Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category


Back and digging out

January 2, 2009

It seems to me that no matter how much I prepare and clean before we leave for a long trip, there is always a mountain to dig out from afterward. This Christmas was no exception!

We have been trying something new this year. Living down here in our tiny corner of Arizona, we find that we lack for some options. For example, we have two choices for heating our home here. We can either pay out the nose for Propane or you can heat with a wood burning stove. There are no Natural Gas lines here, and if you ask for an electric furnace you will actually be laughed at. Anyway, the last two years we heated with the stove and a little of the propane heat at night. We kept the thermostat low on purpose, but it was way too easy to turn it up for “just a little while” to help. This year though, we decided that paying $300 a month for heat was just not practical and therefore we would heat with only the wood burning stove.

We have been doing really well with it, Sultry Husband heads out about every day to split firewood and fill the wood box up. We didn’t get an early jump on splitting and gathering the wood because of Princess Peanut’s birth in June, but we at least were able to get enough.

Here is where it got interesting though. We left for a week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. We wanted to share “First Night” in Salt Lake with our older girls. The dogs are fine in the cold, but the birds were a bit of a problem. After some phone calls, we were able to take our African Grey, Jasper to the sanctuary for the week. While we took Tiki, our Quaker Parrot with us in a small traveling cage.

When we arrived home last night, it was cold. I mean a bone chilling, deep down freezing cold. I was glad that a friend of ours told us to turn off the water to the house and bleed the lines so we wouldn’t have busted pipes to deal with. SH and I stayed up really late just to make sure we could get enough heat into the house for the night. Even with that effort though, this morning was way more than uncomfortable. Both older girls climbed into bed with us because SH and I have a nice heating blanket.

Next year, I think I will ask a friend of mine to start a fire a few hours before we get home… other than that, the trip was fabulous! More details on our actual vacation when I get time to pull pictures off my computer. For now, there is a mountain of laundry to put away and ten billion odds and ends to sort through… wish me luck!


Home Again

December 31, 2007

Wow, we are finally home again. With both sets of parents living in northern Utah, it is easy to see them both, yet hard to feel like you spent enough time at either place. Splitting up the vacation is definitely a good thing, but I had to pack the car one too many times I say!

So, our first order of business was to get up to Logan and SH’s parents house. We left on Saturday morning, but I felt horrible. Pregnant sick horrible. I sat in the passenger seat  and tried to close my eyes. After about an hour and a half, we stopped and picked up a pizza for lunch. I hardly wanted to look at it, but knew that if I didn’t eat I would just have to throw up in another 15 minutes, so I indulged. An hour after that, we had to stop again. This time for me to run into a bathroom to throw up. Yuck. We spent the next hour at that very same place because I couldn’t stop. That’s right folks, the worst pregnant sick of my life, and I spent it in a Wendy’s bathroom! Good times.

Our little 7 or so hour drive turned into a torture session lasting 9 1/2 hours. I about died by the end, all I wanted to do was lay down for two days. I did my best to enjoy our time there, and I did feel better.

Christmas morning was fun, M came into our room at 4 am! Come on people that is just WRONG! We sent her back to bed every 20 minutes till we finally dragged our hides out of bed at 6, begging the grandparents to get up so our kids could do Christmas. I didn’t even get a nap that day. Can you say painful?! It was a great Christmas anyway, just a bit tiring.

The next day, we went sledding with cousins and had a blast. By evening we were packed up and ready to move on to my parents house. That drive was uneventful, only 1 1/2 hours, so not nearly as ugly. Thursday, we played with cousins (a different set) and hung out. My brother was about to leave with his family to visit their other grandparents, when my dad discovered my brother’s dog out in the garage, sitting by a torn up box of rat poison. Needless to say, my brother and I ran her over to the doggie emergency room. She definitely ate a lot of poison, but will be just fine. Bella we love you!

I thought that this was eventful enough, when we decided to go sledding on Saturday with my sister and her kids. We decided to drive over to the hill because of our little kids, and we left a few minutes after the big kids started walking. When we got there, they were going off of a big jump made by someone else. I couldn’t wait to get some pictures. It looked fun, but scary to me. By the time we got out there, my nephew went off, landed wrong, and snapped his arm in two places. NO! We struggled to get him back up to my car, picked up my mom, and they took him over to the emergency room where they spent most of the afternoon trying to set the arm. The poor guy!

The drive home was a beautiful thing. It was snowing pretty hard when we left, so we were a bit nervous. We thought that we would have to take the long way around and skip the shorter mountain route. Within an hour though, we were out of the snow and back into blue skies and dry roads. Further south, the mountain road looked so promising that we took it, totally clear, totally beautiful, and I loved M’s comment most of all. She said over and over through the drive “this is our most peaceful drive ever. I want us to always be happy while we drive”. The girls didn’t argue much, played well together, and most of all when we walked in the house, we weren’t frazzled like usual. It was awesome!

All in all, it was a great week. I am with SH though when he says that all family gatherings should take place in the summer so we never have to travel through snow. Fat chance, but it would be nice…


Within two hours part 3

September 21, 2007

I finally finished my picture movie for the Lake Powell trip. Here it is, enjoy!


Lake Powell part 4 (the finale)

September 17, 2007

As I mentioned in the last post, the night on the beach was horribly uncomfortable.  There was one funny story that did happen that night.  Sultry Husband was sound asleep.  I was dozing in and out, when a large boat must have gone by in the dark.  The waves created by the wake were quite large, and our boat had turned sideways. Basically, the waves hit the aluminum pontoons broadside which was quite loud. I was ignoring it, when Sultry Husband sat straight up and loudly said “Wha’ was that?” I immediately started laughing. It was one LONG night.

By the time the sky started to lighten, the girls were awake of course. I was exhausted, but sat up anyway, to keep an eye on them while they played on the beach. As I looked over the now serene water, I suddenly saw a fish jump. Then another, followed by another. I nudged SH and quickly told him what I was seeing. He decided that since we couldn’t sleep anyway, he might as well throw his line in and see if anything would bite.

The pajama fishing party commenced. Thirty seconds after casting his line out the first time, he had a fish on the line. It wasn’t huge, but it could serve for his breakfast. I started to cook pancakes just in case. Casting again, he caught a minnow- of course L wanted to keep it for a pet, we explained that we eat the fish we catch out of lakes and he was just too small. Back in he went.

*L thought it would be fun to go swimming in her PJ’s. Man was it hard to get that red mud out.*


After pulling out a few more fish, somewhat small but not tiny, he started yelling for me to get the camera. He could feel that he had a large one on the end of the line. He actually feared that his pole might break near the end of reeling him in, this monster was a Striped Bass who was at least 5 or 6 pounds. The biggest fish we have ever caught. Wow. Breakfast for all, with one fish! (thankfully there were pancakes for me to eat, fish- YUCK!)

*I was across the beach from them, and SH started calling for my Photo services. He was afraid his pole would break, so I rushed to take a picture of the monster. Unfortunately, I cut of SH’s head, but hey I got the fish 😉 *

Fishing 2

M was so totally into the fishing by this point that Sultry Husband cast his line out into the lake for her, then handed the pole over while he figured out what to do with his monster. Within a minute or two, M was squealing and reeling daddy’s pole in as fast as her little hands would allow. She didn’t want any help, M wanted to pull him in all on her own. A large catfish, eww, but of course we kept him and SH fried him up at home. She was so proud. The entire time they were eating the fish, she was smiling and saying “I caught a catfish, I caught a catfish, and we are EATING him!” It was hilarious!


By the time we finished our fishing expedition that morning, it was time to head over to the marina to pull the boat out of the water.  As we started in, I noticed row upon row of houseboats. Those suckers are not cheap. They can actually cost as much as a regular house can. I took this one last picture, I call it Excess.


Our trip to Lake Powell this year was absolutely fabulous. It was almost like a good movie. We found excitement, a little bit of danger, drama, sports, and rich people all in one place. We can’t wait to go back!


Lake Powell part 2

September 13, 2007

One of Sultry Husband’s all time favorite pastimes is cliff jumping. He used to jump off of a bridge in his hometown. Always the adrenaline junkie, he was the first to spot the perfect jumping point on our vacation. The girls were scared to death at first, but eventually they learned to love jumping from the heights as well. I never did let them jump as high as Daddy, but at least I let them go at all. With a life jacket of course.


Sultry Husband used to do the patented flip, but it has obviously been quite a few years since the last attempt. He landed smack on his bottom. I found myself reminding him that he is the father of my children and he should keep himself safer. What a fuddy-dud I have become!

As I said in the last post, we rented a pontoon boat. When I told the kids that we were going out on a boat, they refused. Claiming that they were still scared from the Bear Lake boat. I assured them that this one was slower and less bumpy, man was it ever.

Pontoon Boat

The great thing about the boat was that it had so much seating room and storage. I am sitting on the back bench which sits five, in the forward there are two more benches that each sit three. Overall, it is supposed to sit 12, plus all of our stuff for camping overnight. We now have boat fever. I want one! It was just fast enough to tube behind, but not fast enough to water ski. I am not much of a ski person anyway, so this would fit our family perfectly.

One great thing about the trip is that it forced Sultry Husband to attempt to use my camera. Something tells me that he needs a few more lessons, not that I am even an expert yet ;-).


The day was absolutely one of my favorite. The girls were angels, they listened, they played, they smiled the entire time. By the afternoon we were all quite tired, but we wanted to see just one more canyon. The map showed us right where it was, but finding it proved a little more tricky.

LP Goofy

We were definitely not disappointed.

West Canyon

I must caution any would be Lake Powell visitors, you must remember to fill the extra gas cans! We found out first hand what happens when you don’t. Stay tuned for another installment of my Lake Powell trip.

To be continued…


Lake Powell part 1

September 12, 2007

My first experience with Lake Powell happened to be during the spring break of my senior year of high school. Some friends of mine and I decided that we would travel down south for our time off.  We had this grand notion of camping right on the beach and basically just having a great time.  I slept in the back of my dad’s truck while the others pitched a tent.  I know that I was more comfortable…   The boat we had was borrowed from our “chaperones”. Who were basically just there to make sure none of us died.  They were unwilling to take us to see the rest of the lake, and we each only really got to go out in the boat once or twice.  I had a blast because I was being trusted by my parents and I was out on my own.

This past weekend, I was able to really experience Lake Powell.  Sultry Husband has a friend from high school who came for a visit with his little family.  We rented a Pontoon boat together and man oh man.  What a fabulous weekend! As we drove the boat onto the lake, it looked much like what I remembered.  Beach, rocks, and sagebrush.  Basically, ugly. However, we then ventured further into the lake, to the realms of beauty never before seen by my eyes.  It was almost like stepping into a fairyland.  I took picture after picture, but most of all we just stared at the majestic lake before us.

I will post a few pictures here, but you will have to check out my shutterchance blog in order to see them all.  I can’t help but put in a shameless plug for my unseen photo’s.  I don’t get much traffic over there, so now you have a reason to visit. 😉


When we began our trip in the morning, the water was like glass.  The lake is really large enough that you can escape pretty much everyone else.  We were all in heaven. We found canyon upon endless canyon to explore.  You could literally drive your boat down them until you could reach out and touch the wall on either side of the boat.  It was the ultimate game of chicken.LP02

For now I will leave the story here.  More to follow, I hope you are able to endure the photographs even though I had no choice but to leave water on the bottom of each.  It was that or show the boat railing, and somehow that just sounded like a horrible idea to me.

To be continued…


I’m outa’ here!

August 7, 2007

Some of my favorite childhood family memories were built at Bear Lake. This is a lake that is located half in Idaho, while the other half is in Utah. I remember building many sand castles there, sailing, riding my first wave runner, and of course getting stuck way far out in the lake on an old floating tractor tire.

The time has come for my kids to have some similar experiences.   I don’t plan to let them go floating off into the sunset quite yet, we will be watching them quite close.  They will have all kinds of aunts, uncles, and cousins to play with, so it will be a fun filled week.

I will admittedly be a little bit jealous of my siblings, kids, and husband for the fact that they can water-ski or go tubing behind the boat. I will have to be content riding in the boat and taking a zillion pictures. Anyone need an orange flag raised because they are in the water?  I am your gal. 😉