Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tubing Fun at Alpine Meadows (Tubeville)

Play Snow Tubing VideoThis is the second year that Alpine Meadows Ski Resort has opened up a tubing area called "Tubeville" just beyond the lodge. The tubing course consists of two steep, long lanes, each with a couple humps and a big half-pipe at the end. There's a moving "magic carpet" escalator to get you to the top of the hill and then a quick, fast ride down to the bottom.

We had fun racing each other, spinning, performing running starts, riding backwards, etc. And when you got up some good speed, you might find yourself getting some air at the bottom of the run then doing a 180°. It was a lot of fun! Don't forget to check out the patent-pending "Dad Cam" views in this video.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Jason's Mission Project - Santa Ines (model)


It's that time of year when the 4th graders have to create a "Mission Project" (either a photo collage, video or model) of one of the 21 California Missions. Jason chose to build a model of the Santa Ines Mission which is near Santa Barbara, the 19th one built. He found a survey map and a view of the front and used that to layout the model.

His tip to others working on their Mission Project? Do a little bit each weekend or night so you don't get overwhelmed on the last day. The model was made by first drawing a floorplan of the mission in the desired size. The size was chosen based on some cute horse figures that were found at the hobby store. That was also where we purchased the trees (train model supplies) and the lichen (for the bushes). The model is made with illustration board, cut with an X-acto knife. The crosses and fences were made with rectangular dowel rods (balsa wood) which were glued with hot glue and painted.

Jason used a mixture of red and orange paint to get the tile roof color and an off-white for the walls. This is easier to do if you paint the models before they are all glued together. It also makes it less likely you'll get paint in the wrong places. To finish it up, he used a label maker to add the name of the mission and his name. And we also glued down a picture of the Santa Ines Mission just to show a comparison between the actual mission and the model.