Saturday, October 5, 2013

Summer Sojourn

 We finally visited Yellowstone this summer.  It was amazing!  I didn't know what to expect, but we were all delighted.  Of all the glorious sights to see, Old Faithful was the least impressive, at least for me.  Tristan spent his time gathering weapons and searching for dragons.
 I may have told him that the steam from the boiling lakes and the many holes in the ground were from dragons.  That kept his interest for the four days we were there.
 We saw many bison and elk.
 The weather was warm some days, and cold on others.
 Cambria did pretty well, considering.
 Shoes are always an issue.
 There are many more wonders than just geysers, such as waterfalls, a grand canyon, and the bacteria that color many of the hot water features.
 There was some real excitement when a bear came close enough to see (with a zoom lens).  A ranger posted himself nearby, since so many people are lacking in common sense and plenty of such people have died in the park over the years.  There are books on the subject.
 Afterward we drove through Grand Tetons National Park, though didn't have time to stop.  It was at the end of the day anyway, and we had a bit of a schedule to keep. 
 While passing through Paris, ID we happened upon an LDS tabernacle and stopped for a lovely tour.
 The kids sometimes all had to share a bed, and did surprisingly well with that.  I can't see doing that much longer, but it worked this summer.  I don't know how people with large families travel much.  We also met my cousin Cindy in Logan, who invited us to come visit as we were traveling that direction on our way to Salt Lake City .  She treated us to an ice creamery near the Utah State University, as well as swimming, dinner, and accommodations for the night.  We also got to tour the fire station where her husband is the captain, and meet two of her sons. 
 Sadly, we had to part ways with Dean in Salt Lake City, as he had to get back to work.  So the children and I continued our long journey on our own.  I went to the temple while in SLC, which is always amazing.  I got to go again with Jessica S. in Albuquerque, which was a treat.  Dean kept himself plenty occupied while at home alone.
 We spent several days in Sierra Vista, AZ visiting ol' Curtis and his family.  He took us to the border of Mexico here.  Tristan and Cambria like having cousins their same ages and genders.
 We celebrated Tristan's birthday (again) while at Curtis'. 
 Dramatics and emotions abound with our little lady, and I love it!
 We stayed through Independence Day and got to see the fabulous fireworks.
 A few people got sick and passed it around a bit, including poor Trist-man and Kyler.  That helped him to keep quiet except for some moaning when we made the long drive to Ramah.
 Fortunately, my kids generally sleep more when they are ill.
 We finally got to Ramah and spent time with the Hernandez cousins and the Grandparents Merrill
 and of course Ronelle :)
 She went hiking with us on El Morro.  Tristan was reluctant,
 but we pointed out a dragon and he was game.
 We also stopped in St. George, UT and visited more cousins.
 My kids got along well with Kandra's.
 I got to peruse my mom's photo albums and ran across these of myself.

 Yup, that's me.  It's no wonder I was mistaken for a boy when I was drowning in the ocean off California.
 That's still me on the left.

These are all the reasons I have kept my hair long for most of my adult life.
I finally decided to let it go and cut it while in Ramah.  It's grown out an inch or so here from what it was.  I love it, and really enjoy the convenience of having shorter hair.  
We drove back home from Albuquerque in two days - about 1500 miles. We stopped in Pocatello, ID to visit my friend Lori.  I drove over 900 miles the second day, arriving home around 3:30am.  Ugh.  I don't recommend it, and definitely had to rely on Dr. Pepper and a book on CD to do it.  It was nice to get home!  We were gone for a  month.