Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gardens at Thanksgiving Point

As part of the General Education Academy at BYU this week, we had a dinner out at Thanksgiving Point.
They gave us tickets to the gardens and I went out for a stroll after the dinner.
The landscaping is quite nice:

The flowers are lovely:

The artificial waterfalls are fun, too:

They have all sorts of bridges and paths weaving over the waterfalls so you can get a closeup look at them:

It's a nice place to visit and I'm glad I had a chance to see it.

Using a Joke Gift

Emily gave me these horrible bandaids as a joke gift on my birthday:

Well, when Mortimer got a scrape that took off some of his scales and made him bleed, I wondered if a bandaid would help protect his scraped skin.
And I know Mortimer doesn't care if there are fairies on his bandaid or not:

I must admit that the pattern of the bandaid and the pattern of his scales is a pretty hilarious contrast, though!

Emily thought I was nuts.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Camp Entertainment

Hey, kids,
we are CAMPING!
You know, trees, flowers, nature...

It's no use.
They're oblivious to their surroundings.
It seems that gameboy has just sucked their brains dry.

The New Camera Stance

We used to look through viewfinders to compose our pictures.
(Even in the digital era, some still do- especially those with digital SLRs.)

But this is the camera stance becoming more common:
framing the viewing screen, sometimes at a distance to focus our own eyes better.

The Wildcats of Wildcat Canyon

The kids hiked with us for the first mile of the Wildcat Canyon trail.
It was a gentle hike through forested meadow, very pleasant.
Some of them got the idea that since this was Wildcat Canyon,
they should pretend to be wild cats and hide in the underbrush and spring out at passersby.
Here is Colin, ready to pounce:

And Benjamin and Edward, approaching the trail junction, still look like they have plenty of energy:

After about a mile Kathleen turned around and took the kids with and we went on.
But here is our meadow at the beginning of the hike:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wildcat Canyon

We hiked Wildcat Canyon!
It is the white strip in shadow on the right side of this overlook photograph:

Here's how it looks from the trail
(which goes midway along the side, not down to the bottom, of the canyon):

Another view:

And one with my fellow hikers.

Zion Narrows

I can't believe it's taken me all these years to hike into the Narrows down at Zion.
On a hot day, that water feels wonderful!
There were lots of other hikers, but the benefit to that is that one of them kindly took my picture.

Here is a closeup.
The water was mostly knee deep but sometimes deeper, and my rolled-up pants got pretty well soaked.
But after I got out of the river and started hiking back, they dried in 10 minutes flat.
It was over 100 degrees in the canyon that day (up to 103, they said).

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Happy Trails

The trail to Stewart Cascades is a lovely, gentle, two mile hike with not too much up and down.
And lots of aspens, ferns... and stinging nettle!

Good thing the views are worth it.

Ted and Eme usually got ahead of me because I fell behind to take pictures.

And at the end- waterfall payoff!

Empty Soup, or, Twenty-Nine Years Later

When I was about seven, my dad took me on a hike up in the mountains near Aspen Grove.
I vividly remember the waterfall at the end of the hike, and how I scrambled around the river rocks and made 'empty soup' with our lunch containers.
It was one of those Magic Childhood memories.

I never really recalled where the falls were, though.
I knew they couldn't be First Falls on the Aspen Grove trail for Timpanogos, because I hike that a lot and the falls don't look the same.

But today Ted and Eme and I decided to hike to Stewart Cascade, because none of us had ever been there.
Or so I thought!
When I got up close, I knew this was THE waterfall of the empty soup day.

You can get right down to the base of it!

And as I recalled from my childhood, the rocks are slippery.
I still had to mind my step!

Oh what do you do in the summertime...

Do you run past a waterfall...

or run through it fully clothed...

... or sit in a stream to clean off your butt when you've sat in the dirt?

And It's Lovely Rice Pudding For Dinner Again!

When I was a kid, I detested rice pudding.
Why would you want to eat that slimy stuff??
But years have passed and I have learned to appreciate it.
Eme loves it.
She begged for us to take her to a specialized rice pudding restaurant in Provo.
I had never heard of it, but it specializes in gourmet rice puddings
(and only rice puddings.)

As you can see, there are lots of flavors, most with fancy-schmancy names.
The three we tried were pretty good, despite the names.

Eme had chocolate,
Ted had caramel,
and I had coconut.
Mine was the best!

Evening Flower Meadow

At the Alpine Loop summit, where we stopped for our picnic, there was a meadow full of wildflowers.
(I think they might be some kind of mallow).
I've not seen wildflowers that full and stunning for years- probably the effect of all the spring rain we had.
Framed by aspens, aren't they gorgeous?
Also stunning close up, with the evening light on them:

But I think my favorite view of them is the backlit one.

The back lighting makes the petals glow.

Glamour Portraits of Eme

Yesterday evening Ted and I and the kids got Cafe Rio takeout and went up the Alpine Loop for a picnic.
Being the weekend, unoccupied picnic tables were scarce, but we found a gorgeous meadow of flowers up by the summit of the loop.
Eme was the only one who was in a photo-taking mood.
Here are several of her:

I like these ones with the aspen tree.

Here are some close in by the flowers.

Doesn't this girl have a gorgeous smile?

I have such a pretty niece!

More Visiting with Emily

At first, Sophie was very shy and stayed close to her mother:

But later she enjoyed playing with Eme:

Griffin and Ethan perused the Star Wars trivia book:

And Emily found some Wierd Al videos on Youtube that we all enjoyed.

Pizza and Fun at Emily's

While Ted was here, he and the kids and I went to Emily & Dave's for make-your-own pizza.
Here is our chef:

And here is Ted choosing from the variety of yummy vegetarian toppings:

The kids liked the pizza a lot too!

Friday, July 18, 2008


I adore roller coaster rides, and Lagoon has some good ones.
First of all there is the classic, which my parents rode on THEIR first date:

And then there is MY favorite, Colossus (Fire Dragon).
I have loved Colossus since I was 16.
Yes I know Lagoon has plenty others, several of which are snazzy and swoopy and have more dramatic drops or swings (like the Spider, which I rode with great enjoyment, and the Wicked, which I did not get to ride because Griffin had a migraine and none of the others wanted to try it, but that's another story.)
I LOVE Colossus.
It is the BEST.
It is smooth and fast and swooshy and goes upside down!

Griffin liked Colossus, too.
We rode it 3 times in a row, even though he did have a headache.

And I convinced Eme to try it too.
(No getting Ethan on anything that goes upside down.)
Eme was enjoyably scared in anticipation and burbling with post-ride delight all the way home.

I love the rides at night when the lights come out in the dusk.
I don't go to amusement parks very often, which is probably why I enjoy my time there so much (no overkill).