Sunday, July 27, 2014

California 2014

We had a fun-filled trip to California last month!  We couldn't have asked for it to be any better!

We knew it was going to be good from the moment we got to the SLC Airport...I mean, based on Irish legend our gate was literally a pot of gold!

Our first full day in California, we all went to the beach at Corona del Mar.  There are some cool rock formations next to the beach that we climbed around when we first got there.  Turns out flip-flops are not the most gripping of all footwear.

Mom and Dad were living the life while we were gone exploring!

I think Dad was hoping we wouldn't ever come back.  (Just kidding!)

I never knew that BBQ's on the beach even existed!  Turns out I had been missing one of life's greatest things!

Hot dogs!

The group!
Mom, Dad, Gretchen, Caitlin, me, and Erin (who was unfortunately on the other side of the camera).

Can't have hot dogs without s'mores!

The ocean breeze gave Caitlin a cool lion's mane...

...There was no controlling it.

It was a beautiful evening on the beach!  (Ignore the ever-prevalent trash cans in this picture.) 

One of the best sunsets ever.

The next evening we went to the Newport Beach Temple--first time since we were married there two years ago!

The next day was our Los Angeles tour!  I had never actually been inside the city and was really excited to see it.  Many thanks to Mom for being our chauffeur and tour guide throughout the whole day!

Bradbury Building

Disney Concert Hall

After a pretty intense run-in with the LAPD (two squad cars cut us off and stormed a house with guns drawn), we made it Hollywood!

Hollywood Sign!

The Wookiees (correct spelling according to on Hollywood Blvd almost took Mom out!

The Harry Potter handprints/footprints square.

Walk of Fame

After Hollywood we went to the Los Angeles Farmers' Market and had lunch at historic Du-par's Restaurant.

Next, we took a stroll down Sunset Blvd.  It is a little fancier than the Sunset Blvd I grew up on in Montana...

From Sunset Blvd we went to Santa Monica Blvd to see the Los Angeles Temple!

It proved to be a pretty tiring day for us!

The next morning we enjoyed another of life's greatest things: donuts at Newport Beach!

All too soon our time was out, and we found ourselves right back at the Long Beach Airport again.  At least we had a direct flight back to SLC though, right?

Wrong.  They thought there might be a gas leak on our plane, so we turned around and emergency landed in Las Vegas.  Luckily they ensured us it would just be a quick stop to check the plane and then continue on.

Turns out there are no mechanics in Las Vegas for our type of plane, so they had to fly someone in from SLC.

Long story short: ten hours and a new plane later, we were finally back on our way to SLC.  Needless to say, it was a later night than we wanted before Caitlin's first day at her new job!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Search for Donut Falls: The Saga Continues...

After discovering that incorrect directions had left us 5 miles away from Donut Falls in our first attempt to find it, we set out again to determine if the sight lived up to its tasty name.

It was a beautiful hike!  Everything was so green.

We made it!

The water was so high from the run-off that this was as close as we could get to the falls.  The trail beyond this point was literally underwater!  We will have to go back again later in the fall so that we can actually sit under the falls like everyone suggests!

There it is at the top of the picture above!

On the way back down, we came across this beautiful, flowering plant that was growing off a dying tree.
It is probably symbolic of something, but we were too tired to think deeply about it...


Another afternoon we went on a fun nature walk near our apartment, Crestwood Park Loop.

We're so grateful to live where we do!

This specific area reminds me a lot of home in Montana: horses and mountains right in people's backyards!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"Let's Go Fly A Kite..."

We've had quite the summer fun already, taking advantage of the beautiful weather!  One Saturday we decided we should fly kites, since neither of us could remember the last time we had.

So for $1.50 each, we purchased two high-quality kites and off to Midvale Park we went!

Caitlin's kite is much more stable and will go really high without much effort!  Mine, on the other hand, requires extensive labor to simply keep it in the air.

Tons of fun!

Caitlin was such a pro she could fly her kite while swinging!

Speaking of 'pro,' we are getting pretty good at mini golfing now too!

Caitlin only lost her ball to the water hazard ONCE this time!

My sister Heidi and brother-in-law Russell came into town to bless their new baby, Sammy.  It was really fun to see them and their family!

All the kids adore Aunt Caitlin!

Clara is really going to have a rough adjustment to not being the baby anymore...

Apparently I don't actually have any pictures of baby Sammy, so you will have to click on the link to Heidi's blog for those!  I am sure there are plenty!  (Link is on the right-side toolbar.)

UPDATE: Ask and ye shall receive!  Nearly immediately after publishing this blog post (creepily fast, actually), Heidi saw it and sent me pictures of us with baby Sammy!  Enjoy:

Thanks, Heidi!

It has been a beautiful summer so far, and we still have half left!

(P.S., above is someone's backyard that we visited!  I am so jealous.)