go get that out!

Dudley’s bread can be found in about 70 locations in California. The particular location we went to is at 30250 Highway 78, Santa Ysabel, CA 92070.

Wild about Honey

At the end of August, we took a family day trip to Ramona, a town about 45 minutes from us. We love this area of San Diego County. We also love to shop small businesses, so when Josh saw Trumper’s Honey and Fruit Shack in Santa Ysabel, we had to stop. He has seen it before while working in the area but had never had a chance to stop by, probably because it is only open on weekends.

The nicest lady works in the shop and did not mind at all letting all my kids sample the honey. And it was delicious honey!


I have been looking for raw alfalfa honey for a long time, and of course, it’s not really something you can find in the store. I hadn’t been to a farmers’ market in a while either, so when I saw raw alfalfa honey here, I HAD to get it. 32 ounces of honey for $14.99. It was a $15 well-spent because I am now using it in or on everything I can. My kids loved the raw cherry and they especially like it on pancakes!

We also got 44 ounces of raw bee keeper honey (a mix of either buckwheat and alfalfa or buckwheat and sage honey, I can’t remember) for $16.99. I think we are set with honey for a while, and I’m sure by then, we will be ready for another trip to Trumper’s Honey and Fruit Shack!

These are some of the bee hives that were on the property by the parking lot. These are sealed so that bees don’t try to get in and form a hive. The bees live at the back of the property away from visitors.


Some pictures of the honey and fruit shack from the parking lot. This was probably my favorite stop on our trip. I would love to come back!

Trumper’s Honey and Fruit Shack is located off of Highway 78 in Santa Ysabel.

27736 Highway 78

Santa Ysabel, CA 92070


One Day at San Diego Comic-Con International…

We stood in a really long line to get into the Convention Center at 9:30 AM. Turned out once we got to the front of the building, we could go in any door. Note to self for next year: Come right at 9:30 AM (if we’re not trying to get popular exclusives) and walk right in from the other side of the Convention Center without waiting in line!

We took the trolley into downtown. Usually, we don’t have Comic-Con badges so we have no reason to be in the areas that are in the pictures above.

Continue reading

Prepared For Comic-Con?

Nope! Not even a little bit!

Tomorrow is our one day that we will be at Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center. Will it be crazy? Yes! Will there be lines? Yes! Will we be taking a ton of pictures? Yes!

Please visit us on our Facebook page at The Geek Homestead for updates throughout the day tomorrow! We will try to keep it exciting!


Writing is Not Easy! And A Zucchini Race

This is a repost of our zucchini race experience last year at the San Diego County Fair. We will be participating again this Saturday!




Has it really been almost a month since I’ve written a real blog post? Yes, I think it has! I have many things to write about, but sometimes for me, Writing is Not Easy.

Neither is Waiting! Which it seems like we have been doing the past month as well.

But in the end, writing is rewarding. And in the end, waiting is rewarded as well.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

-Isaiah 40:31


A quick note about the book that I have pictured above. This book is part of a series of beginning reader books that I absolutely LOVE. It is geared toward toddlers and pre-kindergarten age, but even my 7-year-old and 9-year-old read them. They are fun and engaging and perfect for kids. They aren’t too long or too short. I am not a very dramatic person, but these books are easy for even me to read expressively. One of the more fun books to read aloud in this series is A Big Guy Took My Ball, and I get to talk like a whale. My 2-year-old’s favorite Elephant and Piggie book is Should I Share My Ice Cream? We borrow these books from the library, but I think we will eventually buy the whole series if possible. The two books I have linked are currently on sale through Amazon’s Prime Day. I would like to do a full post about these books at some point.


Now, on to the real reason for this post! The San Diego County Fair (which is still The Del Mar Fair to those of us who have lived here a while) just wrapped up about a week ago. I had gone a few times as a teenager with my family, but Josh had never been until after we moved back to the San Diego area from his duty station in Washington, D.C. After much convincing, I was able to get Josh to take us to the fair for the first time as a family about 3 years ago. On that first trip, we stumbled across an event going on in one of the agricultural buildings: The annual Zucchini Race! It is basically a soapbox car race but the soapbox part is a zucchini instead of wood. Yes, it sounds odd and a little crazy, but it is a lot of fun!

Once we saw that event, Josh said that we needed to take part in it the next year. So we did. This year was our second year being in the race. And as usual, we had a great time! This is probably one of the best bargains for entrance to the fair as well. The entrance fee for each child is $5, and each child gets an extra ticket for an adult chaperone. My 2-year-old and 4-year-old enter for free, so the rest of us (5 of us) were able to get in for a total of $15. We also didn’t have to wait in line to get in to the fair. Since we were participating in an event, we entered through the vendor entrance.

The theme for the fair this year was a steampunk Alice in Wonderland. So Corran made a steampunk-themed zucchini car. Josh helps the boys every year with their zucchini cars.

Corran’s zucchini car had old scooter wheels, a wheel from a tool chest, a propeller, and a spring.

Matthias had some really interesting wheels on his car!

Whiffle balls for wheels? Why not?

Ian’s car used scooter wheels and soapbox car wheels.

Ian’s zucchini car looks unimposing, but this was one crazy car once it was on the ramp!


My boys’ zucchini racers along with some of the other zucchini racers all ready to go!

Here is one video of Corran’s race just to give you a taste of what it’s like!

After the race with their ribbons!

Each racer receives a participation ribbon, a first or second place ribbon for their race, and a decoration ribbon.

Corran’s ribbons: First place in his race, the best fair-themed racer

Thias’ ribbons: First place in his race, the Mad Max ribbon

Ian’s ribbons: First place in his race (he was the only racer for his race because we knew his wouldn’t go straight! It actually fell off the ramp!), the catywampus racer ribbon

This year was Corran’s last year to be in the zucchini race, but next year, Rhys will be able to participate!

Josh knows more about how they actually built the racers. Maybe he will write a post about it at some point. After the race, we went and walked the rest of the fair! But that will be enough for another post!