Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pokey on our Hike

Pokey on Hike, originally uploaded by ~jesca~.

I am testing out something new, blogging directly from my flickr account. I know - it looks a little tricky, kinda like this photo of this ummm leaf or, heck what would you call this? Help me name this photo please and we can both see how this works!

Time for a Hike

I don't know why we haven't been hiking, I mean when it gets hot we tend to stay indoors and forget how cool it is at Mt. Charleston less than an hour away, so we decided to start up today with our first hike in a loooooong time. Let's face it - it kicked our butts.

We were up at 6:30 thanks to Summer, dressed, fed, ready to go by 7:45. We packed snacks, water, trail mix, covered ourselves in sunscreen and took off. The drive took almost an hour. This was a new trail. It had a lot of gravel unfortunately, I prefer hiking on dirt.

Summer was in a decent mood when we arrived.

Who am I kidding, she kept saying "I am hot" and "I am hungry" - hot because when we started it was sunny and the path was all uphill, not steep but just enough to be a pain, and hungry because she saw me make the trail mix earlier in the morning and wanted some.

Along the trail we saw hummingbirds and chipmunks. I got pictures of both but nothing to brag about.

I think Summer has been watching too much Dora, or Diego, because at one point she pulled out her sunglasses, which I think were meant to be binoculars, and started to look around for the way to go.

Little rough on the face if you ask me ...

We found a cute log, wait cute? Nice looking, cool colorful ... whatever, a log to take a picture and a video on. Check out the video, of me taking pictures of Summer :o)

Then we had enough, we found a spot to picnic. It was only around 10:10 AM but we ate our sandwich, drank our water, and Summer munched on homemade trail mix.

When I was putting up the snacks I saw my blue hat and asked Summer to wear it, she did, and I took pictures.

Overall it was a good trip, we are starting to work ourselves up to it again, it is going to take time but we have plenty of it.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Back to Normal

We are home and things are mostly back to normal, mostly because this humidity is not normal for Vegas and it sucks. I don't normally enjoy dripping sweat while walking a short distance from a store to my car and I think people who endure this atrocity are insane, or just maybe they are use to it, anyway, besides the humidity things seem back to normal.

Since things are back to normal I haven't taken a single picture in at least 3 or 4 days, well that is a lie, I took several photos of a white bottle of nail polish but that was for a contest, and to be honest they weren't that good, I need to take them over. Not to worry, we are headed hiking tomorrow up in the mountains so I will surely be taking pictures then. They may not be good but they will at least be cute because I will be taking pictures of Summer among other things.

Until then I will leave you with a few funnies from the week, funny to me anyway.

Of course assuming I can think of any right now, I had some but I am not sure where they are in my brain, apparently not right in front where I need them to be, let me think, be quiet just a sec ........

Smart Alec, you know the saying, I told Summer she was a smart alec and she told me her name was not Alex. At the time of telling her I was thinking she was so smart but now that I am looking at the wikipedia definition: A "smart alec" or "smart aleck" is a person regarded as obnoxiously self-assertive and impudent. The term "smart arse" is more commonly used in the United Kingdom, and smart ass and wise ass are also used in the United States and carry a similar meaning to smart alec, but are less subtle and more vulgar -- maybe that wasn't the best word to use anyway!

Oscar Meyer Wiener, or the song, this particular part: if i were a oscar mayer
wiener .... everyone would be in love with me ... we have taught to Summer. I have no clue why, actually it wasn't even me, it was Kris, thanks DAD! Here is a link to the video, enjoy!

Funny picture:

I never wanted one of those children, you know the kind, the ones that are 5 or 6 and can't wipe their own butts because they are afraid of leaving a little smear behind? Was that proper enough, anyway so I have been teaching Summer how to wipe her butt "Make sure you wipe your butt hole" and she will tell me "I wiped my butt hole mom" hehe, ok maybe that was a little more information that you really wanted but I find it very amusing, my daughter says butt hole :o)

Mommy Diapers - way too much information but Summer calls maxi pads mommy diapers. She told me she wanted to wear one when she grows up, I assured her that she would, hopefully not too soon.

I love that little girl, she keeps things interesting for sure. We have some exciting things coming up next week, like soccer! I hope she likes running around trying to kick a ball, I need to find a video on the internet of a real soccer game so she has a clue what it even is, might be a good idea huh. She saw the kids running in the gym and she loves to run and what a great way to burn off some energy so hopefully she enjoys it, of course I plan on taking photos - and that was a really long sentence, I think I need to go burn off some energy!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Long Way Home

Tuesday was the day I had been dreading. 2 1/2 hours in the truck with Gary, Mom & Summer, then another 8 1/2 hours in the truck with Rachel, the kids, and Summer. Not that I dread any of the people, but the hours are hard.

12:00 PM we left Idaho Falls and headed to Twin Falls. It wasn't really a bad trip and Summer napped for an hour or so. We stopped in Twin Falls, had lunch at a sandwich shop, met up with Rachel, transferred the suitcases and car seat to her car and at 3:30 PM we headed out for Las Vegas.

About an hour into our trip South the engine got hot and check gage light came on. We pulled over, Rachel opened the hood to her truck and smoke poured out. I got out and together we stared at her engine with absolutely no thoughts of what we should do in our head. We stood there for at least a minute with blank stares on our faces. Each of us went huh at least twice. Luckily some nice guy pulled over and looked and decided the radiator was low. He put water in and after calling our dads, and me calling my husband, we decided it was safe to continue hoping the problem was fixed. An hour or so later we encountered the same issue so we pulled over again and added water. Another nice older man pulled over to assist and said we should be ok if we continued to add water. We contemplated heading all the way to Las Vegas but it was getting late and dark and impending rain was on the horizon so we figured it would be best to stop in Ely Nevada for the night.

Ely has a population of about 4000 people. Plenty of hotels though, we found a nice room at the Hotel Nevada, a historic hotel/casino built in 1929. The casino was nasty, the room was actually pretty nice. Our two rooms has three twin size beds and a queen bed. I shared a twin with Summer because I needed her next to the wall, just in case she should fall out. Rachel shared the queen with both kids. You can only imagine how comfy we slept.

Oh - back up, when we arrived at the hotel it was dark and pouring rain. We had to get three kids out of the car, get our luggage, move the extra luggage we did not need from the back of the truck into the truck so we could lock it for the night. I was wet, Rachel had to move the car after we moved and unloaded so she looked like a drowned rat. We finally made it into the room pretty late, like around 9:00 PM and still had not eaten dinner. The hotel had a restaurant inside so we ordered a pizza and managed to eat some, you could tell everyone was exhausted.

Upon waking before the 7:00 AM alarm, we packed and headed to the repair place around 8:00 AM. Both Rachel and I managed to leave our wet clothes hanging in the closet of the hotel, thankfully they said they would mail them to us. The car repair place temporarily fixed the car, while waiting we had breakfast, and we were able to continue the last 4 hours. We left Ely around 10:30 AM, only had to stop once to add water to the radiator, and made it home around 3:30 PM. It took an extra hour because we had several delays due to road construction, one bathroom/lunch break and that water stop.

Overall it wasn't that bad, it was actually quite an adventure, car problems, thunderstorms, neat old hotels that had signs saying the water temperature would fluctuate, squeaky bathroom doors, decent food, major humidity, cool and hot weather, getting drenched, and .99 cent margaritas that were good but too late and tired to enjoy.

We enjoyed a cool ride home until we were about 2 hours away from Las Vegas, that is when the temperatures picked up. We didn't want to use the air conditioner on the ride just in case, you can imagine how windy part of the trip was, and how hot we were. Summer broke about an hour outside of Las Vegas, she said she was done. "I am all done" she cried, "done with what?" I asked, "the wind" she said. "Honey we have to keep the windows rolled down because it is too hot to roll them up" I told her. She wasn't upset for long, she is quite tolerant of the heat actually.

We met Kris and Cliff (daddy & papa) and moved over the luggage and car seat. Summer and Kris if he cried when he saw her, she was extremely happy to be home, to be sitting in air conditioning. When we got home the bottled up energy released and Summer had a blast playing and dancing and hugging. Cliff/Papa wanted to take us to dinner at Joe's crab shack, Summer and I managed to stay awake through dinner.

All in all it was a great day, great vacation, we had a great visit, but we are both so glad to be home~!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Craters of the Moon

Today is our last full day of vacation and we made the most of it by heading 84 miles away to see the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve which is a vast ocean of lava flows with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush. Along the one way road to the moon we had to stop twice for road construction and wait for lead cars. I only mention this because almost everywhere we go we have had to stop and wait because lanes were closes and lead cars were busy taking cars back and forth. One lane roads are very annoying. The road here, the road to the cabin, the road in Yellowstone, the road to the Craters of the Moon ... seriously every single place we go we have encountered this construction.

Anyway back to the craters, we made it there around noon and explored. The first stop we made had a huge black mountain that Summer wanted to climb. It was REALLY windy too.

It was actually a lot steeper than it probably looks in the photos, the mountain was pretty steep. Summer was able to run some of the way but towards the top she started slipping on the little rocks.

I was out of breath but she had fun, and she even sat and posed for a picture. Next we went to another area that had a huge hole in the ground that at one time was filled with lava. Oh and by the way, the day was overcast which made for very white skies and great color photos. This picture is mom and Summer near the area where the big hole was.

Still very windy. Our last stop was along these sharp black rocks that looked like they came from outer space or something. They were pretty neat looking. Summer sat and posed for a picture. I told her to hold her hands on her hair to keep it out of her face and I got this, doesn't she look like a little model!

Pretty cute if you ask me.

I took a bunch of photos of the rocks too, it was neat looking.

After we visited the black rocks we left and hit a small town called Arco Idaho, it was about 20 miles away, and we had lunch. We ate at a place called Pickle Place. It was a very good little place to eat, we had hamburgers, milkshakes, fresh homemade strawberry shortcake. Mom and I had the crater burger and it had onions, mushrooms and black olives on it, sounds weird, but it was actually very good.

Then we came back to Idaho Falls and I went to the falls again and took some more photos of that cute couple, kids, and their parents. I am happy with the photos I took, I hope they are too. I will blog about that another day, right now I need to finish packing and get to bed, I am exhausted and we leave tomorrow.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Almost Over

I can't believe how long we have been gone, this vacation has really been busy and a lot of fun. Two days left, or one and a half, and we will be back to reality, well a new reality, time to rethink how we live since Kris went to work, re-adjust schedules and make things perfect, wish us luck!

Anyway we are still enjoying life in Idaho Falls. Last night Summer and I snuck out to the falls again to get some pictures. I saw a train track on a bridge that crossed the lake that I thought would be neat. Little did I realize how terrifying train tracks on bridges could be. We first started to cross and I was ok, then I saw the huge gaps between the tracks that were open, cracks that were wide enough that Summer might be able to slip down into if she were to fall into one. Down below the bridge was a fast deep running river. I was holding onto her hand extremely tight as we slowly hurried across the bridge. Then I started thinking how the bridge was no longer used, at least I didn't think so, and my mind started thinking that the boards were going to collapse when we walked across, because, you know, I am really heavy and all, which was scaring me even more. Summer could sense my panic because she, out of the blue, said she was scared, so I tried to calm myself down. After we made it across I saw some other people crossing so I am guessing it wasn't as dangerous as I thought but I don't want to do it again. BUT - I did take pictures!

Before we headed to the bridge I found this neat area under another bridge that had a lot of shallow running water that Summer played in. She didn't really enjoy it as much as I would have thought, maybe the water was cold.

As you can see in the top picture Summer has a drippy nose. She has had one since we arrived. It isn't as bad as it was, one day was just constant dripping. I wonder if we have allergies, my throat has been scratchy and I have been losing my voice, plus my noise has an occasional drip too.

Last, because we haven't seen enough Summer, here are two pictures taken at the same area of her that she wanted me to take. She ran to the bridge and said "take a picture" and then ran into the tunnel and said "take a picture" and who am I to say no!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cute Kids & a Couple

Back in Idaho Falls, things seem fairy back to normal, of course not completely normal because we aren't in Las Vegas, but more normal than being out at the cabin. Yesterday we had dinner at the neighbors house and while there I took a few pictures of some cute kids and an engaged couple. I was really impressed with the photos, my skills as a photographer seem to be improving, of course I had some really great models. We are going out again this evening to take some more pictures near waterfalls and railroad tracks, I am excited, and again scared to death. It isn't like I charge for photos but I hate to mess something like that up. Of course I tend to think most people like photos that have themselves in them, wouldn't you?

Aren't they just so darn cute?

It was fun, I hope they like them, if not we can try again tonight. There is actually a brother missing from the photos of the kids, he is 1 month and wasn't really in the mood so hopefully he feels into it later.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mosquitoes & Spiders Oh My!

I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma so I am no stranger to mosquitoes, itchy bumps were just part of life back then. Living in Las Vegas the past 10 years has spoiled me to the finer things in life, or lack of, for instance bugs, we really don't have many bugs in the hot desert we call home. Oh sure we have a few flies and we have annoying ants, occasional roach or two, some poisonous spiders, like black widows and brown recluses, but in our little house we are safe and seeing these insects are rare, well mostly.

While we were in Montana we were at a cabin that was right on the lake. The deck off the cabin hangs over the water, that is how close we were. To get to the cabin you have to take a path that is considered a road. As you can see the road is heavily overgrown with the forest that surrounds us.

The cabin is surrounded by water on three sides with that road being the only way in by foot/car. The area is not used often, therefore as you can imagine the bugs are the only full time habitats in the area. Well I guess maybe deer, bears, other things like that, but we didn't see any. Oh and bats, we saw a bat!

The cabin is closed up most of the time. Inside is nice and cozy, lots of chairs and two bedrooms with comfy beds. And spiders. While I was taking a shower last night I looked up and saw a spider on the ceiling. As I was watching that spider to make sure it didn't walk over my head I saw another spider on the ceiling near me. Then I saw another spider on the ceiling across from the shower. I am not really afraid of spiders but I didn't want one to fall on my head! They were small spiders with big fat bodies, about the size of a small bead. After I got out of my "a little faster than normal" shower I saw another spider on the ceiling over the toilet. I decided to quit looking and just finish and get out of there.

Those were not the only spiders I saw on the trip and I wasn't ever looking for spiders like I usually do. Well I usually look for spiders so I can take pictures of them! Anyway when we first arrived we saw a spider on the front porch. I was sitting in a chair on the deck, got up, saw a spider crawling around under the chair I was just in. I saw a spider silhouette in a flower I was photographing.

There were spiders pretty much everywhere, and more webs than that. The entire back deck had webs scattered here and there.

Why are people even scared of spiders, I mean they are so darn small! Most are harmless anyway. Who knows how many we swallowed while we stayed the three nights in Montana. Even with all these random spiders they were not a nuisance like the mosquitoes were. Apparently there were not enough spiders because there were way too many mosquitoes and other flying biting insects. Right now I have two itchy bumps one one each elbow and one on my lower back. There were so many mosquitoes that it was almost impossible to take photos of the flowers. Even my flower photos had mosquitoes in them!

Amazingly Summer managed to escape the wrath of the itch. She had mosquitoes on her, I was constantly spraying her with repellent and swatting them away, but she hasn't complained of any itchy bumps. At one point I was taking a photo of her, saw a mosquito land on her, I sorta freaked out and started to run towards her to swat it off, she must have seen my fear and she freaked out and crouched down and said "No No". It was really funny, she didn't know what it was but she knew it was something bad. After that I tried not to be so dramatic when I saw anything on her.

In this picture I had her sit in this boat, I was going to take a neat picture - I was going to get level with her and make it so you could see the weeds in front of her and the blue lake behind her. I took the first picture to adjust the color and as I was looking through the lens I saw a mosquito on her face. I quickly ran over to her and decided that area was not safe, we didn't try again. She did end up with a bump on her face in that spot but I never saw her scratching it.

Crap I just scratched my elbow again. How did people in the past make it, how did they survive all the spiders and mosquitoes? I consider myself less scared of insects then a lot of people I know but I was having trouble thinking about the other insects I could not see. I managed somehow and Summer was oblivious to all the 6 and 8 legged insects in our area. Even with the bugs we still had a wonderful time, it was a great experience and a lovely cabin and lake. I look forward to going again in the future.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Geysers, Elk, Deer, Trees, Chipmunks, Bears, Buffalo, Flowers, Crows, Otters, just a few of the things we saw in Yellowstone. I never realized how close the cabin was to Yellowstone nor did I realize that Yellowstone is in Wyoming, the things you learn on vacation I guess. Here are a few pictures from Yellowstone.

There are some really neat looking trees, many have been damaged due to fires, like this one.

My mom, Summer, and Gary posed for a picture by one of the waterfalls we stopped to see.

A chipmunk.

A big elk that was standing near the road and causing traffic to back up for quite a ways...

Summer standing near another waterfall, I don't remember which - there were quite a few.

Outside old faithful. We didn't actually see it blow because we must have arrived just as it finished and we had to wait over an hour for it to blow again, but we did get some ice cream and Summer was happy with that.

I thought this photo of the crows is neat, they were big and the trees in the area were so dead so it looked kinda scary.

We spent around 7 hours total in the park, it was neat but long and a lot of driving. We are enjoying our time back at the cabin, one more night and we leave tomorrow and head back to Idaho Falls for a few more days.