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To end Joe’s three-week break, we took a vacation. My planning consisted of when we were leaving, the general direction we were headed, and what we were going to eat. I made no reservations or firm destinations. On Monday night, the day before we planned on going, poor little Peter started to throw-up. Much of that evening and the next morning were spent cleaning carpets or doing laundry. He seemed okay after a long nap, and we were both unwilling to cancel the vacation so we headed down south.

We stopped by Cove Fort as a rest stop. I realized how wasteful I’ve gotten, and I want to be more thrifty. On the tour, they were showing all the ways they would reuse materials, like making old clothes into rugs. I was also impressed by the craftsmanship behind everything. They lived well, even when they didn’t have a lot.

Next we went to Cedar City to visit a good friend. She wasn’t home. So we kept driving and went through Kolob Canyon for a scenic drive. During the drive Peter threw-up again (but he was doing a lot better, just ate far too many fruit snacks). We went back to Cedar City and stayed the night at my friend’s house. That was very nice because not only was I able to wash the clothes Peter threw-up on, it rained. I also play the best game ever–The Farming Game. My farm was filled with fruit trees. The game is actually pretty representative of farming too, including real pests and harvest schedules. Someday, I might go ahead and own a small farm. In the meantime, I liked pretending to be a farmer.

We finally made it to Zion’s the next morning. Our first stop was to get a campsite, but the campground was already mostly full. We managed to find what must have been the worst site in the whole campground. It was a walk-in site a good 100 yards or more from our car with absolutely no shade. I was just very grateful we found a campsite.

After lunch, we took the shuttle up to Emerald Pools and hiked up and around. I was surprised that I was in decent shape, and Joe is in shape not matter what he does. Peter started his wining and no’s that lasted a lot of the trip. He did enjoy himself: I think he also got very tired. His favorite activities included splashing in puddles and throwing rocks into the river. I think he prefers the scenery of “cars” more than beautiful red cliffs.

The next day we went to hike Angel’s landing and did all but the last half mile. I was very surprised that they have a trail there and I don’t think I ever want to finish it. I hike to enjoy myself not scare myself.  We had Peter along too, and he makes an excellent excuse. On the way back he started crying, and we all got a much-needed nap back at camp. Our final hike was the riverside walk. There were plenty of rocks with a river near by at the end  for Peter.

No camping trip is complete without a campfire. We did hot dogs and s’mores and within an hour of lighting in, we put it out again. I’m just not into campfires, and ours was smoking too much. The next morning we were all ready to go home. Overall, it was a great trip. (And cheap. The whole thing cost $100, mostly in gas money. Joe even gets paid time off at his work.) But camping with toddlers ends up in a lot of complaining.



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My dad had a conference in Anaheim, so Peter and I tagged along with some of my family and went to the beach and Disneyland. Peter would wake up in the morning and just rock in his stroller, excited to go to back to Disneyland. We were there three days of magical fun, and rode nearly all the rides. Peter did wonderfully the entire trip, and it was fun to have him along. The more cheesy rides made him excited: so they were better for us all. The only thing bad about the trip was Joe had to stay home and go to school and work. Thanks Mom, for letting me come!


We survived our vacation, and enjoyed most of it. Trips are much harder with a kid in tow. Everything took longer to do and so we didn’t do as much. But it was still very enjoyable. First we had to stop by a couple of public gardens that were beautiful. We went up to Logan and visited lots of family and friends, kept going to Grand Tetons and camped two nights. It rained, but not when we were putting up or taking down camp. Just the whole day we had to go out hiking and visit places. We went hiking anyway, but not quite as much as we might have. The one trail we went on was across a lake, up to a fall, and back around the same lake. We saw a moose + baby on our way back, and it stopped raining.

We visited my brother who moved up to Powell to go to school, and back home taking one final stop at my wonderful grandparents. It turned out to be a great trip. I decided not to really plan it–we had a direction and that’s about it. As it came close a lot of the plans just came together. It was fun and a nice break from home.

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Family Reunion

This weekend was the my dad’s parents family reunion. I got to see all of my cousins, some of whom I have not seen for ages. We went up to the Heber Valley girl’s camp. The first day, we went canoeing on a small lake and Joe and I shared a canoe. We out paddles all my other siblings we raced against.  Little Peter went with his grandparents on a paddleboat. Lots of fun, except Peter was pretty tired. He cried for a while, and finally went to sleep.

After an okay night’s sleep in the cabin (Pete was up a few times, but did go right back to sleep after nursing), we did some ropes courses. My family was pretty good–nice long arms and athleticism helped us out, although I cannot swing on a rope for whatever reason. Then I climbed a hanging log and went down a zip line. I’ve never been that good at that type of thing, but I did it.

Most all the rest of the weekend was spent eating and talking. Then Monday, Joe and I went to a garden and Ikea. Peter was so tired after all of that. Today we are spending a day at home with good naps so he’ll hopefully be back to his cheery self. Oh–he’s also started to figure out crawling. He can go forward a bit, and isn’t so frustrated.


We went on our first camping trip with Peter this past weekend. I decided to go up Hobble Creek canyon to Cherry campground because it was close, but mostly that’s where I found a campsite. So on Friday, we loaded up and headed out. It went very well too. Peter slept fine, we had fun roasting huge marshmallows and eating tin foil dinners. The next morning, we packed up and went on a hike.

The hike was the left fork of Day’s Canyon, and it left from the campground. I printed out the USGS map, but didn’t look at it. Turns out the trail involved crossing the stream 15 times! This wasn’t over bridges but wading right through or using an occasional log. I’m glad Joe was carrying Pete–we wouldn’t have made it far if I was. I get a bit scared crossing on logs. At the end of all the crossings was a beautiful meadow where we had lunch. Great hike for a hot day, just make sure you are wearing something that can get wet. We had our Chaco’s on, so it worked great.

Hiking in Fall

So last Saturday Joe and I went hiking up Logan on the Crimson Trail. At even though it was Novemeber–it wasn’t cold! It was the best hiking weather we could have asked for. Cloudy, just warm enough not to need a jacket. The trail was pretty awesome too. It ran along the top of this rock wall imbeded in the canyon. So heres some pictures, along with the jack-o-latern pumpkins we made at Halloween


So I got Joe a hammock for his birthday. I love to camp in hammocks–that was last summer’s fun thing to do on the weekend, so I decided to get Joe one so he could go with me.

We went up to Cherry Creek by Richmond, which I thought was a new trail. When we got there, I realized that we had been there last spring. Oh well. It was still a pretty good trail. Hiked up a while and passed 3 hunters coming down. I HATE HUNTING. I always feel like I can’t do anything in the fall up in the mountains without having to A)Hear gunshots and B)Worrying about getting shot. But I went anyway, mostly because I know B probably won’t happen if I not stupid.

We didn’t get up there until about 7:30, so in the short amount of time we had, we hiked a short distance, and hung the hammocks. I was worried about getting cold, and Joe was worried about mosquitoes, and instead we got rain. Now, I do not have a rain fly for my hammock. I was lucky to have brought along a blanket that turned out to be pretty water resistant. Joe’s hammock is nicer than mine, and is water-proof. He wrapped it around himself and was good. The hammock also turns into a lean-to/rain-fly/other useful camping things, which is why I immediately thought it was the coolest thing ever and bought it for Joe for his birthday.

So sleep after 3:00 in the morning (when the rain started) was not that great. I did get to watch the sun rise, I can’t see any colors, and the next I can see all the green/red (the fall colors have started!) of all the trees.

Fun trip–however not the best for sleeping.

Last Day of Vacation

We slept well on the nice soft bed and leisurely ate breakfast. We then started out at about 9:00 AM on our longest driving day ever from Portland to Logan. We planned for only one stop at Multnomah Falls. It is a beautiful site. Not much water was falling but it fell a total of over 600 feet so it was amazing to see. We quickly hiked to the bridge that spans the river just about the second fall. We got back to Logan at about 10:00 PM. Over all we drove about 2400 miles around our vacation loop. We had tons of fun and hope to do other fun trips like this in the future.

Fridays Adventures

We were awakened by a light rain just like when we fell asleep. We didn’t feel too excited to get out of bed as early as we wanted so we didn’t. Eventually as we got up, ate breakfast, and made our way to the near beach the rain decided to stop. The tide was coming in so we quickly made a small sand castle just in time to watch the waves make small work of destroying it. I wish I could have stayed and made a sand castle that could match any real castle in beauty and style, but alas we had to continue on.

We decided to leave our tent up so it could dry and then we drove back visited the beautiful Cape Meares lighthouse. We also saw an unusual old tree called “The Octopus Tree”, for obvious reasons. Our next stop was to Cape Lookout. We took the two and a half mile hike to the point and were not disappointed with the view. There are huge cliffs along the trail that fall straight into the water. By the time we got finished with this hike we were ready for a break and for some food. We made our way to the Tillamook Cheese factory. Watching the workers make cheese was boring enough but the cheese and fudge samples were great. The ice cream also hit the spot. We went back to camp, packed up quickly, and drove on to Portand to stay at Liz’s aunt and uncles house. They were super nice and hospitable to us plus they have a beautiful house and back yard. The real bed was much appreciated.

Thursday on Vacation

Thursday turned out to be quite the day. We left Umpqua, and headed up to the Sea Lion Caves. It wasn’t amazing, but still cool to see all the sea lions. It was a bit of a tourist trap. The sea lions can get very loud, and they are also very huge. That stop didn’t last too long.

I wanted to see more of a rocky beach, so we made a random stop at a place called Devil’s Churn. It was this big skinny ravine that filled up with water at high tide. We went and hiked by it, and ended up getting a little too close (although we were still several feet away from the edge) and the sea water splashed us. Once just mostly Joe, and then it came up right after that and got both of us. It looked like there been some cool tide pools too, but we were there at high tide, so no luck there.

We went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. It’s a neat aquarium, and we actually spent quite a bit of time there. Joe like the sea otters and jellyfish quite a bit. After the aquarium we went and camped at Nehalem Bay State Park. It was a cool place–the beach was a two minute walk away. I could hear the waves from our campsite. The entire drive up there, it started to get overcast and look scarily like rain, but it didn’t start until after we had dinner, put up camp, and played at the beach a little. We did end up going to bed quite early when it did start raining.