Spring Break

Tomorrow evening I’m planning to take a little spring break trip with Rosie to Portland (Taylor and Rosie went to LA last week, lucky ducks!) Rosie’s cousin is having his wedding reception this weekend, I’ll meet up with some extended family and old jr. high friends, get some Burgerville USA sweet potato fries, and enjoy the green, green beauty of the Northwest.

This is my 498th post. I’m in draft mode on my 500th post, but it may take a while to put together. And I still need to do my bio on Mary. So if my blogging is sparse for a while, please forgive me. Enjoy your weekend!

V-Day in MEM

This year, I’m lucky to have Taylor for Valentines Day weekend (instead of stuck in CVG, TYS, AUS, or some of the other places he gets stuck on important days) We’ll be heading to Bluff City (aka Memphis, TN) for 24 hours of sightseeing, blues music, and Corky’s BBQ. Maybe even some karaoke on Beale Street. Taylor lived in MEM for 4 months when he was having his training for his airline, but I never got to visit him. He talks about it occasionally, but I have no frame of reference.We found a cheap rental car, and will get a cheap crew hotel, and we’ll do all the free sightseeing stuff we can. I figure that a quick trip on a shoestring budget would be more enjoyable than some overpriced roses and chocolate.

Two Cool Trips

I’ve been behind in my blogging for a while! I’ve been on two awesome trips in the last week and a half, which I need to give the run d0wn in case I otherwise don’t blog about it.

California: I flew out of DTW Friday evening. The flight loads were pretty iffy, but a three hour flight delay got me a seat on the flight to LAX. I arrived in LA around 11:30, picked up my rental car and met Liz for fresh strawberry donuts in Glendora. I got in at the in-laws at 2:00 am, and was up again at 7:30. It was a super-hot, sunny day (over 100 degrees!) I visited with Lissy and Tyler, who are expecting twins this August (if not sooner). I did a little gift shopping, grabbed some In-N-Out, and rifled through the sweltering hot shed looking for my high school scrapbooks (no luck). Liz and I drove to Pasadena, indulged in marzipan princess cake and rum rolls at Federicos and continued on to the Huntington. The gardens were beautiful and relaxing.

After returning from Pasadena, I visited with my in-laws who had returned from a funeral. I grabbed a 20 minute nap, then drove out to Rancho Cucamonga for Chris and Mary’s wedding reception. The ring ceremony and reception was beautiful, and I ran into a lot of friends I was hoping to see. I then drove over to Brett’s to his Syttende Mai Norway party. I toasted to Norwegian toasts, and grabbed a plate of Scandinavian desserts to eat on the way to LAX. I dropped of the rental car around 11:30, and made it on the 12:30 flight no problem. Total time in California: 25 hours.

Upstate New York: Since Taylor was hired by the airline, most of our travel has been by airplane (except for our cross-country moving trips). Taylor, Rosie and I had the same three days off for Memorial Day, and despite $4.19/gallon gas prices, were itching to take a road trip. We left around 9 am, endured a 80 minute border crossing at Port Huron, drove through Ontario, Canada to Niagara Falls. We balked at the $20 parking fee to be in the closest lots to the Falls, and drove down the road to a $10 lot with shuttle service. The falls were beautiful and super misty, and a large rainbow stretched across much of the area. We got lucky with the Niagara border crossing, only having to wait 3 cars to enter the U.S. again.

We drove on to Rochester and met up with my old friend Alan, and his girlfriend Liz. We got reacquainted at his place, then drove downtown for dinner. The restaurant had an hour wait, so we drove to High Falls in the meantime.We returned to the restaurant and ate at Dinosaur BBQ, one of the best BBQ I’ve ever had! Alan also took us for a tour of his laser laboratory at the University of Rochester, where he is working on his PhD.

In the morning, we drove to Palmyra to see the church history sites. We hiked the Moroni Monument, watched a movie in the visitor center, toured the Joseph Smith and Frame homes, enjoyed the Sacred Grove, and finished at the printing press downtown. The drive back to Rochester criss-crossed the Erie Canal several times. We took Alan out for lunch at The King and I Thai, then hit the road back to MI. The best part of the return trip was the clear view of Toronto for much of the drive from the border to Hamilton. Someday the trip will be specifically for Toronto! We arrived home at midnight. Total trip time: 39 hours.

SOMEDAY I’d like to take a trip that I actually have time to relax…

My California Vacation

At the Disneyland Parking structure

Adam is 1!

With the Birthday Boy on the Paddleboat

Fun with Uncle Grant in Toon Town

This boy does NOT like to be picked up!

O, How I love thee…California

Main Street at Disneyland with Clink

The Abominable Snowman bites my ear off in line for the Matterhorn

Roasted Turkey Legs are the best!

California Adventure

Clint is the next Disney Princess

Out on the town in Pasadena with Clint and Lizzie

At Breakfast with Lissy and Tyler

Gotta love California…palm trees and snow in the same shot!

Hollywood was a little blocked off for the Oscars, but we did catch a glimpse of the Red Carpet

Taking a meditation break at the LA Temple

Rodeo Drive

Hanging out with Nastia, Nacho, and Clink in Ventura

Silliness on the way to Ojai

Fighting in Nathan’s recording studio

I’ve got the best friends! This has been one of the funnest weeks of my life! I’m so sad that Taylor and Rosie couldn’t come.

A quick triplog

I got in from St. George about two hours ago…what a long, hot drive that was! There was massive Vegas/holiday traffic that I hit around Stateline, and in all the normally 5-hour trip was 8-hours. The temperature got up to 120 in the desert, which was no fun at all. But my car did fine, Rosie didn’t complain much, and now I’m home resting on my comfy couch.

Here’s the short of it-

Friday- left work around noon. Picked up Rosie and hit the road. Decided to take the floor invitation with the cousins. A phone call the morning I left smoothed over some doubts I had about actually being okay to stay. I had dinner with their whole Bluhm family at Olive Garden, and went to bed early to prepare for an early morning.

Saturday- Brandon and Gary ran a half-marathon that ended in Gunlock. The ladies met up at the end of the race to cheer them on. Went back to the house, packed up, and went shopping with Rosie. Ate lunch at Cafe Rio, and did some school shopping for Rosie. Checked in early at the hotel, showered, and waited for my family to arrive. Went swimming, and had dinner at Outback.

Sunday- Slept in a bit, got some breakfast at the hotel, and went to a sacrament meeting in town. Came back to the hotel, bummed around for a few hours, and waited for dad’s cold medicine to kick in. We went to Zion National Park, took the tram all the way to the end, did a hike at Weeping Rock, took a bunch of pictures, and visited the museum. Drove back into St. George, picked up some dinner for mom, and visited for the rest of the evening.

Monday- Had breakfast, bummed around the hotel with Mary, and stayed till checkout. Said my goodbyes and got family hugs. Went to the store to buy all the bags of Dill Pickle Lays (only 11 were available) so my coworkers will be happy. Drove for 8 long, hot hours, and now I’m home.