Monday, July 18, 2011

Road Trip!

Robert and I just got back from an awesome journey of the Pacific Northwest! Actually, we have been back for about a week and a half, it just took me forever to get this all put together. Here is a Day-by-Day:

Day 1: Idaho After spending Thursday night with Kristl and her family in Salt Lake City, we took off Friday morning, July 1st for Idaho. We visited Shoshone Falls, near Kimberly.

They call it the "Niagra of the West", but I beg to differ. I have been to Niagra Falls. It was pretty big, though. In April each year, they start diverting water away for crops, so it was only running at about 2/3 capacity. It was fun to see.

We visited the Twin Falls Temple.

I put the camera in the grass and set the timer so we could both be in the picture.

Then on to the Boise Temple.

I love how beautiful our temples are and how distinctively different.

Most of our first day was spent traveling, so after a long day of driving and dinner in Pendleton, Oregon, we crashed for the night in Hermiston, Oregon.

Day 2: Oregon On our way to visit the waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge, we stopped at a visitor center, where they had a raptor exhibit.

This is Jack, a raven. He can speak a few words, but he can't say "Nevermore". Dang!

This is Ferguson, a beautiful, majestic Bald Eagle. He was rescued after being hit by a car. He will never fly again, but he is being well cared for. It was great to be able to get close to this symbol of our great nation.

The drive up the Columbia River Gorge was so gorgeous! This is Latourell Falls, one of the dozens of large waterfalls in the gorge.

The view of Crown Pointe from the Vista House.

Mount Hood

This is what happens when you ask someone to take your picture. We asked them to be sure and get the waterfall in. Well, we meant the whole waterfall. Anyway, this is Multnomah Falls, probably the most popular one. And certainly the highest, at over 600 ft. total.

Okay, here is the whole thing. Use your imagination and picture us in front of it.

This is the view from the very top of the falls, looking down. Yep, I climbed the entire 1 1/4 mile trail, straight up.

Robert, gazing at the Portland Temple. This one was really hard to photograph! Too many trees.

Note: While at Multnomah Falls, Robert noticed that a young woman had on a BYU t-shirt, and Robert being the social guy that he is, struck up a conversation. Turns out she had been to BYU Idaho and was there visiting the Falls with her friend's family. We told them that we wanted to go to church the next morning and they told us about a really old chapel in Portland. So, we got our motel near that chapel so that we could just get up in the morning and go to church.

Day 3: Oregon and Washington Sunday morning we got up and went to church, before heading out for Mt. Rainier, Washington.

This chapel is almost 100 years old. It is huge! It used to be a mission home. It is so pretty inside with lots of intricate woodwork.

We got talking to the bishop before Sacrament Meeting, and when we told him we were from St. George, he laughed. He said that their new mission president was from St. George. We didn't recognize the name though.

For some reason, you just cannot do Mt. Rainier justice with a camera. It is massive! We drove up to the lodge and bought some fun gifts and wandered around in the snow taking pictures.

Now that's some serious snow! That is a wall of snow behind Robert. I couldn't believe that is was 107 degrees back home on the same day.
They get over 680 inches of snow a year.

More driving and we spent Sunday night in Tacoma.

Day 4: Washington We visited the Port Defiance Zoo in Tacoma. It's a pretty small zoo, but it was really fun!

Cool Tiger! I like how you can get within 3 feet of one of these big cats and not get eaten alive.

For the 4th of July, they painted these big barrels with colored cream cheese. The polar bears love cream cheese, and they love playing with the barrels. It was fun to watch them wrestle them in the water.

The day was warm, but the weather was great. We shared some Dippin' Dots and then went to the park nearby and had a picnic and a short nap in the shade.

The Seattle Temple.

We rode to the top of the Space Needle!!

The view of downtown Seattle from the Space Needle. After buying t-shirts for the grandkids, we drove to Bellingham, Washington to spend the night. We got to watch the fireworks in the harbor. It was chilly, so we wrapped ourselves in quilts and sat in our camp chairs. I don't think I have ever in my life been chilly on the 4th of July!

Day 5: Canada We crossed into Canada and boarded the ferry at Tsawassen. We were the first car on the ferry.

That's our car on the top left at the front.

The ferry was huge! It had a gift shop, a lounge and a cafeteria where we had lunch.

First on, first off, when we landed at Duke Point on Vancouver Island.

Off to Butchart Gardens, near Victoria.

The gardens are awesome. I think you could spend all day here and not see all of them. There was a little gelato stand, so of course we had to try it out. Yummy!!

This is a Monkey Puzzle tree. We saw a few of these scattered around Victoria. I wanted to bring one home. Robert said no.

Here is a close-up.

Two things Robert has wanted me to see for years (since he visited Victoria when he was there with the National Guard). The Empress Hotel.....

....and the parliament building. We couldn't go inside because they closed it just 10 minutes before we got there.

Day 6: Back to the states. We caught the ferry back to Port Angeles, Washington. We made the mistake of not getting reservations, so we were put on stand-by with about a dozen other cars. As we inched up near the entrance, it did not look like we were going to make it (We would have had to wait another 5 hours to catch the next ferry). But they squeezed us on, literally! We were the last car on, and I had to get out before Robert drove on. No room to open the passenger door!

That's us in the middle. Cars were stuffed in every which way. Walking between them to get to the stairs was nearly impossible. This was a much smaller ferry than the one we took the day before.

Mostly driving on this day to get from Port Angeles to Portland. We enjoyed a delicious Mexican dinner at Acapulco's and spent the night in Portland.

Day 7: California

Crater Lake was not on our list of things to do, but we were so glad we included it. It was a long, but worthwhile drive. It is the most beautiful lake I have ever seen, so pristine and deep blue. You could take a thousand pictures, but you would never capture its beauty.

Crater Lake is in the top of a volcano. There are several islands in it, but only two that are visible.This is the largest, Wizard Island. And it isn't very big. In the summer time, they take people out in a small boat to fish from the island. Individuals cannot boat on the lake. Because the road was still snow-packed, we could only drive about half way around. We did go to the lodge and have a chili lunch.

Driving down the California coast, we stopped to get a picture on the beach.

We had to get a picture of Robert with Paul Bunyan!

Probably my favorite part of the whole trip was seeing the giant redwoods. Robert is standing next to the bottom side of an uprooted redwood tree. This gives you an idea of just how big these things get.

The name of this giant is simply 'Big Tree'. 'Big' is too small a word.....this tree stands 304 feet tall, is 21.6 feet thick and is over 1500 years old.

A little farther down the coast we came upon the 'One-Log House'. It was made in 1946 from a 2100 year old redwood that was hollowed out. The wood that was removed from inside was enough to build an entire 5 bedroom house! It has all the comforts of home. Well almost, I did notice that there was no bathroom.

Robert driving through the Chandelier Tree.

There are actually 2 of these huge trees you can drive through......for a price. Pretty cool!

This is about as close as we got to the city of Clearlake, Ca. We took this picture for Kylen because he served part of his mission here.

We spent our last couple of days making our way home. We bought fresh fruit and vegetables from a fruit stand in California, spent Friday night in Reno, Nevada, (don't go there) and then drove to Salt Lake City to spend Saturday night with the kids before driving home on Sunday. All in all, we logged over 4100 miles on our trusty Pilot. And we had a blast!! We are already planning our next trip.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Photo Op!

Earlier this year, Kristl had taken her children to Fotofly in Salt Lake to have their pictures done. They came out so well, I was determined to get all the grandchildren together and have them photographed. So on June 25, we all met at Fotofly. Here are the results:

Hmmm..... Not too bad for a first try, but........Where's Carley?

Now you're just fooling around!

And, we have a winner!

Except for Kylen's girls, all of the children had recently had separate portraits taken, so I talked the photographer into doing just Kathryn and Carley. Unfortunately, Carley did not want to cooperate. I just love this unhappy picture of her.

Kathryn was AWESOME!!

And how sweet is this?? Thanks everyone!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cookie Monster

Our sweet baby Kolton has discovered that those things at the ends of his arms are his hands and that he can actually control them if he tries reeeeallllly hard. He has just begun to reach for things. The other night Kaley was enjoying a delicious sugar cookie when I caught him trying to get it for himself. It was so cute. Get the determined look in his eyes!

In a Jam!!

A couple of weeks ago, Robert and I decided to make peach-raspberry jam. We thought we should use up some of the tons of peaches in our freezer. We started at about 10 am and finished at 8 that night. We ended up with 85 jars!! Mostly pints. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts, especially since my children seem to make off with it every chance they get.