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March 21, 2010 at 7:25 pm (Home)
Woo-hoo! Eric and I had our first hike of the year on Monday. We went to Twin Falls and did 6 miles in about 2 hours which is way better than I thought I’d do. Here’s some pictures of our hike.
You have to stretch so you don’t get pulled muscles! We now call this the stretching bridge.
The entire hike was absolutely gorgeous, the trail was a little muddy in spots but no problem to hike.
There were tons of these little pink flowers everywhere.
The white flowers were only at the top of our hike, where the Twin Falls Trail joins up with the trail parallel to the highway.
This little guy was so well camoflauged that I didn’t even see him and almost stepped on him!
The river was rushing pretty quickly and stunning.
There were lots of fallen trees around (none blocking the trail though) including several in the river that looked bright red.
At the waterfall you can stand on a bridge and look down over part of it. I got a little dizzy but it was really powerful. Yes, I had the camera strap on my wrist!
April 21, 2009 at 4:26 pm (General)
For Eric’s 25th birthday, he wanted to go to The Great Wolf Lodge. I was going to try to surprise him with it, but he always figures out my surprises so the only surprise was that my family was chipping in so we weren’t in the poor house! We got a discount through his work so it was only $169 for the night. I saved $20 from every paycheck for a few months to make sure we could afford it. All in all, it was worth it.
The waterpark is pretty fun. The best thing to do/watch is the 1,000 gallon bucket that fills up. The bell starts ringing, everyone comes running….
…then it dumps on a spreader so it won’t take anyone out (like waterfalls do, danger!)
It’s really fun getting soaked and the best was a group of boys who all laid down on their backs but at the last second all but one brave one jumped to their feet. All the kids having the time of their lives was really fun for us. The Great Wolf Lodge is really designed with kids in mind, but we love kids and so had a lot of fun (If you don’t like kids don’t go!). If there were a couple kids in line in front or behind us we’d ask if they wanted to share a big inner tube. They’d get so excited and loved how we screamed and yelled.
The wave pool was another fun place to talk to kids, or just relax and talk to each other. The waves are pretty tiny so we didn’t try body surfing. The best kid activity is called MagiQuest, “a one-of-a-kind, live-action adventure game. Armed with high-tech wands, your family must solve magical challenges throughout the resort to gain powers (and points) and move to higher levels of the game” (from their website). Basically, it’s tons of kids running around with wands controlling everything all over the whole resort to play a magical adventure game. It was everything from a bearskin rug who asks if you’ve seen his brother Smokey, to a treasure chests that open with a magical sound. My favorite were the kids 5 and under who can’t yet tell reality from fantasy. Their eyes were giant saucers of awe everywhere they went.
This is Eric coming out of the Howlin’ Tornado which I at first refused to go on. I had seen the funnel shape from the freeway and thought you dropped in from the top of the funnel. It reminded me too much of the Shaka in Hawaii which was several stories straight down and then up the other side then back down backwards continuing until you lose momentum. I was rather traumatized by it (major fear of heights, went on it because I love my dad and he needed a partner). I told Eric “I know you love me, I don’t have to prove I’m brave to you or put myself in mortal danger to earn your respect, I’m not doing it.” So he went on it and had to ride with a couple teenage girls, then told me it’s not actually that bad. It’s only a five foot drop and then you go back and forth a little in the funnel. I trust him so I went on it and it was a lot of fun. I told the guy running I had to go forward because my fear of heights would probably make me freak out if I couldn’t see what was coming (the anticipation is always worse for me). The lifeguards rotated rides but every time we came to the tornado (which was next to another slide) the previous life guard warned the new one to make sure I faced forward and not to spin us. They were joking with us and very nice and respectful (not what I typically see for ride/waterslide operators).
Here’s the handsome birthday boy at lunch. I took pictures of the food but I’m not going to post them because honestly, it was bad! I got a Kobe beef burger and Eric got a buffalo burger. The onion rings were the best part. There just wasn’t really much flavor and it wasn’t worth the price. I had read reviews warning of lousy food so packed a dinner to microwave and oatmeal for breakfast, but we were checked out by lunch (you can still use the waterpark until closing) so I didn’t bring food for lunch. I think if we go back we’ll pack lunch too. Save money! I would highly recommend The Great Wolf Lodge for families with kids or people who love kids. I hope one day we can take our kids there (I really want to play MagiQuest!)
March 24, 2009 at 3:34 pm (General)
For those of you who don’t know, my mom’s brother George passed away last week. As she and my dad have been in Ohio for the memorial, we’ve been taking care of Jason and staying at my parents house. We loved taking Jason geocahcing, hiking, and dog walking.
The four of us (including Sharon) went to the boardwalk in Federal Way, West Hylebos Park. It’s really beautiful, informative, and the plants and trees are always interesting, such as the hungry stump above, “Look out Eric!”
The boardwalk is probably a little over a mile if you do the whole thing. I was glad Sharon came since she was as fascinated by the few flowers as I was. Jason was excited my the animals.
We saw the cute bunny above, ducks and birds, as well as tree roots that looked a lot like a dog! The yellow flower is actually skunk cabbage and gives off heat to melt snow.
When geocaching we saw fun things like a herd of sheep, and two giant trucks loaded with tons of honey buckets!
We had lots of fun, but we’re sure worn out!Jason sitting is a full time job, don’t know how my parents keep up.
Eric and I realized we hadn’t snowshoed in two years! SO, we decided that since we had so many REI giftcards saved up, it was time to get me some new hiking boots and test them out snowshoeing. We had a really great time and if the snow is good, hope to go again this Friday.
Of course I had to make us a delicious lunch to eat on our excursion!
I didn’t realize my outfit all matched until looking at the pictures. I feel like quite the snowbunny.
We saw tons of cool shapes of things in the snow. Unfortunately it was crunchy, frozen snow, but a couple times we hit a patch of fresh snow and I’d yell “Powder!”
Eric was fortunate enough to have the camera when I fell down during our break to remove our coats. Wait a minute, shouldn’t he have been helping me up instead of taking photos?!
January 14, 2009 at 5:01 pm (General)
I’ve uploaded some photos of what is going on across the street at the old auburn ymca as they are tearing it down to make way for the new community center.
Our snowman or snowperson if you are politically correct was named Jabba the snowman by Me (eric) because he is so huge and long at his base. We had alot of fun making him borrowing our neighbors shovel and using our Belgian Army Folding Shovel.
Instead of giving each other “stuff” for Christmas, we decided to buy needs for a local family, some African boys, and for ourselves…do a special experience. So we rode the snow train to Leavenworth. It was a magical once in a lifetime experience and you get to share it with us in pictures!
A nice guy offered to take our photo before we got on the train. We got up at 5:30 on a Saturday morning so we were tired, but way excited.
The view from our train was awesome! It snowed the whole time and I think I left a few noseprints on the window.
We passed by several gorgeous rivers and waterfalls. It truly felt like we were on our own special Polar Express.
Eric and I were talking about two of our favorite musicals, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Fiddler on the Roof. We were singing songs from them when this trio walked into our car and played “If I Were a Rich Man”! We did the dig-a-dig-a dance
Our breakfast and dinner were provided by Gretchen’s Catering. We took of the bands to hold our boxes shut and declared we were Gretchen’s Ninjas! The food was really good and we greatly appreciated it.
The was one kid in our car, a sweet girl named Madison. This ladies quartet invited her to sing Rudolph with them.
They sold raffle tickets to raise money to build a school in Uganda. We didn’t really care about winning (obviously since I lost my tickets and we think they called my number but I couldn’t claim it) but were happy to support a good cause. Our car sold the most tickets so we got these hats as prizes. We wore ours the whole day instead of our knit caps. Everywhere we went people said they loved them.
A trio called the Cutters was really good. Their voices were great together (maybe because they’re a family!) and we were stomping and clapping to their music. Beautiful, folksy style, I’d really like one of their cds.
The girl playing the violin was named Arwen, which is on our list of girls’ names we like (no, we’re not ready for kids yet, just have our list started!)
We were being so silly when Santa came and pretending we were kids, it was a lot of fun. Our car was so nice, not only did we get really spacious private seats, but we also had our own attendants who got us whatever drinks or other things we needed.
Our car had a private bathroom lounge. It was co-ed with two individual stalls (that lock), a bench seat to wait, and not one …
… not two …
… but FOUR sinks! We think the car is also used for long trips, the seats recline really far back so you could sleep in them and there’s enough sinks and mirrors for lots of people to get ready for bed.
Our car was so vintage, that there was still the sign in the bathroom (in German) saying to please not use the toilets at the station (because they used to just dump onto the tracks!)
When we unloaded from the train, everyone was so excited to be in the snow. It was really beautiful and we were hopping and skipping around.
The first thing we did when we arrived was find a place to eat lunch. I packed us a yummy spread of cheeses, homemade crackers and fresh bread.
Leavenworth is a special, beautiful town any time of year. But Christmas is its forte! It’s surrounded by snow covered mountains and full of everything you think Christmas should be.
All the buildings and decorations are in keeping with the Bavarian theme. Even several shopkeepers dressed in Bavarian costumes.
The buildings were covered in icicle lights…
And REAL icicles!
If you go to Leavenworth you have to visit Bob and Donna at the Fudgehut. They are so kind and friendly and their fudge is delicious and creamy! We got 3 pounds (peanut butter, rocky road, and coconut almond) and they are half gone. We need a trip to the gym (or 5 or 6!)
One of the things they do throughout the day is have everyone do the chicken dance in the middle of the road. It was so much fun grabbing a bunch of strangers and dancing around like little kids!
It’s tough to get a good Christmas light shot when your hands are shaking from the cold, but as hundreds of us sang “Silent Night”, all the trees in the park lit up, it’s quite magical.
Then, we all turned around and counted down and all the buildings lit up! You really feel like you’re in a magical winter wonderland. We had an amazing day and created memories that will last a lifetime.
November 9, 2008 at 11:42 pm (General)
In an effort to save money I’ve decided it’s time to learn to sew. First of all, repairing clothes is much cheaper than buying new clothes. Secondly if I can sew well I can make us clothes that are Neiman Marcus fit and quality for Walmart prices. That’s a pretty good deal. I’ve been doing some tshirt surgeries and other things by hand, but that gets tedious.
Then my wonderful Grandma Bonnie gave me one of her two sewing machines. These pictures were from her birthday. She wanted to go the Sewing Guild’s Annual luncheon/fashion show for her birthday, so we made it a ladies’ day. She brought her sewing machine and gave it to me there, I was so touched. She loves to sew and is incredibly good, but her eyesight has made it so difficult for her. She made her beautiful dress and suit jacket she’s wearing, and showed them in the fashion show.
We have three generations in this photo! Maybe one day in the next couple years we can have a four generation photo! Speaking of little ones…
This beautiful boy Daniel and his mother were at our table. He was only 10 days old! We all got to hold him and it was wonderful. Such a treat!
Another treat of the day is the raffle they have. As soon as I saw this basket I wanted it. I am a sucker for gift baskets. They have a theme that everything in the matches, it’s a bunch of little gifts wrapped up so prettily together. I can’t go to Sam’s Club by myself around the holidays because I want all the gift baskets! But I’ve been wanting some fall decorations and so knew I wanted to win this. I entered 16 tickets ($4) and won! I was ecstatic.
The other cool sewing thing I’ve done is take a pattern fitting class taught by Connie Crawford. My mom was kind enough to pay for me to take it with her and Heather came too! It was really good, although a little over Heather and my heads. Connie was a lot of fun and very talented. I’m excited to put her teaching to good use.
So far the only thing I’ve sewn on my machine is the apron I wore for Halloween.
That’s right, this Halloween my family hung out with the McCains. Eric and I thought that since my parents are so into politics (dad especially) it would be fun to dress up as John and Cindy McCain.
The funniest part was that Eric’s mask was so scary! The first time he put it on I wasn’t looking at him, then looked up and screamed because of the scary old man standing in my living room. A lot of kids had the same reaction. One little boy screamed bloody murder, turned and ran down the driveway to his parents!
Another boy (about 10 years old) started screaming and backing up with arms spread and almost clotheslined his little sister down the steps! We had so much fun at my parents house scaring the kids and interacting with them. Some kids asked if he was George Bush or Biden. That was pretty funny. Parents really loved it.
Jason also took a turn at playing McCain. Then a little while later cracked us up by proclaiming that his spleen hurt! No, he doesn’t know where his spleen is.
We took a nice picture too because Eric looks so handsome in his suit, I couldn’t resist! And the two things you need to have a great Halloween get together with family?…..
Thanks mom and dad for a super fun evening!