Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yellowstone Trip

We got news of a "Free Day" at Yellowstone and couldn't turn it down!

We drove up on Friday and stopped in Idaho Falls and did a session in the temple. Beautiful. We also stopped and saw an old Nauvoo friend, Randy, and his fam.

Then we drove up to St. Anthony where we met up with our friends Wes and Mandy. We had dinner, went on a walk, and played 'Ticket to Ride' (definitely a current obsession!) before hitting the sack so that we could be in the park bright and early.
We went into the park on Saturday morning and drove through a lot of this. It is so beautiful in its own way. It's very cool to see the re-growth since the fires. The little trees are so bright green and look like grass and are so thick. It will be awesome to watch the park change over the years.

I wonder what happened to this tree... so cool.

We came to our first stop... and started breaking the rules immediately...

This is Mammoth Hot Springs... I'd love to see it all wet.

And elk!!

We drove to our next spot from there and came to this HUGE traffic jam.

We jumped out assuming that it had to be a grizzly bear to create such a stir... and there was!! He was pretty small and pretty far away as you can see by the picture... but he was still a grizzly bear and they are rare!

We got quite a laff about all the people... some people had camera's that were over two feet long!

And here are the (idiot) dare-devils who needed to have a better picture. :)

Kept on driving and enjoyed more burnage and growage. I really think it is incredible and beautiful.

Next stop: Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone! It's INCREDIBLE!!!

From our view, we could see all these stairs on the other side of the cliff. We made those our goal!

The hike to Uncle Tom's Stairs started with a view of Upper Falls.

And after climbing down the stairs,

we were able to see the gorgeous Lower Falls. SO PRETTY!

And pretty fab rainbow reflection at the bottom.

Here's all of us. Wes and Mandy were fabulous hosts. You can see our hoodies... it was COLD up there that weekend! At night it got down to 32! Brr! I'm sure people were laffing at me for wearing a coat (not in this picture), but when you leave 100 degree weather and go to 50 degrees... that's quite a change!!

And then began the trek UP the 350ish stairs! Here is Aaron pretending to pant... yes we were making fun of the tourists who we thought were going to kill themselves. :) Yes, we're mean. :)

A cool view of the canyon from the stairs.

We started on again and finally saw bison/buffalo!!! I thought this was going to be the closest we would get...

until we came to a lone one right on the side of the road! We came up to it going verrrrrrrry slowly and I put my camera out and...

all the sudden he looked at me and started walking into the car! The picture is fuzzy because I screamed and was pulling my arms back in! It was SO awesome! He was seriously like a foot away from me. And now I'm obsessed with buffalo. In fact, I made us buy a buffalo Christmas ornament in this fuzzy guy's honor. :) He crossed the road right after our car.

We drove past Lake Yellowstone

to go see Old Faithful. Here are the crowds of people waiting.

That little smoke puff is where it comes out of. Pretty incredible.

Old Faithful was about 10 minutes late and we were laffing our heads off at the comments people around us were making. "You'd think they could set it off on time." "Yeah and why don't they announce it?" "Seriously, they should put music to it or have music going off like the Bellagio Fountains." We were trying so hard not to laff... they totally thought this was man-made!! We were afraid it would scare the heck out of them to hear that the earth naturally made this geyser explode. :) And there she blows!!

We continued on. We stopped at a few geyser basins and emerald pools.

That's boiling water... that's insane!!


Boiling MUD!

This bad boy was created in recent years after an earthquake! In the Spring it gushes water but in the Fall it's all dry and MOANS REALLY LOUD! It was kinda freaky! (Maybe we should have double-checked it wasn't a person who had fallen in...)

I was pretty intrigued by this death and carnage.

And that was our day at Yellowstone! We went around the entire park in one day! We can't believe how much we saw and are sure there is tons more to see. We'll have to go back. I love to see how unique nature is and to learn how they different areas were created. (For example, all of Yellowstone is on top of a Super Volcano!) National Parks are the bomb. Especially when they're free. :)

That night we went to the infamous Big Jud's. To have your picture taken and be on the Big Jud's wall, you have to eat this hamburger (hand is showing the size), a full order of fries, a drink, and a huge waffle cone!!

Aaron and Wes split it and did finish it all off. (No picture on the wall though, because you have to do it singlely.) I was impressed though... that's A LOT of food!

That evening we watched a movie and the next morning we went to church with them which included many experiences that had us laffing for hours. We had SUCH a great time up there. A huge thank you to them!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Simple Minds; Simple Pleasures

I have a simple mind, but things like this make me smile.

What a ridiculous car to jack up and put rims on!!!

What a sweet teenager... dressing up her little lion backpack... and protecting it from SARS or Swine Flu.

Good times. I wish I could be so cool.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Qquirrh Mountain Temple (and a visit)

I feel like I can say that I really know this temple! I have now watched the video and been on the the tour three times! It really is a beautiful temple .

The first time I was on a "special guest tour" since my work sells some of the fabric they chose.
The second time was with my fam.

And the third time was with his fam.

Which obviously means we had a visit from Colorado!
Aaron's fam came up last weekend. We had them over in our ghetto fabulous apartment for dinner on Thursday night and then met them for the Temple Open House Friday night and went to dinner after.
Saturday morn we had them over for breakfast. And then our day of shopping insanity began! I have been telling them they need to go to IKEA for over a year... and finally got them to go! I think they were a bit 'skeptical' wondering why I would take them to a furniture store! I was thrilled when within the first minute they were already amazed. :) And that we ended up being there for about four hours. :)
They, too, fell in love with the Poang chair and ended up getting one! Ronski and I hope to have these someday when we're rich and famous. :)

Our big purchase was a clothes drying rack. It saves us a $1 a load for us to air dry our clothes so I'm a fan... though our wooden rack isn't the greatest... in fact, we're on our second one because the other one broke... So when I saw this one I almost melted. Aaron immediately said we needed it and it was sold. I tried it out yesterday and it's pretty fab. :)

After IKEA we went to the movie UP! We all really liked it.
And then more shopping. Lowe's, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and multiple clothing stores! (Pagosa offers none of this type of stuff.)
After shopping, we had dinner at the Pi Pizzeria and then went and climbed Ensign Peak. It was relaxing and enjoyable to watch the city.

I love, love, love summer nights... I don't want them to end! It was good to have his fam here and we all had a good time.